The new Outlook.com will not scan your emails to display ads

Along with Hotmail’s new interface, the snazzy-looking Outlook.com, Microsoft has changed another important aspect of how you get your webmail: they pledge to not scan your emails to show relevant ads. This perhaps comes after Google received some backlash because Gmail does autonomously scan email content to display relevant ads. We’ve all seen it. You get an email about flowers and you will most likely see an ad for 1800-Flowers.

While Google put some of the privacy-oriented folks concerns to rest after assuring them that its just algorithms that scan your email, Microsoft has taken a completely different approach to display ads: newsletters. Outlook.com has a neat feature that grays out newsletters, which most people ignore anyway. So, if you receive fashion related newsletters, you will probably see fashion-related ads on the right side of Outlook.com.

Microsoft has also shuffled divisions and departments around, so the new Outlook.com isn’t under the money-losing web division that controls Bing. Wired explains it best:

In another sign that Microsoft isn’t looking to its revamped email service mainly as a platform for ads, the company said Outlook.com was not being overseen by its money-losing online services division, which includes Bing and MSN. Instead, Outlook.com’s launch was announced by Chris Jones, the head of Microsoft’s Windows Live division, which makes web apps for Windows. This comes just weeks after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer came to San Francisco to unveil the new version of Office, which posted nearly $24 billion in sales during Microsoft’s most recent fiscal year. Microsoft has deeply integrated the cloud into Office 2013, which will offer monthly subscription-based access. Microsoft is also looking for ways to turn SkyDrive and Skype into moneymakers. In that light, Outlook.com looks more like a gateway to selling software, not ads.

Have you check out the new Outlook.com? Its very clean and employs lots of whitespace, making Gmail look a bit date. You might actually like it and perhaps you’ll end up switching your webmail interface. You’ve been warned.

Via [Wired]

Digg launches new iPhone and iPod touch app

Digg, the recently redesigned and reimagined social news aggregator, has launched a new version of their mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch (they recommend using the website if you’re on an iPad) to go along with their new redesign. The new app (available at the App Store here) has the same look and feel as their new site, keeping in tune with the generous use of white-space and focusing on images.

Navigating through the app is a very pleasant experience, basically you get what seems to be an infinite scroll of trending story headlines, a subtitle and an image. If you want to read the whole story, just tap on the image or title to get a mobile-friendly version of the story. If you want to interact further, you need to sign-in via Facebook, something that has some users quite upset, as reflected in the low-star reviews the app has gotten in the app store.

Once signed in via Facebook the app allows you to bookmark the stories you read via Instapaper, Pocket and Bitly. There’s also an interesting feature called Paperboy that allows you to geo-tag you current location, say your home, and the app will fetch the latest stories when you leave that place, so you can read what Digg has to offer even when there’s no WiFi or cellular connection.

Overall, I’m pleasently surprised by Digg’s new mobile app. It seems like to guys over at News.me (who bought Digg six weeks ago) are getting stuff right. I can’t wait to see what they have in store.

Via [Digg]

Google Wallet becomes more useful

Google Wallet, the search giant’s answer to online and offline payments via NFC-enabled Android phones, has added a very convenient feature that enables users to pay with any credit card using any of the 7 NFC Android devices, including the new Nexus 7 tablet. All you have to do is add the credit card on your Google Wallet account online and start paying for your purchases on over 200,000 retailers nationwide.

They’ve also added extra security features that allows users to wipe and disable their Google Wallet account on their device in case it gets lost or stolen. Also, for an additional layer of security, all the credit card information is store on Google’s servers. Watch the following video to learn more:

Google Wallet users out there, are you excite about the possibility of leaving your physical wallet at home (but please remember to take your ID)?

Via [GoogleCommerce Blog]

Cross-posted from TechnologyTell.

Attachements.me announces tight Gmail, Dropbox & Google Drive integration

Are email attachments capped at 10MB bumming you out? Well, there’s no need for fear, Attachements.me is here! The San Francisco-based startup has introduced a new way of handling email attachments within Gmail that allows users to utilize the storage in their Dropbox of Google Drive account to send massive files, up to 100 MB in size, thanks to an ingenious browser plugin.

The service is currently free, although there is a paid business version available, and boasts an impressive user count of 50 thousand, which is suprising for such a niche service.

Check out the video below to learn how attaching documents with Attachement.me works:

Via [TheNewWeb]

Cross-posted from TechnologyTell.

Spotify sees massive growth – 15 million users & 4 million paid

Spotify, the recently-launched in the US music streaming services, has announced their official numbers at a creative content conference in London, and those numbers are quite impressive: 15 million active users, 4 million of those are paying subscribers. Last September they has 2 million paying customers, so they’ve effectively doubled their paying client base in less than a year.

The steaming music service has 3 tiers of service, a free, desktop-only ad-supported version, and a $5 and $10 paid options that feature no ads and several other goodies like offline listening. Spotify has added new features, such as a live radio and a new Android app, which will be launching soon.

Via [TechCrunch]

Cross-posted from TechnologyTell

The new Digg launches ahead of schedule

After rebooting the Digg brand and a caffeine-fueled 6-week drive, the team at News.me has launched the new Digg, or Digg v1, today instead of tomorrow, ahead of schedule. The original social news aggregator has been rebuilt from the ground up and is now cleaner and uses images more prominently. They have also re-written the famous Digg algorithm from scratch to now include popularity scoring from Tweets and Facebook shares.

Along with flipping the switch to the new version, they’ve also launched a brand new iOS app. As far as upcoming features, this is what they’ve detailed so far:

  • introduce network-based personalization features (like we do in News.me) to make Digg a more relevant and social experience
  • experiment with new commenting features
  • continue to iterate Digg for mobile web
  • move the website forward with features like the Reading List, different views into the top stories on Digg, and more data to help users better understand why a particular story is trending
  • launch an API so that members of the development community can build all the products that we haven’t even thought of yet

Expect Digg to change and evolve as the weeks go on, but the real question is: Will Digg see the same popularity (as well as traffic and page views) as it did in its $300 million valuation days? Let us know what you’re predictions are in the comments.

Via [Digg Blog]

Cross-posted from TechnologyTell.

ForeverMap 2 brings mapping to Barnes & Noble’s Nooks

Nook Color owners rejoice! Skobbler, a Berlin-based app development company has released ForeverMap 2, in both paid and free versions, and are now available to download in the Nook app store. The paid version offers off-line maps, but neither offer turn-by-turn directions due to the fact that the Nook Color doesn’t have 3G or GPS and has to rely on Wifi positioning. This new mapping platform offers developers a change to integrate mapping into their own apps:

B&N’s partnership with skobbler “signals a brand new opportunity for Nook app developers to create location-aware apps, products and services that help our millions of Nook Tablet and Nook Color customers experience and navigate their physical surroundings in unique and innovative ways,” Claudia Romanini, B&N’s director of developer relations, said in a statement. “We’re excited about the potential here.”

Nook Color owners can now mock Kindle Fire owners and their lack of mapping software. Your move Amazon!

Via [PaidContent]

Google+ sees 66% growth in 9 months

The lastest comScore number are out and according to the stats, Google+ has seen an impressive growth sprout over the last 9 months. Those stats are confirmed by other sources, but must taken with a grain of salt since they aren’t official numbers directly from Google. Morten Myrstad, a self-titled Brand & Content Professional mentions via a Google+ post:

In pure numbers, Google+ according to comScore grew from 66,7 million visitors worldwide last November to 110,7 million visitors in June. This is a growth of 66%. With 110,7 million unique visitors during a month, from desktops only, the comScore data also seem to confirm Google’s own published data: 250 million accounts, 150 million monthly users and 75 million daily users worldwide. According to the comScore data, 25% of the Google+ worldwide visitors in June came from the U.S., up from 22,8% in November last year.

In the same period of time, Facebook’s stats seem to have decreased, from 166 million unique views to 158 million views, but Facebook’s engagement metric is probably maagnitudes larger than Google+’s. While Google+’s number seem to grow, one has to wonder what kind of real market penetration Montain View’s forray into social networking really has.

Via [The Verge] and [Morten Myrstad]