iWork for iPad updated in the face of new competition from Microsoft

iWork for iPad updated in the face of new competition from Microsoft

Summary: Apple has released updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS in the wake of Microsoft's launch of Office for iPad suite. Is it enough to steal the thunder from Redmond?

TOPICS: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPad, Microsoft
iWork for iPad updated in the face of new competition from Microsoft - Jason O'Grady
(Art: Apple, Inc.)

Apple's not standing still after Microsoft released its vaunted Office for iPad suite on Thursday.

The company Tuesday released upgrades to its iWork office suite for iPad adding new features and showing that it's going to put up a fight and not cede the iOS office app space to the 800 pound guerrilla from Redmond. Pages, ($9.99, App Store), Numbers ($9.99, App Store), and Keynote ($9.99, App Store) were revised to version 2.2 adding several new features, most notably a read-only mode allowing documents to be shared without granting editing permission to the recipient, and numerous enhancements to the editing UI.

Although the apps cost $10 individually, iWork are iLife are now free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device.

Pages v2.2 added the following new features:

  • New "view only" setting lets you share documents you want others to view but not edit 
  • Search documents by name
  • Inline images and shapes in table cells are preserved on import
  • Better placement of inserted and pasted objects
  • New Arabic and Hebrew templates
  • Improved support for bi-directional text
  • Word count for Hebrew
  • Improved ePub export
  • Control the z-order of bubble chart labels
  • Usability improvements

Numbers v2.2 added:

  • New "view only" setting lets you share spreadsheets you want others to view but not edit
  • Search spreadsheets by name 
  • Progress indicator for calculations
  • Control the z-order of bubble chart labels
  • Faster CSV import
  • Improved Microsoft Excel compatibility 
  • Usability improvements

Keynote v2.2 added:

  • Use your finger to illustrate on slides as you present
  • New "view only" setting lets you share presentations you want others to view but not edit
  • New portrait layout option in presenter display
  • Search presentations by name
  • New transitions and builds: Object Revolve, Drift and Scale, and Skid
  • Control the z-order of bubble chart labels
  • Export to PPTX format
  • Detailed presentation import feedback
  • Improved animation performance
  • Improved bi-directional support: switch direction for text, lists and tables
  • Usability improvements

The improvements to iWork for iOS correspond to changes made to iWork for iCloud made at the same time. 9to5Mac reports that Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud (still in beta) received improved sharing options, enhanced editing UIs and support for Retina displays. Like their iOS counterparts All three web apps have been updated with the ability to share read-only documents and to open documents directly from iCloud Mail. 

While the changes are welcome additions, will they be enough to slow down the momentum being generated by Office for iPad? Will Microsoft consume all the oxygen in the Office app space? 

Topics: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPad, Microsoft

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  • Are there arrow keys?

    Just wondering.
  • I have Microsoft Office on my iTouch

    its free... not paying $30 for an office suite from Apple!
    • Um, the iWork apps are also

      • Not for him

        They are only free on new devices. If you have an old one, they're 10$ each.
        Michael Alan Goff
        • Not quite.

          If you previously bought any version, you get the new one free.
          • That's called...

            ...an app update.
            Rann Xeroxx
    • What's an iTouch?

      Never heard of that.
      • "iPod Touch"

        Though billed as an iPod, it really isn't one - it is basically a tiny pocket iPad, or if you prefer, an iPhone without the cell phone radio.
        • Then why didn't you...

          call it by its name?
          • Because

            He isn't a pedant?
    • Ummm, not quite

      It's only free if you want to read Office documents ... but Apple's built-in Mail app already does that and there have been free reader apps available from MS and others for years.

      The Office apps are not necessarily inexpensive if you want to create or edit documents -- something like $10/month or $100/year.

      Call me crazy, but Apple's $30 one-time payment for all 3 iWork apps sounds an awful lot more affordable than $100/year, to me.
    • You don't know what you're talking about...

      No such thing as an iTouch... if you're referring to an iPod Touch MS Office is free for read only. You need to subscribe to Office 365 to be able to do anything. That'll cost you $9.99/month or if you want to pay upfront $99/year for the rest of your life! At $10 per App I think Apple's offering is much more economical.
  • I have MS Office on my iPad

    It's free to view documents, expensive to edit ( $100 for 365 sub per year). If you bought your new ipad, the three iWork's apps are free to view and edit! Otherwise a one off payment of $30 versus a yearly $100 hit to maintain functionality from MS.

    But for my needs, I continue to prefer and use iWorks, fully functional and no additional cost.
  • iWork for iPad updated in the face of new competition from Microsoft

    Isn't competition great? It took Microsoft to get Apple to update their software.
    • If only you had that inside information

    • Pretty amazing on Apple's part.

      Imagine: Office for the iPad announced, and in just a few days, Apple manages to code a big update to iWork.
  • Oh, give me a break. Apple was planning

    these updates before office for the iPad was announced. They've been slowly working to bring their rebooted iWork apps back to feature parity with the original iWork apps. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Office for iPad release. It's not like Apple is actually making any money off their FREE iWork apps.

    Apple wants to sell iPads. If more people buy iPads because MS Office is now on them, Apple smiles.
    • I have to agree

      Recently, it seems like Apple is taking their suite somewhat seriously. It is a nice change.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • This is why competition is GOOD

    All of you fanboys foolishly dreaming of the day that your beloved OS's hated rival dies a ghastly death, should take note: stuff like this only comes about because of comptetion!

    If it weren't for Microsoft, iWork would languish and continue to cost $10.00 per app regardless of whether you'd bought a new iPad. If it weren't for Apple, the Surface devices wouldn't exist. If it weren't for Google/Samsung, the iPad Mini wouldn't exist.

    Competition rawks! Thank God we've got Apple, Microsoft and Google fighting it out in the marketplace, bringing us better and better products.
    • Yep

      Rooting for one vendor to fully conquer the others in battle is basically rooting against yourself.