Office DevCamps

The other day while recording Episode 15 of Brewery.fm with Scott Hoag, I remembered something that was tweeted about during //Build and that I’d received an email about earlier in the day as well – Office DevCamp. So we included it in the show and hoped that folks would consider checking it out – it’s a great opportunity to meet folks from the Microsoft Office Developer team and to learn a thing or two… for free.

So what are Office DevCamp’s? Do I need a shovel? Will I need insect repellent? I sure hope not. I hope they’re going to teach us how to write Apps and use the Office 365 APIs.

If you’re done reading, head on over to http://aka.ms/msdevcamps and register.

For those of that are still here, good on you! Essentially the DevCamp is held at a Microsoft Office near you (in most instances) and it’s split out into a 5 part day. There are events all over the place in the US to include:

There are over a billion Office users out there in 147 countries (wow that’s a lot) and they’re all looking for ways to better use Office – so why not build an app for them?

Definitely sounds like an interesting day – hope that you’re able to make it out!

Metamorphosis Complete

Acompli is now Outlook

Acompli-Promotion

Apparently when I wrote my blog article a few days ago about Acompli showing up as MS Outlook, I may have stumbled onto the new Outlook app that was released to iOS and Android today. More information on that available here – Office everywhere: More great news for Office on iOS and Android.

There seems to be quite a bit of excitement about the app and no doubt, it’s a great enhancement on what was originally available in the OWA App, but for those of us that have been using Acompli for a while we’ve come to appreciate the capabilities that it provided for. Great acquisition on Microsoft to truly provide an experience that end users will be able to use with ease.

Take a peek at the iOS functionality…

Acompli is no more in the iOS app store…

If you poke around and are wondering where Acompli went, you’re going to find that it’s now named Outlook. And while version 1.7.6 was what was available in the iOS store up until this morning, we’re back to a reset in the version number to 1.0.0. If you’re me, you’ve got both apps operating on your device, at least for the time being until I consolidate Acompli back into Outlook. Of course if you’d already downloaded Acompli you can go to your “Purchased” apps page within iOS and pull it back down… but one would argue as to why one would do that since Outlook is going to be the app that gets updated going forward (I’m guessing…)

If you head over to the Acompli web site you’ll notice that they have received a “promotion” to Outlook 🙂

The functionality of Acompli exceeds that of OWA in that it can handle Exchange, Outlook.com, and a slew of other mail providers – better than the way that the out of the box Mail.app works some might say. The caveat being that if you’re going to interact with anything through your mobile web browser, unless you jailbreak your device or like cutting and pasting back into mail messages, you’re going to still need the OOTB mail configuration in place for sharing links… that is until Acompli / Outlook has an iOS extension of course to allow for direct sharing like a host of other apps making use of the iOS 8 framework.

From a few friends that are on Android devices, they’ve pulled it down and feel the same way that it’s working quite nicely. Excited to see what’s next.

Well done Microsoft! Your acquisitions are working together quite nicely. 🙂

Come to the dark side…

It’s been a fairly light week after all the news pouring out from the Consumer Electronics Show, but a few highlights of interest.

  • It would seem that Andrew Connell has finally come back to the dark side with the procurement of a MacBook Pro. Funny enough that he’s got a similar logo on his MBP as Scott Hoag. As for me I’ve been sporting a Lego on my MBP for a couple of years now.

Speaking of off-topic, there’s been the drive as of recent for Microsoft to be recognized as more of a devices company than a platform company. In as much, we’ve seen Office 365 begin to bridge that gap, offering Office Web Apps that for the most part provide similar experiences across devices and browsers. Granted, not all browsers are created equal (IE6, you’ll always have a special place in my heart…). Nevertheless, I came across Addictive Tips blog postings on the “Best of Addons for 2013.” Specifically for FireFox and Chrome. So eat your heart out and check these out when you’ve got a few spare cycles:

With all of the security concerns as of recent note such as the Starbucks App being found to store passwords in clear text, it’s interesting to see that Google is adding the ability to send e-mail messages to individuals that you happen to be connected with through Google+. Note that there are ways to get out of this engagement by simply going in and changing your settings. More on how to do this is available here:

http://www.addictivetips.com/web/how-to-opt-out-of-gmails-new-email-via-google-plus-option/

And speaking of Google, don’t forget that the same technology baked into the Galaxy Nexus 5 where you simply say, “Okay Google” and a search page pops open ready to listen to your every beck and command – it’s also available for your Chrome web browser as an extension that can be added from the Google Chrome Store here:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-voice-search-hotwo/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn?hl=en-US

If you’re me and you’re still looking to finish out your MCSE SharePoint certification and just have to knock out the 70-417 MCSA upgrade exam, it couldn’t hurt to check out some of the materials that the Microsoft Virtual Academy is offering up on the Windows Server platform. More details are available here – and best of all, the training is free.

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/product-training/windows-server

The Microsoft Office 365 team has updated the services that were added to Office 365 today for the December 2013 update on their Service Update Wiki. More details on this are available here – http://community.office365.com/en-us/wikis/office_365_service_updates/974.aspx#dec2013. Nothing overly significant, just three modifications.

On January 15, the Apps for Office and SharePoint blog posted an article on “Publishing apps for Office and SharePoint to Windows Azure Websites.” Definitely a handy article and walk through when you’re looking to create provider-hosted apps. Kudos to the Office Developer Team.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/officeapps/archive/2014/01/15/publishing-apps-for-office-and-sharepoint-to-windows-azure-websites.aspx

Last but not least, the Simpsons will be available throug the FX app as its sister station FXX has the exclusive on-demand rights for the show. The details are thin at the moment but it looks like a cable subscription will be required. More on this is available from the Unofficial Apple Weblog post here:

http://www.tuaw.com/2014/01/16/dedicated-app-will-stream-every-episode-of-the-simpsons-and-mor/