August 2010
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Day August 26, 2010

Hotmail users to get Exchange ActiveSync starting Monday

Although I switched to Gmail as my primary email provider years ago, I have always kept my Hotmail account active as a backup if only for nostalgic reasons. It was my very first email account that I acquired in my senior year of high school back in 1999 as I was making my first forays into the World Wide Web. With the introduction of Gmail, it was hard to see any benefit in my Hotmail account other than for the correspondence therein. Gmail had vastly more storage, threaded messages, a better user interface, and was more or less hassle-free compared to the kludge that was Hotmail. Even as Microsoft upped the storage and improved the user experience, it continued to lag behind Gmail in features, most notably, its lack of IMAP support and push email.

Starting this Monday, however, all that will change. Hotmail users will finally get Exchange ActiveSync support granting them the push and syncing capabilities that every modern day email service ought to have. I, for one, will be happy to have access to all my folders from the comfort of my iPhone and Palm Pre. With Windows Phone 7 around the corner, this is a great move by Microsoft to bring Hotmail up to speed. Welcome to the present!

Source: CNET via PreCentral

Google Voice integration comes to Gmail

Google Voice is one of those services you wonder how you have ever lived without before using them. Now you can make voice calls directly from Gmail using your computer’s microphone and speakers, as well as video calls if you have a webcam. Calls to and from the US and Canada are currently free and international rates start at 2¢ per minute. Call quality is reported to be very good and on par with Skype. No Google Voice account is required to use the service, although if you have one (and you should!), it will display your GV number during outbound calls and allow you to receive calls right within Gmail if you choose.

Sources: SlashGear, The Official Gmail Blog

Apple ‘special event’ scheduled for September 1

Apple has sent out invitations to industry-leading blogs about an upcoming event scheduled for September 1 in San Francisco. Judging by the graphic, which depicts an acoustic guitar with an Apple logo-shaped sound hole — and by the time of year — it appears that this will be Apple’s media event equivalent to the Let’s Rock events of yesteryear.

Rumors for the exact content of the event include a completely redesigned fourth generation iPod Touch à la iPhone 4 complete with glass back, dual cameras, FaceTime integration, gyroscope, and that gorgeous 960 x 640 Retina Display. Also rumored to be unveiled is a completely repackaged Apple TV — possibly rebranded as iTV — running iOS and priced at $99. Apple will probably release iOS 4.1 shortly after the event that brings Game Center to newer iDevices, stability and performance gains to older iDevices, and a proximity sensor fix to iPhone 4.

In addition, Apple may make renting television shows for 99¢ a reality as well as give us a release date for the hotly anticipated white iPhone 4. No word on whether the long overdue ‘iTunes in the cloud’ streaming service will go live soon, but I’m guessing it won’t happen until some time next year. Beatles on iTunes is also highly unlikely.

Sources: SlashGear, Engadget, Daring Fireball