Apple issues updates to Pages, Numbers, Keynote

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has released new versions of its three iWork apps, with Numbers getting performance improvements while Pages and Keynote gain refined features.

Apple updates iWork apps to version 12.0
Apple updates iWork apps to version 12.0


Two months after releasing version 12 of its three productivity apps, Apple has released a 12.1 version that brings substantially greater additions. Initially released for iOS and iPadOS, the macOS Monterey versions are now also rolling out.

The Numbers update is the least significant. Apple says only that it gains "improved performance when inserting rows and columns in large tables."

Pages has three updates:

  • Use mail merge to quickly create personalized letters, cards, and envelopes for multiple recipients

  • Select from stylish new templates for event invitations and students certificates

  • Export your Pages documents as TXT files

Of these, really only the first is significant. Pages users have previously had to create Automation workarounds to achieve mail merge features, for instance.

Whereas Pages has long been able to export what it calls Plain Text files, as opposed to RTF, Word or Pages. So it isn't clear what difference this makes.

Keynote's updates are clearer, however, as well as needing more explanation.

  • Add subtle movement and visual interest to your presentation with dynamic backgrounds that move continuously as you transition from slide to slide;

  • Select from new animated themes featuring dynamic backgrounds;

  • Skip or unskip all slides in a collapsed group

The updated versions of all three apps on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS are now rolling out to users worldwide.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,189member
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    edited June 21 appleinsideruserelijahglkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 793member
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    You must not realize that mail merge is also used for e-mail, not just paper mail...

    I haven't used it for paper mail in ages.  I do use it periodically for e-mail.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 410member
    A huge improvement for Numbers would be basic scripting and allowing for the creation of custom functions. Creating long formulas with the cell editor is too error prone. 
  • Reply 4 of 12
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,102member
    nicholfd said:
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    You must not realize that mail merge is also used for e-mail, not just paper mail...

    I haven't used it for paper mail in ages.  I do use it periodically for e-mail.
    Why would you be mailing personalized documents generated in Pages via email? Can Pages send emails? I'm confused. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,102member

    Whereas Pages has long been able to export what it calls Plain Text files, as opposed to RTF, Word or Pages. So it isn't clear what difference this makes.
    Not on iOS/iPadOS.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 793member
    nicholfd said:
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    You must not realize that mail merge is also used for e-mail, not just paper mail...

    I haven't used it for paper mail in ages.  I do use it periodically for e-mail.
    Why would you be mailing personalized documents generated in Pages via email? Can Pages send emails? I'm confused. 
    The discussion was about mail merge.  Mail does not mean paper.  Not seeing it yet, I assume the "new" mail merge functionality of Pages includes the ability to use it for e-mail, not just printed, paper mail.

    In a business settings, I have various (random, depending on the purpose) groups of employees that need information, or I need information from.  I do an export/extract of the employees e-mail address, first name, last name, etc.  I can then use mail merge to send "personalized" e-mails to all the individual employees.

    Note I didn't mention Pages in my original reply.  My reply was about the usefulness of mail merge & use with e-mail.  I use this periodically with Word, in the Windows environment.  I would also find this useful on my personal Macs, for family, groups, etc.  I assume the Pages "new" merge feature will also support e-mail, with mail merge.
    lolliversphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,102member
    nicholfd said:
    nicholfd said:
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    You must not realize that mail merge is also used for e-mail, not just paper mail...

    I haven't used it for paper mail in ages.  I do use it periodically for e-mail.
    Why would you be mailing personalized documents generated in Pages via email? Can Pages send emails? I'm confused. 
    The discussion was about mail merge.  Mail does not mean paper.  Not seeing it yet, I assume the "new" mail merge functionality of Pages includes the ability to use it for e-mail, not just printed, paper mail.

    In a business settings, I have various (random, depending on the purpose) groups of employees that need information, or I need information from.  I do an export/extract of the employees e-mail address, first name, last name, etc.  I can then use mail merge to send "personalized" e-mails to all the individual employees.

    Note I didn't mention Pages in my original reply.  My reply was about the usefulness of mail merge & use with e-mail.  I use this periodically with Word, in the Windows environment.  I would also find this useful on my personal Macs, for family, groups, etc.  I assume the Pages "new" merge feature will also support e-mail, with mail merge.
    There is no mention of email in the Pages update notes:
    • Use mail merge to quickly create personalized letters, cards, and envelopes for multiple recipients
    In this case, it does seem to mean only paper.

    I just tested out the new features and all it does is pull your contacts card or a spreadsheet into merge fields and create a new doc with x number new pages in it populated with the data. Nothing else. This is nothing related to mail merge features in actual mail clients used for sending personalized email.
    spheric
  • Reply 8 of 12
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,595member
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    None of the iWork apps really recovered after that feature-obliteration. Even after the dumbing-down there wasn't feature parity, there were still aspects that only worked on Mac (contents pages for example) so it really got dumbed down for nothing. It's a shame because Pages and Keynote make things look great, but there are still things missing now that were in Pages '09 - and it's such a hassle to do so many things that are a couple of clicks in MS Office.

