Apple Updates Its iWork Productivity Apps

A host of new features and capabilities have been added to the Apple Pages, Numbers and Keynote applications for users.

Apple iWorks, Microsoft Office, productivity suite, MacBook, iPhone, iPad

Apple has just added a voluminous new round of usability and feature improvements to its Pages, Numbers and Keynote productivity applications for Macs, MacBooks, iPads and iPhones.

The updates and improvements to Pages, Numbers and Keynotes span myriad functions and user needs in each of the applications, including viewing and restoring changes made to a document over time and previewing shared documents or spreadsheets using iOS and Android browsers.

The application updates also incorporate the new capabilities in Apple's latest OS X El Capitan desktop and iOS 9 mobile operating systems, according to the company. That means that the applications gain multi-tasking features, such as Split View, Slide Over and Picture in Picture on iPads on iOS 9, as well as increased processing speed from iOS 9's 64-bit capabilities.

Multi-tasking is also deepened and improved in the applications. Other improvements are aimed at making a user's content display in the same ways, whether it is viewed on a MacBook, Mac desktop or iPhone.

"You don't work in just one place on just one device," Apple said on its Website describing the improvements. "The same goes for Pages. Documents created on your Mac look exactly the same on your iPhone or iPad, and vice versa. And it's effortless to move your work from one device to another. You can even access your documents from the Web, share them and collaborate with others in real time." The same capabilities are now part of Numbers and Keynote as well.

The content created using the Pages, Numbers and Keynote applications can also be shared more smoothly with others who use Microsoft Office, according to Apple.

In each other's applications, document sharing, design tools, collaboration, charting, accessibility, editing features and usability functions get small and large tweaks aimed at improving the experiences of users.

The iWork applications are frequently updated by Apple to add new features. In July 2013, Apple expanded its cloud offerings by adding cloud capabilities to iWork applications so that users could store and share their content from anywhere, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The company released an iWork for iCloud beta application at the time, which has since had its beta label removed.

The iWork for iCloud app allowed users to build their documents on the Web using a Web browser, and then synced them to a user's other devices.

Apple introduced iCloud back in June 2011 as a place for Apple device users to store and maintain constant and easy access to their personal content, regardless of which Apple device they were using at the time.

The Web-based versions of Pages, Numbers and Presentations—which allow users to build documents, spreadsheets and presentations, respectively—include templates for many different kinds of documents, just like the existing iWork versions.

iWork for iCloud is essentially Apple's version of a Web-based office suite, much like Google Docs and Apps or Microsoft's Office 365 offerings. The beta version of iWork for iCloud was first publicized in June 2013 at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference.