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Apple and Google Vying for Exclusive Games from Developers With Promotional Perks

A new report from The Wall Street Journal today highlights the increasing competition between Apple and Google to gain exclusive games for their respective iOS and Android platforms. According to the report, both companies have been offering developers promotional perks, such as premium placement on their app store home pages, in exchange for the first rights to a title.

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For instance, the popular title Cut The Rope 2 was reportedly part of an exclusivity agreement between Apple and and developer ZeptoLab:
ZeptoLab's sequel to its popular puzzle game "Cut the Rope”, introduced in December, reflected a similar pattern. The company and Apple agreed to about a three-month window of exclusivity for Apple's App Store, in exchange for the store prominently promoting the game, one person familiar with the matter said. ZeptoLab launched an Android version in late March.
The report also notes a promotional agreement between Apple and EA to launch Plants VS. Zombies 2 on iOS two months before its release on Android. This is in line with a story from Giant Bomb last September that shared similar details. However, while both companies denied the claims and stated that no money was exchanged as asserted by the original story, The Wall Street Journal notes that Apple doesn’t offer money for game exclusives, but rather just marketing and promotional assistance.

Plants VS. Zombies 2 was prominently featured by Apple during the week of its release, as it was mentioned on the App Store Facebook page and featured in top banners on the App Store itself.

Amazon has also carried out similar practices, offering promotional spots on its Amazon Appstore in order for the rights to launch games on its Kindle family of devices. An Amazon spokeswoman corroborated these claims, stating that the company "works with many developers to bring their apps to the Amazon Appstore." The company’s new Fire TV media streaming box, which was released earlier this month, contains dedicated support for games, even offering a $39 wireless Fire game controller.

The news also comes as the amount of money spent by consumers on mobile content grows. According to the results of a study done by research firms IDC and App Annie, mobile games accounted for $16 billion of app sales, jumping 2.3x over the past year.

First Generation Apple TVs Unable to Connect to iTunes

appletv-326x-tjlApple's first generation Apple TVs have lost their ability to connect to iTunes and appears to be affecting users worldwide.

A lengthy Apple Discussions page shows that the problem started on the 17th of April and has persisted for 1st generation Apple TV users. Forum poster georgevargas describes the issue:
As of last night I had full access to the iTunes Store. Since this morning I was getting an Itunes Store Not Available message, and after unplugging the AppleTv the iTunes Store access completly disappeared except for movie trailers.
Users have gone through the usual diagnostics, including rebooting and restoring, but have found that nothing has restored connectivity. MacRumors has confirmed the issue on our own 1st generation Apple TV.

The initial timing of the outage corresponds to the FaceTime not working for iOS 6 users, suggesting some internal changes by Apple has affected both services. Some users are speculating that internal communication upgrades related to the Heartbleed security issue could be related. Apple denied that Heartbleed affected any of their "key services" but did not elaborate on what those might be.

Apple has not provided any statement on if and when 1st generation Apple TV functionality will be restored or not. The first generation Apple TV was released in January, 2007 and was sold until September, 2010.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Nike Fires Majority of FuelBand Team, Plans to Stop Making Wearables

Nike plans to cease making wearable hardware and it has fired the majority of the 80-person team responsible for the FuelBand fitness tracker. Instead, the company will focus its efforts on fitness software, according to an unnamed source that spoke to CNET.
The shoemaker isn't throwing in the towel on technology. Rather, it's turning away from hardware and realigning its focus exclusively on fitness and athletic software, a strategic shift that would still benefit the company in the long run, analysts said.

As the competition in the fitness wearable category has increased with entries from Jawbone and Fitbit, Nike has opted to shift its focus to software. Company spokesman Brian Strong told CNET in an email that Nike continually aligns its resources with business priorities and that it has made changes to its team as its Digital Sport priorities have shifted. Nike is also opening an incubator called Fuel Lab in San Francisco to allow developers to create products that incorporate its workout metric NikeFuel and plug into a Nike+ API that'll come this fall.

Nike's move away from wearables also comes as Apple's long-rumored iWatch is expected to come to fruition. Apple CEO Tim Cook is an avid wearer of the FuelBand and has sat on the Nike board for the last nine years, which has helped the two brands foster a strong relationship.

