iWork app updates coming with improved Apple Pencil support and new iOS features

Posted:
in General Discussion
An update to Pages, Numbers and Keynote is coming that concentrates on bringing the iOS versions more into line with the macOS ones, as well as bringing along extended Apple Pencil support, and improved collaboration.

New updates to iWork include the ability in Numbers to specify an animation route by drawing a line with Apple Pencil
New updates to iWork include the ability in Numbers to specify an animation route by drawing a line with Apple Pencil


Alongside its latest iPad and iMac hardware updates, Apple has also revealed that it is to release a significant update to its iWork suite of apps with Pages, Numbers and Keynote. The majority of the updates are to do with bringing previously macOS-only features to these apps' iOS counterparts but also include improved collaboration for both platforms.

Previously, whether you were collaborating with other users on macOS or iOS, you had certain limitations. You couldn't work on a document larger than 1GB in size, for instance, but as of the new release, that will double to 2GB.

You also had to ungroup objects before anyone collaborating on the document could edit them and that restriction has now been lifted too.

Templates and syncing

While the iOS editions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote are a fully-functional word processor, spreadsheet and presentation app respectively, you needed the Mac ones in order to create certain templates and custom drawing shapes.

This, too, is changing with the latest release and you will now be able to create templates on the iOS. More, those templates and any custom shapes you draw will also sync correctly over iCloud so that they are all available on both platforms.

Keynote

Similarly, Keynote for Mac's greater features for animations such as moving, scaling and changing the opacity of graphics is coming to the iOS version. This feature comes as part of a completely revised set of controls to make what Apple calls Action Builds.

Where Transitions and Transition Builds are to do with how you move between each slide of your presentation, Action Builds have let you create and control movement inside the individual slides on the Mac.

On iOS, this now also includes the ability to define your animation using the Apple Pencil. While you can equally do this with your finger, you can use the Pencil to draw a path which specifies how you want an object to move. You can also specify that it shrinks or grows on the way.

You can draw a path to specify how an object should move -- and then also choose to have it grow
You can draw a path to specify how an object should move -- and then also choose to have it grow


This needn't only be useful for presentations, though. With this new edition of Keynote, you will be able to select one, two or more slides and export them together to create a single animated GIF.

When you are presenting, the new iOS edition adds a much-wanted improvement to speaker notes. You've always been able to display notes that you see and your audience does not, but now you will be able to edit those notes during the presentation.

This is a boon for presentations when you need to take feedback from your audience or you want to record in the moment whether a slide worked or not.

Apple has not, however, revealed whether the new update will also improve on a long-standing constraint on Keynote for iOS. At the moment, you can't have your presenter notes displayed to you if you also want both your current and next slides the way you can on the Mac.

Pages

Pages is a strong word processor which comes with a lot of page-layout and page-design features. This new update will make switching between writing and designing faster and more obvious. Apple is adding a new button to let you swap between the two functions.

We'll have to see how that's implemented, but it could be a step back. One of Pages's strengths has been this ability to just do what you need next, whether that's typing a sentence or adjusting an image. So far it sounds as if this update will turn Pages into an app with two different modes and that's practically old-fashioned.

However, what's clearly improved is that Apple is adding support for vertical text. It's not clear yet whether this is across both the macOS and iOS versions, but the feature allows for Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean writing. Plus the newly updated Pages will ship with three vertical template that presumably will sync between the macOS and iOS editions.

The new Pages update will support Traditional Chinese vertical writing
The new Pages update will support Traditional Chinese vertical writing


For people writing long documents, the new Pages will add a Table of Contents view to both the iOS and macOS editions. This is specifically meant for helping you navigate through an extended document so it's going to be similar to the Show Page Thumbnails option on the Mac.

You've not previously been able to create a Table of Contents on the iOS edition, though, and now you will. This is a Microsoft Word-like feature which means this TOC page can be updated as you add or move headings throughout your document.

Numbers

Numbers gets the fewest updates in the latest edition of iWork but the improvements are important. You will now be able to zoom into a spreadsheet until it is 400 percent normal size -- double what you could before.

You'll also be able to much more precisely define how wide or tall you want rows and columns to be. Apple says these are precise and quick adjustments, and also that it will making specifying the number of rows and columns faster.

