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  • Numbers, Keynote, Pages for Mac, iOS updated with text styles, face detection

    Apple has updated its iWork suite for both macOS and iOS users, with Numbers, Keynote, and Pages on both platforms gaining a variety of new features including face detection for photograph placement and new styling options.

    The changes splash screen for Pages on iOS
    The changes splash screen for Pages on iOS

    Released to users on Tuesday, the updates to the Apple-produced productivity apps for macOS, as well as iOS, share a few core changes across all of the apps. The highlight changes are those relating to image placement and for styling text and documents, though each also have their own unique changes.

    When users place a photograph into an object or a placeholder space in a document, the face detection feature will attempt to position the image file as appropriately as possible so that the faces of subjects can be clearly seen. The change can save users from having to manually adjust the image to best fit their plans, and could help with large editing jobs where lots of images are being used.

    Text styling is also a big change across the board, with users now able to fill the words with images or gradients, as well as being able to apply new outline styles to the letters. Also, users can place images, shapes, and equations inline in text boxes, allowing them to move with the text.

    All of the iOS versions also gain extra Apple Pencil-related features, including being able to choose whether it is used to start drawing or to select and scroll. A double tap of the second-generation Apple Pencil can toggle between the two options.

    The iOS apps also gain a "Learn Spelling" option to add words to the spelling dictionary, and to adjust the appearance of cell borders in tables.

    The updates are available to download now, both for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote in the Mac App Store as well as the corresponding Pages, Numbers, and Keynote in the iOS App Store.

    Keynote for macOS, bringing it up to version 9.1, gains the ability to edit master slides while collaborating on a presentation as the sole extra feature.

    For iOS, Keynote version 5.1 gains the master slide editing along with new chart editing options for styling individual series, column spacing, trend lines. Lists can be customized with new bullet types, sizes and colors, custom bullets, indentation level adjustments, and other options.

    For Pages 8.1 on macOS, users can create links from text to other pages in a page layout document, copy and paste pages or sections between documents, and to create books using new templates for novels. These changes are also included in the iOS app, version 5.1.

    Numbers for macOS, version 6.1, adds in "greatly improved accuracy" when using the enhanced 128-bit calculation engine. There is also improved performance when editing and sorting tables, the option to create links from text to other sheets in a spreadsheet, and to add rows to filtered tables.

    The iOS edition, Numbers 5.1, gains all of the macOS version's additions, as well as the chart editing capabilities outlined in Keynote for iOS.
  • Public betas of macOS Catalina, iPad OS, iOS 13, tvOS 13 now available

    Apple has started to provide participants of its public beta program with the first builds of four of its milestone operating systems, including iOS 13, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS Catalina.

    iOS Dark Mode

    The first wave of public beta builds can be picked up from the Apple Beta Software Program website to those signed up to take part in the testing scheme. The public versions usually follow a short time after their developer beta counterparts, though for major releases, not typically after the initial developer builds are issued.

    Prior to Monday's release, and AppleInsider's hands on, Apple had already issued two rounds of developer betas, with the most recent being on June 17.

    As with other public beta releases from Apple, it is usual to find the contents of the public test version to be functionally similar to that of the most recent developer beta.

    Apple is also running developer betas for iOS 12.4, tvOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, and macOS 10.14.6 at the same time as its milestone variants, with a public release of those betas likely to occur long before the major releases are distributed to users.

    AppleInsider, and Apple itself, strongly recommend users don't install the betas on to "mission-critical" or primary devices, as there is the remote possibility of data loss or other issues. Instead, testers should install betas onto secondary or non-essential devices, and to make sure there are sufficient backups of important data before updating.

    Find any changes in the new betas? Reach out to us on Twitter at @AppleInsider or @Andrew_OSU, or send Andrew an email at [email protected].
  • Editorial: Apple's move to ARM is possible because most users want power more than compati...

    What was once at least a concern and often the barrier that stopped Mac sales, cross-platform software compatibility is now mostly irrelevant to the wider user base -- and we all stand to benefit.

    From the DOS Compatible Mac (left) to Boot Camp
    From the DOS Compatible Mac (left) to Boot Camp

    Twenty-five years ago, I was features editor on PC Direct and had a monthly column in Macworld UK about working with both Macs and PCs. It was about how to read PC floppies, how to work with people when you're on the Mac and they're on Windows. Hand on heart, it's difficult to remember now what it was about because it's a quarter of a century ago and none of it is needed anymore.