A possible partnership between Apple and Nike wouldn't be out of the question as the athletic company was one of the first to show support for the iPhone 5s' motion coprocessor, debuting the Nike+ Move app alongside the iPhone 5s at Apple's

Apple Offering Some Developers Second Chance to Buy Unclaimed WWDC Tickets

Apple is offering some developers a chance to buy unclaimed WWDC tickets, according to a report from 9to5Mac and several Twitter users. Apple has emailed certain developers to offer them WWDC tickets, giving them 24 hours to pay the $1,599 ticket fee.

This year, because of nearly immediate ticket sellouts in past years, Apple decided to offer WWDC tickets to registered, paid iOS and Mac developers through a lottery system. Developers who won the ticket lottery had until April 14 to complete their purchases.

Now Apple is reportedly reaching out to developers who didn’t win the lottery and offering them a chance to buy unclaimed tickets. Some developers are starting to get phone calls from the company informing them that they have been randomly selected to buy one of the tickets that winners failed to claim before the 14th.
It is unknown how many WWDC tickets went unclaimed by lottery winners, nor how the company is choosing developers to receive a second chance at tickets.

The annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be held from June 2-6 at the Moscone West convention center in San

Apple's Shazam Partnership Could Boost Advertising Efforts

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Apple has plans to integrate song identification features into iOS 8 through a partnership with audio discovery platform Shazam, but as suggested by media professor Aram Sinnreich, Apple's ambitions may go beyond simple music recognition capabilities.

Speaking with Computerworld, Sinnreich, a media professor at Rutgers University, points out that Apple could use Shazam's audio recognition abilities to gather information on the media that iPhone and iPad users are consuming, including music, television shows, movies, and more, for targeted advertisements.

While Shazam is known for identifying songs that are playing on the radio or through other sources, the service is also capable of identifying and tagging television shows and advertisements. Shazam works by analyzing captured sound and comparing its acoustic fingerprint to an audio database, which began including television content in 2012.

Shazam's technology could, of course, be used to deliver music and television information to consumers, providing identification along with additional content like news, facts, and iTunes purchase links, but at the same time, Apple could also use it to gather information on consumer preferences each time a song, television show, or advertisement is "tagged" or identified by a user, allowing the company to use those preferences to deliver more targeted ad suggestions across iOS.
Sinnreich pointed out that Shazam has been indexing advertisements broadcast on television, as well as the pre-show ads shown in movie theaters, and in some

Alleged iPad Air 2 Front Panel with Integrated Display Shown in New Photos

Following the leak of an alleged iPhone 6 front panel earlier this week, the iPad is now getting its turn with a pair of photos showing what is said to be a front panel for the next-generation iPad Air, shared by Dutch site One More Thing [Google Translate]. Notably, the part appears to include an integrated display in contrast to the separate panel and display parts used on the current model. A move to an integrated front panel/display would reduce overall thickness, potentially allowing Apple to further slim down the iPad Air or make room for other components such as a slightly larger battery.

MacRumors spoke with iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens, who noted that the assembly could indeed be legitimate and use a manufacturing process similar to that seen on the Retina MacBook Pro. The move to an integrated panel/display would increase repair costs, but ease of repair has not been a particularly major focus for Apple and the company already uses an integrated display on the iPhone.

The next-generation iPad Air is expected to launch later this year, with notable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicting that upgraded iPad Air and Retina iPad mini models will debut in the third quarter of this year and adopt the Touch ID system introduced on the iPhone 5s last year.

(Thanks, Rogier!)

Analysts Predict Q2 2014 Decline in iPad Sales, Slight Increase in iPhone Sales

Sales of Apple's iPad and iPhone remained strong during the holiday season with record quarterly sales reported in Q1 2014. Analyst predictions for Apple's second quarter of its fiscal year suggest iPhone sales may rise slightly, while iPad sales may decline slightly, reports Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune's Apple 2.0 blog.

