Apple has just rolled the iWork suite out of beta and added some major upgrades to all three core mac apps in OS X, iOS, and iCloud. Included in the updates are some highly-anticipated features that put the apps on-par with major competitors in the cloud-based productivity suite market like Google Drive apps and Microsoft Office.
There’s a lot going on under the hood in this update, and for the most part all of it is pointing towards increased flexibility, particularly in jumping between apps on different devices. The change log is public at their website for those curious about the technical details. For the rest of us, let’s take a look at a few of the best new features in the apps across each platform.
On iOS, the biggest improvements for multitasking enthusiasts and iPad app developers to be happy about are Slide Over, Picture in Picture, and Split View, all of which have finally made the jump from iOS 9 to the iPad in all three apps.
On OS X, OpenType has been added to the picture, making compatibility which improves the compatibility situation with Word and other Microsoft Office documents drastically.
iCloud sees improvements and additions in commenting interface, change tracking, version history just to name a few. Ten additional languages have been added as well. Navigating and commenting version history from the browser is another huge plus, something that will be a key feature for tempting any switchers already comfortable with Google Docs.
Beta tags have been removed from the web apps on iCloud, which some commentators suggest signals that Apple considers this update to have reached the full functionality users expect from a productivity software suite.
Apple’s move to make Apple ID accounts available on non-Mac devices signals an interest in gaining more foothold in the cloud-based productivity software field currently dominated by Google’s San Fran mobile app developers, and it will be interesting to see how Pages in particular evolves from it’s past as a little-used Word alternative to a true Google Docs alternative. Given how much has improved here since the last update in February, it seems likely that the transition will be a smooth one.Tags: app development, Apple, apple id, apple os x, beta tags, enterprise apps, Google, google docs, icloud, iOS, ios9, ipad apps, iwork, iwork suite, open type, os x, Picture in Picture, Slide Over, Split view