Apple Hiring to Build ‘Next Generation of Media Apps for Windows’

Apple is looking for software engineers to build "the next generation of media apps for Windows" according to a new Apple job listing shared earlier today by Microsoft-focused site Neowin.

In macOS Catalina, Apple eliminated the iTunes app and replaced it with new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, but similar changes were not made to Apple's iTunes for Windows app. Windows 10 users currently need to access services like Apple TV+ and Apple Music on the web, which is not ideal.


Apple's existing iTunes and iCloud apps are quite old and could benefit from being overhauled. The job listing suggests Apple may be aiming to introduce Windows apps that are similar to what's offered on Mac.
The Media Apps team is looking for a creative Senior Software Engineer to work on the next generation of media apps for Windows. You will help build innovative features that will delight millions of customers around the world.

You possess strong skills in the areas of application design, solid API design principles and have a strong understanding of customer and workflow issues. You have a history of shipping large volume consumer product successfully. You are a well-rounded developer who is not afraid to question assumptions. You have an excellent written and oral skills. You love collaborating under tight deadlines.

If you love music and you are passionate about writing code, and want to work with world-class engineering teams that ship to millions of users, the Media Apps team is the place for you.
The job listing says that experience with UWP is a "big plus," with UWP standing for Universal Windows Platform. With UWP support, Apple could create apps that would work on Xbox One and various Windows 10 platforms.

An ‌Apple TV‌+ app built using the Universal Windows Platform would allow the service to be accessed on the Xbox One, expanding ‌Apple TV‌+ to platforms beyond smart TVs, Apple devices, and set-top boxes.


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Microsoft Releases ‘Play My Emails’ Text-to-Speech Feature for Cortana in the iOS Outlook App

Alongside a slate of announcements made this morning, Microsoft has launched a new text-to-speech feature for Cortana in the Outlook app for iOS devices. With this feature, called "Play My Emails," the Outlook app uses Cortana's natural language interactions and AI to read out your latest emails.


Microsoft is aiming this feature at users who want to catch up on their inboxes while doing something else, like driving or working at their desks. Cortana starts by summarizing how many emails are new in the user's Focused Inbox in the last 24 hours, and if there have been any changes to their upcoming daily schedule, thanks to integration with Outlook's calendar.


Cortana also uses Microsoft Graph to identity the sender of each email in relationship to the user, so it's easier to know the context of the message without looking at the screen. Because of these abilities and more, Microsoft said that Play My Emails is more than just a text-to-speech update, but a way to have a natural conversation with Cortana.
Cortana synthesizes the information in the message header and meta data and marries it with the insights about you and information from apps and services that power Office 365. This provides a more meaningful and contextual readout.

The Play My Emails experience is like having a conversation with your personal assistant.
Play My Emails is launching today to customers in the United States for the Outlook app on iOS devices, and later it will launch on Android.


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How to Pair a DualShock 4 or Xbox Wireless Controller With iPhone and Apple TV

With iOS 13 and tvOS 13, Apple users are now able to connect their favorite console controllers to an iPhone or Apple TV. In this guide, we've provided a quick rundown of how to go about pairing the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller and Xbox Wireless Controller to both iOS and tvOS devices.


Previously, MFi controllers were the only solution to playing games on iPhone, iPad, and ‌Apple TV‌. With the new update, console players don't need to spend extra money on another controller to play iOS and tvOS games. PS4 players also have a reason to look into DualShock 4 pairing since Sony's Remote Play iOS app provides streaming of compatible games to the iPhone or ‌iPad‌, which can now be controlled by a DualShock 4.

How to connect the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to iPhone or ‌iPad‌


  1. Press and hold the PS logo and Share buttons simultaneously on your DualShock 4 controller until the light bar flashes.
  2. Open your iOS device's Settings app and navigate to Bluetooth.
  3. Under "Other Devices," tap on your DualShock 4 wireless controller.

