Smooth Crossover for Newbies: PC to iPad Productivity

Crossing over from PC to iPad as a second work unit is no sweat for millennials who do it on the fly. For seniors who are at the peak of their productive years, but unfortunately tech-challenged the learning curve is steeper. I used to be a true-blue Microsoft and PC fanatic; for late-bloomers like me, a graphical interface that didn’t require me to memorize and code was like winning the lotto.

It unleashed productivity and creativity, making me do more, better, and faster until a ton of versions, updates, viruses, bugs, and hacking issues cut short the honeymoon. Windows 10 was a challenge, making me hate Cortana (though I was in love with Alexa). The worst part was licensing software. After installing the OS, you find yourself unable to do anything even if the specs are high. PCs come bare and you do need to bring it to life at huge expense starting with the Office and Adobe productivity software. You probably need a video-editing app as well, since Youtube, Snap, Facebook, and Instagram are popular for communicating ideas and influencing buyers. We’ve tried to make the load easier by finding just the right programs that make shifting from the dear and familiar to the new and untried a breeze!

I was pleasantly surprised that the iPad was pre-loaded and productive straight from the factory. Aside from Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant, the smaller and  practically bezel-less device lets you get down to business right away with the following installed apps:

  • FaceTime – a video and audio conferencing app for the iPad and iPhone anywhere there is 4G or Wi-fi similar to Google Hangout and Skype.
  • Calendar – works like Google Calendar except that you can be lazy and ask Siri to do it for you; information is stored in iCloud and can be sent in the mail as iMessage. The equivalent would be Google Cloud, the ubiquitous storage for photos, media, backup files, meetings and the like.
  • Home – is an interesting feature and is like a command post for your smart devices,
  • Videos – you don’t need to download another software to be able to store and watch video on your device,
  • Maps – similar to Google Map and links to Yelp. This feature is handy for local searches;
  • Contacts – wonderfully synch your phone so you can say goodbye to the tedious task of manually encoding numerous contacts (and erring in the process),
  • Notes – is like Notepad on steroids because it supports photos, drawings, formatting, and can be shared with or edited by the other party. Think of it as a basic unit of ‘collaboration” whether you are making a shopping list or bouncing off ideas with project members.
  • Clock – the iPad app keeps time, sets alarms and reminders just like in Windows PC or Androids. But the iPad has a little extra – it saves you the trouble of going to sites like World Time Buddy because it can tell the time in other time zones. No more missed appointments when traveling overseas or meeting online.
  • News and Podcasts– soon you’ll be missing seeing Yahoo’s splash page because you can actually choose the news and topics that interest you
  • iBooks, iTunes, and Photo Booth makes the iPad fun with a capital P, making it so easy to forget that it could be a workhorse too!

But for those keen on work and less on play, Files brings you closer to Window’s intuitive system while the iCloud enables you to keep and retrieve files (even large ones) easily and securely. Does it compete with Google Cloud? Not at all – it just increases your free storage space and enables you to control and work across devices effortlessly.

Two of the things I like best is the Mail app that has a universal view so that I could see all incoming mail from Yahoo, Gmail and the like and the Messenger app which allows me to send messages to anyone with an Apple device for free.

For those who are Microsoft fanatics and could not live without the Office Suite that includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Moviemaker, you don’t need to pay a cent to download these free and essential apps from the App Store. Here’s what you should get (if it has not been preloaded):

  • Pages, the Word equivalent is not as professional or as sophisticated as its Microsoft version but it is a capable word processor with formatting options and comes with a lot of templates covering almost everything you’ll ever need for personal and business use. It supports embedding tables, photos, graphics, and graphs.
  • Numbers, the Excel equivalent has about 25 templates and does a great job in displaying information visually. It allows you to import spreadsheets from, Microsoft Excel and has access to often-used formulas. If you are looking for a robust app, this may not be the “one”, but results look polished and professional.
  • Keynote, the presentation app is the favorite in this suite because it comes very close to Microsoft Powerpoint’s functionality. iWork is the Apple analog to Microsoft’s Office Suite and consists of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. My verdict after taking it out for a spin – perfect!

You’ll probably find these other FREE tools indispensable once you get the hang of it:

Just as it has a suite for work, Apple also has suite for play. iLife consists of Garage Band, iMovie, and iPhoto.

  • Garage Banda music studio that works like the sound editor Audacity
  • iMovie it’s a far stretch from Adobe Premiere but has the same functionality as Microsoft’s Moviemaker.

For those who simply can’t gracefully crossover from a first love to these free apps, Microsoft Office and Outlook are also available as paid downloads. Complete your productivity by using various cloud services that are free to use and expandable to paid.


Office 2013: Everything you need to know

Call it Office 13, Office 15, Office 2013, The New Office, Office 365, or just plain Office. I know many are confused as to what they will call the latest version of this popular productivity software. Many people who are still stuck to Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 may wonder what is in store for them once they make the leap to the new service.

Enough with the Clicks! Just touch me!

