Apple has launched new versions of its iWork productivity apps for the iPhone, iPad and desktop Mac computers. The updates come as part of two big operating system updates for Apple devices. First is iOS 8, a new version of Apple's mobile operating system that launched recently on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus; it's also available on all iPhones released since the iPhone 4s, and all iPads except the original. Then there's OS X Yosemite, a new version of the desktop operating system for Mac computers, which is now available to download for free.
The iWork updates add a slew of new updates to the Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet editor and Keynote presentation maker. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the most notable additions.
- Pages: Support for headers and footers, improved Microsoft Word compatibility, the ability to insert images into tables, a new sidebar for tracking changes during editing, and better support for Dropbox and Gmail
- Numbers: New tools for resizing and positioning charts, better table alignment guides, the ability to transpose tables, and the ability to include floating comments in printed spreadsheets
- Keynote: Better chart-creation tools, new animations and the ability to pair the desktop version of Keynote with nearby iOS devices for easier presentation viewing
Two other big updates apply to all three iWork programs: support for Handoff and support for iCloud Drive. Handoff provides continuity among your Apple devices, so you can start working on one device and immediately switch to another. For example, if you start composing a document on your desktop iMac, you can tap the Handoff button at the bottom of your screen to beam your document to your iPad and continue working on the go. It works on linked Apple devices that are connected to the same wireless network.
Meanwhile, iCloud Drive is Apple's answer to cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. It automatically saves your documents and files to the cloud, so they're backed up and accessible from anywhere.
The newly updated iWork apps are available to download for free for users who already own an older version. Otherwise, the Mac programs can be purchased individually for $19.99 apiece, and the iOS versions can be purchased for $4.99 each.
Originally published on Business News Daily.