Dropbox chief says iCloud was direct shot at Dropbox
Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston says that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs settled on killing off the popular file syncing system when Houston declined Jobs' offer of an acquisition. IT Business reported this week on Houston's remarks, which came in the course of a discussion on stage at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce.com conference in San Francisco. Houston says that the unveiling of iCloud was a direct shot at Dropbox, one he says the company has proudly survived.
Web apps still officially in beta
Apple has made several minor updates to iWork for iCloud. The emphasis is on collaboration features, which now include a list of the people currently working on a project. Likewise, apps will display cursors and selections for each editor.
Fixes bugs in iMessage, Spotlight, other areas
Apple has quietly issued a minor update to iOS, v7.0.3. The firmware adds two new features, primarily iCloud Keychain, which can be used to sync logins, passwords, and credit card numbers between devices. Also new however is Password Generator, which lets Safari suggest complex password for user accounts.
Service on verge of leaving beta
Apple is in the process of bringing iWork for iCloud out of beta later today, a glimpse at iCloud.com suggests. Loading the beta Pages, Numbers, or Keynote web apps currently triggers a notification at the top of the site, promising more features for each app within "a few short hours." Apple is due to hold a press event at 10AM Pacific time, after which the company will presumably flip the switch on completed web apps.
Apps have yet to get iOS makeover
Updated icons for iPhoto and GarageBand within iOS' iCloud Storage Management settings hint that Apple is on the verge of updating the apps, notes AppleInsider. The icons have to be downloaded from Apple servers whenever someone enters the Storage Management panel, suggesting that Apple is laying the groundwork for the updated software. Visually the icons have been changed to adopt the flat, colorful design of iOS 7.
No reason given
AOL is dropping iCloud support from its Alto webmail client, according to a notice being sent out to users. Alto is a multiplatform service, allowing people to check mail for AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, and custom providers. As of December 2nd, however, Alto users with an @icloud, @me, or @mac address will no longer be able to check associated messages there.
Apple Online Store down for scheduled maintenance until 4AM ET
The online store from Apple has been listed on the company's System Status page as down for planned maintenance from approximately midnight Wednesday (eastern time) to 4AM ET. The downtime occurred just after a three-hour partial iCloud.com outage in which users could access most services, but the web Calendar and Reminders applications were nonfunctional. Most iCloud disruptions are brief and only affect a small portion of users, but both of the recent downtimes affected all users.
Ban had stymied German users even after patent found likely invalid
As of 9PM local time in Germany, users in that country are finally -- after 19 months -- able to activate push email services from iCloud. The previous block was due to a patent dispute with Google-owned Motorola Mobility over a patent on a push-type messaging originally granted for beepers, and which has in the intervening months been found invalid for four separate reasons by a court in the UK, and later on in three different courts in Germany.
iCloud stops working for users over base 5GB tier
In keeping with warnings, Apple has today stripped former MobileMe subscribers of an earlier free upgrade to the 25GB iCloud tier. The upgrade was offered to help ease the transition to iCloud, since MobileMe was a paid-only service that included 20GB of data, or more under a family plan. iCloud has both free and paid tiers, but the free one only includes 5GB. The 25GB option normally costs $40 per year.
Set-top gets Chromecast-like content streaming
Apple has released an anticipated firmware update for the Apple TV, v6.0. The main addition is support for iTunes Radio, Apple's new streaming music service, also available on Mac, Windows, and iOS devices. Some other changes include podcast sync, access to shared Photo Streams, and the ability to listen to music purchased from the iTunes Store directly. Version numbers for Apple TV are typically behind that of the iOS release they are drawn from.
iCloud bookmark sync for Chrome still not available for OS X
Amidst the high-profile iOS 7 launch, Apple has also made available a pair of plug-ins for Windows users to enable bookmark syncing. Available today in conjunction with the iCloud Control Panel for Windows 3.0 upgrade are plug-ins for alternative browsers Chrome and Firefox on Windows. Notably, Apple has not added the functionality to Chrome on OS X.
Apple lists feature as 'coming soon' on iOS 7 website
iCloud Keychain support has been removed from the iOS 7 gold master, users note. The option has gone missing from iOS 7's iCloud preferences. Apple has also marked Keychain as "coming soon" on its iOS 7 website, implying that the feature won't be in the public release of the firmware or in any near-term point release.
Feature should return in near future
The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court has stayed enforcement of an injunction blocking push email for German iCloud users, reports say. The injunction stems from a lawsuit filed by Motorola, and was originally issued by the Mannheim Regional Court in February 2012. With the Karlsruhe ruling, push email should return as soon as Apple can post a bond, meant to ensure that Motorola can collect damages should it win the related lawsuit.
