LinkedIn Makes Messaging Available from Any Device

Today’s topics include LinkedIn’s new messaging feature, a Microsoft Edge browser update that goes easier on battery life, new features added to Microsoft Sway and Google expanding the list of banks whose cards work with Google Pay.

Since Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn last June, the social network has regained its position as arguably the most popular business-oriented social network in the business.

On April 13, as part of its continuing desktop redesign initiative, LinkedIn added "smart" instant messaging to its conventional email-oriented intramural communications.

Members now can reach out to any of their connections using a new messaging tab—whether or not they're on the site looking at jobs or updating their profiles. The messaging update is part of the company's goal to become more than just a go-to place for job seekers.

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, users may notice a more responsive browser that helps improve battery life.

Microsoft claims that with Edge, the operating system's built-in browser and successor to the venerable Internet Explorer, users will be able to surf the web for a longer period between charges.

"Thanks to major improvements in Microsoft Edge, like encouraging HTML5 content over Flash, improving the efficiency of iFrames, and optimizing hit testing, Microsoft Edge on the Creators Update uses 31 percent less power than Google Chrome 57, and 44 percent less power than Mozilla Firefox 52, as measured by [Microsoft’s] open-source efficiency test that simulates real-world browsing," Kyle Pflug, senior program manager of Microsoft Edge, wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft’s mobile-friendly interactive presentation app Sway recently gained audio recording and closed captioning features.

Users can now add their own narrations and voice commentary to Sway presentations—called “Sways”—while using the web-based Sway application. They can also now select closed caption files to include while adding audio or video content to their Sway presentations.

The recording feature was requested by Microsoft's education customers, a segment Microsoft has focused on recently. Last week, the company announced new features in Microsoft Forms aimed at helping teachers better integrate test-taking functionality into OneNote.

Google is continuing its efforts to expand the use of its Android Pay mobile payment service. The company added more banks to the list of financial institutions whose bank cards work with Android Pay.

Customers of Bank of America, USAA, Discover, Bank of New Zealand and Poland’s mBank can now link their cards to the Google mobile payment service.

After a one-click setup, customers of these banks can use their phones to tap and pay for purchases and services at any location that accepts Android Pay.

Like others who have signed up for Android Pay, customers of these newly added banks will also be able to pay for in-app purchases and for purchases on the mobile web.