April 1, 2014

Apple is making some notable improvements to its iWork suite of productivity applications today across its platforms. First, the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps found on iCloud.com have been updated with some enhancements: all three apps now have improved Retina display support, an updated design for the editor tab, and improved sharing functionality. The new sharing options allow users to share documents in a view-only state (previously, anyone could edit documents shared via iCloud), and documents can be opened directly via iCloud Mail.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 3.11.37 PM

Keynote, Apple’s slide presentation creator, has added the ability for the editing of charts within imported files. Numbers, Apple’s Excel-competitor, has improved pop-up menus, and Pages has gained improved text wrapping, new templates, and like Keynote, the ability to edit charts from imported documents. These changes have already been pushed to the web version of iWork, and Apple has told iCloud.com users that compatible updates for OS X and iOS will be arriving later today. These updates come just days after Microsoft’s successful launch of the Office suite on the iPad…

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A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Apple is currently negotiating with Japan’s Renesas Electronics over the possibility of acquiring a unit of the company that builds chips for smartphone displays used in the iPhone and other devices. The buy, according to Nikkei, could allow Apple to take advantage of the company’s engineering experience to “improve image sharpness and battery life” while bringing development of the components in-house: expand full story

As noted in a report today from Ad Age (via MacRumors), Apple is now allowing non-developers to access and use the iAd Workbench platform.

At the onset of its mobile-ad business, Apple extended olive branches to a select group of brands, promising premier reach. But advertisers pushed back against its pricey offerings. Now, it appears Apple has concluded money in mobile ads comes from a wide net; in short, it’ll look more like Google.

Previously, iAd Workbench users had to at least be enrolled in Apple’s $99/year registered developers program, but now opening an iAd Workbench account will only require an Apple ID which is free to create with any Apple service or device. Ad Age reports that customers using iAd Workbench can choose between payment based on cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand impressions, although rates are currently not clear. expand full story

9to5toys 

With the second patent battle between Apple and Samsung now underway, we thought it would be useful to look at each of the five features Apple claims Samsung (or Google) stole from iOS.

The patents are, of course, worded in the usual dense legaleze. If you want to read them for yourself, you can find them on the US Patent and Trademark Office website in the links below. But here’s my reading of what each one is about, in plain English …  expand full story

It looks like Apple’s shipping estimates on its new Mac Pro have once again slipped with at least Apple’s US online store listing shipping availability as “5-6 weeks.” That puts the current delivery dates for the Mac Pro at sometime during May. Previously, Apple’s website was listing an available to ship date as “April.” expand full story

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