Roundtable: What we think Apple has planned for its September 10th event

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With the rumored September 10th Apple keynote just weeks away, the rumor mill is in high gear and, as per usual, expectations will be soaring higher than ever as the date nears. For some products, a refresh or introduction is all but confirmed. For others, there only exists speculation or mere wishful thinking for even a mention at the keynote. Below you’ll find the opinions of some 9to5Mac staffers. Read more

LA Unified School District will give each of its 640,000 students iPads by the end of next year

Previously, we covered Apple’s announcement that it had won a large contract to supply iPads to LA Unified School District. The program will equip students across the nation’s second biggest school district with iPads that include the Pearson Common Core System of Courses delivered via a new app as part of the integrated solution. Additionally, each iPad will come preloaded with Apple’s iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) and iLife (iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand) suites in addition to a range of educational third-party apps. Apple noted that the $30 million commitment is only the first phase of a larger roll out for Los Angeles schools.

In a new report today, we see how big that buy really is.

The first 31,000 iPads are only the initial phase of the program, which plans to buy and distribute iPads to all 640,000 students in the nation’s second-largest school district by late 2014, Mark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the LAUSD, told CITEworld.

“The most important thing is to try to prepare the kids for the technology they are going to face when they are going to graduate,” said Hovatter. “This is phase one, a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary students. We’re targeting kids who most likely don’t have their own computers or laptops or iPads. Their only exposure to computers now is going to be in their schools.”

That’s a huge number to add to Apple’s iPad numbers over the next year. As it stands, if Apple reaped $400 of revenue from each iPad, it would receive $256M for the deal. More importantly, it lays the groundwork for other school districts that may want to emulate this adoption.

Best of all, it exposes a massive amount of children to Apple’s technology that might not already have access to it.

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Non-developers receiving iWork for iCloud invites

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While the iWork for iCloud beta has been available for developers and those who logged in with the current beta software for about a month now, it looks like Apple has begun inviting non-developers to the online document editing program. Tipsters have sent us in emails from the company asking them to try out the services and send in feedback.

We’d like to invite you to be one of the first to try it, so we’re giving you early access to the iWork for iCloud beta. All you have to do is sign in to iCloud on a Mac or a PC using the current version of Safari, Chrome or Internet Explorer. Then just click on Pages, Numbers, or Keynote and you’re off.

Users that have received the invitation don’t need to visit beta.icloud.com – they can just use the regular icloud.com address.

Back in June, we posted a video review of iWork for iCloud: Read more

iWork, iLife appear in iOS 7 free downloads screen, corroborates Apple apps going free theory

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We reported previously on the possibility of Apple making its iWork suite, and possibly its other premium content creation apps, available for free alongside iOS 7 and the launch of new iWork for iCloud web apps. It would make a lot of sense given it’s hard to imagine Apple allowing users to create documents for free on iCloud but not seamlessly transfer from iOS to Mac without having to throw down $30 for the three iOS apps. Today we get a little hint from the latest iOS 7 beta that Apple might actually be considering making the apps free this fall (via @nielskorte & iFun).

The screenshot above shows the screen that Apple presents most users with when launching the App Store on their iOS device for the first time. Curiously, on iOS 7 beta 3, the recommended free apps screen includes Apple’s iWork suite in addition to other paid apps such as Garageband, iMovie, and iPhoto. In the past, Apple has only included free apps in the pop up such as iBooks, iTunes U, and Podcasts. This could signal Apple has plans to offer its premium apps for free in the future…

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Does iWork for iCloud mean native iWork Mac and iOS apps will become free services?

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Apple presents itself as a company that ships hardware, software, and services that integrate together elegantly. While Apple makes the majority of its money from its hardware, Apple makes use of its free, popular internet services and software to sell their hardware. For example, the iLife suite of Mac apps that are included for free with new Mac purchases is a common reason that people choose to buy a Mac. On the iOS side, Apple offers free services like iCloud, iBooks, iMessage, Game Center, and later this year, iTunes Radio.