The consensus estimate from 21 Wall Street professionals and 13 amateur analysts predict iPad sales of 19.3 million, a 0.7 percent decline in Q2 2014. This is a significant change from Q2 2013, which saw a 55 percent year-over-year increase.
The consensus estimate, at 19.3 million, would represent a 0.7% decline, with the pros slightly more optimistic (at 19.4 million) than the amateurs (19.2 million). Dragging down the amateur numbers is the 15 million estimate submitted by the Braeburn Group's Matt Lew. Tugging in the other direction is Horace Dediu's 21.8 million. One represents a year-over-year decline of 23%, the other an increase of 12%.
This dip in sales may only be temporary as Apple is expected to launch updated models of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display later this year, and may launch a larger-screen iPad Pro sometime in future after production issues are solved.

Apple will announce its earnings for the second fiscal quarter (first calendar quarter) of 2014 on Wednesday, April 23. The earnings release is posted just after 4:30 PM ET following the close of regular stock trading, and the conference call is scheduled to follow at 5:00 PM Eastern / 2:00 PM Pacific.

New iPhone 6 Renderings Based on Recent Info Show Design Changes

After showing off a concept for a sapphire-glass backed “iPhone Air” earlier this month, French Apple website Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] and graphic designer Martin Hajek have teamed up once again to create a set renders for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and accompanying cases in a variety of colors, which are based on leaked schematics posted by Japanese magazine MacFan and the dimensions of an alleged case that surfaced earlier this week.

The renderings depict the iPhone 6 as a thin device with rounded corners, with the power button located along the upper right side of the device and rectangular volume controls similar to that of the fifth-generation iPod touch. The case rendered to compliment the phone also contains cutouts for each new design change, along with holes for the camera, flash, and Apple logo on the rear.

Notably, a bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is also rendered alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 4-inch iPhone 5s, retaining the same design properties as the 4.7-inch version. Apple is expected to launch both sizes of the iPhone 6 in the near future, however reports have indicated the 4.7-inch version will launch first this fall as the company will likely delay the launch of the 5.5-inch version due to production issues.

Along with a larger display, Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to include a thinner design, new A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an upgraded camera in the form of optical image stabilization. Apple is also reportedly negotiating with carriers to increase the price of the iPhone 6 by $100.

FaceTime Not Working for Many iOS 6 Users

Apple's FaceTime appears to be malfunctioning for iPhone and iPad users with devices running iOS 6, according to multiple tips received by MacRumors as well as a MacRumors forum post and a thread on the Apple Support Communities.

It appears that users who are running iOS 6 are unable to place or receive FaceTime calls, with reports of problems dating back to yesterday. Devices running iOS 7 appear to be functioning as normal, and Apple's System Status page is not reporting any outages.

One user mentioned being able to FaceTime with a device running iOS 6.1.6, while a device with iOS 6.0.1 was not able to access the service. Another has reported that Mac users running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion may also be experiencing problems with FaceTime.

Users who have had issues have contacted Apple Support and several Apple representatives have recommended an update to iOS 7 to fix the problem. It is likely the iOS 6 FaceTime outage is only temporary, however, and will presumably not necessitate an update to iOS 7.

Update 4/18 3:20 PM PT: Apple has updated and reordered its FaceTime troubleshooting page to give more prominence to a suggestion that all users update their devices to the latest version of iOS. While Apple has always recommended that FaceTime users install the latest operating system, the updated support page lists upgrading as the first troubleshooting

Angela Ahrendts May Delay Apple Start Until Mid-Year

Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts resigned last October from the British luxury fashion house to join Apple as the head of its retail division. According to The Guardian, Ahrendts is free to leave Burberry this month, having fulfilled her six-month notice period, but her actual exit date is not yet known.

Ahrendts may be staying longer at Burberry to help smooth the transition over to her successor Christopher Bailey, who is currently serving as the company's chief creative officer. Money also may be a factor in Ahrendts leaving as she is slated to receive a two million pound bonus in June for her recent performance as Burberry CEO.
"It's a big sum of money. In some ways it would be good to see the business moving on after six months of handover time. You want to see clarity," said Rahul Sharma, an analyst at Neev Capital.

But he said investors were also likely to feel reassured by Ahrendt's presence ahead of some big moves for Burberry and continuing concerns about Bailey's ability to combine his creative role with that of a chief executive.