Users encounter error messages at iCloud.com
Apple is restricting some users' access to the iWork for iCloud beta, anecdotes indicate. People trying to launch Pages, Numbers, or Keynote from the iCloud website may find themselves blocked by an error message stating that Apple has had an "overwhelming response," and asking them to "check back soon." The company promises however that documents saved in the Mac and iOS versions of iWork will still be backed up to iCloud.
Rollout no longer gradual
The iWork for iCloud beta is now accessible by all iCloud users. Web versions of the iWork apps -- Pages, Numbers, and Keynote -- were initially restricted to developers, but then gradually began reaching the general public through the beta iCloud site. Today, though, the iWork apps have been independently pushed to iCloud.com.
Downtime in progress for several hours
Several of Apple's online services continue to be non-functional for some users after they went down at 12:30AM Eastern, according to Apple's system status tracker. Perhaps the most critical ones are iMessage and iCloud backup, but several other iCloud functions are also out. These include Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, and iPhoto Journals.
Apps, icons get new look, interface changes
Apple has redesigned the iCloud.com beta website to take after the look of iOS 7. The overhaul extends from icons and fonts through to many interface elements, such as the layout and buttons in Calendar. The website also operates somewhat differently; instead of having to jump back to the main menu to switch to another app, for instance, clicking the "iCloud" name in the upper-left will pop up a quick-switch panel.
Prevents restores from consuming bandwidth, usability
The iOS 7 beta currently creates "ghost" apps on an iOS device when restoring from an iCloud backup, a report notes. When restoring from iCloud in iOS 6, a device will normally start re-downloading every app automatically once core data is back in place. iOS7, by contrast, will recreate folders but leave grayed-out icons in place of apps; only tapping on one will get an app to download.
Apple still overcoming spam-related issues
Apple is looking to build better protections against spam and other abuse in iCloud Mail, a new job listing suggests. The company is hiring a senior software engineer who will help "define and implement new mail anti-abuse systems" for iCloud. The person is expected to have experience with email and spam technology, and qualities like "a strong background in building high-performance, scalable and extensible systems."
Downtime affects major services
Several Apple online services encountered outages earlier today, according to the company's system status page. Between 11:23AM and 1:54PM Eastern, people may have been "unable to make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store, or iBookstore," the page states. "Users may also have been unable to download previously-purchased content, use iTunes Match, or successfully restore Apps and Music from an iCloud backup."
Will be reduced to standard 5GB allotment, may affect mail storage
When Apple's MobileMe suite of online services got revamped and changed into iCloud, existing members were provided with 20GB of extra storage space compared to the 5GB normally allotted, for a total of 25GB (which includes email storage, iCloud iOS device backups and other services such as Documents in the Cloud). The company has now sent out reminder notices to such customers letting them know that the additional free storage will be withdrawn and reduced to the standard 5GB on September 30.
Cloud services an increasingly important factor in sales
While some segments of Apple's hardware line did less well -- or in at least one case considerably better -- than expected, the company's quieter but steady growth in cloud-based services ranging from iTunes Stores to iCloud-based services continues to become increasingly important in retaining and attracting buyers. Apple now has over 320 million iCloud accounts, up from 250 million six months ago, and push notifications have doubled during the same period to over eight trillion. Users of iOS also pushed the App Store to new highs in downloads and revenues.
Web version brings iWork to PC, may be free of charge
MacNN readers and staffers have reported receiving invitations from Apple to try out the iWork for iCloud beta, and may expand the program to all those with an iCloud account. The online version of the three iWork apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- is not believed to be intended to replace the local Mac and iOS versions, but instead complement them with a way to use the programs from any online device -- including, for the first time, Windows computers. Our reviews of the apps found them to be superb implementations of the latest web technologies.
Numbers for iCloud is beautiful, elegant and simple to use
In past two days, we have taken a "first look" at Pages for iCloud and Keynote for iCloud. Both are great examples of Apple’s software-making prowess, and reinforce Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent assertion that it remains ‘laser focused on product innovation’. Not being one for working with numbers, I was not particularly looking forward to looking more closely at Numbers. However, just as Pages and Keynote for iCloud will change your perception of what is possible in a web-based app, Numbers for iCloud will too. Even if you’ve never used a spreadsheet before, you just might actually want to use Numbers for iCloud when it debuts in the fall.
Keynote for iCloud defines Apple's vision for web 3.0
Yesterday we took a look at the Pages for iCloud beta and were highly impressed by what Apple has achieved with its word processing and publishing application. It looks and works very much like a desktop application and pushes the envelope for what has previously been achieved with an entirely web-based app. Keynote is the next of the three iWork for iCloud beta apps in our short series looking at Apple's new iWork for iCloud suite of web apps. Is it possible to recreate a presentation app in the cloud with the full power of a desktop presentation app? It doesn't seem likely, but then it didn't seem likely that we would see what a web-app like Pages for iCloud can do in a browser.
