MonthMay 2011

iWork apps get update; now work on iPhone, iPod touch

Apple’s iWork suite of productivity apps have been updated to work on the iPhone and iPod touch, according to a press release from Apple.

Keynote, Pages and Numbers are now universal apps that run on iPad and iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and iPod touch (3rd & 4th generation), according to Apple. The apps are available from the App Store for $9.99 each for new users, or as a free update for existing iWork for iPad customers. Keynote Remote is sold separately via the App Store for 99 cents.

It remains to be seen exactly how usable these apps will be on the iPhone, but the ability to create and edit iWork documents on small iOS devices is sure to come in handy.

Apple spells out keynote for WWDC: Lion, iOS 5, ‘iCloud’

Apple made the unusual move of spelling out the topics for its WWDC Keynote next week:

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

Apple rarely — very rarely — tips its hand about keynotes and is generally even more tight-lipped about upcoming products and services. The only time I can recall them doing so is when they feel the need to manage rumors and keep a handle on expectations, which I think is what’s going on here. They want to emphasize that there will be no hardware announcements (read: no iPhone 5 or “4GS”).

Mostly Harmless

There’s a new variant of the Mac Defender Trojan Horse making the rounds. This one, called “Mac Guard,” is scarier in that it does not require a password to install, since it affects the user account, not the entire computer. Scarier, but still fairly benign since at worst, the installer can only open automatically — it still requires a user to click the install button to do any damage.

The best defense is to make sure that “Open ‘Safe’ files after downloading” is disabled in Safari’s preferences — which is the default. Apple released a Knowledge Base article which explains how to find and disable the malware and promises an update that will do just that automatically.

Some are using the existence of these Trojans as “proof” that Macs are no safer than PCs — that they’ve only enjoyed “security through obscurity,” which is nonsense. Mac Defender and its variants are programs that still require a user to actively install them — unlike viruses, which can embed and replicate themselves without any human assistance.

That’s not to say that Macs are inherently safe. As these programs demonstrate, a combination of malware and a little social engineering can be a dangerous combination — even on a Mac.

This is why people don’t trust marketers

More on Dell’s new laptop from The Guardian:

Noted in passing: advert for the Dell XPS-15, containing the phrase

Finally, the power you crave in the thinnest 15″ PC on the planet*.

Wow, the thinnest? But wait, what’s the asterisk?

Small print time: “Based on Dell internal analysis as at February 2011. Based on a thickness comparison (front and rear measurements) of other 15″ laptop PCs manufactured by HP, Acer, Toshiba, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, MSI. No comparison made with Apple or other manufacturers not listed.”

In other words, “we’re going to lie in the big type, then explain that we’re lying in teeny tiny type that we hope no one will actually read.”

Appalling. (Charles Arthur via Glenn Fleishman.)

Shameless

Photo courtesy of Engadget. Click to view the full article.

The phenomenon of other brands’ products “coincidentally” beginning to look like Apple products is nothing new, (think about cellphones before and after the iPhone or tablets after the iPad, for instance) so it’s not surprising to see that Dell’s new XPS 15z laptop bears a striking resemblance to the MacBook Pro. They’ve even copied Apple’s packaging, which includes a downright Freudian admission in the arrangement of photos of the laptop in an arrangement that practically screams “Mac OS X.”

But what’s particularly embarrassing is the pretense that it’s not happening. Dell described their new laptop as having an “innovative new form factor” for crying out loud.

I wonder if the PR flack who wrote that was even able to keep a straight face.

Absolutely embarrassing. (via Engadget.)

On the Apple’s 10th anniversary in retail, a look back at NJ’s first store

With today marking the 10th anniversary of Apple’s first brick-and-mortar store, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at how we covered the company’s first location in the Garden State, which opened in Tice’s Corner in 2001. Back then, of course, there were only five retail outlets, and the company had an ambitious goal of opening a total of 25 by the year’s end (there are over 300 now), and store openings were a big deal, not just among the Mac press, but the mainstream news outlets as well. Apple’s newest product, the “iPod,” wouldn’t even be available for another week after the opening.

RandomMaccess was given exclusive access to the store the night before the special pre-opening “press event.” Here’s how we reported our first look at Apple’s foray into retailing.

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