Ms’ monthly apps and news bits [jan 2018]

I’m gonna try and keep up a monthly posts with some news bits that caught my eye, and some bits about apps I’ve recently discovered or have gotten some major interesting updates. So, let’s kick of the first one in this first month of the new year in tech 🙂 

Cloudplayer for Android: a nice Groove replacement

With the demise of Microsofts Groove Music a year earlier, Microsoft finally also pulled the plug on the Groove apps on other platforms (the Windows 10 desktop version will continue to exist and see active development for now) in december 2018. Users that still relied on Groove Music for playback of their Onedrive Music collection, now had to go look elsewhere for an app. Yours truly included, and I settled on Cloudplayer by doubleTwist.
You can connect Cloudplayer to these popular clouds: Dropbox, Onedrive and Google Drive and it will synchronise all music that it finds in said cloud to the app. You’ll have the option to stream it or download it for offline playback and you can also edit metatags and album art, build playlists, etc.

   

The app is available in a free version, giving you a 30 day trial period, but to connect to the clouds you’ll need the Premium version (which you can buy from within the free version through an in-app purchase) which will set you back € 7,99 for a lifetime license. But in my opinion that’s totally worth it for being able to stream all my Onedrive content again (that features quite some special music not to be found on streaming services, mostly due to being oooooold) 😉

Outlook Mobile -finally- changes architecture (iOS & Android)

This is a news bit that has got to be work-related for most, at least for me it is, since many organisations have blocked access to their Exchange systems for this app. The reason is that it raised some serious privacy concerns because it previously it didn’t talk to the Exchange online servers of your organisation directly but through a so called Stateless Protocol Translator hosted on Azure, in turn talking to a REST API of the Exchange service.. In short; the data was stored and/or processed in the US or at least on whatever datacenter that couldn’t be guaranteed to be in the same country as the Exchange host, which in turn isn’t GDPR (AVG) compliant.

This situation had been in place for many years since Microsoft bought the application from Acompli, leaving many enterprise workers looking for other options to access their Exchange data. Thankfully this has now finally been mitigated by Microsoft with this architectural change for the better, mainly also due to the US government demanding the changes for all the same compliance reasons… 🙂

You can read all about the changes and Outlook Mobiles architecture here:

Outlook mobile meets needs of customers with the highest Federal security & compliance requirements

Outlook mobile meets needs of customers with the highest Federal security & compliance requirements

Today, we’re announcing that the recently updated architecture for Outlook for iOS and Android meets the security and compliance needs of Office 365 US Government Community Cloud (GCC) High and Department of Defense customers. In addition to FedRAMP Moderate compliance announced last year, all US go…

Outlook mobile meets needs of customers with the highest Federal security & compliance requirements

Outlook for iOS and Android in Exchange Online

Outlook for iOS and Android in Exchange Online

Summary: This article contains architectural and security information for administrators about Outlook for iOS and Android.

Outlook for iOS and Android in Exchange Online

Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook
Price: Free

Enpass 6 Password Manager finally released

I had been in the beta program for this major update to this multiplatform Password Manager for quite a few weeks, and during the holidays Enpass finally released the final version 6 to the general public. Regrettably this ‘news’ item of mine is already so dated at the moment of writing that the introductory discount of 50% for the Premium version of the mobile apps is now over. However: the Apple desktop and Windows 10 Store versions are still discounted by 50% at the moment of writing this item.

Also, you need to know that the desktop versions really aren’t that limited in important features: the free versions on both MacOS, Windows 10 and Linux offer the most important stuff already:

  • Unlimited items
  • Multiple vaults
  • Autofill with browser extension
  • Cloud sync

Leaving out only the more advanced stuff (Windows 10 example):

  • Unlock using Windows Hello
  • Dark theme
  • Create your own Categories
  • Create your own Templates

You can check out the pricing for different features sets and platforms right here.

Allright, so about the new stuff: Enpass now supports multiple vaults so you can now have a private and a work vault, it offers a darkmode on all platforms (premium), offers Windows Hello login (and other biometrics on other platforms as well as long as they’re secure, which rules out most face recognition systems except Hello), Keyfile support, secure sharing of items (with pre-shared keys), a complete visual redesign and much more. Read their blogpost about the release right here:

Introducing Enpass 6; Crafted with the spirit of Himalayas – Enpass

Introducing Enpass 6; Crafted with the spirit of Himalayas – Enpass

Today is the day, we’ve all been waiting for since a while – not just at Enpass, but across our community of Enpassians worldwide. Yes, it’s the day when we are releasing Enpass 6 on all the platforms. After the release of the first beta in June this year, we thought that this awesome day will come soon but, it took a bit longer than expected. The real challenge here for us was to deliver it with the same awesomeness and consistency across all the platforms, which you guys have always been fond of. Thank-you guys, for all your love!

Introducing Enpass 6; Crafted with the spirit of Himalayas – Enpass

And you can get all the apps right here:

Windows 10 Desktop app

Enpass Password Manager
Enpass Password Manager
Developer: ‪Sinew Software Systems Private Limited‬
Price: Kostenlos+

Windows 10 Edge extension

Enpass extension for Microsoft Edge
Enpass extension for Microsoft Edge
Developer: ‪Sinew Software Systems Private Limited‬
Price: Kostenlos

Google Android

Apple iOS

The app was not found in the store. 🙁

Android on an old laptop: the Android x86 project

Last week I saw quite an interesting post from XDA-developers on twitter, detailing the release of the first stable release of Android x86. Android x86 is project that stated last summer to port Android to x86 CPU’s by both AMD and Intel. So if you’ve got an old laptop lying around that you wanna do some experimenting on: now seems to be the time with the release of a stable version 🙂
Read all about it on XDA-developers:

Android-x86’s stable Android 8.1 Oreo image is now available

Android-x86’s stable Android 8.1 Oreo image is now available

Since that first Android 8.1 Oreo release in June, the Android-x86 team has released a second RC build and now they are ready for the stable launch.

Android-x86’s stable Android 8.1 Oreo image is now available

FitFace: an easy online editor to build Fitbit clockfaces for Ionic and Versa

I’ve been procrastinating on building my own clockfaces for my Fitbit Ionic, mainly due to somebody else beating me to my idea, but also because there’s the hurdle to take of having to do some actual programming (which simply isn’t my metier).
The latter part of my excuses is now being solved by the release of an online clockface-building tool called FitFace. It’s a super easy drag and drop designer, and even offers you the option to eventually publish your creation to the Fitbit clockface gallery. It needs an account to get started, but that’s completely free 🙂

And here’s the link to FitFace:

FitFace

FitFace

Xiaomi showed us the best foldable screen smartphone prototype yet

It looks like 2019 is gonna be the year of foldable devices with foldable screen-tech. Samsung showed it’s prototype late last year and at CES 2019 a Chinese OEM –Rouyu– showed the only foldable Android device you can actually buy at the moment (though it isn’t very good).
So far these have been devices with a single fold and it’s debatable if that is the best approach, requiring an extra display if you choose to fold inwards, like Samsung has done. This week however, Xiaomi CEO Lin Bin showed off a teaser video of their interpretation for a foldable device, and this one shows no less than two folding sections, folding nicely to the rear. From the looks of it alone, this seems like a much better approach, or at least something that looks appealing enough to want it… 😛

Have a look at it on The Verge:

Xiaomi’s folding phone is the best we’ve seen so far

Xiaomi’s folding phone is the best we’ve seen so far

A prototype phone that folds in three

Xiaomi’s folding phone is the best we’ve seen so far