updated 09:45 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
Testing continues with new OS X 10.9.3 beta, adds back local contact, calendar sync
On Thursday, Apple issued its fifth weekly beta of the forthcoming OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to developers. In addition to the usual areas of testing focus -- graphics, audio, Mail and Safari -- the company also requested testing on the ability in iTunes to sync Calendar and Contact entries locally over USB. In earlier versions of iTunes 11, syncing was exclusively handled by iCloud. The new build, 13D33, contains no new known issues.
In addition to the restoration of USB syncing, 10.9.3 will bring pixel-doubled scaling for 4K monitors when it is released. The feature will effectively bring "Retina" screen quality to existing 4K monitor support as well as expand the number of potential brands of monitor supported. The pixel-doubling may only appear in 10.9.3 versions for MacBook Pro models, at least at first. The update can be downloaded through Software Update for those with Apple Developer accounts.
Microsoft reports 12M downloads of Office for iPad
Microsoft has announced today that Office for iPad has hit 12 million downloads in just its first week. The free set of apps, which work as viewer-only programs unless users have or buy an Office 365 annual subscription, also leapt to the top of Apple's App Store "top grossing" charts just one day after launch, indicating that there remains pent-up demand for the suite on a platform that has both soared and deeply penetrated small business and enterprise culture without it.
The three apps, which have been rumored to be under development for the iPad for several years, have won praise for their implementation of touch-based controls and design. With a $99 per year Office 365 subscription, users can create and edit documents much as they would using the desktop version of Office. The suite offers support for Microsoft's existing OneNote and EndNote offerings as well.
The annual subscription allows for Office to be installed on up to five different devices, and includes OneDrive storage space, automatic upgrades and other perks. Apple receives a 30 percent cut of the subscription price when purchased through the Office apps, but discounted prices on the Office 365 subscription can be found elsewhere -- and Microsoft itself offers a free year subscription when purchasing the traditional boxed copies of Office.