But on both the Mac and iOS Device side, one particular Apple service has stuck out as being a paid offering: Apple’s iWork suite that includes the Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet maker, and Keynote presentation creator. For years, Apple has sold iWork for Mac as a bundled suite, but with the Mac App Store, the company split the three programs into separate $19.99 downloads. On the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch side, the three apps are distinct $9.99 downloads. Apple, thus far, has kept iWork as a premium priced suite, but this fall, the company will introduce a free tier: iWork for iCloud…

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Apple announces iWork for iCloud, new apps for Mac and iOS coming later this year

Confirming our earlier suspicions, Apple today showed off some new features for its iWork suite of apps, which includes both Mac and iOS versions of the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps. While Apple confirmed that new versions of the apps for Mac and iOS would be coming later in the year, it spent its presentation today showing off brand new web versions of the apps designed to run right in the browser through iCloud.com. The new web apps, available initially only to developers starting today, will be dubbed ‘iWork for iCloud’ and bring web apps to iCloud that will compete directly with Google Docs and Google’s other suite of web apps.

Apple execs spent much of the time on stage showing off the new Pages for iCloud app, demoing how users can drag and drop Microsoft Word files and other documents directly into the iCloud.com UI in their browser to begin editing a document. Apple also briefly demoed presentations and spreadsheets running in web versions of the Numbers and Keynote apps.

During the demo of the new iWork for iCloud apps, Apple also made a point of noting that the new apps run in any browser by showing off the apps running on Windows 8.

The new apps are available as developer beta starting today. A public beta of the new iWork for iCloud apps will be arriving later this year. Apple didn’t mention any details regarding pricing, or whether or not the web apps will be a separate purchase from the apps currently available on Mac and iOS.

Some surprises we might see at WWDC 2013 next week

(Preparations for Apple’s 2013 WWDC developer conference / Image via Nick)

There’s a lot we already know about what we’ll be seeing next week at WWDC– we’ve already brought you exclusive details on iOS 7, OS X 10.9, a MacBook refresh, Apple’s new Radio service, and much more. What else might we see Apple show off next week? Below are a couple of our best predictions based on what we think Apple is most likely to show off as well as few things we’ve been hearing: Read more

Tips: Use little-known gestures to arrange photos and shapes in iOS Pages

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Although the touch-centric UI makes getting to grips with Pages for iOS straightforward, the interface does not appear well-suited to precise positioning of objects, which is necessary in more complicated documents. Luckily, Apple’s iWork suite extends the default iOS set of gestures to provide options for finer-grained control. Learning these more-obscure techniques makes doing ‘real work’ with Pages for iOS an enjoyable experience, rather than an annoyance.

Nudging objects

The natural way to position an object with an iPhone or iPad is to drag it, but this method is not really suitable when doing pixel-accurate alignments. With Pages for Mac, you can achieve one-pixel ‘nudges’ with the arrow keys. To do a nudge on a keyboard-less iOS device, you have to use a special two-finger gesture. Start by placing one finger on the photo you want to nudge to select it. Then, swipe in any direction outside of the photo’s bounds with another finger, to move the object in the respective direction. Add on another ‘swiping finger’ to shift by 10 pixels, rather than single pixels, at a time.

Locked movement

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Two great Mac Bundles headlined by Parallels 8 and Roxio Toast 11 for $50/ea

It’s Bundle Season at 9to5Toys.com again where there are currently 4 solid bundles happening simultaneously:

First up, we have MacUpdate’s Parallels Desktop 8 bundle which effectively knocks $30 off the price of Parallels 8 and then hooks you up with 9 additional Mac applications for free (normally $618). A free demo is also available.

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Not to be outdone, MacLegion/Stacksocial has their Spring 2013 Bundle which is headlined by the normally $100 Roxio Toast Pro 11 media creation software for $49.99 but also includes nine other great apps valued at over $390 below:

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Don’t forget the $45 Lifehacker bundle is still happening as well as the $50PickaBundle’ which allows you to choose 10 of 25 quality apps including a Mac Blu-ray player. Read more

Apple updates iWork suite, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, for iOS and Mac

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Apple updated its entire iWork suite this afternoon. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS were all updated to version 1.7 with improved compatibility with Microsoft Office and iWork. Each iOS app also got bug fixes and minor updates, as seen below. Additionally, available via software update and directly from Apple’s website, iWork for Mac has been updated to version 9.3. It mainly features support for the new iWork for iOS apps. The full release notes are below: Read more