Apple also says that these six updated iWork apps will be available for download from the App Store and Mac App Store some time next week. That's Pages, Numbers and Keynote for macOS plus Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,659member
    It’s just too bad that Apple doesn’t follow through when it has the chance of upsetting things. Years ago, they could have made iWork a major pro package, but they didn’t bother with it, lagging on feature upgrades. They came out with the online suite, which got very good reviews. In fact, it was considered to be the second best of a field of four. Pretty good for something totally new. But then they compketely ignored it. I don’t get it. What’s the point?

    with the iPad, Apple had the chance of changing things up. We really did think they would do it, but they did as little as they could. They could have kept the “home” version free, and had a Pro version for, say, $150. They would do more than break even with that, and would have forced Microsoft to improve Office for Apple. Maybe even cause them to lower pricing. Better all around.

    but no. This is typical for them. As far back as I can remember, and that goes to the late 1980’s, they’ve been this way. Come out with something new, especially in software, push it hard for a short time, then ignore it, and finally discontinue it. They haven’t gone that far with iWork yet. The one thing I do admire about Microsoft is that usually, if a new product isn’t doing well, they stick with it for some time until they improve it enough to get enough sales. Yeah, it didn’t work with their phone, but that was really beyond their control in a number of ways. But they really did try. Apple also has enough money to try, but they give up too easily.
    iqatedo
  • Reply 2 of 27
    I hate the way everyone has so slavishly used Microsoft Office for 25 years now. I love the iWork apps and wish they could gain more traction. 
    regurgitatedcoprolitecashawwwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Dead_Pool said:
    I hate the way everyone has so slavishly used Microsoft Office for 25 years now. I love the iWork apps and wish they could gain more traction. 
    I haven’t found iWork very intuitive.  The focus on a clean interface resulted in me searching online on where to find the most basic things...

    It wasn’t worth the effort to learn...
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,583member
    Dead_Pool said:
    I hate the way everyone has so slavishly used Microsoft Office for 25 years now. I love the iWork apps and wish they could gain more traction. 
    I haven’t found iWork very intuitive.  The focus on a clean interface resulted in me searching online on where to find the most basic things...

    It wasn’t worth the effort to learn...
    Er, just use Help > Search > [type name of thing to do]. 9 times of 10 it shows you exactly where to do it.

    Meanwhile, as a Windows-at-work user, I still have to google how to sort an Excel worksheet by a column. 
    SpamSandwichfastasleepDead_Poolwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    harrykatsarosharrykatsaros Posts: 19unconfirmed, member
    Just let me highlight multiple threads of text simultaneously by holding down the command key. It's been ten years since they took away this feature. It is a basic and fundamental feature of every other word processor on the planet, and Pages is utterly useless without it for anyone who uses the app for any sort of serious writing.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,461member
    melgross said:
    It’s just too bad that Apple doesn’t follow through when it has the chance of upsetting things. Years ago, they could have made iWork a major pro package, but they didn’t bother with it, lagging on feature upgrades. They came out with the online suite, which got very good reviews. In fact, it was considered to be the second best of a field of four. Pretty good for something totally new. But then they compketely ignored it. I don’t get it. What’s the point?

    with the iPad, Apple had the chance of changing things up. We really did think they would do it, but they did as little as they could. They could have kept the “home” version free, and had a Pro version for, say, $150. They would do more than break even with that, and would have forced Microsoft to improve Office for Apple. Maybe even cause them to lower pricing. Better all around.

    but no. This is typical for them. As far back as I can remember, and that goes to the late 1980’s, they’ve been this way. Come out with something new, especially in software, push it hard for a short time, then ignore it, and finally discontinue it. They haven’t gone that far with iWork yet. The one thing I do admire about Microsoft is that usually, if a new product isn’t doing well, they stick with it for some time until they improve it enough to get enough sales. Yeah, it didn’t work with their phone, but that was really beyond their control in a number of ways. But they really did try. Apple also has enough money to try, but they give up too easily.
    I suspect that much of that hemming and hawing has been due to interaction with Microsoft's Office.
    At times, MS's support on the Mac and especially iOS versions has been lacking -- so Apple had to protect itself by having control of its own office type products that so many need.

    At other times, MS was forth coming with their products & support and Apple welcomed them and probably did not want to be perceived as trying to compete with them.

