The Tech News Blog

November 14, 2013

Apple Boosts iWork for iCloud Collaboration Tools, More

iWork for iCloud Beta

Following the August rollout of iWork for iCloud beta, Apple today revealed a handful of new features, including some top customer requests.

Those who log into iCloud will now find versions of the Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Keynote (presentations) apps, all with better collaboration options.

This update comes with the ability to not only see who else is currently in a document, but also watch their cursor and selections. Want to catch up with another user's work? Click their name in the collaborator list to immediately jump to their cursor. Images and shapes animate when people move them around the document.

Additional fan favorites like printing directly from the Tools menu and folders in which to organize files are now available.

Spreadsheets just got a little easier, as well, with the option to change the order of the document's sheets directly in the browser, as well as create links using the new hyperlink function.

August 23, 2013

Apple’s iWork for iCloud Beta Open to Public

iWork for iCloud Beta

The beta version of Apple's iWork for iCloud is now available to the public.

Simply log into your iCloud account, and you'll find free versions of the Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Keynote (presentations) features waiting. It's not clear how long this free access will last, so check it out now.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment. But a quick test at the PCMag office proved that the system is up and running.

Cupertino first unveiled iWork for iCloud at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June, promising support for real-time editing via applications that once were available only to native Mac users.

August 22, 2013

Apple iMessage, iCloud Services Experience Outage

icloud logoA number of Apple services were temporarily offline for some users this morning, including iMessage and a number of iCloud features.

Apple's support page reported an "Issue" with five of its approximately three dozen services around 12:30 a.m. Eastern.

Some users were locked out of iCloud Documents, Photo Stream, iPhoto Journals, or Backup & Restore; the iMessage application also experienced problems sending or downloading attachments.

Less than 1 percent of users were affected by the outage, though, as AppleInsider pointed out, that number could actually be in the millions, since iCloud now has more than 300 million members.

By noon Eastern, Apple's support page was reporting normal service for all of its products. Cupertino also had to contend with an hour-long iTunes issue that prevented users from making purchases. Additionally, a late-Wednesday glitch meant some people could not create a new Apple ID.

March 21, 2013

Apple Enables Two-Factor Authentication for iCloud, Apple IDs

icloud logo

Apple this week launched two-factor authentication for iCloud and Apple IDs.

The optional feature will require users to verify their identities beyond providing their passwords when: signing in to an Apple ID to manage an account; buying something on iTunes, the App Store, or iBooks; or getting Apple ID-related support from Apple.

"Turning on two-step verification reduces the possibility of someone accessing or making unauthorized changes to your account information at My Apple ID or making purchases using your account," Apple said on its support website.

If you sign up for two-factor authentication, Apple will send a four-digit code to a trusted device capable of receiving such messages (like your iPhone) every time you try to sign in to your iCloud or Apple ID account, which you will have to enter as well as your standard password.

September 14, 2012

Apple’s iCloud Exits Beta, Now Open to All Users

Apple's cloud service has graduated from beta, and is entering the real world.

Following in the footsteps of the iCloud mobile and desktop versions, had added the Reminders and Notes apps, which can sync with the iPhone and iPad, and made some additional upgrades.

The new Reminders and Notes functions perform similarly to the Mountain Lion and iPad versions, MacStories reported, with some added features.

Notably, the Find My iPhone app supports Lost Mode in the upcoming iOS 6, allowing the user to send a number to a lost device, hoping that whoever finds the phone will gallantly call that number and return the smartphone. The handset will lock itself remotely once the Find My iPhone feature is enabled, allowing the finder to see the message and phone number you sent, but not otherwise access any data.

A new Web version of the Mail app also adds iOS 6's VIP feature, which will gather messages from VIPs in a specific iOS Mail folder, while "Guided Access" locks down your device so kids, or anyone else playing with your phone, can mess around without deleting important documents.

July 20, 2012

Apple Expands iTunes Match, iCloud Overseas

icloud logo

Apple this week expanded its cloud offerings overseas, bringing iTunes Match and new iTunes in the Cloud features to several new countries.

Apple's iTunes Match rolled out to Poland, Hungary, and several other countries, 9to5Mac reported. It allows users to store their entire music library in the cloud, or iCloud, for on-the-go access to music from any iOS device or computer. It costs $24.99 per year in the U.S., with comparable pricing around the globe.

The service rolled out in the U.S. in November, and had expanded to 17 countries as of December. Apple has not yet updated its iTunes Match availability website with this week's additions.

Apple has also boosted iTunes in the Cloud, which stores content purchased via iTunes in the cloud and provides free access on other iDevices.

For the first time, users outside of the U.S. can re-download and sync their iTunes-purchased movies on any computer, iOS device, or Apple TV, MacRumors reported.

According to Apple's cloud-based support list, the expansion includes the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, as well as a number of Latin American and Asian markets.

In the U.S., meanwhile, 9to5Mac reported that iCloud holdout 20th Century Fox has begun releasing its films for re-downloading. When iTunes in the Cloud made its debut, Fox and Universal did not allow movie re-downloading across devices. Universal eventually allowed its movies on the service, and now it appears that Fox has done the same.

June 1, 2012

MobileMe Users Have 30 Days to Transfer Data to iCloud

MobileMe Alert If you use Apple's discontinued cloud synching service MobileMe, and still haven't transferred your data to iCloud, then you better put that on your to-do list.

Apple is now sending out notices to MobileMe users via email and iPhone alerts, informing them that the service is going to end in just 30 days. The Cupertino tech giant is advising users to transition over to iCloud or risk not being able to use email.

To being the transition, users should visit When users log in through this portal, Apple will port their Mail, Contacts, and iCal information to iCloud.

Not all MobileMe data is transferable to iCloud, however. Namely, when MobileMe shuts down on June 30, any sites that have been published with iWeb, as well as MobileMe photo galleries, and files on iDisk will all cease to exist. So, you're probably going to want to back up this data with another method, or risk losing it.

The news was first reported by 9to5Mac.

Apple has been warning users for nearly a year that MobileMe is going away, and will be replaced by iCloud. Late Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud during a keynote appearance at last year's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The service lets users store all of their content in the cloud, including iTunes music, and it will automatically push stored content to all of their devices.

May 14, 2012

Report: Apple Planning iCloud Upgrade for WWDC

WWDC 2012

Apple's iCloud service is about to get an upgrade, according to a new report.

Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter,The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Apple is planning to upgrade its iCloud storage and data-syncing service with new photo-sharing features. The new features are expected to be announced at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which takes place from June 11-15 in San Francisco.

The new version will let users share sets of photos with other iCloud users and add comments. That would be a big improvement over iCloud's existing photo storage capabilities. The current iCloud Photo Stream feature is designed to automatically synch photos across devices, but does not allow users to share images with others or comment on them.

The upgraded version of iCloud will also reportedly come with new functionality to let users synch their notes and reminders, as well as upload videos, to the cloud storage service. It is unclear whether users will have to pay to use these new features.

October 17, 2011

Apple iPhone 4S Sales Top 4 Million, Break Records

Apple announced Monday it sold more than four million iPhone 4S smartphones in its first three days, a big jump compared to iPhone 4 sales last week.

"iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend—the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement. "iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever."

In comparison, Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4's in the first three days of its launch in June 2010, and "more than a million" iPhone 3GS's during opening weekend in 2009. Apple hasn't released a breakdown, but analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray speculated that the bulk of iPhone 4S sales came from those upgrading from an iPhone 3GS or older.

October 11, 2011

iTunes 10.5 Launches Ahead of iPhone 4S, iCloud, iTunes Match

Every iPhone includes an update iTunes, but this may be the last time iPhone users need the media-playing computer software.

One of the things that iTunes 10.5 brings is the iOS 5 update for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, which will do away with the need to tether your mobile device to a computer to sync it. The new release also enables Wi-Fi syncing between the Apple mobile devices and iTunes on a PC or Mac.

In addition, the update adds some iCloud features, including iTunes Match, which will synchronize music on a user's computer with iCloud storage, even for songs not purchased via the iTunes store. Once the music is up in your iCloud, you'll be able to download it to any Apple device onto which you've logged in. The $24.99-a-year service isn't available today despite the new iTunes release, but will go live tomorrow, October 12, according to a previous Apple press release.