    This week, Jason Snell of the US Macworld argued that Apple had once needed to be compatible with PCs and other industry standards, but it isn't any more and it doesn't have to be. To check the numbers, an AppleInsider poll asked readers a similar question about whether they used Bootcamp or any way of running Windows on their Mac.

    Of the 782 responses to that on Twitter, 65% said no, they only needed Macs to be Macs. That does leave 35% who do need Windows compatibility, and they had many good points such as needing the Excel macros that aren't available in the Mac version of that app.

    However, that is 35% of AppleInsider readers and followers who responded. AppleInsider readers as a whole have long experience and familiarity with the Mac and you can presume that they push the machines to the limit. And you can be certain that the majority of Mac users today do not do that.

    The majority don't need Windows

    So for them, for Apple's biggest user base, the need for Windows compatibility isn't the same as it is for the main readers of this site. This need for Windows compatibility has gone from when there was enough interest and plenty enough to say that I had many months employment, to now when Windows and Boot Camp is a tool for specialist users like AppleInsider readers.

    It's also gone from incompatibility meaning that Macs used proprietary ports and connectors to now, when Apple either follows standards or is how certain ones like Thunderbolt become mainstream.

    Whenever you bought a Mac, you always bought it because you needed what it could do. Today, given the evolution of the web and cloud services, most needs don't automatically include worrying about what platform a client of yours is using. And, if Apple has actually got us to this stage through successive deliberate moves such as the forthcoming move to only allowing 64-bit apps, it feels as if we've got here by stealth.

    I did leave computer journalism for drama, and then back again, but I never left the Mac. Until today there was no one moment when I really realized how big a change Apple was going through. I obviously did notice when I lost the Macworld UK commission, but I didn't notice when I stopped being mailed PC floppies or had to use Apple File Exchange to open documents.

    William Gallagher working on a PC magazine and writing about Macs in 1993. I still have the hair. You're never going to check.
    William Gallagher working on a PC magazine and writing about Macs in 1993. I still have the hair. You're never going to check.

    There's no question that, as Snell says, Apple needed to drop its proprietary hardware over a decade ago. But, as well as making the Mac more compatible, that move also freed up Apple. Instead of reinventing everything and creating new prayers for the SCSI terminator gods, Apple could buy more widely used components and concentrate on making everything else.

    That included dropping components as well as creating them. Even as it was struggling to climb back up into being relevant, the Mac still shed devices like the CD drive. Apple did not just cave in and make a PC with Mac OS 9 on it.

    Then there is also no question that the internet helped get Apple out of its dependency on compatibility. When someone can email you a Word document, you don't need a floppy drive that can read PC disks. When you're filling out a form on the web, no decently coded site should care what machine you're typing on.

    However, it has also got to be the case that the iPhone has played a part here.

    No standards

    Back before my '90s computer journalism days, there were the years where every company brought out incompatible machines and then there were ones where they didn't. There might have been the odd attempt to break the Mac/PC stranglehold, and that may have included good machines like the Amiga.

    On the whole though, we had a long patch where you bought a Mac or you bought a PC -- and in truth, most people bought a PC.

    The Quadra 610 DOS Compatible Mac (photo: Low End Mac)
    The Quadra 610 DOS Compatible Mac (photo: Low End Mac)

    No matter how good the Mac was, it wasn't able to get people to switch from PCs in significant numbers. Yet then came the iPhone, and that was so extraordinarily good that it became peculiar to buy anything else. And then the iPad came, and dominated the tablet market that Microsoft had been trying to pin down for a decade.

    The arrival of Android has changed all of this somewhat, but with the iPhone and the iPad, was still the case that some people were seeing Apple's computing work for the first time and they were liking it very, very much.

    The iPhone came out in 2007 and shortly before it, Apple moved the Mac from PowerPC to Intel. That was a difficult technical and business challenge that the company pulled off so well that we barely noticed it and we don't remember what it was like.

    Adobe was slow to move its apps to run on Intel on the Mac, for instance, because it knew it could be because Apple wasn't a priority then. "Although Mac OS X has been shipping almost for ten years now, Adobe just adopted it fully two weeks ago when they shipped CS5," wrote Steve Jobs in 2010. "Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X."

    You may not be able to read my handwriting, but that's
    You may not be able to read my handwriting, but that's "Apple File Exchange," amongst others, on the top disc.

    Jobs wrote that in his famous memo about Flash on the iPhone. Adobe thought it could force Apple to use Flash on the iPhone and wrote Steve Jobs in 2010. Microsoft complained too.

    They were both wrong and today we have Microsoft making its best-ever Word and Excel for the iPad. They could still kill a few more bugs in the Mac version, but they're working with Apple and Adobe is currently bringing Photoshop to the iPad.

