Microsoft Whiteboard is available to all on Windows, iOS version coming soon

Microsoft previewed White Board last May, alongside the new Surface Pro, eventually rolling it out in public beta in December. The collaboration app just went live to all Windows users, as part of the deluge of announcements tied to the upcoming Inspire conference.
Whiteboard is kind of digital sibling to Microsoft’s large Surface Hub display. The company describes it as an “infinite canvas,” in a phrase cribbed from comics theorist, Scott McCloud. With the drawing app, users can sketch out notes and images with a finger, keyboard or compatible pen.

The app lets teams collaborate remotely, automatically uploading the final project to the cloud. The company says it’s also added a bunch of new features based on feedback during the beta, including, “text notes, the ability to add and manipulate images, enhancements to shape and table recognition, accessibility improvements, compliance with various global standards, and more.”
In addition to Windows availability, it


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Browser maker Opera has filed to go public

Norway-based company Opera Ltd. has filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. According to its F-1 document, the company plans to raise up to $115 million.
In 2017, Opera generated $128.9 million in operating revenue, which led to a net income of $6.1 million.
While many people are already familiar with the web browser Opera, the company itself has had a tumultuous history. Opera shareholders separated the company into two different entities — the browser maker and the adtech operations.
The advertising company is now called Otello. And a consortium of Chinese companies acquired the web browser, the consumer products and the Opera brand. That second part is the one that is going public in the U.S.
Opera currently manages a web browser for desktop computers and a handful of web browsers for mobile phones. On Android, you can download Opera, Opera Mini and Opera Touch. On iOS, you’ll only find Opera Mini.


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Plex adds support for podcasts, debuts personalized mobile apps

At CES in January, TechCrunch broke the news that media software maker Plex was planning to expand its service with the addition of new media content, starting with podcasts. Today, it’s making good on that promise by launching support for podcasts into beta, along with a whole new look and more customization options for its Plex mobile apps.
While Plex got its start as a software application for organizing people’s home media collections, it’s been expanding over the past couple of years to add new features in support of cord cutters who want to watch TV via their antenna, and record those shows. It also acquired the streaming news startup Watchup in order to add a dedicated news hub within its app.
Earlier this year, the company spoke of its ambitions to continue adding more types of content to its media center software, including audio and video podcasts, followed by digital, web-first and


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Amazon’s new ‘Alexa Blueprints’ let anyone create custom Alexa skills and responses

Amazon this morning is introducing “Alexa Blueprints,” a new way for any Alexa owner to create their own customized Alexa skills or responses, without needing to know how to code. The idea is to allow Alexa owners to create their own voice apps, like a trivia game or bedtime stories, or teach Alexa to respond to questions with answers they design – like “Who’s the best mom in the world?,” for example.
You could also create a skill that includes helpful information for the babysitter, which could be triggered by the command, “Alexa, open My Sitter,” Amazon suggests.
“Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family,” explained Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa, in a statement about the launch. “You don’t need experience building skills or coding to get started—my family created our own jokes skill in a matter


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Voicera scoops up AI note-taking app Wrappup

Voicera wants to be the company that eliminates the need for human note taking once and for all. Their vision is an AI-driven voice recognition system that not only takes notes, but identifies speakers and summarizes key points and action items. Today, the company announced it had acquired a similar startup, Wrappup, an AI-fueled note taking app that fits in nicely with that vision.
The Wrappup team is joining Voicera immediately. Terms were not disclosed.
Voicera CEO Omar Tawakol certainly saw the fit. “Both companies approached the problem with meetings in synergistic ways. Wrappup’s mobile-first, in-person meeting product complements and extends Voicera’s initial focus on conference calls,” he said in a statement.
Wrappup’s special strength it turns out it is identifying the salient points in a meeting in a mobile context. To that end, the company also announced the launch of a new mobile app. Chances are this combining of these two companies


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Noted Syncs Your Lecture Notes and Audio Recording

As a reporter, I end up taking a lot of notes pretty much everywhere I go. Audio recordings are great for not missing anything, but one thing has proved true for me pretty much across the board: the part of the interview I want to find is always the part where I was paying so much attention to the person talking that…Read more…


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Begin, a new app from Ryan Block, uses natural language to generate tasks from your Slack

 Over two years after leaving Aol (now known as Oath) back in September 2015 to build a new startup, serial entrepreneur Ryan Block, with co-founder Brian LeRoux, is finally taking the wraps off the new venture: Begin, an intelligent app designed to help you keep track of things that you have to do, and when you should do them, as they come up in the stream of a messaging app. By extension,… Read More


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Google launches a lightweight ‘Gmail Go’ app for Android

 Google has added a notable addition to its line of “Go” edition apps – the lightweight apps designed primarily for emerging markets – with the launch of Gmail Go. The app, like others in the Go line, takes up less storage space on users’ smartphones and makes better use of mobile data compared with the regular version of Gmail. The app also offers standard… Read More


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