"That is a big concern in the back of investors' minds and Ahrendt's presence delays that point of judgment," he said.
Another factor may be Ahrendts' critical role in Burberry's revamped Japanese business strategy, which involves severing long-term apparel licensing agreements in 2015 and creating its own distribution system in the important Asian market. Burberry is expected to confirm this plan as part of the company's annual report next month.

Ahrendts will join Apple as the Senior Vice President of Retail and

How Apple Could Make the Move to 4.7" iPhone Displays

Amidst the flurry of iPhone 6 rumors coming from KGI Securities' report last week, Ming-Chi Kuo presented the first possible screen resolution for Apple's 4.7" iPhone 6. Kuo lists it as a 1334x750 Retina display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.

Historically, Apple has been very cautious with resolution changes in their iOS devices. The original iPhone was launched with a 320x480 resolution. Eventually, Apple moved to 640x960 Retina display, doubling the linear resolution in each dimension. That allowed existing apps to simply be pixel-doubled to fill the entire screen. Developers could then take their time to update their apps to fully support the higher resolution display. When Apple moved from 3.5" to 4" screens in the iPhone 5, they simply added vertical resolution. This allowed existing apps to run in a letterboxed format with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

Relative iPhone display sizes by Redtech
Right before the 4" iPhone releases, Apple began encouraging developers to use AutoLayout in designing their apps:
Auto Layout is a system that lets you lay out your app’s user interface by creating a mathematical description of the relationships between the elements. You define these relationships in terms of constraints either on individual elements, or between sets of elements. Using Auto Layout, you can create a dynamic and versatile interface that responds appropriately to changes in screen size, device orientation, and localization.
AutoLayout paves the way for apps to more easily adapt to changes in display sizes and

Apple to Honor Earth Day 2014 at Retail Stores, Main Campus

Apple will be celebrating Earth Day 2014 next Tuesday, April 22 throughout its various retail locations and at its main campus, reports 9to5Mac.

The company will color its logos in green for the occasion, as employees will wear special shirts with an event planned at Apple's headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. Apple last celebrated Earth Day in 2006 by holding a free computer takeback program in honor of the event.

Apple has remained active in its environment efforts throughout the past few years, which include powering its data centers with 100% renewable energy, expanding its recycling program, and reporting on its carbon footprint. Last May, Apple also hired former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson to lead the company's environmental responsibility efforts.

Environmental activist group Greenpeace also featured Apple as a "green energy innovator" in its latest report earlier this month, praising the company for its commitment to renewable energy after taking issues with previous efforts.

Apple Working With Shazam on Song Identification Capabilities for iOS 8

Apple is working on a song identification feature as a new addition to iOS 8, reports Bloomberg. The company has plans to partner with music discovery service Shazam to offer users a way to discover a song that is playing on the radio or from another source, such as a TV, using a small music clip.
The company is planning to unveil a song-discovery feature in an update of its iOS mobile software that will let users identify a song and its artist using an iPhone or iPad, said two people with knowledge of the product, who asked not to be identified because the feature isn't public. Apple is partnering with Shazam Entertainment Ltd., whose technology can quickly spot what's playing by collecting sound from a phone's microphone and matching it against a song database.
Along with Shazam, several other apps, including SoundHound, offer music and media identification capabilities. The apps use the iPhone's microphone to listen to short sound clips, matching songs against a database and providing additional information like lyrics and purchase links.

The existing Shazam for iOS app
Shazam is also capable of recognizing television shows and other media, so it is possible Apple's iOS identification feature could offer similar capabilities. According to Bloomberg, the feature will be directly integrated into iOS and will not need to be downloaded as a standalone app. It will function with Siri, allowing users to ask what song is playing.
The song-identification feature will be integrated into the mobile software in the same way that Twitter's service is currently incorporated,

Yahoo Wants to Be Apple’s Default iOS Search Engine

Yahoo is working on two internal projects to optimize its mobile search and monetization in order to convince Apple to make Yahoo the default search engine on iOS reports Re/code.

The WSJ reported last year that Apple and Yahoo had been in discussions of how to integrate Yahoo's services more prominently in iOS, beyond powering the Weather and Stocks apps.

