Yosemite GM provides an early look at new versions of Pages and Keynote for Mac

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On Tuesday Apple provided developers and beta testers with the GM build of OS X Yosemite, which will likely be the version that ships to consumers later in October (although since this is only a “GM candidate” we may see another build sometime before then). Earlier we noted that this build includes updated videos to demonstrate the trackpad gestures in System Preferences that showed off new iWork icons.

As it turns out, those demo videos also give us a quick look at what will almost certainly be the next major version of Apple’s iWork suite. Above you can see an unreleased version of Pages that features a redesigned toolbar and other tweaks. Another of the videos has our first look at the updated Keynote app:

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Apple prominently advertising Beats Music to new iOS device users

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Apple has prominently featured its own suite of free apps when iOS users first open the App Store, such as its iLife and iWork apps, for a while. Now that Beats Music and Beats Electronics are officially part of the family, the Beats Music app is now appearing on this ‘Apple Apps’ list as well. Beats Music is currently the last entry in the list, described as a way to ‘listen to music that’s always right for you’.

Tapping ‘Download All’ will install Beats Music alongside Apple’s other apps. Naturally, one way for Apple to significantly increase adoption of the service is to advertise it to every new iOS user.

The view will show up for new iOS devices or by performing a clean restore to a version of iOS 7, on both iPhone and iPad.

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Apple seeking ‘photography enthusiast’ retail employees to test OS X Photos app

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Apple is seeking employees from its own retail stores who have shown an enthusiasm for photography to test the upcoming OS X Photos application and iCloud Photos feature. Apple, last week, reached out to retail employees offering such a “career experience,” and here is the message to retail staff as provided by multiple retail employees:

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iOS 8 beta 3 indicates iCloud Drive will also be accessible from iCloud.com

 

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iCloud Drive was first announced at WWDC. This feature is Apple’s new approach to iCloud file syncing, replacing Documents and Data. The new interface acts more like Dropbox, with one central folder containing all iCloud documents in one place. This gives more flexibility over the model used by iOS 7 and Mavericks, where iCloud documents are siloed within their own app’s containers.

At WWDC, Apple announced that iCloud Drive could be accessed from Mac, iOS devices or even PC’s (as shown by the iCloud Drive preview page). However, a new setup screen present in iOS 8 beta 3, released earlier today, shows that Apple is also planning to expose iCloud Drive on the web. Although people were surprised by native PC support, bringing iCloud Drive to the web enables even more flexibility, bridging any OS with a modern web browser.

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Updated iWork for iCloud remembers the last document you worked on and more

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Apple updated the beta version of its Pages, Keynote, and Numbers for iCloud suite today with a few new features and improvements. Notably, each application will now remember the last document you opened and settings like which interface elements were enabled or disabled (such as alignment guides and the zoom setting).

The apps will also automatically suggest your most recently used nickname when editing shared documents, improved image masking, and keyboard shortcut hints in contextual menus. These changes—especially the ability to remember your document settings between launches—more closely mirrors the functionality of the desktop software.

You can try the updated web apps on the iCloud website. The full statement from Apple is below:

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Apple beefs up iWork for iCloud with bolstered collaboration, more file storage

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Apple today has enhanced its iWork suite of iCloud apps to include much improved collaboration, new document options, and more file storage. iWork includes the Pages word processor, Keynote presentation maker, and Numbers spreadsheet manager, and it is likely that supporting apps for iOS and OS X will become available in the near future…

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Opinion: With all of the new Apple data centers, is it time for iCloud to get serious about storage?

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The Apple ecosystem is a large part of why I stick to an all-Apple line-up for my laptops, tablet and phone. iCloud is key to that, of course, providing seamless backup and syncing between devices.

Whether it’s my calendar, contacts, reminders, notes, ebooks or Safari bookmarks, all are available on all devices within a minute or two of me updating any of them. Documents I create in Pages, Numbers or Keynote are again available from any of my devices providing I choose to store them on iCloud. As I pay the extra for iTunes Match, I’m also able to stream any of my music from any device.

In some respects, Apple clearly takes the cloud seriously. It has invested massively in expanding its network of data centers, including a $1B investment in Reno, expansion in Maiden and new data centers as far afield as Hong Kong and the Netherlands. Yet, central as it is to the ecosystem, iCloud still feels a bit like it deserves the tag Steve Jobs famously applied to Apple TV: a hobby

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Tim Cook addresses iPad sales slowdown, says Microsoft should have released Office sooner

On Apple’s earnings call, Tim Cook directly addresses concerns surrounding iPad. Notably, he calls out Office as helping iPad sales somewhat but ‘frankly’ admits that Microsoft should have released Office for iPad sooner. He says that in the time that Microsoft waited, other companies including Apple have released very-competitive productivity alternates to Office, likely referencing iWork.

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New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

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A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

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Apple updates iWork for Mac and iOS with read-only sharing modes and much more

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Following today’s iWork for iCloud update, Apple has pushed out new versions of the iOS and OS X version of the productivity suite, providing feature parity with the online version. Pages (iOS / Mac), Keynote (iOS / Mac), and Numbers (iOS / Mac) each received a new read-only sharing mode to work with the iCloud version of that feature.

Each app also got a long list of changes and enhancements, which are listed below. You can get all of the updates for free if you already own the latest version of iWork. Apple recently started including a copy of the iWork and iLife suites along with new iOS devices and Macs, but users with older devices will need to purchase the current version separately if they haven’t already. Read more

Microsoft announces new Office for iPad apps including Word, PowerPoint, & Excel

 

Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity apps has long been rumored to be in development for the iPad shortly after the tablet’s debut in 2010. Most notably was The Daily (now defunct) reporting it had knowledge (and screenshots) of Microsoft’s software for Apple’s mobile platform in 2011, something Microsoft was quick to deny was legitimate. Three years and one CEO later, Microsoft is finally ready to play nice with the iPad.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO following Steve Ballmer’s retirement earlier this year, outlined Microsoft’s new cloud and mobile strategy for the company today including full Office for iPad support. Unlike the Office 365 app Microsoft introduced early last year, Microsoft’s new apps today include individual apps for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Microsoft’s Office suite of apps will each be available as a free download, but will require an Office 365 subscription (which offers a 30-day trial) to create and edit documents. Users can still read and present documents with Office for iPad without a subscription. Office documents will rely on Microsoft’s OneDrive service for syncing content.

WordPowerPoint, and Excel are now available on the App Store.

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