    These love-hate relationships make everybody a little crazy.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,461member
    I use Numbers and generally like it.   But I find myself switching back and forth between the Mac version and the iOS version because each has features that the other doesn't (partly due to the smart keyboard on the iOS version).  The only version that totally sucks is the iCloud version accessible from Windows.   It works if you need it but very clunky.
    edited March 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    igerardigerard Posts: 12member
    No Macros in Number ? (In Swift like langage)

    It would be very interesting to have them
    GeorgeBMacjony0
  • Reply 9 of 27
    foljsfoljs Posts: 333member
    melgross said:
    It’s just too bad that Apple doesn’t follow through when it has the chance of upsetting things. Years ago, they could have made iWork a major pro package, but they didn’t bother with it, lagging on feature upgrades
    Thanks god! The last thing we'd need is another bloated MS Word / OpenOffice.org a-like...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 617member
    Looking forward to these. I do hope the next update of iWork for macOS fixes the spell checking bug in Pages. For over a year now it highlights the misspelled word, but won't suggest a replacement. There's multiple threads on AppleSupport, and other places around the web about this issue, but nobody has been able to fix it. The ball is in Apple's court.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    danvmdanvm Posts: 753member
    Dead_Pool said:
    I hate the way everyone has so slavishly used Microsoft Office for 25 years now. I love the iWork apps and wish they could gain more traction. 
    I haven’t found iWork very intuitive.  The focus on a clean interface resulted in me searching online on where to find the most basic things...

    It wasn’t worth the effort to learn...
    Er, just use Help > Search > [type name of thing to do]. 9 times of 10 it shows you exactly where to do it.

    Meanwhile, as a Windows-at-work user, I still have to google how to sort an Excel worksheet by a column. 
    With Office Tell Me you enter what you need to do, in your case, sort a column, and it takes you directly to the icon.  Far easier than search for help in iWorks or Google for a solution

    https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/video-do-things-quickly-with-tell-me-d6b60e8f-0530-43bf-b688-e99d36cf5663.  
  • Reply 12 of 27
    most of the update has to do with parity of use and featurs between macos and ios versions of the apps. but i’m hoping there are some additions to the animations and transitions as they are becoming long in the tooth, especially within keynote. for those not familiar, they are still amazed by the app’s clean animations and transitions. but for me the user, they’ve become boring and i’m hoping for more.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,826member
    Keep Keynote, kill the other two tbh.  Especially Numbers, it's awful.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,061member
    Would be nice to see a version of the Magic Trackpad that supports Apple Pencil for drawing and markup.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 27
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,846member
    crowley said:
    Keep Keynote, kill the other two tbh.  Especially Numbers, it's awful.
    I use Pages and Numbers every day. You don’t have to. 
    Dead_PoolGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,598member
    melgross said:
    It’s just too bad that Apple doesn’t follow through when it has the chance of upsetting things. Years ago, they could have made iWork a major pro package, but they didn’t bother with it, lagging on feature upgrades. They came out with the online suite, which got very good reviews. In fact, it was considered to be the second best of a field of four. Pretty good for something totally new. But then they compketely ignored it. I don’t get it. What’s the point?

    with the iPad, Apple had the chance of changing things up. We really did think they would do it, but they did as little as they could. They could have kept the “home” version free, and had a Pro version for, say, $150. They would do more than break even with that, and would have forced Microsoft to improve Office for Apple. Maybe even cause them to lower pricing. Better all around.

    but no. This is typical for them. As far back as I can remember, and that goes to the late 1980’s, they’ve been this way. Come out with something new, especially in software, push it hard for a short time, then ignore it, and finally discontinue it. They haven’t gone that far with iWork yet. The one thing I do admire about Microsoft is that usually, if a new product isn’t doing well, they stick with it for some time until they improve it enough to get enough sales. Yeah, it didn’t work with their phone, but that was really beyond their control in a number of ways. But they really did try. Apple also has enough money to try, but they give up too easily.
    So true. Pages is a half-hearted implementation of what it could be, especially for those of us who shun word. That said, I exported a document containing equations and citations to word yesterday and the result was almost perfect (the equations were understandably converted into images and a little aliased). 
  • Reply 17 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,461member
    danvm said:
    Dead_Pool said:
    I hate the way everyone has so slavishly used Microsoft Office for 25 years now. I love the iWork apps and wish they could gain more traction. 
    I haven’t found iWork very intuitive.  The focus on a clean interface resulted in me searching online on where to find the most basic things...

    It wasn’t worth the effort to learn...
    Er, just use Help > Search > [type name of thing to do]. 9 times of 10 it shows you exactly where to do it.

    Meanwhile, as a Windows-at-work user, I still have to google how to sort an Excel worksheet by a column. 
    With Office Tell Me you enter what you need to do, in your case, sort a column, and it takes you directly to the icon.  Far easier than search for help in iWorks or Google for a solution

    https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/video-do-things-quickly-with-tell-me-d6b60e8f-0530-43bf-b688-e99d36cf5663.  
    That is actually why I prefer the older versions.  Instead of a gaggle of anonymous icons they had neat, orderly menus where you could easily find what you needed -- you didn't need a separate help facility to find what you needed.  But, despite their clear simplicity and superiority, they became "old fashioned".
  • Reply 18 of 27
    DAalseth said:
    Looking forward to these. I do hope the next update of iWork for macOS fixes the spell checking bug in Pages. For over a year now it highlights the misspelled word, but won't suggest a replacement. There's multiple threads on AppleSupport, and other places around the web about this issue, but nobody has been able to fix it. The ball is in Apple's court.
    My go to apps. Like using a MacBook on the new 12.9” iPad. Looking forward to enhancements and further pencil integration. Impoted some spreadsheets from Excel on a retired windows machine and Numbers converted everything. It just Works.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,659member
    melgross said:
    It’s just too bad that Apple doesn’t follow through when it has the chance of upsetting things. Years ago, they could have made iWork a major pro package, but they didn’t bother with it, lagging on feature upgrades. They came out with the online suite, which got very good reviews. In fact, it was considered to be the second best of a field of four. Pretty good for something totally new. But then they compketely ignored it. I don’t get it. What’s the point?

    with the iPad, Apple had the chance of changing things up. We really did think they would do it, but they did as little as they could. They could have kept the “home” version free, and had a Pro version for, say, $150. They would do more than break even with that, and would have forced Microsoft to improve Office for Apple. Maybe even cause them to lower pricing. Better all around.

    but no. This is typical for them. As far back as I can remember, and that goes to the late 1980’s, they’ve been this way. Come out with something new, especially in software, push it hard for a short time, then ignore it, and finally discontinue it. They haven’t gone that far with iWork yet. The one thing I do admire about Microsoft is that usually, if a new product isn’t doing well, they stick with it for some time until they improve it enough to get enough sales. Yeah, it didn’t work with their phone, but that was really beyond their control in a number of ways. But they really did try. Apple also has enough money to try, but they give up too easily.
    I suspect that much of that hemming and hawing has been due to interaction with Microsoft's Office.
    At times, MS's support on the Mac and especially iOS versions has been lacking -- so Apple had to protect itself by having control of its own office type products that so many need.

    At other times, MS was forth coming with their products & support and Apple welcomed them and probably did not want to be perceived as trying to compete with them.

    These love-hate relationships make everybody a little crazy.
    That’s the part that drives me nuts. Not compete with Microsoft? Apple has been the main competition to Microsoft since they started. They had many chances. Way black when, AppleWorks was, by far, the most popular “office” software in the world. Yes, it was on Windows too! What happened? Apple came out with iWork, and discontinued AppleWorks completely. No more Windows support. Suddenly, from the most popular, it went to a niche product. A lot of us never understood that. Apple had Claris, remember them? Apple still produces FileMaker.

    so what happened? Particularly in those years when office on the Mac was terrible, and it still isn’t great, Apple had a chance. They certainly had the chops to do it. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 27
    DAalseth said:
    Looking forward to these. I do hope the next update of iWork for macOS fixes the spell checking bug in Pages. For over a year now it highlights the misspelled word, but won't suggest a replacement. There's multiple threads on AppleSupport, and other places around the web about this issue, but nobody has been able to fix it. The ball is in Apple's court.
    Are you only seeing this in Pages? I see this system-wide. Words that are spelled correctly (usually simple words, such as "it") get the red underline. It drives me nuts...
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