MUMBAI: Apple didn't only announce new iPhones at its
press conference. The company also revealed that the
apps in the iWork suite - Pages, Numbers, Keynote-plus
iMovie and iPhoto - will now come free with new iOS
devices. These productivity and creations apps usually
cost $5- $10 each. By making them free, Apple is once
again emphasizing that iOS isn't just for content consumption,
but also content creation.
Of the group, only iMovie and Numbers have a solid
four-star rating on the App Store for the current versions.
Pages and Keynote only rate at 3.5 stars, among iOS
users. iPhoto has a rating of 2.5 stars for the current
version. And though Apple added collaboration features
with iWork for iCloud, there are many areas in which
Google Docs is still better.
Still, by making the iWork suite and other content
creation apps free for new users Apple increases the
chance that customers won't download third party apps
and just stick with Apple's offerings, similar to the
way many do on the Mac.
This deal appears to be for those with newly purchased
iOS devices only. At setup, new device owners will get
a screen offering the option to download the apps for
free. Existing customers can keep on paying $10 or $5.
Currently, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, and iPhoto
are all still showing in the app store with their original
on the old devices.
For those unfamiliar with the suite, Pages is the iWork
word processor, Numbers is for spreadsheets, and Keynote
is the presentation maker. All of them work with their
Mac equivalent programs and Microsoft Office. Beyond
that, the supported file formats are very limited. It's
possible to create and edit rich content in all three,
but the apps can't do much of anything beyond pretty
basic editing functions.
iMovie and iPhoto are for editing and organising movies
and pictures, respectively. Both are basic when compared
to their Mac equivalents (no surprise since they're
made to work on phones and tablets). They each provide
ways to share and enhance media that are easy and accessible.