How to connect the Xbox Wireless Controller to iPhone or ‌iPad‌


  1. Press the Xbox button to turn on the Xbox Wireless Controller.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button for a few seconds.
  3. Open your iOS device's Settings app and navigate to Bluetooth.
  4. Under "Other Devices," tap on your Xbox Wireless Controller.

Sony's Remote Play iOS app controlled via DualShock 4

The steps for pairing controllers with an ‌Apple TV‌ are largely similar to the ones for iOS devices. You can find this information below.

How to connect the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to ‌Apple TV‌


  1. Press and hold the PS logo and Share buttons simultaneously on your DualShock 4 controller until the light bar flashes.
  2. Open the Settings app on ‌Apple TV‌ > click Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
  3. Select the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to pair it, which will be confirmed with a notification on tvOS.

How to connect the Xbox Wireless Controller to ‌Apple TV‌


  1. Press the Xbox button to turn on the Xbox Wireless Controller.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button for a few seconds.
  3. Open the Settings app on ‌Apple TV‌ > click Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
  4. Select the Xbox Wireless Controller to pair it, which will be confirmed with a notification on tvOS.
It should be noted that for the DualShock 4, some controller functions will not be functional while connected to an iPhone, ‌iPad‌, or ‌Apple TV‌. These include the touchpad, the central PS button, rumble, motion sensor, and the headphone jack. The light bar will also remain one color and can not be changed.

Both the PS4 and Xbox controllers will stay connected to the iOS/tvOS device you've paired them with until you repair them with your console. To reconnect a DualShock 4 with a PS4, you'll need to manually connect the controller with the console via the micro-USB to USB cable each controller comes with. For Xbox, you can press the connect button on the controller and the console at the same time, or use a micro-USB to USB cable.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

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Microsoft OneNote for iOS Gains Dark Mode Support

Microsoft OneNote received an update on iOS today that brings much-awaited Dark Mode support to the popular note-taking app.


OneNote is usually a particularly bright app because of the large white scrollable canvases and pale menus, so this update should be a welcome one for users who work with it long into the night.

Apart from supporting the new system-wide ‌Dark Mode‌ in iOS 13 and iPadOS, version 16.30 of OneNote makes no other changes to the app, as per the release notes:
Go easy on your eyes with ‌Dark Mode‌: Switch to ‌Dark Mode‌ in low light environments or whenever you want to increase the legibility of the OneNote user interface and the readability of your notes.

Thanks for using OneNote! We listened to your feedback and updated the application with optimizations to help improve your note taking experience.
Microsoft has been adding ‌Dark Mode‌ support to a range of its apps. A Sticky Notes beta gained a dark mode earlier this month, while the rest of the Office iOS apps including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel already sport the twilight look in insider builds and are expected to go live with it any day now.


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Apple Adds Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Controller to its Online Store

Apple has added the Xbox Wireless Controller to Apple.com, although the accessory is currently unavailable to purchase at the time of writing. Apple sells a few different gaming controllers on its website to connect to iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS devices, but as of yet the company has never directly sold Microsoft or Sony's own gaming controllers.


Now that players can connect the Xbox Wireless Controller to their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV to play games on Apple devices, it appears that Apple has worked out a deal with Microsoft to sell its controller on the Apple store. As of now, Sony's DualShock 4 has not appeared on Apple.com.



Thanks to apps like Sony's PS4 Remote Play, even more gaming options have opened up for iPhone users, who can use the app to remotely control and play compatible games from their PS4 on their iPhone or iPad. Microsoft is planning to launch a streaming app of its own to allow mobile users to connect to their Xbox One consoles.

