Apple updated its iWork suite for iPhone and iPad today, bringing iOS 9 integration with new iPad multitasking features and keyboard additions, support for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s, the ability to view and restore versions of files, and a new way to share documents on the web and view them on iOS and Android browsers.
Posts tagged with "iwork"
Late last week Apple made a change to their iCloud web services, opening up the iWork for iCloud beta to everyone. Previously the iWork suite of web apps (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) was limited to those users who owned an Apple device.
With last week's change anyone can go to beta.icloud.com, click the banner (shown above) to sign up for an Apple ID (which includes 1GB storage) and use the iWork for iCloud beta. Just make sure you do head to the beta iCloud website, as the main iCloud website doesn't let you sign up for an Apple ID yet. The iWork for iCloud web apps, which are still classified by Apple as betas, was first announced at WWDC 2013.
Dan Moren has an overview of the changes Apple brought to iWork for iCloud today:
Several of the most prominent updates apply to all three of the apps in the suite: You can now have up to 100 collaborators in a single document at the same time—which hopefully won’t be too confusing—and you can choose from almost 200 new fonts. There are also additional options in the color panel, and you can finally create and format both 2D and interactive charts.
Apple has been making frequent and useful improvements to its iWork apps over the past few months. After reading about today's update for the web apps, I decided to check out the collaborative editing again, and it's now much better than what it used to be.
Once invited to collaborate on a document in iWork for iCloud, other users can edit their display name in a sharing menu; the name will be assigned a color, which will be shown as a cursor in the document while edits are being made in real-time. The experience is highly reminiscent of Google Drive for the web, and it worked well in my tests with a couple of other users. I could see edits in real-time in the browser, and I didn't end up with duplicates or dialogs asking me to “take action”.
I don't know if the collaborative changes were rolled out today or in the past few months, but I'm impressed by the progress that's been made so far and it's worth pointing it out. The native iWork apps for OS X and iOS still don't support the same real-time editing of the iCloud versions, which is why we can't switch to Pages full-time yet. I really like Apple's implementation of collaborative editing on the web (you can “jump” to a user's cursor by clicking their name), and I can't wait to have the same features on iOS.
With yesterday's update of the iWork suite for OS X, Apple reintroduced several AppleScript functionalities that had been removed in October, and brought new scripting features to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote as well.
Ben Waldie published an overview of the changes at Macworld, noting that the AppleScript improvements aren't only focused on additions: Apple is now using a consistent AppleScript dictionary that should allow scripts to be easily reused across all iWork apps.
What’s especially interesting is that these suites are consistent from app to app. In other words, since all the apps have certain features in common, the same exact AppleScript terminology is used to script those features. This is huge: It means that if you write a script that builds a table or chart in Numbers, you can change the app name in your code to Keynote and your script should “just work” in Keynote. Want to add an image, replace some text, change the volume of every movie in a document? The code you write is the same for any of these tasks, regardless of which app you’re targeting.
When Apple relaunched iWork last year, they stressed how the apps had been rebuilt with full 64-bit support and a new unified file format. The return of AppleScript in iWork seems to highlight – as Waldie notes – a collaboration between different teams at Apple to improve consistency between apps, data exchange, and scripting features.
It took six months, but AppleScript appears to be alive and well at Apple. It may not be a priority anymore, and there's no denying that Apple put power users through a rough transition last year, but the new scripting capabilities of the iWork apps are fairly impressive and it sounds like there's still room for improvement.
The whole point of using a productivity suite is to be, well… productive. And the more time you invest in performing repetitive or complex processes, the less productive and creative you become. The reimagined iWork is designed to eliminate the drudgery, with elements, tools, and media libraries, shared by every application in the suite. And now there’s one more thing they have in common: automation with AppleScript.
The site already has a detailed explanation of the updated AppleScript dictionaries (Pages sections, for instance) for iWork, as well as scripts. Here's one to transform data from Numbers in a vertical bar chart on a new slide in Keynote; this one will create and email encrypted PDF files generated from a Pages template.
Apple seems to have listened to the power user community and there's lots of AppleScript goodness in the new iWork for OS X. I'm looking forward to knowing more about new features that were added to the dictionaries, and not just the ones that have been brought back.
Check out the iWork Automation website here.
In a series of updates rolled out today across iCloud.com, the App Store, and the Mac App Store, Apple updated its iWork suite of apps with design changes in the document editor, new templates, improved Retina display support, and several individual enhancements to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
On iCloud.com, the three web apps (which were last updated in January) have all received improved Retina display support and the possibility of opening documents directly from links in iCloud Mail. The document editor's design has been refreshed, and documents shared from iCloud.com can now be set to a view-only mode that won't allow recipients to edit them; previously, shared documents could always be edited by multiple users with access to a document's link.
Apple brought specific changes to each web app as well, such as improved popup menu support in Numbers and new templates, better text wrap, and the possibility to edit charts in imported documents in Pages.
In an update released earlier today, Apple brought various design changes and feature additions to iWork for iCloud, the company's suite of iWork applications for web browsers available at iCloud.com. Today's update (the first since November 2013) focuses on collaboration, editing, Accessibility improvements, and bug fixes.
All of Apple's three web apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) have been refreshed with an iOS 7-inspired design that Apple first introduced to iCloud.com last year. The new design, however, has only been applied to the apps' document libraries for now, as the document editors retain the service's old user interface. From the main screen, it's now possible to view a list of shared documents you have access to by clicking on the clock icon in the top toolbar, which will display a "Shared with Me" popover, listing shared documents. The three apps have also received support for sharing documents protected with passwords, a feature that will be added to iWork's OS X and iOS counterparts as well.
The same new features were also added in terms of editing: keyboard shortcuts for object manipulation and support for floating tables (with formatting) are now available on iCloud.com, alongside other app-specific changes such as endnote editing in imported documents for Pages, or text flowing to adjacent cells in Numbers.
Apple first introduced iWork for iCloud as beta in October 2013, when the company also unveiled the next generation of iWork apps for OS X -- both of which were met with widespread criticism. Following the launch of the new iWork suite, Apple confirmed that it was listening to its users and promised to bring back old features to the Mac apps while rolling out updates to its iWork for iCloud public beta.
Michael D. Shear compares Apple's Pages to Microsoft Word at The New York Times. Before you begin yawning and close the tab, let me say that I liked the angle Shear used – instead of pointing out the advanced features that Apple removed (what I have also done), he considers Pages for normal people who don't care about AppleScript and are typically fine with the basic formatting tools.
This bit about iCloud struck me as relevant:
The new version of Pages introduces an all-new sharing option, powered by the company’s iCloud service, that works remarkably well. Type in a person’s email address, click send, and that person receives a link to your document. When the link is clicked, the document opens in a web browser that looks like a fully functioning Pages application. (My mom didn’t even notice the difference.) The recipient doesn’t have to have Pages installed or have an iCloud account. It even makes Mac-PC sharing easy. The new version runs just fine in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari on a Windows PC.
This is a solid point (emphasis mine). People like Shear's mom and my folks don't know the differences between “native” and “web” apps. Pages is Pages. Will they notice it's Pages in the browser with a URL? Probably, but I guess a good percentage of people will just call it “Pages” or “the shared Pages”.
Here's to hoping Apple will iterate on the web product quickly – the ease of sharing a document is indisputable, but it needs to be reliable and better integrated with every version of “Pages”.