Friday Morning News
Office for iPhone and iPad is now free, as in beer. The Verge reports that starting today, you won’t need an Office 365 subscription to create or edit documents using Office for iOS, which is pretty good news seeing as it puts Office on equal footing with Apple’s own iWork suite. But there’s a few caveats: Microsoft have said only “basic editing” is available for non-Office 365 subscribers, and Macworld has a breakdown of exactly what that means.
You might have heard about WireLurker, the new OS X malware that waits to infect devices connected by USB. It’s targeted at Chinese Mac and iOS users who download Mac apps from a third party app store, one most likely used to pirate apps. Ars Technica has a good summary of the malware and how it affects devices, but the good news is, Apple has already taken steps to block the malware. The chance of infection has now fallen dramatically, and most users will be just fine.
The first fruits of Apple’s partnership with IBM have revealed themselves to be AppleCare for Enterprise, a support service that boasts next-day device replacement, on-site hardware service, and a support hotline that’s open twenty four hours a day.
Apple has updated the Mac App Store with a new look and feel that’s more inline with the flatter look of OS X Yosemite. A similar update was deployed for the iTunes Store a few weeks ago, so it’s good to see the Mac App Store catching up.
AppleInsider writes Apple is operating a web-crawling bot of their own, but no one knows why. Speculation says it could be related to Spotlight search suggestions, or perhaps it’s by an employee inside of Apple writing and running a bot on company time. Conspiracy theories abound!
Also from AppleInsider, some iOS app news. Touch ID has arrived on the Google Drive app, Swype is free as part of Apple’s app of the week promo, and Apple’s own iWork apps have received minor updates (which means pretty major downloads, seeing as they all weigh in at the hundreds of megabytes).
Calcbot for Mac has arrived from the creators of Tweebot, and it’s a colourful, flat, calculator for OS X. In terms of features, Calcbot for Mac sits somewhere between PCCalc and the built-in calculator, offering a scientific mode as well as history features. Macstories has a review of Calcbot, otherwise you can pick it up on the Mac App Store for $6.49.
Ars Technica’s review of the 2014 Mac mini say it is “less versatile” thanks to non-upgradable internals and a lack of CPU power, and to be fair, Intel is partly to blame for not offering mobile processors with enough cores or clock speeds. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should discount the Mac mini entirely, but you should be more aware of what it can and can’t do. And compared to previous revisions of the machine, the new Mac mini just doesn’t size-up all that well.
ILounge has posted up their best of 2014 awards for over 25 categories of products. Because everyone likes list of “the best” products.
Yahoo looks into the strange world of people who create fake Apple designs. You’ve probably seen their work — concept renderings of yet-unannounced products, or re-imaginings of how things would look if someone other than Jony Ive had designed them.