The report says Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is preparing detailed presentations to present to Apple executives showing what its new mobile search product could look like. There are a pair of internal projects, code-named "Fast Break" and "Curveball", that are part of Yahoo's redesign of its mobile search engine.
That has not happened as yet officially — it’s just the big honking goal of the Yahoo effort, said sources. Still, several said Mayer has already buttonholed a few Apple executives on the topic, including its powerful SVP of design Jony Ive, who knows the former Google exec well.

“This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search,” said one person working on the effort. “It will take more than pretty pictures though to convince Apple to give up Google, given its focus on consumer experience being top-notch. But Marissa wants it very badly.”
Currently, Yahoo and Microsoft are in the midst of a 10-year search and advertising partnership, something Mayer is trying to get out of. At the same time, Microsoft's Bing provides the backend for Apple's Siri web search feature. Google is the default search engine in the Safari iOS browser, with Yahoo and Bing available as user-selectable

Google's 'Project Tango' Smartphone Uses Apple's PrimeSense Technology

Earlier this year, Google unveiled "Project Tango," an experimental smartphone that incorporates 3D sensors to allow users to map indoor and outdoor environments.

Reports suggested that the smartphone's 3D capabilities were powered by the Movidius Myriad 1 3D-sensing chip, but as it turns out, Project Tango is also powered by Apple technology. Alongside two Myriad 1 vision co-processors, Project Tango utilizes a PrimeSense Capri PS1200 3D imaging system-on-a-chip [PDF], technology that Apple acquired when it purchased PrimeSense late last year.

The unexpected PrimeSense chip was discovered in a teardown of the Project Tango smartphone by iFixit that was posted this morning.
This appears to be PrimeSense's new Capri PS1200 SoC 3D imaging chip, unexpected for a couple of reasons:

Just last year, Apple bought PrimeSense, manufacturer of the Kinect's 3D vision hardware. Speculators assumed we would be seeing this hot new hardware in an upcoming iOS device, with intent of mapping 3D spaces. Looks like Tango beat Apple to the punch with their own tech?
Google's Project Tango smartphone is one of the first mobile devices to use the diminutive Capri 3D sensor and it offers a glimpse at what Apple could possibly do with the technology in the future.

Project Tango is essentially a mapping tool, capturing the world around each user to provide directions, dimensions, and environmental maps. Google also has plans to use the technology to create immersive augmented reality games and apps that merge the digital world with the real world.

According to iFixit, Project Tango

Hyundai Bringing CarPlay to 2015 Sonata Models Later This Year

Hyundai today announced that it will bring Apple's CarPlay technology to its Sonata automobile lineup starting next year. This introduction makes Hyundai the first volume automobile manufacturer to bring CarPlay to the market and leaves Honda as the only one of five brands featured by Apple as launching CarPlay support in 2014 yet to make a specific announcement.

The first Hyundai automobiles to offer the voice-driven system will be the company's popular Sonata line. Models that are equipped with the CarPlay-compatible navigation systems will debut later in the 2015 model year.
Hyundai’s latest Audio Video Navigation (AVN) systems are already recognized for their beautiful, yet intuitive interface and advanced feature set. Our engineers took advantage of the vivid eight-inch touchscreen to integrate CarPlay for an experience that iPhone users will instantly recognize.
CarPlay allows an iPhone to integrate into the car's infotainment system, providing Siri voice-controlled access to messaging, voice calls, Maps and music. The technology initially debuted as a factory-installed option in new 2014 luxury models from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo and will be available as an aftermarket add-on via Pioneer and Alpine-branded receivers.

Another Alleged iPhone 6 Case Surfaces with Cutouts for Moved Power Button, New Volume Controls

New photos showing what appears to be another case for Apple's larger-screen iPhone 6 have been posted by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate]. While details about the case's exact length are unknown, the images are said to have come from a Chinese accessory maker and show a case designed for the next-generation iPhone, similar to cases pictured last week and those on display at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair yesterday.

The case feature slightly rounded edges, similar to the design of the iPhone 5c and consistent with design drawings said to be for the iPhone 6. Like other cases and in line with a claim from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the case also includes a hole for a button along the upper right side of the device, which may be the new location of the power button. Rectangular volume control buttons similar to the fifth-generation iPod Touch are also notably present.

