Apple’s new Numbers for iCloud excels; it’s beautiful, elegant and simple to use

“In past two days we have taken a first look at Pages for iCloud and Keynote for iCloud,” Sanjiv Sathiah writes for Electronista. “Both are great examples of Apple’s software making prowess and reinforce Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent assertion that it remains ‘laser focused on product innovation.'”

“Not being one for working with numbers, I was not particularly looking forward to looking more closely at Numbers,” Sathiah writes. “However, just as Pages and Keynote for iCloud will change your perception of what is possible in a web-based app, Numbers for iCloud will, too.”

Sathiah writes, “Even if you’ve never used a spreadsheet before, you just might actually want to use Numbers for iCloud when it debuts in the fall.”

Read more in the full article here.

23 Comments

        1. This is a huge problem. I want to use these apps so badly. But not if the NSA and all of their private contractors can dive into our data at will.

          1. So you trust “Darwin Evolved” more than you trust Apple? Apple has told everyone that the data on their servers is encrypted using 128-bit AES, which you can look up on Wikipedia to learn about how hard it is to break that. You can read about how the communication between your computer and the iCloud servers is over SSL-encrypted communication links.

            There is a huge difference between the NSA knowing that you are communicating with Apple’s servers at such-and-such a time from such-and-such a location and knowing what it is you were communicating.

            But, hey, since it involves encryption and methods and means Apple certainly won’t publicly share, and it’s a national pastime to distrust the all-powerful government, go ahead and stop your investigation of the real issues with “Darwin Evolved” posts about the conspiracy.

            1. The problem is the NSA’s own documents say that they’re getting content from the service providers themselves (including Apple).

              It doesn’t really matter how secure the transmission is if the party you’re transmitting to on the other end hands it all over to the NSA (and then they let private companies search, sort & filter the data all they want).

            2. I think you’re missing the part where it is stored in encrypted form. It got there in encrypted form, and it is stored in encrypted form. Hand it all over to the government: It’ll be centuries before they can crack just one file, much less the millions of files they store.

              Years ago Apple made this wonderful technology available to all of us: Store an encrypted disk image on a file server that supports AppleShare. From then on, you open the .dmg on your computer and only your computer is seeing the decrypted data. If the hard drive (or more likely, a backup of the hard drive) in the file server is stolen, your files are inside that encrypted disk image and they’ll never be decrypted without your key. Over the wire, it’s all just encrypted gobbledigook until your computer, using your key, decrypts the data for your use.

              That’s the kind of technology heritage that pervades iCloud. Direct access to the servers is not useful. Indirect access to the servers is not useful, with respect to reading the actual data you’re storing there. Indirect access only reveals usage patterns, not contents.

              Incidentally, the encrypted disk image method works with Dropbox, too. If you don’t trust Dropbox, just create an encrypted disk image big enough to hold the data you want kept secret, move the disk image up to Dropbox. Then open the disk image and store stuff there. All Dropbox can provide to anyone is big container of scrambled bits.

            3. The reason why the empire allows exporting of 128 bit encryption instead of 40 bit is because they can break it! Why are you Americans so stupid???

            4. Did Apple say all data is encrypted end to end? The statement I saw mentioned only chats and FaceTime.

              For it to be secure the data would have to be encrypted locally, using your iCloud password. If that’s the case then only your password could decrypt it. Which in turn means that if, having forgotten it, you reset your password, then all your iCloud data is lost. But I don’t think that’s the case.

            5. Apple only provides info with a court order. And that info is pretty limited in scope because Apple doesn’t have the capability or desire to pay a team of decrypters to mine info details, which in most cases is of no interest to them. for the few that get “invaded”, one thing is for sure, they have done something wrong to warrant the divulging of their data if the NSA is requesting it, and a judge deems their request to be valid. i for one am fine with the NSA and legal system asking for that data, it helps find the a-holes that want to kill me. iCloud is pretty safe.

            6. Since Apple does not use THE USER’S password as the key for user data encryption on their servers, your data is certainly readable by both them and any entity who has a data sharing relationship with them. Apple has the key thus Apple can decrypt at will. The only way to prevent anyone reading the data is to encrypt it YOURSELF before sending it up to iCloud. This is actually possible with some add-ons which I will not name as I don’t want to act like I am selling them or something.

              TLDR: Your personal data stored on iCloud is completely and totally readable by anyone Apple sees fit to give it to. You can prevent this by encrypting the data yourself BEFORE sending it to iCloud.

              Oh and also, since this has been brought up in this thread…
              AES 128 is actually very good encryption and is significantly hard to break for anyone but a large nation-state. AES 256 is next to impossible–for now. In about 10-15 years though it will be much easier.

    1. So Darwin, you’re saying that you don’t trust any cloud services. Okay.

      But clearly you trust websites, since you post on them … um, did you know websites are hosted on … servers? In the cloud?

      And have I got bad news for you regarding e-mail, instant messaging, or any other form of internet communication. Hint: NSA.

      So unless you’re offline, you should assume that you are sharing data with the NSA and the Chinese. Samsung I think only bugs Android devices.

  1. I don’t want spreadsheets to be beautiful, elegant or simple. I want them to be powerful and flexible which confers a certain level of complexity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I spend hours coding a workbook to automate complex processes I see beauty in the finished result, not the tool with which I made it.

    1. … position. It is valid, though it differs significantly from mine.
      My spreadsheets are for my personal use, possibly shared with a few friends. Yours would seem to be for corporate use.
      A suggestion, though. Perhaps our business would benefit if you strove to make the OUTPUT of your spreadsheets beautiful, elegant, and simple. Unless your business is intended to let others know how much “smarter” you are than them? If understanding is your goal, you should make it simple to understand your results. This, typically, requires elegant coding. Beauty, as you say, is in the eye of the beholder.

      1. The output forms a part of the finished product. Oftentimes the people who need to use the output have no need to know the background processes, so they get a nicely formatted, ready to print PDF (that is also generated automatically with the help of a macro). In this way I can tailor the outputs to the people who need them – I’ve even gone as far as to change the formatting of the PDFs according to the personal preferences of the users. I’m not interested in confusing people.

        And yes, it’s for corporate use. I remember seeing a comment somewhere that excel was so popular because it was good at lists and basic operations were very easy to understand. It seems to me that Apple is gunning for this end of the market rather than power users, and that’s cool. The design departments run on Macs, the accounts departments on Windows.

  2. It would be (yet another) great service to computer users if Apple could make spreadsheets easier to use. Excel “power users” are not the target here–I would love to see Mom and Pop be able to use one for everyday concerns such as a trip, keeping track of monthly expenses, medical costs for a given procedure, etc.

    I have tried to introduce people to spreadsheets and it has not been easy for many of my “pupils.”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.