Wednesday, 29 September 2021 23:46

Apple updates iWork suite of Keynote, Pages and Numbers with new features, including enhanced remote presentations


From the ability to add live video from your iDevice camera into your Keynote presentations, through to improvements for Pages and documents on iPhone, and Numbers bringing pivot tables to iPhone, iPad and Mac, Apple's office suite has had an upgrade.

Some years ago, Apple took its iWork suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and removed a stack of features from the Mac version so that parity with iPhones, iPads and Macs was achieved.

This had the effect of simplifying the Mac versions, rather than improving the iPhone and iPad versions, which caused a lot of complaint at the time, but Apple has been adding various features back, and now new features have arrived once more.

Apple says its new features "enable users to present in powerful new ways and make it even easier to work with documents on the go," with the headline new features as follows:

  • New tools in Keynote make presentations more engaging, with the ability to show a live camera view of the presenter directly in slides, and more collaborative with multipresenter control.
  • Pages makes it easier than ever to view and edit documents on the go by automatically displaying text and images in a single-column flow that is optimised for iPhone.
  • And Numbers introduces pivot tables that bring powerful data analytics capabilities to iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing said: "Whether they are in the office, at school or working remotely, users around the world love Keynote, Pages and Numbers for their powerful features, ease of use and seamless experience across iPhone, iPad and Mac.

“Today, we’re adding even more power and capability to these apps with new productivity and collaboration features that enable anyone to create more personal and compelling presentations, make working with documents on iPhone a breeze and bring full-featured pivot tables to mobile for the first time.”

So, what is the extra detail Apple has shared?

New Ways to Present in Keynote

We're told that "powerful new tools make Keynote presentations more personal, engaging and collaborative. With the option to use the front-facing camera on iPhone, iPad and Mac, users can now add live video directly to their presentations.

"This allows the presenter to appear alongside the content in their slide — ideal for lectures, how-to videos and remote presentations through video conferencing apps. Live video objects can be easily resized or styled with masks, frames, drop shadows and reflections for a more elegant look.

"Mac users can connect multiple external cameras to further enhance the live video experience, and they can even show the screen of a connected iPhone or iPad right there on a slide for live, interactive demos.

"With a new multipresenter option, everyone can now easily control a shared slideshow straight from their iPhone, iPad or Mac. Whether they are in the same room or presenting remotely, multiple users can take turns advancing slides. Once a user is done with their slides, they can return control to the host or let another co-presenter take over to seamlessly continue the group presentation."


A New Pages Experience Optimised for iPhone

Here, Apple says "people read Pages documents on iPhone more than any other device, and Pages now offers a new experience that makes reading and editing documents on the go better than ever. With the latest update, Screen View automatically displays text, images and other elements in a single-column, continuous flow optimised for the iPhone screen.

"Text is enlarged to improve readability, photos and drawings are sized to fit the display, and tables can be scrolled horizontally. Screen View is available for all word processing documents and doesn’t require any additional setup. When enabled, users still have access to the complete set of editing tools in Pages. And Screen View can be switched off at any time so users can see the page layout for their document before printing or publishing."

Powerful, Easy-to-Use Pivot Tables with Numbers:

Thye comes Numbers. Apple says "with its intuitive interface and ability to showcase data with beautiful graphics and charts, Numbers has always been the best way for users to get the most out of their data. And now with pivot tables, users can quickly summarise, group and rearrange data to identify and analyse patterns and trends.

"Creating a pivot table in Numbers is quick and intuitive: users can easily select the data to include, choose how to group and summarise it, and access other display options from the sidebar. The resulting pivot table appears in a clear layout that makes it easy for the user to read and gain insights.

"Users can visualise their pivot tables with insightful charts, share pivot data with others while keeping the source data private, and even import or export pivot tables to and from Microsoft Excel. Numbers is the first app to bring full-featured pivot tables to mobile, with the same set of features across iPhone, iPad and Mac, giving users access to this powerful data analytics tool wherever they work.

"Additionally, Radar charts are a new chart type that makes it easy to visually compare multiple variables with similarities shown as overlapping areas, allowing differences and outliers to really stand out. And new filter options let users find duplicate entries and unique values in their data, or easily show or hide rows that match a specific value."

Translation features for iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey:

Keynote, Pages and Numbers also support the new translation features introduced in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey. Users can select text and quickly see a translation, hear it read aloud, and instantly replace the selection with the translated text.

Availability - when can you get the new features?

Apple says Keynote, Pages and Numbers come free on every new iPhone, iPad and Mac, and the updates are available to download on the App Store and Mac App Store.



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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