Happy 4th of July to all of you who are in the US.
Hope you’re all having a great day of sun and fun, barbecue, fireworks, and silly decorations on dogs.
This week marks the birthday of two great services that I love and use heavily on my iPad and elsewhere: Evernote and Google+.
Evernote has been a stalwart for me since back in 2008 – on the iPhone and Mac, clipping from the web, and just about anywhere I’ve needed it. To say it’s a powerful and feature-packed notes app is still not coming close to doing it justice. I’ve seen Evernote spoken about as a ‘second brain’ sort of service and I have gotten that sort of benefit from it over the years. It remains a fixture for me across all my devices and is still constantly improving and adding features.
Google+ is only two years old, and it feels like that time has flown by, as they say. I was lucky enough to get an invite from +Louis Gray on the first night the beta became open to invites and I’ve been enjoying the heck out of Google+ ever since.
Yes, I’ve read all the reports of Google+ being a ghost town, and I think they’re complete nonsense. It has become easily my favorite social network. It is superb for lively and intelligent discussions on just about any topic under the sun, has a great range of topic-specific communities where you can focus in on areas of interest, and Hangouts for connecting via video with anything from one to hundreds of people. I have lots of good discussion every day via my personal profile and the iPad Insight Google+ page.
Here’s wishing both of these great services many happy returns.
Towards the end of last week Microsoft brought a version of Office to iOS for the first time – while leaving out an iPad version. Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers (catchy name!) is an iPhone only app for now, and is ‘the official Office companion optimized for your iPhone’.
Here’s a little more of the App Store description for this new Office Mobile app for iPhone:
You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere. Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you make quick edits or add comments to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.
The one big catch on this app is that it requires an Office 365 subscription to use it. For home users those start at $100 per year. Compared to the $20- 30 range for a number of Office compatible suites on iOS (like QuickOffice, Documents to Go and Apple’s IWork suite) that’s a very steep cost. If you really *need* official Office compatibility and rely on Office docs heavily in your job, I imagine it’s not an issue – but I wonder how that’s going to go down with more ‘casual’ Office users.
Microsoft is also coming into this market on iOS very late. And they’re still offering no iPad version – which ties in nicely with their TV ads mocking the fact that an iPad can’t run a Powerpoint app. I still think Apple has the last laugh here – as I don’t see a lot of prospective new tablet buyers finding Powerpoint a killer feature and Microsoft are leaving potentially billions of dollars on the table by not selling Office on iPad and iOS.
Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote event is today, starting at 1:00PM Eastern. If you’re ready to be on the edge of your seat waiting to hear all the news on iOS 7, updates to OS X, and whatever other news Apple has for us, there are several good ways to follow the event live.
Here are the 3 main sources I’ll be using to follow the WWDC keynote event:
— Apple’s own Live Stream of the event. You can watch it live via Apple’s own stream here: http://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2013/ . Apple notes these requirements for the live stream: Safari 4 or later on Mac OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.
— Engadget Live Blog: These guys have been doing these liveblogs for a number of years now, and they’ve got it down to a pretty fine art. http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/10/apple-wwdc-2013-liveblog/
— Gizmodo Live Blog: Gizmodo are also veterans at live coverage of these sort of events. http://live.gizmodo.com/
A few of the other usual suspects for live blogging have dropped out once the news came out that Apple was live streaming the event. I prefer to have a few sources lined up and open in a browser, since there have been some issues in year’s past with Apple’s live streams of these events – everything from slow buffering to the stream just dying at particular points in the event.
Hopefully we’ll hear some exciting news from Apple today.
I imagine most of you have seen the recent Microsoft TV ads for Windows tablets by now, as they’ve been getting some heavy airtime lately. The latest one, shown above, features a Siri-like voice that points out a number of supposed limitations of the iPad when compared to a Windows tablet. Those limitations include the lack of an official Powerpoint app on the iPad.
That’s pretty rich given that …
— There’s no iPad Powerpoint app only because Microsoft themselves have decided not to release MS Office on iOS, which likely means they’ve lost out on billions of dollars worth of app sales.
— There are a number of very capable replacement apps for Powerpoint on iPad, from Apple’s excellent Keynote app to Quick Office, Documents to Go, and others.
It’s also striking that in its two new ads attacking the iPad Microsoft has chosen to feature an Asus-made Windows tablet for its head-to-head (some would say apples to oranges) comparisons. They don’t use their own Surface tablets, which were originally hailed as the state-of-the-art in Windows tablets.It’s also interesting that the strapline for this ad is ‘Less talking, more doing’. Pretty bold stuff from the platform that has a tiny fraction of the available productivity apps actually designed for use on a tablet.
I don’t think these latest Microsoft ads are terrible by any means. They may well be effective with a lot of hardcore Windows fans and some corporate users who still believe the nonsense about the iPad being a consumption-only device. I can’t see them winning over many iPad or even Android users though, or any of us who have no need for MS Office apps.
What do you all think of these Microsoft ads? Have they swayed you towards a Windows tablet?