New versions of software are always exciting! I get this kid at Christmas kind of feeling when downloading and installing new software–hoping there will be at least one new feature that blows your mind, changes how you think or just changes your life for the better–something you don’t know how you ever lived without. Ok, maybe I get a little more excited than most, but everyone has their passions, right ? Anyway, here are a few relevant news items for today.
Office 2013/Office 365 (Microsoft)
As Microsoft continues to play catch-up developing for mobile and tablet screens, they have made some much needed visual enhancements to their office suite of tools. Better spacing and larger buttons help to de-clutter the user interface, especially for touch users.
While users can still purchase office in the traditional boxed configurations–Office Home and Student, Professional, Business, as well as the individual products–there is now a push to upgrade to Office 365 and start saving/sharing your documents in the cloud. This approach is very similar to Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription, which I absolutely love. You get access to all of the office products to download and install on up to 5 PCs or Macs and it includes 27GB of SkyDrive storage. For $100/year, this seems reasonable, especially if you upgrade versions every few years. The biggest downfall with this cloud model is that when you stop paying for the software, it stops working.
I will admit I am a big fan of the software as a service model as long as I don’t have to rely on “The Cloud” for my apps to work or to retrieve my documents. The fact that users can install the apps locally and not need a constantly active internet connection makes this cloud-based system a win/win solution.
iOS 6.1 (Apple)
“Siri, I would like to go see the Hobbit tonight. Can you get me a ticket? Yes.” In conjunction with the Fandango app, iPhone users in the U.S. can now purchase movie tickets using Siri as part of the updates included in iOS 6.1.
This new iOS update also adds support for new 4G LTE carriers, the ability to reset your advertising identifier, and other minor updates to Passbook, Safari, Apple maps and music playback controls.
To update your device, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update and hit download and install.
128GB iPad (Apple)
If your 64 GB iPad was running low on storage, you are in luck. As of February 5, you can double your storage for the low price of $799 for the Wi-Fi only model or $929 for Wi-Fi + Cellular model. It should be noted that this nothing more than a hardware upgrade to an existing product, not the next big thing from Apple .
Keeping up with what’s new and trending helps us stay ahead of the curve and allows us to make informed decisions and recommendations to clients and users looking for technology solutions.