This week, the Apple dragon woke from sleeping on its mountain of cash to pick up a search company, Chomp. That's likely as part of a revamp of iTunes as it prepares for its next generation of hardware launches, with more glimpses of components out in the wild.

Chomp on This

Chomp is a search company, founded back in 2009 that specializes is cataloging applications. With Apple's burgeoning store, it needs a little help making search more relevant and accessible, so enter Chomp's app search service. Add that to an upcoming redesign of the overall desktop iTunes application (you still search the whole store whatever part of it you're in) and Apple clearly has big plans.


Chomp provides a detailed app search service

So, its a natural purchase for Apple, and the iOS company can prove that it does spend its cash pile, when needed. Chomp sorts apps by type and function rather than just name, making it more useful to app hunters and will become essential in the next store upgrade as the number of apps continues to balloon, with 25 billion downloads the next big milestone.

Rumble in the Office

There was a fair amount of online arguing earlier in the week about whether Microsoft is bringing Office to the iPad. We've covered the version for ARM devices, and iPad would be a logical move, but only after the forthcoming Windows 8 tablets have had a chance to breathe in some free market air.

One rather immediate solution was announced by OnLive, originally a streaming games firm now branching into the wider virtualization market. By creating virtual Windows 7 instances with Office installed and streaming the video to an iPad app, users can run Office happily on iOS with only the tiniest of streaming delays.

At just US$ 5 a month to rent an instance, users can happily perform pretty much all Office tasks with a touchscreen. While it might not be suitable for all-day and heavy use, it exists, it works and is available soon to the masses.

Bits and Pieces

 With the iPad 3 announcement just around the corner, parts and components for the machine are leaking into the wild, with a possible Retina-class screen the most high profile victim to be caught on camera at iFixit.

There's also been sight of an iOS 5.1 pre-gold master version that adds the Japanese version of Siri and some more tweaks to the unlock screen to make accessing the camera and music apps easier without diving into the menus. Hopefully, everything will be revealed in a couple of weeks, and then we can start the countdown to the iPhone 5, which is expected in the Fall.