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Google's I/O developer conference kicks off today in San Francisco, and perhaps as a preview of things to come, The Verge reported yesterday that freemium apps on Google Play now account for 98 percent of worldwide revenue for the Android platform. Curiously, Japan is billed as "the world's biggest spender" on in-app purchases thanks to "addictive mobile games," but here's hoping this trend doesn't absorb the iOS App Store as well. Here's a handful of other tidbits you might have missed on Tuesday...
The Loop reported Tuesday that Apple quietly updated iWork for iCloud, allowing the web-based versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote to remember the last used document settings, including zoom level, show/hide guides or format panels, and much more. The web apps also now suggest your most recent screen name when opening shared documents, adds the ability to right-click to mask images and now includes tips on using keyboard shortcuts for cut, copy, and paste when right-clicking objects.
Data protection leader Acronis announced Tuesday the availability of Acronis True Image for Mac, which the software maker touts as "the only full system image backup solution offering dual protection" for Apple desktops and laptops. Previously available only for Windows, Acronis True Image for Mac backs up the entire system, applications, user data, and settings both locally and online, and is also capable of backing up and restoring a Parallels Desktop virtual machine in its active state, complete with all Windows applications, documents, and settings. Acronis True Image for Mac is now available for $49.99 for a single computer, or a three-Mac license for $79.99; Acronis Cloud storage starts at $2.99 per month for 50GB.
Open Garden released FireChat for iOS 2.5.1 this week, an update the company says should have been called version 3.0 for one new feature alone: The ability to chat off the grid between iOS and Android devices. Previous versions were unable to hop the platform pond and communicate with Android smartphones or tablets — an oversight that's now been rectified. The app also now allows users to create "firechats" and invite friends for "live and anonymous discussions" with just a few clicks, in addition to joining chats already in progress all over the world.
Now here's something we thought we'd never see from an Apple executive: A blog post on LinkedIn. Senior vice president of Apple retail Angela Ahrendts did just that on Monday with a post entitled "Starting Anew," and although she never specifically mentioned Apple by name, she openly discusses some of the challenges in making a "life-altering decision to start anew." The post seems to fall in line with what many are calling "the new, more open Apple" with CEO Tim Cook at the helm, which has seen Cook and marketing boss Phil Schiller both actively posting on Twitter these days.
One of the better smartwatch contenders just got a little more awesome Tuesday as Pebble announced a partnership with Misfit for a new watchapp that counts steps and tracks activity using nothing more than the device already strapped to their wrist. The makers of the Shine fitness tracker are also promising an iOS app update coming soon that adds support for Pebble watches and will track additional metrics including calories burned and distance traveled, with additional functionality promised from the two companies in future updates.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter