What's new with iWork?

Check back here for all the latest updates in iWork news.

June 14, 2018 - New versions of Apple's iWork apps are rolling out today

Back at Apple's education event in March, CEO Tim Cook showcased new, completely upgraded versions of the company's suite of iWork productivity apps that is comprised of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Today, those apps are receiving further improvements that will be a boon to educators and students alike, especially those who incorporate iPad into their daily study.

Perhaps the most feature of iWork 4.1 is that users can now record, edit and play audio without every needing to leave the iWork apps, no matter what kind of project they're working on. This is especially great for teachers who want to give actual verbal feedback to their pupils or for really punching up a presentation with sound that you've customized yourself. The update also includes controls to help you more easily switch between the "Draw" and "Smart Annotation" functions (both introduced in version 4.0), the ability to stretch annotation marks to fit your text, the ability to add math equations in LaTeX or MathML notation, and more. Here are a few more of the new features, according to Apple:

iWork Features

  • A highlight now appears in Pages to let you know where your Smart Annotations are anchored.
  • Pages now allows you to add colors and images to backgrounds in page layout documents. You can also easily browse templates for your Pages docs by category on the iOS version of the app.
  • You can now give charts (and the columns and bars therein) rounded corners in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on iOS and Mac, offering you even more options for customizing the look of your documents.
  • With Keynote for iOS, you can now edit existing or create new master slides. You can also export a presentation as a movie or images.

As with all Apple updates, this update is 100% free. If you have these apps and have automatic updates turned on, they should update when they're able automatically. If you prefer to start updates yourself, you can do so by heading to "Updates" tab in the App Store to get the new versions manually.

March 27, 2018 - Apple just unveiled all-new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

At Apple's education event this morning at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, CEO Tim Cook just presented new, completely upgraded versions of the company's suite of iWork productivity apps that includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. From this day forth, the apps will boast support for the Apple Pencil — which, the company remarked, is the top choice for digital illustrators — on all compatible iPads.

Now when you're creating a document, you'll be able to draw, sketch, or write with your Apple Pencil without needing to leave the app, allowing you to give your projects new life with illustrations, diagrams, and more. And I'm not talking notelike digital scribbles here (although you can make those, too) — if you want, you can create intricately detailed drawings complete with precisely-added colors, textures, and effects that will really make your work stand out.

Out of all of the iWork apps, Pages seems to have received the most updates, with probably the most exciting being Smart Annotation (launched today in beta). With Smart Annotation, users can easily and effectively give, receive and incorporate feedback in a document with their Apple Pencil. Each mark, correction, and note stays dynamically anchored to the word or words it's added to, so even if you move the word word or phrase around within the work, the annotation follows. It's "not just a superficial layer" atop the piece — it's actually tethered to the elements within. That essentially means that when used in the classroom, teachers can mark up a student's paper in a way that they've never been able to before.

In addition, the Pages update is bringing digital book creation to the iPad. (That means no more iBooks Author, as it's being integrated directly into Pages.) Now, students and teachers can create interactive digital textbooks, travel books, short stories, and pretty much any other book projects their beautiful minds can conjure, then make their work even more immersive with galleries, captions, music, illustrations, and video. What's more, Pages gives users the ability to collaborate on all projects including books, so multiple students (or colleagues, or artists, or writers) can work on a masterpiece together in real time. Once a project is complete, you can share it directly to iBooks.

Finally, new Pages has been outfitted with what Apple calls Presenter Mode, which essentially allows iPad and iPhone users to turn their device into a virtual teleprompter for "distraction-free reading" — a feature that's great for sharing important excerpts in a classroom setting. According to Apple, the text can auto scroll at an adjustable speed, and users can customize text size, spacing, font, and background color so that whatever is being presented is as accessible as possible.

Susan Prescott, Apple's VP of Apps Product Marketing, the company's enthusiasm for the opportunities the changes to iWork provide in a statement:

iWork is a powerful suite of apps designed for iPhone, iPad and Mac that is used in classrooms around the world. With Apple Pencil support on iPad, the new Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps now let students bring a whole new level of creativity to their documents, spreadsheets and presentations, while the innovative new Smart Annotation feature gives students the ability to give, receive and incorporate feedback easier than ever before. Students can also use the built-in, real-time collaboration tools available in iWork to explore and learn together.

Updates to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are all available today, and will also come with every new iPad for no additional charge.

Thoughts? Questions?

Have any burning questions about the iWork suite that we didn't cover? Share them with us in the comments and we'll do our best to answer them for you.

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