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iWork for iCloud Gets Another Update

Apple has once again rolled out new versions of its Web browser-hosted iWork for iCloud apps, much as it has done several times since it first released the completely revamped, iCloud-friendly iWork last October (see “New Free iLife and iWork Apps Share across Devices and Platforms,” 22 October 2013). The latest update affects all of the iWork for iCloud apps but, unlike previous updates to the browser apps, this one does not require updated versions of the Mac or iOS iWork apps in order to maintain compatibility.

A number of the changes affect all of the apps:

  • The capability to collaborate with as many as 100 people on the same document simultaneously.

  • The inclusion of nearly 200 new fonts.

  • The addition of more color options in the Format Panel.

  • The capability to create and format both 2D and interactive charts.

Changes that affect individual iWork for iCloud apps include the following:

  • Pages: Documents can be exported as EPUBs, and the stacking order of objects on the page can now be controlled.
  • Numbers: Spreadsheets can be exported in CSV (comma-separated values) format.

  • Keynote: Slide numbers can be revealed or hidden.

Along with these changes have come slight tweaks to the user interfaces of the apps. For example, the Help command in Pages for iCloud documents, which had migrated from the document toolbar to the Tools menu in a previous release, has migrated back to the document toolbar in the latest iteration.

You will doubtless encounter other changes, so be wary of relying on habit or muscle memory. However, you will at least have some warning that things have changed: the first time you open one of the revised apps, you’ll see a page listing the changes. If you summarily dismissed that page because you just wanted to get on with your work, don’t worry: Apple has a What’s New in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote page that summarizes all the changes to all the apps — iCloud, iOS, and Mac — that have been made since their initial releases.

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