Apple has released noteworthy updates for its iWork suite of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, alongside a new version of iMovie, all of which have as their hallmark feature mouse and trackpad support on iPadOS. There are a variety of other nice changes too, big and small, that make these apps more powerful than ever across all platforms.
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All three of the apps in Apple’s iWork productivity suite received a substantial update this week. Changes varied by app and across platforms, but the lion’s share of the revisions improved the apps’ flexibility, text styling, and image handling capabilities, and, on iOS, Pencil integration.
The Mac versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote and their iOS counterparts now allow text to be styled with gradients and images. There are also new outline styles. Images, shapes, and equations can be placed inline in text boxes, which allows them to move with the text box when it’s moved, and the apps use face detection when photos are added to a document to determine where they should go intelligently.
In Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS, a double-tap of the Apple Pencil toggles it between two modes: scrolling and selection, and drawing. The apps’ dictionaries can also be modified now using a new ‘Learn Spelling’ function. Altering the size and color of bullets, adding custom bullets, and changing indentation levels for bulleted lists is available in all three apps as is changing the borders of cells in tables. Finally, all three apps have new chart editing functionality for styling series, adjusting the spacing between columns, and adding trend lines, among other things.
Most of the remaining changes are to Pages and Numbers. Both iOS and Mac versions of Pages and Numbers have added the ability to link text to other pages of a Pages document or sheets in Numbers. Also, on both platforms, Pages can copy and paste pages of a document or sections of one between two different documents and reapply a master page to return a document to its default style state. There’s an English-language template for creating novels in Pages on iOS and the Mac too.
Finally, both versions of Numbers use a new, more powerful 128-bit calculation engine in its spreadsheets and add the ability to insert rows into filtered tables.
It’s great to see all versions of the iWork apps getting an update. I don’t use Pages or Keynote regularly, but Numbers has become an app that I rely on most days, and I appreciate the fact that Apple has kept the functionality of both the Mac and iOS versions close to each other even if it means maintaining two separate sets of code.
As new iPad Pros are delivered worldwide today, Apple has released updates to GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, and Keynote.
GarageBand adds support for keyboard shortcuts for the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard and other Bluetooth keyboards. The app also adds a Wah stompbox pedal and Face Control for the Smart Guitar.
iMovie adds support for mirroring and video previewing from the new iPad Pros to external displays. The video previews added to iMovie are not surprising given the press shots published by Apple last week demonstrating the feature and can handle uncompressed 4K output. The Mac version of iMovie also removes the option to publish directly to Facebook. Instead, the app can export to a Facebook-compatible format.
Released today in version 4.2, Apple’s iWork suite of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers now supports Siri shortcuts in iOS 12. Additionally, each app scored a handful of new features and improvements, many of which are available across all three apps, while others are app-specific, such as animated drawings in Pages and Smart Categories in Numbers.
Stephen Hackett took the updated Pages for a spin and compared its digital book creation features to the existing iBooks Author app for Mac. As it turns out, the new functionality isn’t a replacement for what iBooks Author can do:
It cannot open my iBooks Author file for my book on the iMac G3 and history of Mac OS X. I’m not super surprised by that, but as the future of iBooks Author is unknown, I’d like a way to know I can edit this file using Pages in the future.
The options when creating a book in Pages are currently more limited than what is available in iBooks Author. There are fewer templates available, and the hierarchy of chapters and sections are nowhere to be found. iBooks Author includes tools for a Table of Contents and Glossary, and these are missing from Pages as well.
Pages also lacks iBooks Author’s widgets. These can be used to add Keynote files, pop overs, review questions, videos and even HTML content to books. This is a pretty big oversight, as these tools can add real interactivity to a book.
iMore’s Serenity Caldwell has also clarified with Apple that the eBook creation feature in Pages is not a replacement for iBooks Author, which is still “continuing development” – whatever that means, given its erratic update schedule and lack of an iPad version.
I was hoping to be able to create rich, interactive iBooks using Pages for iPad, but unfortunately this isn’t possible with today’s update. Still, I’m going to experiment with the feature to generate EPUBs for my longform reviews directly from iOS.
See also: AppleScript support for eBook creation in Pages for Mac.
Today’s Apple event was all about education, but several of the announcements had exciting consumer-facing benefits too. Among those was the introduction of an updated iWork suite, complete with Apple Pencil support. Pages also gained the addition of digital book creation tools, and several other goodies.
Apple has released updates to its iWork suite of apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, with support for iOS 11’s headlining features. There’s a commonality among the features added to each app that serves to tie them together more tightly than ever before while simultaneously making them easier to use with third-party apps. Numbers and Pages also feature a few additional revisions tailored to their specific functionality.
All three iWork apps support the new document browser, a file picker view that looks and feels just like the new Files app. Instead of being constrained to iCloud Drive or pushed into an app-specific folder, you can open Pages, Numbers, and Keynote files from any cloud service that is a file provider. All three apps were also updated to support drag and drop of text, tables, links, images, and other content between the iWork apps and to and from other apps on the iPad.
Apple also added more powerful shape manipulation features to the iWork apps. New Unite, Intersect, Subtract, and Exclude commands were added to make it easier to create custom shapes. Shapes can be broken apart into component pieces now. Apple’s support documents use the example of breaking the state of California apart from a map of the United States to use it by itself in an app. Shapes and other objects can also be arranged using new Align, Distribute, Flip Vertical, and Flip Horizontal commands.
Among the unique additions to the iWork apps, Numbers gained new keyboards for more efficient input including date, time, and duration keyboards and ‘smart steppers’ for making minor adjustments to those types of values. Pages also added a modest but handy gesture. Triple tapping a paragraph now selects an entire paragraph, something I wish more third-party apps supported.
I’m glad to see Apple adding iOS 11 features to the iWork suite on launch day. Adopting the latest technologies of its operating system encourages third-party adoption and serves as an example of how Apple expects those features to be implemented by third parties. It also brings new power and flexibility to each app for users, making them useful alternatives to apps like Microsoft’s Office suite.