    Apple is no longer the other platform, the one you mop up after you've done Windows.

    You can run Windows 10 on your Mac... it's not just clear now why you'd want to
    You can run Windows 10 on your Mac... it's not just clear now why you'd want to

    Only, I deliberately said Apple there, not Mac. It is the combination of the Mac and iOS, it is the Apple ecosystem, that is appealing to users and in sufficient volume that it's therefore appealing to developers.

    It's the same for Apple as it always has been for people looking for work or even romance. It's when you don't need someone that you're suddenly attractive. Apple doesn't need anyone at all, and right now that's got us a rich environment where enjoying the Mac's superior operating system does not require thought or compromise.

    It's what happens next that's going to be interesting.

    Money where your mouth is

    In all likelihood, Apple is going to move away from Intel to using ARM processors in the Mac. You can expect that it will start soon with the MacBook, and you can bet that it won't happen with the Mac Pro for many years, if at all.

    When the first ARM-based MacBook comes out, few buyers in the target market are going to notice because few will need to. Apple is sufficiently distinct from PCs that if anyone really wants Windows, they'll stay on a PC. And Apple is sufficiently powerful now that there will not be another delay for the likes of Adobe.

    You can make that case solely on how independent the Mac platform is now, but then there is more. Project Catalyst is going to bring iOS apps to the Mac and if there is anywhere that Apple is beholden to no one, it's with the iPhone and iPad App Store.

    In the end, Apple will do what it has always done and make the devices that will sell. It's just that today, Apple is a juggernaut that can decide its own fate and not bother with any compatibility that it doesn't want to.

    Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.
  • iPad wins again, Google cancels upcoming tablet products

    Google is officially abandoning its tablet efforts, including two unannounced devices, a spokesperson revealed on Thursday.

    Google Pixel Slate

    "For Google's first-party hardware efforts, we'll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate," the person told Business Insider. The exact nature of the cancelled devices is uncertain, but it's confirmed that the company will not produce a follow-up to the Slate, introduced in October.

    It did mention that both products were smaller than the 12.3-inch Slate, and meant to ship simultaneously sometime after 2019. It's quality assurance problems that led to them and the entire tablet program being scrapped, Google explained.

    Hey, it's true...Google's HARDWARE team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward, but make no mistake, Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu)

    — Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh)

    People assigned to the defunct hardware -- numbering around 20 -- were reportedly informed on Wednesday. Most are expected to switch to the Pixelbook laptop team.

    Google has struggled to make much headway in the tablet market versus the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface. While 2012's Nexus 7 was a minor hit -- arguably leading to the iPad mini -- subsequent devices haven't caught on, in part because of an absence of tablet-oriented Android and Chrome OS apps.
  • Apple to lead smartwatch growth through 2023, report says

    Apple will be a primary growth driver of worldwide smartwatch sales through 2023, though its share of the market is expected to see erosion from an onslaught of competitors, according to research firm IDC.

    Smartwatches are expected to lead growth in the wider wearable device segment over the next five years with shipments moving from 91.8 million units in 2019 to 131.6 million units in 2023, IDC said in a forecast released on Wednesday. The product category currently accounts for 41.2% of worldwide wearable shipments and will grow to 43.5% at the end of 2023, according to the IDC Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

    Apple is anticipated to lead the pack and will end the five-year period with a 25.9% share of all watches, the report said. Following behind Apple Watch will be a motley crew of devices running Android, WearOS, Tizen and other first- and third-party wearable operating systems.

    "Apple's...nearest competitors follow by a long margin," Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Wearables team, said in a statement to CNET. "Android also plays a big role here, but it's mostly known as a Chinese wearables platform."

    While IDC sees Apple Watch as a clear market leader, the five-year forecast terminates in a number slightly down from recent estimates. In March, the research firm said Apple clinched a 26.8% share of the smartwatch market in 2018 on 46.2 million shipments, up 39.5% year-over-year.

    According to IDC, watches and "earwear," like AirPods, will dominate the overall wearables sector come 2023, combining for a whopping 78.3% share of the market. Wristbands, like those popularized by Fitbit, are predicted to account for an 18.2% marketshare, up only 0.3% between 2019 to 2023.

    In total, IDC anticipates 302.3 million wearable device shipments in 2023.

    Today's results are modified down from predictions aired in March, which pegged Apple to take 27.5% of all smartwatch shipments at the end of 2023. The earlier report also quoted total wearable device shipments at 279 million units over the same period.