Weekly Digital News Roundup: Oct 30 – Nov 3

Microsoft and Dropbox Set Aside Rivalry to Team Up in Mobile

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft and Dropbox, competitors in the market for digital file storage, are joining forces in a partnership that plays to each side’s strengths. The companies are connecting their mobile services so an iPhone user in a Dropbox account can edit Microsoft Office files with the tap of a button. Likewise, someone using an iPad to create a PowerPoint presentation in Office can save the file to Dropbox with a built in “save to Dropbox” function.
  • Until now, Microsoft Office on the iPad and iPhone allowed users to save files only to Microsoft’s own digital file sharing services including the Dropbox-like OneDrive. The inability to save Office documents to rival store-sync-and-share services was a glaring hole in Office when, in March, Microsoft for the first time offered Office apps for the iPad. Similarly, Office documents saved in Dropbox have been difficult to edit.
  • However, working with Office files in Dropbox comes with caveats. Notably, Dropbox users can create and edit Office documents only if they subscribe to Office 365, the Web-and-mobile version of Office. Dropbox and Microsoft said they are working to integrate their services next year in Web versions of Office and Dropbox.

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Weekly Digital News Roundup: Oct 23 – Oct 27

Retail industry’s Apple Pay rival has experienced a data breach

  • According to the Washington Post, the maker of digital payments system CurrentC, which is preparing to take on rival Apple Pay in checkout lines across the country next year, acknowledged Wednesday that its systems have been breached.
  • Hackers obtained the email addresses of some of CurrentC’s pilot users, according to the coalition of retailers developing the system, Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX. MCX said no financial information was compromised. The mobile wallet app is currently only available to a limited number of pilot users.
  • The breach comes at a sensitive time for MCX, which is made up of some of the country’s largest retailers, including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Earlier this week, MCX members CVS and Rite-Aid disabled their capability for accepting Apple Pay, which was launched by Apple last week. The move was widely seen as an effort to prevent Apple Pay from gaining traction.

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Retina displays and creating retina-ready images

At Lucid Agency, we use responsive design best-practices to ensure that our sites respond well on any number of devices, but it can be tricky to keep up! In 2010, Steve Jobs announced that the new iPhone 4 would have a retina display. “Retina” is a term (trademarked by Apple in 2012) that refers to the increased pixel density of displays on all models released after the iPhone 4.  Retina Displays are essentially LCD screens with a high enough pixel density that the individual pixels are not discernible to the human eye. Now, four years later, most new mobile devices and tablets boast a retina display. Retina is here to stay, and as developers, it is our responsibility to adapt to new technologies. In this post, I will explain how to ensure that the images on your website look just as beautiful on a Retina display as a standard display.

Understanding Retina

Retina displays essentially double the number of pixels using the same amount of space as a standard screen. For example, the iPad 2 and the iPad 3 are the same physical size (9.7 inches, measured diagonally).The iPad2 has a standard display: 1024px by 768px. The iPad3 has a Retina display, with two times as many pixels per inch (ppi or dpi), so its resolution is 2048px by 1536px.

Visually, you can see the difference between standard definition and a Retina display.

standard retina

Because the pixels in the Retina display are smaller and closer together, the image will be better quality and have higher definition.

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