New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

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A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

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Apple updates iWork for Mac and iOS with read-only sharing modes and much more

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Following today’s iWork for iCloud update, Apple has pushed out new versions of the iOS and OS X version of the productivity suite, providing feature parity with the online version. Pages (iOS / Mac), Keynote (iOS / Mac), and Numbers (iOS / Mac) each received a new read-only sharing mode to work with the iCloud version of that feature.

Each app also got a long list of changes and enhancements, which are listed below. You can get all of the updates for free if you already own the latest version of iWork. Apple recently started including a copy of the iWork and iLife suites along with new iOS devices and Macs, but users with older devices will need to purchase the current version separately if they haven’t already. Read more

Microsoft announces new Office for iPad apps including Word, PowerPoint, & Excel

 

Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity apps has long been rumored to be in development for the iPad shortly after the tablet’s debut in 2010. Most notably was The Daily (now defunct) reporting it had knowledge (and screenshots) of Microsoft’s software for Apple’s mobile platform in 2011, something Microsoft was quick to deny was legitimate. Three years and one CEO later, Microsoft is finally ready to play nice with the iPad.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO following Steve Ballmer’s retirement earlier this year, outlined Microsoft’s new cloud and mobile strategy for the company today including full Office for iPad support. Unlike the Office 365 app Microsoft introduced early last year, Microsoft’s new apps today include individual apps for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Microsoft’s Office suite of apps will each be available as a free download, but will require an Office 365 subscription (which offers a 30-day trial) to create and edit documents. Users can still read and present documents with Office for iPad without a subscription. Office documents will rely on Microsoft’s OneDrive service for syncing content.

WordPowerPoint, and Excel are now available on the App Store.

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iOS 8: Apple works to further push iCloud as the future of the file system

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When Apple introduced both iOS and iCloud, its goal was to eliminate the classic file system found in Mac OS X and make synchronization so seamless between devices that it “just works.” Nearly three years after iCloud’s introduction, Apple is still moving closer to this goal. The company is working on a pair of new iCloud applications for iOS as well as improved tools for developers to build iCloud-infused applications, according to sources with knowledge of these initiatives…

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iTunes as a standalone business would be ranked 130 in the Fortune 500

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Asymco has calculated that if iTunes were a standalone business, it would be ranked 130 in the Fortune 500 list of top U.S. companies after its gross annual revenue grew 34 percent year-on-year to $23.5B. This would put it between Alcoa and Eli Lilly in the rankings, and is almost half of Google’s core search business – not bad for what was originally intended to be a break-even operation

Growth was driven by increases in revenue from App sales reflecting continued growth in the installed base of iOS devices and the expansion in the number of third-party iOS Apps available. Net sales of digital content, including music, movies, TV shows and books, from the iTunes Store was relatively flat in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Asymco also calculated the cost to Apple of making both the Mavericks update and iWork software free …  Read more

Opinion: Is Apple headed toward eventual convergence of OS X and iOS?

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Concept image: ajambrosino.com

Think back to 2006. Computers were, for most people, large plastic boxes that lived under desks with monitors and keyboards plugged into them. It’s hard to imagine now, but those of us using laptops were in the minority back then.

Smartphones existed, but the fact that you used one marked you out as a bit of a tech-head. Tablets were obscure devices that were used by, basically, no-one.

Today’s world is very different. Almost everyone has a smartphone, and tablet sales will soon dwarf  laptops. When non-techy friends ask your advice about what laptop to buy, the chances are that, after asking a few questions about what they want to do with it, you’ve advised at least half of them to buy an iPad instead.

In the face of this changing world, will it continue to make sense for Apple to have two different platforms for Macs and iDevices, or will they eventually merge into a single operating system for all device types?  Read more

BlackBerry implosion generating even bigger enterprise gains for iPad, says analyst

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Concerns about the future viability of Blackberry – once the default choice of mobile device for the enterprise market – have further boosted iPad penetration in businesses, according to an analyst quoted by AllThingsD.

Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair theorizes that BlackBerry’s ill-starred attempt to sell itself inflamed concerns about the future viability of the company’s platform and gave corporations good reason to migrate their employees to other devices. That opened up a significant opportunity for Apple — particularly since Android continues to struggle for gains in enterprise […]

Said Blair, “Our recent work points to tremendous momentum for iPad in the enterprise over the last few months and we believe that this may be one of the most important trends for Apple as we move into the New Year.”

Steve Jobs said shortly after the launch of the iPad that Apple didn’t need to market the device to businesses as “it’s being grabbed out of our hands, anyways” …  Read more

iWork for iCloud apps add promised collaboration features, folders, more

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Back at Apple’s October 22nd iPad Air event, the company also unveiled an update to its iWork for iCloud online productivity suite beta that included new real-time collaboration features, easier sharing, and more. The ability to collaborate went live initially, but today Apple is rolling a handful of other new features to the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote iWork for iCloud apps.

New features going live today include a new list to view all collaborators currently working on a project, as well as “cursors and selections” for each person editing a document, presentation, or spreadsheet. Apple also notes that you can now “Instantly jump to a collaborator’s cursor by clicking their name in the collaborator list.”

In addition, all apps today receive new folders to organize files, the ability to print from the Tools menu, and the Keynote app gets right-click to skip slides.

You can check out the new features in the Numbers, Pages, and Keynote app on iCloud.com now. Full list of what’s new below: Read more

Apple responds to new iWork complaints, says several features returning within 6 months

Last month, Apple introduced new iWork suites for both OS X and iOS. The new applications feature entirely new designs and are built-up a new 64-bit architecture for increased speed. However, as we previously noted, many long-time iWork users have found that the new versions lack several features that have existed in previous releases. Today, Apple has responded to these complaints and has said that it will be restoring several of the missing features over the course of the next 6 months.

The new iWork applications—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—were released for Mac on October 22nd. These applications were rewritten from the ground up to be fully 64-bit and to support a unified file format between OS X and iOS 7 versions, as well as iWork for iCloud beta.

These apps feature an all-new design with an intelligent format panel and many new features such as easy ways to share documents, Apple-designed styles for objects, interactive charts, new templates, and new animations in Keynote.

In rewriting these applications, some features from iWork ’09 were not available for the initial release. We plan to reintroduce some of these features in the next few releases and will continue to add brand new features on an ongoing basis.

These features will return in software updates. Here are the features that are coming back:

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New iWork & iLife apps go for simplicity, upset power users all over again

Following the introduction of Apple’s new iWork apps at its iPad Air event earlier this week, an increasing number of users have taken to Apple’s support forums to voice concerns over the removal of features as the apps receive new simplified user interfaces that bring them more in line with the iOS versions. Several pages of complaints from users in Apple’s forums point out that many features, those mostly used by power users, have been removed from Apple’s new redesigned version of Pages:

Why does Apple get rid of so many useful features in new pages? iWork 13 has been a huge disappointment and nothing more than a downgrade to match the capabilities of the iOS iWork apps.  If Apple simply made performance upgrades to iWork 09 I would have been happy.  I hope there is a way to get back to the most up to date version of iWork 09.

It comes down to this. Apple has discontinued Pages in its entirety. You can no longer download it or purchase it, and Apple won’t support it. Apple has simultaneously introduced a completely new and different product, also called Pages, that is designed for different users and different use cases. Despite the name, it is not a successor to Pages (old), except in the licensing terms, it is completely a completely different species of animal. Those of us who depended on Pages (old) cannot use Pages (new). We have to save all our Pages files in a widely used format and import them into a new word processor that supports the formatting.

Pages isn’t the only app, users are also hitting Apple’s forums to list features that have been removed from the redesigned versions of Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie: Read more

Mac App Store bug allows iWork trial users to update the entire suite for free (Update: Aperture, too)

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Users who have previously downloaded the free 30-day iWork trial and kept it on their systems found themselves able to update to the latest version of Apple’s productivity suite for free yesterday due to what is apparently a bug with the way the store finds copies of the software purchased through other sources.

Since the Mac App Store now detects boxed copies of iWork and allows them to be updated to the Mac App Store version, it seems the trial versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are perceived by the App Store as being a full purchased copy. This allows users to install yesterday’s updated apps without having to pay anything.

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