Pages for iCloud points to the future of web apps
Apple has made no secret about the pivotal role that iCloud has to play in its devices strategy. It offers a range of services, many of which are designed to work seamlessly in the background helping to keep user data backed up and synced in the cloud and across multiple devices. Additionally, it includes web app versions of Mail, Contacts, Notes, Calendar, Reminders, Find My iPhone and storage for Pages, Keynote and Numbers documents. Due this fall, Apple is set to update iCloud to include full web app versions of its iWork app suite including Pages, Keynote and Numbers. In the first of a short series looking the new beta versions of these applications, we take first look at Pages for iCloud beta.
Apple says update syncs 'non-user-generated' data
Apple has rejected an update to an iPad app -- SignMyPad -- for syncing PDF files via iCloud, says developer Autriv. The app is used to sign PDFs, but in rejecting the update, Apple reportedly said that it syncs "non-user-generated" content, a violation of terms. Autriv tried to plead its case, but was instead told it might handle sync through a third-party service.
Test base grows beyond developers
Access to the iWork for iCloud beta has been extended to Apple workers, according to an internal email. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote web apps were launched in beta form earlier this month at WWDC 2013, but testing was initially restricted to third parties registered in Apple's developer program. Apple workers are allowed to access the beta for personal use.
First solid glimpse at new iOS
Apple has posted several videos on its website in the wake of today's WWDC keynote. These include the keynote itself, designer Jonathan Ive's introduction to iOS 7, and the "Designed by Apple" corporate branding ad narrated by Ben Affleck. The keynote video is roughly two hours long.
Will support Office documents
Apple has announced that its iWork app suite -- Pages, Keynote, and Numbers -- will be coming to iCloud.com sometime later this year. In web form, the apps will support a variety of editing functions such as font selection, adding, cropping, and rotating images, or animating Keynote transitions. Users will be able to gain access via compatible OS X and Windows browsers; Office documents will be included in format support.
Option will appear automatically in account details
Apple is extending its two-step verification option for Apple IDs to a wider range of countries, users say. When the feature first launched in late March, it was restricted to the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Now though people in Canada, Argentina, and Pakistan are reporting getting the feature, and other countries may be following suit.
Targeted sites narrowed down to Houston IP address
The people responsible for a new Apple ID phishing scam have compromised 110 websites, says security firm Trend Micro. All of the sites are hosted on a specific IP address, 126.96.36.199, which is registered with an ISP based in Houston, Texas. "Almost all of these sites have not been cleaned," Trend Micro remarks.
Tips to stop juggling gigabytes and start using the cloud
We live in a world positively soaked in data nowadays. Fortunately, the capacity to store that data has gotten bigger in volume, smaller in physical size, and cheaper per gigabyte as time progresses. Gone are the days where you'd have to lug a Zip disk around (remember those?) or stick your iPod into disk mode. At worst, you're carrying a USB drive with you -- though really, you should be relying on the cloud for by now. The issue is figuring out just what you're going to be keeping up there.
Apple online services continue string of difficulties
Apple's online services are again suffering outages, their official system status page indicates. Between 7:20 and 9:32AM Eastern, some people may have been unable to access the iTunes Store or make purchases there. Still ongoing however are problems preventing people from creating Apple IDs or signing into Game Center, as well as authentication errors when trying to use iCloud. The latter may also prevent people from setting up a new iCloud account.
All issues now cleared, but service interruptions a hassle for many
Apple has reported some brief but widespread slowdowns and unavailability of Game Center -- starting in the wee hours of Thursday and again later that morning -- coupled with a prolonged mail issue that only affected a fraction of one percent of users on iCloud.com for half a day over Thursday and Friday. The disruption comes on the heels of scattered reports of brief iTunes Store outages and a more serious iMessage and FaceTime problem ten days ago, the latter of which lasted over five hours. All services are back to normal operation now.
May mean facility close to booting up
Apple is escalating its search for people to work at its under-construction Prineville, Oregon datacenter, notes AppleInsider. The company recently posted a job listing for an operations planner, as well as a site services technician. In late March, the company started looking for a chief engineer.
The good, bad, and pricey among cloud solutions
In fashion, trends come and go like breezes: quick, occasionally refreshing, and usually leaving little trace that they were there in the first place. It's the same in the world of computing, where we've gone in the space of a few years from desktops and iPods to ultrabooks and smartphones. One thing has remained constant amidst the ever-changing standards of computer form factors, though: you need a place to hold your stuff. Thus, among the fleeting fads there's one computing trend that looks like it might have staying power: cloud storage.