As a note, these controllers are typically cheaper than the traditional $60 price tags. Right now, you can get the Xbox Wireless Controller for $43.99 at Best Buy or $49.99 at Target.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


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Microsoft Aims to Woo Wunderlist Users With Overhauled ‘To Do’ App

Microsoft has unveiled its new-look To Do app. First launched in 2017, the productivity app came along two years after the company acquired Wunderlist, but only now does it resemble a like-for-like replacement offering feature parity with the long-running cloud-based task management service. Announcing To Do v2.0, Microsoft had this to say:

to do
When Wunderlist became part of the Microsoft family, our mission was to bring the delightful, simple, and elegant daily task experience and build it into Microsoft's intelligent, interconnected, and security-centric ecosystem to create a new app—Microsoft To Do. Today, we're unveiling the new version of To Do, which includes a fresh new design, access from wherever you are, and more integration with Microsoft apps and services.
The most obvious visual similarity is that To Do now supports background images – and even includes the Berlin TV tower image that longtime Wunderlist users will be familiar with. Every list can be given its own background image, and Microsoft says it has reduced the list header size and added new color theme customization options, with a dark mode for iOS and Mac coming soon.

Otherwise, it looks like business as usual for Wunderlist fans. The app features subtasks, recurring tasks, prioritized tasks, reminders and due dates, file attachments, and notes. Lists can also be grouped, shared with other people, and assigned.

There's a personalized daily planner feature called My Day that refreshes daily and features smart suggestions for tasks. And of course, all lists sync across devices, allowing users to stay organized at work, home, or on the go. Finally, there's deeper integration with Microsoft 365 apps and services like Microsoft Planner, linking to Microsoft-hosted email accounts like Outlook, Hotmail, and Live, and Cortana and Amazon Echo support.


Users without a Microsoft account can register with their existing email address. Once they sign in, the option to import tasks from Wunderlist is displayed, and it can also be found in Settings. Microsoft To Do is a free download for iPhone and iPad available from the App Store. [Direct Link]


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Microsoft Bringing New Dark Mode to Office Apps for iOS Devices

Microsoft today announced plans to bring a new Dark Mode option to its Office apps for iOS devices, expanding on the darker user interface theme that has been available in some of its desktop apps.

Starting today, Microsoft is rolling out Dark Mode to Outlook for iOS, Android, and Office.com. In the future, when iOS 13 launches, Microsoft plans to extend the Dark Mode option to additional Office apps for iOS.


The Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, and To-Do Microsoft apps for iPhones and iPads will be updated with a Dark Mode option that will go well with the Dark Mode that Apple is introducing in iOS 13.

The new Dark Mode options will be able to be set to activate automatically when iOS 13's Dark Mode is turned on, so the darker theme won't need to be manually enabled within the Microsoft app.


Microsoft said that when designing its Dark Mode option, it thought of people who are viewing email, calendars, files, and more in places like darkened airplanes, movie theaters, or in bed at night.
Our design research specifically focused on these contexts where folks would want to use Dark Mode, and the response was very positive. While some Dark Mode experiences can be neon or overly bright, people felt that Outlook mobile kept the kind of relaxed feeling you might want in a dimly lit living room or bedroom.
Testers who used Microsoft's Dark Mode apparently found it to be "comfortable, crisp, clear, and aesthetically pleasing," plus easier on the eyes because it cuts down on eye strain.

Dark Mode will be available starting today in the Outlook app for iOS devices, and it will come to additional apps when iOS 13 and iPadOS launch.


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Microsoft Launches Beta Version of Microsoft Edge Browser for Windows and macOS

Microsoft today announced the launch of a beta version of its upcoming Microsoft Edge browser, which is available today for Windows and macOS users.

Previously, the Microsoft Edge browser was available as a preview build, but Microsoft has now graduated to an official beta. Microsoft's beta channel represents more stable software than the preview channel.


Microsoft has said that its aim with Microsoft Edge is to create better web compatibility with better performance for customers while making sure there's less fragmentation of the web for web developers. During the preview period, Windows and Mac users downloaded Edge more than a million times, and Microsoft received more than 140,000 individual pieces of feedback to improve the browser.

Microsoft Edge for Mac is designed to be similar to the Microsoft Edge experience on Windows, but with "user experience optimizations" that are designed to make it feel more Mac-like.

