ICYMI: This week on iSource [3/28/2014]

It’s almost April in the year 2014 and you can finally edit Microsoft Word docs on your iPad. That and Twitter’s curious desire to be more like Facebook in this week’s ICYMI, a roundup of everything you shouldn’t miss in mobile news.

Apple agrees: More diverse set of emojis needed

emoji-diversity

Earlier this week Apple responded to a line of questioning from MTV Act in regards to the curiously limited racial diversity of the current emoji character set. The question itself was inspired by a statement made by actor Tahj Mowry, via Twitter, in reference to a lack of smileys showing skin tones other than white. The good news is Apple agrees and is working with the Unicode Consortium toward creating an expanded, more inclusive set of emotive icons.

Microsoft Office finally available for iPad

Microsoft_Office_2013

After years of hoping, wishing, and praying, Microsoft Office is now available for iPad users. The announcement and subsequent release of the software suite followed a presentation by new CEO Satya Nadella in which he outlined the importance of cloud computing in Microsoft’s future plans. The release also marks a departure from the company’s Windows-first mentality when it comes to software releases.

Mobile gone global

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Mobile has been in the global news a bit this week, starting with the repeal of a ban on Twitter enacted by Turkey’s government at the behest of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The ban started last week after Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the service as a response to the network being used to disseminate information and leaks related to an ongoing government controversy. The ban was temporarily lifted as the courts review its legality.

A little farther to the east, Russian government officials were spotted with new Samsung tablets. When asked why the switch from the iPads they had been using, they cited national security concerns, implying that the Samsung tablets were more secure and spy-proof than their Apple counterparts.

Apple TV could soon get Comcast support

apple-tv

Earlier this week it was revealed that Apple is currently deep in negotiations with Comcast to bring an on demand subscription television service to Apple TV. While a deal is far from in place, the service is expected to be central to the next iteration of Apple TV. New hardware is on track to be announced later this year.

Twitter rides the Fail Whale

fail-whale

After shuttering their Twitter #Music service over the weekend, a new update to the social network’s mobile apps has users up in arms. The update, which introduces multiple photo uploads and the ability to tag users in posts, is seen as moving too far away from Twitter’s core service by some. It could get worse, though. There are indications that Twitter could eliminate retweets in favor of a “Share” button.

In other social networking news, Instagram announced this week that it has surpassed 200 million users. That’s a whole lot of cat photos.

Elsewhere in mobile news…