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Apple Continues to Improve iWorks Apps

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A bunch of additional options and improvements have been introduced by Apple in its iWork apps for Mac, iCloud and iOS. There are a variety of new features that have been introduced in the apps, but one of the best features includes the addition of sharing of just read-only iWork documents. The new update is quite major and the changes have been rolled out to Mac, iOS and iCloud beta versions of the iWork apps of the company in short succession. Although these new features are definitely welcomed by users, there is something to be understood regarding the development philosophy and product design of Apple, which tends to get lost in the shuffling a little bit.

Last year, when Apple had introduced the new versions of iWork for iOS and Mac, they had had to take a lot of flack because they had dramatically sliced the feature set. However, an explanation had become apparent shortly after the release. It was quite clear that Apple wanted to reset the clock on iWork for the purpose of incorporating cross-platform compatibility at the beginner level and then get the applications out with the design of the new iOS in mind. Later, new features would be incorporated again and would be useful for customers who use iWork for their business and other work.

It didn’t take Apple longer than a month to start adding new features. Since then, various updates have been introduced that add more and more features to iWork, which includes the return of AppleScript support. Even though people may not like it overmuch, this is the way the company works. They focus on building a product that they think will prove to be better for customers in the long run. But, one thing to be noted is that all the updates come only a couple of days after Microsoft initiated its rollout of Office for the iPad.

The competing apps of Apple are freely available to users. However, even the Office apps seem to be popular regardless of the $99 subscription fee as they have managed to climb on top of the grossing charts and even on the top free charts. This means that Apple has to acknowledge Microsoft’s win here, but whether some purchases an iPad and uses Word for iPad or Pages for iPad; it still means a sale for Apple so the company wins in each case.

Major improvements for the iOS include introduction of new remote features for controlling slideshows on other devices, progress indicator to highlight numerical calculations and additional support in Pages for bi-directional text. For the Mac, the page navigator can now be used for deleting, duplicating and reordering sections in Pages, new transitions such as Grid and Droplet in keynote and enhanced presenter options. Footers, headers and margins can also be set up in print setup. As far as the iCloud beta is concerned, the design of the document editor has been updated, documents can be directly opened from iCloud Mail and documents can be shared with others in read-only versions.

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