The first thing you would need to know about the new software is that this is optimized for Windows 8. The Metro style ribbons and large touch friendly interface will work well on a device that will no longer rely solely on the input of a mouse. That said, the mouse input is still there and operates just like the previous versions. While there have been touch screen PCs before, there was no touch based gestures then, unlike what we will experience from now on.

Hop on and ride the Cloud!

The online features that have been introduced since Microsoft Office 2010 are back on the new Office 2013. It seems the tech world is intent at making cloud computing the future of everything. Microsoft Office can now sync and link with popular social networks, such as Facebook and Google+. SkyDrive will be your dear friend on the road if you plan to run on Microsoft’s integrated systems of PC, Tablet and Phone using the unified Windows 8.

A marketplace built for the Office

The new Microsoft Office involves new “App store”. Many meet these news with raised eyebrows wondering why productivity software like Office would need an app store. The first impression to that Office 2013 will not have everything you used to have in it, and would require you to pay more to get more services. This may or may not be the case, but as Microsoft explains it, they plan to add more features and add-ons to the already full powered Office 13. It still does not answer the fear, but rest assured that we will keep an eye out for it.

Can you write the letter W?

It would seem that actual writing will make a comeback, as the new Office provides the ability called “Inking” which allows the user to write using a stylus in their creation of documents and presentations. Those of us who simply hate to write manually will find this feature rather useless, although there might be people who might use it simply for the novelty of the idea. In my honest opinion, there is still no substitute for the trusty Keyboard when making large presentations and documents. Still, this will be a handy feature for presentations that require illustrations directly made from Microsoft Office.

Lync up with me

Microsoft added a new feature called Lync which, along with the new version of One note, will be the touch-centric apps focused on Windows 8 touch system. Lync allows you to link up with your friends, family and office mates to collaborate on projects or simply communicate. The integration of Skype is an indication that they want to replace the need for instant messenger clients and keep everything work related focused on the new Office.

Did you change your hair?

Many of the changes to the Microsoft Office programs are mainly aesthetic. They simply optimized existing options and links to work well with tablet sized screens and touch input with the exception of Lync and One Note, which look like they were designed for Windows 8. While there are still plenty of things that they added, the familiarity experienced on first usage is the main selling point of their products which businesses all over the world prefer. The functional changes include optimizations as well as internet based functions such as the weather widget available on Outlook as well as an all new reading mode for quick review of you documents. It is certain that you will not get lost in this version of Microsoft Office as most of the stuff you know and love is here to stay for now.

When will my XP get it?

I know that people like saying never say never, but this really is a NEVER moment. Microsoft plans to retire the XP operating system soon and just maintain Windows 7 and Windows 8 support. Yes, there is also no Vista support. I bet that if they could, they would only support Windows 8 and nothing more. Microsoft has been keen about moving everyone to Windows 8 to be able to complete their grand plan of full integration between Windows powered devices.

So now what?

It is entirely up to you whether you are planning to move on to the new Microsoft Office 2013. Unless you plan to move on to a touch PC or tablet, there is not much sense in jumping the gun right now. Some would argue that the design does not look well for Windows 7, so it would only be necessary to update to the new one if you are planning to move on to Windows 8. This makes sense, as the overall aesthetic changes matches more with the Windows 8 Metro style compared to the Windows 7 Aero.

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Microsoft Office for iOS and Android just around the corner

Boy Genius Report, also known as BGR, reports that a reliable source has said that Microsoft is planning to release Office apps for both iOS and Android tablets before the year ends.

The report also said that Microsoft Office to be launched for the iOS could also be compatible with iPhone and iPod touch.

The leak reaffirms The Daily’s report a few months ago that Microsoft is developing an Office app for the iPad. The latter reported last February that the development phase for the Office for iPad was already complete and would soon be submitted to the Apple App Store.

According to reports, the interface of the Microsoft Office app is similar to that of the OneNote. The latter is available for the iPad since last year. They added that this new app enables users to edit and make new Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.

BRG said, “Our source has seen Microsoft Office running on an iPad first-hand and has said that it looks almost identical to the previous leak from The Daily a few months back, despite the fact that Microsoft flat out denied that the app was authentic.”

A spokesperson from Microsoft wasn’t able to comment immediately.

Are you ready for a Microsoft Office invasion?

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Six-version Office 2010 to launch June

Yes, Microsoft is launching not one, not two and not even three versions of their famous Office Suite. They will be launching a total of six versions: Starter, Home and Student, Home and Business, Standard, Professional, and Professional Plus.

According to a report by Neowin , the launch for the latest Office suite is scheduled for June of next year. This new version include support ribbons for all products, as well as a new version of Office for Mac.

Applications included in the Office 2010 include a bevy of software including Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Access,  Outlook, Publisher, Communicator, Access, InfoPath Designer, InfoPath Filler, OneNote and SharePoint workspace.

The free version of Office will include Word and Excel has limited functionality and will have ads displayed to support the cost. The Profesional Plus version is available in public beta as of the moment and requires a license key from Microsoft,

Those who have a TechNet or MSDN subscription will be getting the full version of Office 2010 ahead of the rumored June launch date.


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