Rectangular volume (1) and right side power (2) cutouts (Annotated by Nowhereelse.fr)
Apple's iPhone 6 is expected to launch in two sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. The majority of leaks so far have depicted the 4.7-inch version, as it is reportedly on track for a release this fall. Apple is said to have been running into production issues with the 5.5-inch version, with that model likely seeing a release later this year or early next year.

Along with a larger screen, Apple's next-generation iPhone is expected to include a thinner profile, upgraded A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an improved camera featuring optical image stabilization. A report earlier this week from

Apple and Other Smartphone Makers Back Global Anti-Theft Measures

Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung have announced a voluntary agreement to include anti-theft technology on all smartphones beginning next year, according to a report by Re/code.

The pledge has device makers agreeing that all devices going on sale after July of 2015 will have capabilities to remotely wipe data and to prevent the device from being reactivated without the owner's permission.

A number of state and local lawmakers praised the agreement, though it was panned as inadequate by California state Sen. Mark Leno, who has proposed a mandatory kill-switch law.

“The wireless industry today has taken an incremental yet inadequate step to address the epidemic of smartphone theft,” Leno said in a statement. “Only weeks ago, they claimed that the approach they are taking today was infeasible and counterproductive. While I am encouraged they are moving off of that position so quickly, today’s ‘opt-in’ proposal misses the mark if the ultimate goal is to combat street crime and violent thefts involving smartphones and tablets.”
The senator pointed out that all smartphones must have similar kill switch features, or violent street crime and thefts will continue to occur as at least some of the device thefts will still be profitable.

A federal bill introduced earlier this year would mandate the inclusion of such a smartphone "kill switch" after California introduced a similar bill.

It is likely that Apple's Activation Lock, introduced alongside iOS 7, satisfies the requirements of the agreement already. Activation Lock effectively disables a

iPhone 6 Mockups and Case Designs on Display at Hong Kong Electronics Fair

As we progress further into 2014, iPhone 6 rumors have begun to pick up, with case designs, schematics, molds, and alleged iPhone parts surfacing over the past few weeks to give hints at what Apple's larger iPhone might look like.

Today Japanese site Mac Otakara [Google Translation] (via 9to5Mac) has shared some additional images of iPhone 6 mockups and accessories being displayed in several different booths at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

One image shows a physical iPhone 6 mockup that has allegedly been used to create cases for the next version of the iPhone next to an iPhone case made using the dummy version.

While few details can be gleaned from the model, it does appear to be larger in size with rectangular volume buttons and a sleep/wake power button on the right hand side of the device, which is in line with some previous rumors. It also possesses a round camera flash, as was described in schematics that leaked in March.

The site has also published a video displaying some lightning cables aimed at the iPhone 6 as well as a close-up look at the iPhone 6 mockup.


It is unclear whether the mockups and the cases are representative of the actual iPhone 6, but thus far, the iPhone 6 leaks coming out of Asia have all shared many of the same design similarities outlined above.

Apple's iPhone 6 is expected to come in two sizes, at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. The majority of leaks we have seen so far have depicted the 4.7-inch version, as it is said to be in production for a September or October release. The 5.5 version has seen some production delays,

Microsoft Launches 'Office 365 Personal' Plan for One Mac and One iPad at $69/Year

Microsoft today started selling its Office 365 Personal subscription, a less expensive version of Office 365 that targets individual users. The cloud-based subscription service provides access to online versions of Microsoft's Office productivity suite, online storage in OneDrive and a block of Skype calling minutes.

The new personal option allows subscribers to connect one PC or Mac desktop computer and one tablet, including the iPad, to the online service. It will cost $69 per year or $6.99 per month. Customers who require more connections can sign up for the Office 365 Home plan, which is geared towards families with support for up to five desktops and five tablets.

The new Office 365 Personal plan is available for purchase at Office365.com. It also is available at Microsoft Stores and through Microsoft’s online and retail partners. Microsoft also offers Office 365 business plans, which are priced by the number of users and are designed for real-time, online collaboration using the Office 365 suite.