Not a lot of news this week, but there have been a few interesting app developments:
- iOS (and Android) versions of the Microsoft Office apps are expected to launch in 2013. Rumor has it that they may be free to use for viewing documents, but editing will require a subscription. I'd prefer an outright purchase, even if the price were high (say $50 or so), but subscription is one direction software is moving.
- In Google's continuing move to get its standalone apps onto the iPhone now that it's not a close partner to Apple, a new Google search app has hit the App Store (download at iTunes). Google says it's less confident that a Maps app would be approved. That sounds like spin to me, though, to explain why it's going to take a while to get a Maps app ready.
- Apple's Apple Store shopping app has an updated version that supports gift cards via Passbook and Siri searches (download at iTunes).
- In one bit of non-app news, Sprint customers in the Midwest may soon see more bandwidth available to them thanks to the company's purchase of spectrum from U.S. Cellular.