    I wouldn't be surprised iWork it was rewritten in some early version of Catalyst as a test case, since it was officially released a few years after the dumbening. It also meant the iOS version wouldn't be inferior to the Mac version, which wouldn't have exactly reinforced Apple's "post-PC" iPad can do anything a PC (or Mac) can marketing at the time. 
    edited June 21 lkruppspheric
  • Reply 9 of 12
    zimmermannzimmermann Posts: 297member
    iWork doesn’t seem to get a lot of love from Apple. 
    lkruppelijahg
  • Reply 10 of 12
    danoxdanox Posts: 963member
    elijahg said:
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    None of the iWork apps really recovered after that feature-obliteration. Even after the dumbing-down there wasn't feature parity, there were still aspects that only worked on Mac (contents pages for example) so it really got dumbed down for nothing. It's a shame because Pages and Keynote make things look great, but there are still things missing now that were in Pages '09 - and it's such a hassle to do so many things that are a couple of clicks in MS Office.

    I wouldn't be surprised iWork it was rewritten in some early version of Catalyst as a test case, since it was officially released a few years after the dumbening. It also meant the iOS version wouldn't be inferior to the Mac version, which wouldn't have exactly reinforced Apple's "post-PC" iPad can do anything a PC (or Mac) can marketing at the time. 

    The Ribbon U.I. is mind numbingly bad be it MS Office, Revit, Navis, or AutoCad people just put up with because they have to. Pages is joy to use, similar using OmniOutliner.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,067member
    danox said:
    elijahg said:
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    None of the iWork apps really recovered after that feature-obliteration. Even after the dumbing-down there wasn't feature parity, there were still aspects that only worked on Mac (contents pages for example) so it really got dumbed down for nothing. It's a shame because Pages and Keynote make things look great, but there are still things missing now that were in Pages '09 - and it's such a hassle to do so many things that are a couple of clicks in MS Office.

    I wouldn't be surprised iWork it was rewritten in some early version of Catalyst as a test case, since it was officially released a few years after the dumbening. It also meant the iOS version wouldn't be inferior to the Mac version, which wouldn't have exactly reinforced Apple's "post-PC" iPad can do anything a PC (or Mac) can marketing at the time. 

    The Ribbon U.I. is mind numbingly bad be it MS Office, Revit, Navis, or AutoCad people just put up with because they have to. Pages is joy to use, similar using OmniOutliner.
    Agreed. I have to use Office for work and the ribbon UI is just awful. Pages and iWork is just easier to use, lowering friction.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,595member
    danox said:
    elijahg said:
    spheric said:
    Mail merge!? 

    It took them A DECADE to reinstate this? 

    It used to be that you could just drag a contact group directly from Address Book and drop it into an address field in any Pages or Numbers document, and - presto! - it would auto-generate a mailing to all of those recipients, including the proper salutation. 

    No, I'm not imagining this — they removed the feature (along with super easy trackpad-based resize and rotate) back when they feature-synced iOS and Mac versions of iWork. 

    So cool that they finally re-implement this essential functionality, years after it has almost entirely ceased to be useful, as paper mailing lists have long died for anything except weddings and funerals… 
    None of the iWork apps really recovered after that feature-obliteration. Even after the dumbing-down there wasn't feature parity, there were still aspects that only worked on Mac (contents pages for example) so it really got dumbed down for nothing. It's a shame because Pages and Keynote make things look great, but there are still things missing now that were in Pages '09 - and it's such a hassle to do so many things that are a couple of clicks in MS Office.

    I wouldn't be surprised iWork it was rewritten in some early version of Catalyst as a test case, since it was officially released a few years after the dumbening. It also meant the iOS version wouldn't be inferior to the Mac version, which wouldn't have exactly reinforced Apple's "post-PC" iPad can do anything a PC (or Mac) can marketing at the time. 

    The Ribbon U.I. is mind numbingly bad be it MS Office, Revit, Navis, or AutoCad people just put up with because they have to. Pages is joy to use, similar using OmniOutliner.
    I completely agree. The UI in Office and the idiotic Ribbon is complete crap, it's awful. iWork's UI is streets ahead. However, that doesn't detract from the fact that there are a lot of very basic things you can't do in iWork that you can in Office. Mail merge being one, and until recently you couldn't caption a photo. Pages '09 had that, it took 10 years for them to bring it back. Most of the time it seems like they can't add a feature to iOS/iPad OS until they find a way to do so without using menus. 
    edited June 24 spheric
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