Government // Mobile & Wireless
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5/14/2010
08:06 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
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Apple Updates iPad Apps

The iPad versions of the three productivity apps in Apple's iWork suite have been given upgrades that add foreign language support, improve compatibility with other applications, and fix some minor issues.

The iPad versions of the three productivity apps in Apple's iWork suite have been given upgrades that add foreign language support, improve compatibility with other applications, and fix some minor issues.Apple's iWork suite consists of Pages, a word processor; Numbers, a spreadsheet; and Keynote, a presentation application. The availability of iPad versions of these applications ($9.99 each) was one of the big selling points when the iPad was first announced, and we named them among our 18 best iPad apps for SMBs. Now they've all been bumped to version 1.1 in a move that should make them all, well, more productive. Across the board, all three apps now support French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.

Looking at them individually, Pages now automatically fits documents to the page width when the iPad is rotated to landscape view, and that view now supports display of the toolbar and ruler. The update also fixes a problem with scrolling a document with a movie placed in it. Compatibility with Microsoft Word is improved, both for exported Pages documents in Word format and for documents imported from Word and then exported again, and various font and text wrap issues are resolved.

Numbers 1.1 offers improved reliability with imported Numbers '09 (the current Mac version) spreadsheets and addresses font size issues with documents imported from Excel and then exported. It also fixes formatting issues with tables pasted from Pages or Keynote, and a problem with formulas not updating properly. The upgrade to Keynote likewise addresses reliability issues with imported Keynote '09 and PowerPoint presentations, as well as similar font size issues in imported charts.

The chief complaint iWork users had with the iPad versions of their programs is that they didn't support some of the features the desktop versions supported, and documents that used those features were irrevocably altered when imported to the iPad. For example, grouped objects in Keynote got ungrouped; they were still in place, but lost their relationship to each other, and the relationship was not restored when the presentation was sent back to the desktop. According to posters on the Apple discussion boards, many of these issues remain unaddressed by the update.

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