The beta version of the Edge browser features new personalization options, such as tab page customization, dark theme support, and extensions from the Microsoft Insider Addons store or other Chromium-based web stores like the Chrome Web Store.

Tracking prevention has been added to protect users from being tracked by websites, built-in Microsoft Search for Bing, and Internet Explorer mode with Internet Explorer 11 compatibility.

Microsoft is also expanding its Microsoft Edge browser security program to the beta channel, offering rewards of up to $15,000 for the discovery of high-impact vulnerabilities.

The new Microsoft Edge beta can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft website. There's still no word on when the Edge browser will see a launch, but it's likely there will be a few more months of beta testing before that happens.


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Former Siri Chief Bill Stasior Joins Microsoft to Lead AI Team

Bill Stasior, Apple's former head of Siri development, has joined Microsoft as corporate VP of technology, reports The Information.


Starting this month, Stasior will lead an artificial intelligence group at Microsoft and will be reporting to Microsoft's chief technology officer, Kevin Scott.

A Ph.D. graduate in computer science from MIT, Stasior was head of Apple's Siri team for seven years, following the departure of Siri co-founders Adam Cheyer and Dag Kittlaus in 2012. Cheyer and Kittlaus had joined Apple when the company originally purchased Siri in 2010, but didn't stay long.

Stasior stepped down from his role as leader of Apple's voice assistant group in February, as part of a restructuring effort by John Giannandrea, Apple's senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy.

Giannandrea was a prominent Google executive before being hired by Apple last year. With Giannandrea taking over the Siri team, Stasior was said to be stepping away from day-to-day management of Siri, yet remaining at the company. However, according to The Information, Stasior cut all ties with Apple in May.

Giannandrea's hiring came amid widespread criticism of Siri, which has shortcomings in comparison to AI offerings from the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Apple made strides to improve Siri in 2018 under Giannandrea's leadership, with features like Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12.


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‘Mac Book’ Recommends Surface Laptop 2 in New Microsoft Ad

Microsoft has come out with a new marketing campaign that features a man called Mackenzie Book (read: Mac Book) explaining why a Surface Laptop 2 is a better option than an Apple MacBook, in his humble opinion.


The 30-second ad consists of a quick-fire Q&A session between a voiceover narrator and the man-Mac himself, who proceeds to explain why he thinks the Microsoft machine beats Apple's notebook in various departments.

"So Mac, which laptop lasts longer?" the narrator asks.

"Surface laptop lasts longer," Book responds.

The actor's answers are accompanied by the text "Mac Book says Surface laptop ... [lasts longer / is faster / has a better touchscreen.]" The latter response is qualified by the narrator with the remark "Oh right, because MacBooks don't have touchscreens."

The ad ends with two thumbs up from Mr Book and his recommendation: "You should get a Surface. Trust me, I'm Mac Book." His sign-off is followed by the tagline, "Mac Book says get a Surface Laptop."

Microsoft and Apple have often taken aim at each other over the years with jokey Mac vs. PC ads. From 2006 to 2009, Justin Long played a Mac computer in Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign, alongside John Hodgman, who played a PC.

The commercials always started out with the tagline "Hello, I'm a Mac," and were some of Apple's most iconic ads, featuring Long as the cool, casual Mac and Hodgman as a stuffy PC in a suit and tie.

However, Microsoft's latest effort is a decidedly left-field take on the man/Mac concept.


Last year, Microsoft released a holiday ad promoting its Surface Go over Apple's iPad, using the tagline "Big dreams need a real computer."

Microsoft's 2018 ad was aimed at Apple's own "What's a Computer?" ad campaign, which began in 2016 and showed off some things that the iPad Pro can do as a replacement to a traditional laptop computer.

Microsoft released the Surface Laptop 2 in October 2018 and is expected to launch refreshed Surface Pro and Surface Book models later this year.


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