Expo: Apple adds productivity features to iWork

Philip Michaels and Peter Cohen
7 January, 2009
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1Apple announced a new version of iWork, its collection of business productivity tools, during this morning’s Macworld Expo keynote. iWork ’09 features new versions of Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.

The updated version of Keynote, iWork’s presentation component, adds a Magic Move feature in which users set a start and endpoint for slides and the program figures out the options for moving objects between them. The update also adds new transitions and themes.

Another new feature—Keynote Remote— is an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that lets you control your presentation from your mobile device. The application will cost $1.19.

Pages ’09 is highlighted by the addition of full-screen view that lets users focus completely on their writing project. Moving the mouse up to the top of the screen gives users access to Pages’ menus.

The new version of Pages also adds a dynamic outline feature for organising writing projects. The page view reflects any changes you make to the outline.

Other additions to Pages include support for MathType and EndNote formulas for scientists and academics and new templates.

Finally, Numbers ’09 adds table categories to the spreadsheet application. Select a “categorise by this column” choice, and Numbers automatically creates a table based on that category.

A new formula window in Numbers lets you choose from many different functions—more than 250—with variables.

Numbers also features new chart options, including mixed chart types, multi-axis charts, charts with trendlines, and error bars. Users can link charts into Pages as well, with changes reflected in both iWork apps.

iWork ’09 is shipping now in Australia for $129. Apple is also bundling iWork ’09 with iLife ’09 in a $US169 Mac Box Set that also includes Leopard. The box set ships later this month.

System requirements for iWork ‘09 call for Mac OS X 10.4.11 or Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later, a G4/500MHz or faster (including Intel), 512MB RAM (1GB recommended), 32MB VRAM, QuickTime 7.5.5 or later, a DVD for installation and 1.2GB available hard disk space.

Apple has also unveiled a new service called iWork.com. The service launches as a public beta today, and Apple expects that it will eventually be a paid service.

iWork.com enables users to share documents with other people online; it lets you show them files as well as collaborate. You’re able to invite people to view documents online, add comments and notes, and download a copy in different formats, saving users the time and trouble to copy and paste documents in e-mail.

The service is integrated into iWork ‘09 applications as a button on the toolbar. A user can send other users an invitation by e-mail to view the document, which opens in popular modern Web browsers. You can scan the document, leave comments, and download a copy of it as a document in native iWork, Office or PDF formats.

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