Opinion: With all of the new Apple data centers, is it time for iCloud to get serious about storage?

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The Apple ecosystem is a large part of why I stick to an all-Apple line-up for my laptops, tablet and phone. iCloud is key to that, of course, providing seamless backup and syncing between devices.

Whether it’s my calendar, contacts, reminders, notes, ebooks or Safari bookmarks, all are available on all devices within a minute or two of me updating any of them. Documents I create in Pages, Numbers or Keynote are again available from any of my devices providing I choose to store them on iCloud. As I pay the extra for iTunes Match, I’m also able to stream any of my music from any device.

In some respects, Apple clearly takes the cloud seriously. It has invested massively in expanding its network of data centers, including a $1B investment in Reno, expansion in Maiden and new data centers as far afield as Hong Kong and the Netherlands. Yet, central as it is to the ecosystem, iCloud still feels a bit like it deserves the tag Steve Jobs famously applied to Apple TV: a hobby

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Tim Cook addresses iPad sales slowdown, says Microsoft should have released Office sooner

On Apple’s earnings call, Tim Cook directly addresses concerns surrounding iPad. Notably, he calls out Office as helping iPad sales somewhat but ‘frankly’ admits that Microsoft should have released Office for iPad sooner. He says that in the time that Microsoft waited, other companies including Apple have released very-competitive productivity alternates to Office, likely referencing iWork.

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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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