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AppleScript returns to Numbers, and other news for Jan. 29, 2014

AppleScript fans will be happy to learn that Apple has added support for it back into iWork's Numbers app for OS X. The return of AppleScript was first noted by MacWorld:

The latest update of Numbers reintroduces AppleScript support in a big way. While Apple could have taken an iterative approach, reintroducing a few commands here and there, it chose instead to go whole-hog: The entire suite of scripting terminology originally supported by Numbers in the 2009 edition of iWork has returned.

This means that, if you have Numbers scripts you used with that 2009 version, most of them should (in theory) now work with Numbers 3.1; those scripts may require tweaks, though, because some features of Numbers itself have changed.

Apple has also added a few new scripting features to Numbers 3.1, such as the ability to identify the active sheet. Numbers' new AppleScript support has been organized into a suite of scripting terminology labeled Numbers '09 Compatibility Suite, signaling that even more scripting enhancements may be on the way for Numbers-specific features.

Apple angered many iWork power users when it removed AppleScript support in October, among other features. Since then the company been slowly replacing what was lost. Hopefully Apple will restore features pulled from Pages and Keynote soon.

In other news:

  • The British spy agency GCHQ has reportedly developed tools that allow them to turn any iPhone's microphones on remotely, allowing them to hear what is going on in the iPhone's location. They can also remotely turn any iPhone into a high-precision GPS tracker.
  • AT&T added 1.2 million new postpaid smartphone users last quarter, 566,000 of those being under contract. That's 300,000 fewer than the same quarter a year ago.
  • The US Justice Department is reportedly skeptical about a Sprint acquisition of T-Mobile. Antitrust authorities feel that the merger of the two, which would leave just three national carriers, could hurt competition and be bad for consumers.

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