iWork: 21 ways Apple just improved Pages, Numbers, Keynote

iWork improved 2018

Apple made some significant iWork improvements

Apple has introduced a more powerful but entry level iPad with Apple Pencil support. In tandem with this announcement, it introduced a range of nice improvements for its iWork suite: Pages 7.0, Numbers 5.0 and Keynote 8.0 apps. These introduce a huge range of useful enhancements that should prove popular with most users. Here’s a summary of those changes:

Apple Pencil features

  • You can now draw, sketch or write with Apple Pencil directly in the Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps
  • Apple Pencil can also be used to easily and precisely add color, texture and more to any drawing.

Smart Annotation

Apple also introduced a beta version of its Smart Annotation feature inside iWork documents. This allows users to place comments and proof marks that become dynamically anchored to text, meaning as the text is edited the proofs move. That’s useful for any kind of collaboration.

Collaboration tools

You can now collaborate in real-time using iWork apps (including iWork online). When you do so you can see changes made by others appear in real time on your document.

Book creation

With newly introduced book creation tools in Pages, Apple also just made it possible for groups of students to work together on book projects, and for educators to create books for students from inside Pages in iWork. That’s also going to be useful for any independent book authors. Users can start a book using a variety of templates, add videos, images, Apple Pencil drawings and words, and collaborate in real time while building their title. Books can then be shared in iBooks. (Apple had been expected to update its iBooks service today, but this did not happen.)

Presentation tools

  • Pages gains a new Presenter Mode, which transforms iPads and/or iPhones into a virtual teleprompter for distraction-free reading.
  • While in presenter mode, text will scroll at an adjustable speed, and text size, spacing, font and background color are all customizable.
iWork for books

Now you can make books in Pages

Box enhancements

Apple has also linked up with Box. This integration means iWork-wielding Box users can collaborate in real-time in Pages, Numbers and Keynote documents stored in Box, as well as using documents in iCloud. Apple also raised free student iCloud space to 200GB, but has so far failed to introduce this benefit to the rest of us.

Other improvements in iWork include

Along with the big-ticket improvements Apple announced during its Field Trip event, the company also made numerous smaller enhancements to the products in its iWork suite, these include:

  • View pages side-by-side as you work
  • You can format documents as two-page spreads
  • Add an image gallery item so you can create galleries on one page (also available in Keynote)
  • Master pages for consistent design
  • New doughnut charts (also available in Keynote and Numbers)
  • A range of new editable shapes to place in Pages projects (also available in Keynote)
  • Automatic fraction formatting
  • File size reduction tools. (also available in Keynote and Numbers)
  • Numbers also gains improved customizable import of CSV and text data, including support for custom delimiters and fixed-width files. Finally, Numbers also gets full bidirectional support for Arabic and Hebrew.

Apple also told us it will sell the Apple Pencil for $89 to education customers, rather than the product’s $99 standard price and revealed Logitech is to introduce a $49 iPad-compatible stylus called ‘Crayon’.


Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

2 Responses

  1. Harvey Lubin says:

    I was a bit disappointed that the new iPad wasn’t introduced with a new lower price as was rumoured. The rumors were that the price would be dropped by $50 US, but the iPad retained the same $329 US price as the previous model.

    But then I realized that the new iPad is basically the 9.7 inch iPad Pro that was introduced just 2 years ago in March 2016.

    The differences are:

    9.7″ iPad Pro, March 2016:
    Apple A9X (2 cores @ 2.16GHz)
    2GB Memory
    12MP camera
    9 hours battery life
    $729 (32 GB)

    9.7″ iPad, March 2018:
    Apple A10 (4 cores @ 2.3GHz)
    4GB Memory
    8MP camera
    10 hours battery life
    $329 (32 GB)

    So Apple is selling the iPad Pro from just 2 years ago, with much faster performance and a slightly smaller camera, for just 45% of the price!

    When you look at it that way, it’s really not a bad price for what you get. 👍

    And when you consider that the educational price of $299 is an even smaller 41% of the 2016 iPad Pro price, it is even better.

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