We’ve been paying attention to the world of online streaming, with new plans from Netflix and Hulu, along with office productivity applications, where we found benchmarks of Microsoft Office 2011 and news that Google Docs documents are now editable on iOS devices. Plus, there are more options for putting an iPod nano on your wrist, and some of our staffers offer holiday gift ideas in a recent MacJury holiday gift guide podcast.
Netflix Offers Streaming-Only Plan, Raises Other Prices -- Most of us associate Netflix with those red envelopes containing DVDs, but Netflix’s members are now watching more content streamed over the Internet than delivered by mail. Because of that change, Netflix is now offering a $7.99-per-month plan that eschews DVDs entirely in favor of unlimited streaming. Simultaneously, Netflix raised the prices of the DVD-delivery plans, with the 1- and 2-disc-at-a-time plans increasing by $1 per month. Although Netflix has continually increased the amount of content available for streaming, only about a fifth of the movies and TV shows in our queue are available for streaming.
More iPod nano Watch Bands -- The latest generation of the iPod nano is as small as a watch face, causing an increasing number of companies to come up with cases and bands that allow you to wear the diminutive music player on your wrist. Jason O’Grady at ZDNet has an overview of the current crop of iPod nano watch bands.
TidBITS Staffers in the MacJury Holiday Gift Guide -- All three episodes of the MacJury Podcast’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide are out, and Chuck Joiner invited several TidBITS staff members to participate. Spread out over the three episodes are gift ideas from Joe, Mark, and Tonya. If you’re thinking about your shopping strategy, MacJury’s musings are worth a listen.
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Benchmarks Posted -- To paraphrase Louis Armstrong, when compared to earlier versions is Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac fast, slow, or half-fast? MacTech has run about 1,000 tests to compare the performance of the suite’s applications to Office 2008 and 2004 across a variety of configurations, including MacBook Pro, MacBook, and iMac. The results are available online and will be published in a forthcoming issue of MacTech Magazine.
Edit Google Docs on iOS Devices -- It just became a little bit easier to stay functional while on the go, even when you’re armed only with a svelte iOS device. Google has now announced that Google Docs will shortly be enabling editing from mobile browsers, including the version of Safari on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. (Google Docs editing also works with devices running Android 2.2, though not earlier versions.)
Hulu Plus Launches at Lower Price -- The Hulu Plus streaming video service has opened for all subscribers at $7.99 per month, down $2 per month from its price during a testing period. The service works on iOS devices, computers, and some game systems, streaming at up to high-definition resolutions, and including full current and past seasons of major network television shows. Advertising is still displayed, however.