Most cloud services providers have been boosting their security with the intent of warding off the NSA and other malicious groups. The same thing is happening with Apple and iCloud, as encryption for iCloud expands to protect file transfers from the sender all the way to the receiver. Though the receiver must be using an email client that supports TLS encryption, this update does improve security for most users.
A number of iPhones, iPads, and Macs were hacked in Australia the other day. Following these reports, Apple sent out a statement that iCloud was not compromised. The company claims the iCloud service is safe and secure, contrary to reports that users in Australia have been locked out of their own iDevices. This hack has since spread to Canada, the US, and New Zealand.
iWork for iCloud—which includes Pages, Keynote, and Numbers—has been updated to include more collaboration and editing abilities. You can now create 2D and interactive charts with more color options and images up to 10 MB (up from 5 MB), and you can work with up to 100 people (up from 50) on the same document, which can be up to 1GB (up from 200 MB) in size.
According to new rumors, Apple has a solution on the way that will make Safari bookmarks available for all users through iCloud.com. While this is currently just speculation, it’s hopefully a strong indication that Apple is still dedicated to expanding their iCloud services beyond Apple devices, and will allow users to access their bookmarks from any web browser on any mobile computer.
Apple’s iWork for iCloud has finally received the iOS 7 treatment. On Thursday, Apple updated the Pages, Keynote, and Numbers applications for iWork— as well as several other online services from Apple—with the new iOS 7 design, making the template selection screen and document library look synchronized on iOS devices.
After Apple introduced iCloud, the company acknowledged that a lot of its longtime MobileMe users would need some time and storage to transition all of their files over to the new service. So, the company gave all MobileMe users an additional 20GB of iCloud storage on a temporary basis to help ease the transition. Apple has now notified all users who received the additional storage that their 20GB has been reduced to the free 5GB level.
Apple’s iOS 7 design is finally beginning to spread to the company’s other services, as the public release for the mobile OS gets closer. On Wednesday, the iCloud beta website was updated with the same redesigned icons seen in iOS 7. The iCloud.com beta now sports the same flat design for Mail, Contact, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and Find My iPhone.
I opened Pages for iCloud in three different browsers—Safari, Chrome, and Firefox—and found that Safari worked the best which did not come as a surprise to me. Chrome did an okay job, although sometimes it would lag and throw up the rainbow wheel. Worst of them all was Firefox; maybe the worst experience you may have with a browser based document.
Apple made a minor update to the iTunes Store this week, giving customers the choice to store music and video purchases for later downloading. The new “Later” or “Download” option window appears in iOS 6 and in iTunes 11 when users purchase music, movies or TV shows. Users will need to have an iCloud account activated to use this feature.
Apple has announced that iTunes U has topped one billion downloads, an impressive number for a service launched just few years ago. Apple debuted iTunes U in 2007, expanding its library beyond laptops and computers when the company created its own iTunes U iOS app for mobile devices.
As they do every year around the holidays, Apple has published the “App Store Best of 2012.” The annual list was previously known as “iTunes Rewind.” Apple’s staff has chosen their favorite list of winners and runners-up for this year in music, movies, TV shows, books, podcasts and apps.
Apple has updated iTunes v11 to fix a few bugs and bring back duplicate finder functionality. Apple has also made some stability enhancements to their iTunes Music Store. iTunes v11.0.1 will squash a bug that prevented users from seeing their purchased items in iTunes Match subscription service, along with an issue that kept the AirPlay icon from showing up.