Two-step verification only current defense
(Updated with Apple disabling the iForgot password retrieval page) A new exploit lets people hijack an Apple ID account using only an email address and someone's date of birth, says The Verge. The process involves pasting in a modified URL while answering the date of birth question on Apple's password retrieval page. Doing this lets someone reset an Apple ID's password, locking out the original owner unless they can get Apple's help.
Around 55 percent of those surveyed said they don't use cloud services
Marketing and analysis firm Strategy Analytics has released the results of a new study into the use of cloud media storage services, noting that Apple's iCloud and iTunes Match have captured the majority share at 27 percent (combined) US marketshare and revealing a tighter-than-expected horse race between Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive for second most-popular cloud media service.
Sends codes to Findy My iPhone, SMS numbers
A two-step verification process is now an option for Apple ID accounts, reports say. The option can be accessed on Apple's website, and once enabled requires entering a PIN before making an account change or a purchase on iTunes or the App Store. Codes are sent via Find My iPhone or a text message.
Emails with key phrase were being inexplicably deleted
A bizarre glitch has revealed the existence of "pre-filtering" spam deletion algorithms being used by Apple for its iCloud email. The company acknowledged the issue and has since fixed it, but when an iCloud user would attempt to send an email with the phrase "barely legal teens" in the subject, body or title of some kinds of attachments to another iCloud user, the email would not be delivered. Replies to emails with the phrase, or messages sent to non-iCloud users with the phrase, were successfully sent. Unusually, offending messages were deleted rather than simply flagged as spam.
Glitches ongoing since early Thursday
(Updated with service restoration info) Several iCloud services are being affected by "problems," Apple's system status page confirms. The errors began around 4AM Eastern time on Thursday, and have persisted since then. Photo Stream, backup, and Documents in the Cloud are being affected; Apple isn't saying what the exact problems are, but does claim that less than 3 percent of users have been impacted.
Services back online, but hit iTunes, app stores
Apple suffered multiple online service outages earlier on Thursday, the company's system status page now confirms. Between 9:40AM and 11:50AM Eastern time, purchases at the iTunes Store and the Mac and iOS App Stores may not have gone through. The company also confirms some Wednesday problems in which people couldn't access iCloud calendars.
Messages, iCloud, Game Center all on rise
Mostly overlooked in Apple's quarterly report dealing with sales and revenues is the remarkable -- in some cases, astonishing -- growth in Apple's cloud-based services, ranging from the four trillion notifications sent to iOS users through Notification Center to the record-breaking $2.1 billion profit for iTunes. Users now send over two billion iMessages per day -- bypassing the cellular carriers' biggest profit center, SMS messaging -- from over 500 million devices, and over 250 million users now have iCloud accounts.
Though problem was modest, may have affected wide range of users
Though Apple's new System Status page for iCloud provides users with at-a-glance notification of problems (and offers a timeline showing exactly how long any service interruption occurred), a brief outage on Monday -- that affected all of the iCloud services apart from iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match -- shows that the revamped page does not always specify what percentage of users are affected in a given incident. Apple's report on todays incident, which lasted just over an hour, simply says that "some" users were affected.
Allows more precise notifications
Apple has introduced a new version of its system status page for online services. Whereas the old one often lumped multiple problems together into a single update, the new page has individual lights for each aspect of Apple's services, ranging from Maps, Siri, and FaceTime through to the App Stores and various iCloud functions like Mail, Calendar, Back to My Mac, and iTunes Match.
iTunes Match still broken for some users
Apple's iTunes Match storage and streaming service is currently down for at least some users, says AppleInsider. Trying to play content hosted on Match only results in tracks sticking at the "0:00" mark. The trouble notably follows outages of iMessage and FaceTime, which hit users of Macs and iOS devices on Sunday.
Improvements geared for typical readers, students
Apple has introduced a major update to its iBooks app for iOS devices (free, App Store). Previewed alongside the new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad, iBooks 3.0 adds a number of new features, including quote sharing via Facebook and Twitter, deeper iCloud integration and automatic scrolling.
Appliation running in data centers served to iPads with VMware
According to reports and sources familiar with the matter, Apple is readying an iOS version of iWork hosted in the cloud. Joining them in the effort is virtualization expert VMware. The Pages, Keynote, and Numbers implementation would integrate with VMware's Horizon Mobile's partitioning scheme to isolate personal and business usage of employee-owned devices.
Surprise move gives users 25GB storage for another year
In a surprise move earlier on Friday, Apple's iCloud team has opted to extend the time period for a free allotment of 25GB of storage given to former members of Mobile Me. The bonus storage, which was set to expire on September 30 and for which the company had sent emails to users warning them of the change, will now continue until September 30, 2013. The move could be due to feedback from iCloud members that didn't feel they had sufficient time or warning of the change, though the extra storage came with clear caveats.