Apple today announced that its iWork productivity apps for iOS—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—along with iPhoto and iMovie, will now be available for free to purchasers of new iOS devices. Previously, each app individually cost between $5 and $10. No mention was made of GarageBand, the third iLife app. Updated: This story was updated after initial publication for clarity; it remains uncertain at this point whether the apps will continue to have their old price tags for prior iOS device users.
Apple has released a set of updates to its iWork apps for iOS devices, adding improved compatibility with iWork for OS X and Microsoft Office documents. Pages 1.7 adds the ability to use change tracking to collaborate on documents while Numbers 1.7 adds support for hiding and unhiding rows and columns and importing and exporting Numbers for Mac spreadsheets with filters. Keynote 1.7 improves import and export for Microsoft Powerpoint and Keynote for Mac presentations with support for expanded slide sizes as well as well as presentation themes, master slides and preset styles; users can also now play back all Keynote action builds including move, rotate, scale and opacity.
Apple has released updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote for compatibility with the new iCloud Documents features in Mountain Lion and the corresponding Mac OS X updates released yesterday. The three apps, now at version 1.6.1, simply now list that they work with iCloud to make documents, spreadsheets and presentations automatically available between iOS devices and the corresponding Mac OS X applications, with changes made on one device now being “instantly available” on the other. The three iWork apps for iOS were originally updated to add iCloud support last fall with the initial debut of iCloud in iOS 5, allowing users to share documents, spreadsheets and presentations between multiple iOS devices. However, iCloud support did not come to iWork for the Mac until yesterday’s release of OS X Mountain Lion; these latest iOS updates appear to be primarily focused on ensuring compatibility with iCloud on the Mac. Pages, Numbers and Keynote 1.6.1 are universal apps and require iOS 5.1 or later. Each is sold separately from the App Store for $10.
Google has released a universal iOS client for its Google Drive service. Introduced earlier this spring, Google Drive is an evolution of Google Docs into a full cloud-based file storage and sharing platform. The new iOS app allows users to access their Google Drive online storage allowing viewing PDFs, photos, videos, and documents while on the go; files can also be opened in other iOS apps supporting the “Open in” feature. Users can also search for files, add collaborators to documents and sync files for offline use when no network connection is available. Note that this initial release of Google Drive for iOS does not currently support editing files directly within the app, real-time collaboration, creating new items, or moving items between folders or into the trash, although the company notes that it is continuing to develop the app. Google Drive is a universal app, requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Google has released an update to its official Gmail app for iOS adding Notification Center support. Although the Gmail app previously provided support for Push Notifications in the form of badge counts, it was missing more detailed per-message notifications found in the iOS 5 built-in Mail app. With the latest update, users can now receive individual new message alerts as banners, Notification Center entries and lock screen notifications. The update also improves support for the alternate sender feature that was added to the back-end web interface in March and adds persistent logins so that users are no longer required to re-authenticate every few days. Gmail 1.2.7812 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Good.iWare has released an update to GoodReader for iPad adding the ability to save HTML5 video from Safari along with several improvements for PDF handling and remote server connections. GoodReader for iPad 3.15 now allows users to create a special bookmarklet in Safari that can be used to download and save HTML5 video from web sites such as YouTube; videos can then be stored in GoodReader for offline viewing or uploaded to a computer or online file sharing service in the same manner as any other file. PDF improvements include an eraser tool for freehand PDF drawing annotations, the ability to e-mail a PDF Annotations Summary and support for links with custom URL schemes for launching other iOS apps from within a PDF document.
Users can also now setup one-way download-only Auto Sync to allow local files to be overwritten with remote files even if they have been edited on the local device and a new “Upload” button provides a quick shortcut for uploading files and folders to remove servers. Dropbox links can also now be created for any file or folder from directly within the app, allowing users to send out the link for sharing files with other users via Dropbox. Several issues have also been addressed with AFP servers and video files losing their playback position on iOS 5.1. GoodReader for iPad 3.15 is available from the App Store for $5.
FileMaker has released a major new version of its Bento personal database application for the iPad, adding new design tools that allow users to effectively use the iPad version as a standalone app. A complete reinvention of the original Bento iPad app, the new version allows users to build their own database solutions right on the iPad for organizing contacts, tracking projects, planning events, managing lists and much more, all using powerful and intuitive drag and drop design tools. Users can choose from 25 included database templates or link directly to the Bento Template Exchange to access hundreds of free templates to get up and running quickly or simply start from a blank slate and build their own solution; the new design tools allow users to quickly and easily customize templates and create forms with 40 Retina Display ready themes that can also be used to add coordinated backgrounds, fonts, and shading.
Bento 4 for iPad also expands the data views available, allowing users to visualize their information in Table, Split and Full screen views in addition to custom form designs. Multi-field sorting and highlighted searching are also now available to make information easier to find and organize and new database fields have been added for calculations, encrypted data and GPS location. With the new design tools the iPad version of Bento can be used by itself to create database apps on the iPad; Bento for Mac users can also still continue to sync with Bento for Mac, including the ability to transfer new libraries and apps created on the device back to the desktop version. Bento 4 for iPad is a new app rather than an update, although users can optionally import and update databases from the earlier version. Bento 4 for iPad requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $5 until July 31. Bento 4.1 for Mac is required to sync with the new Bento 4 for iPad; it is available from the Mac App Store for $30 and is a free update for existing Bento 4 for Mac users. The iPhone and original Bento for iPad apps also remain available on the App Store and provide a more limited set of features designed for viewing and updating database content on the go.
Panic Software has released Diet Coda, an iPad adaptation of its popular web code editor and development app for Mac OS X. Designed to allow users to make quick edits and adjustments to their websites on the go, Diet Coda provides an advanced web editor with an intuitive touch interface that includes remote editing with syntax highlighting, FTP/SFTP file management and a built-in SSH terminal. A new Super-Loupe feature makes positioning the iOS cursor more seamless, particularly when working in more complex blocks of code and a contextual keyboard provides access to the appropriate special characters based on whatever the user is currently working on. Users can also store chunks of code as clips to be easily inserted in a single tap and an advanced find-and-replace feature is available including a wildcard token for easily searching out and replacing blocks of text or code. Diet Coda can also be used as a companion application for Coda 2.0 via its AirPreview feature, which allows the iPad to be used as a dedicated preview screen while developing on Coda 2 on the Mac. Diet Coda requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $10 as a special 50% launch discount.
Popular third-party CloudApp client DropCloud has received a major update adding several new features and a new name. Now known as ClouDrop, the universal app allows users of the CloudApp online sharing service to upload, share and view files and links directly from their iOS devices. ClouDrop includes several advanced features such as background uploading from the iOS clipboard, automatic archive creation during upload and a built-in music player. Version 2.3 adds support for live real-time updating of the CloudApp item list including the view count alongside inline previews for photos and bookmarks and a corresponding redesign of the main page. A new option is also now available to automatically upload iOS screenshots while ClouDrop is running in the background. ClouDrop is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $1.
Moredays has released Moredays HD, a unique new graphical time management tool for iPad users that focuses on images rather than text. Combining the features of a digital planner and a scrapbook, Moredays uses pictures, doodles and sketches to help users organize information in the style of a traditional paper planner. Users can record events, tasks, notes and contacts within the app or simply save an item to the inbox and decide on its type later; a quick entry mode also allows new items to be easily added from any screen. Pictures can be inserted from the iPad photo library or the user can choose from over 60 included sketches to enhance and distinguish items; in addition to a photo or sketch, stamps can also be applied to help categorize items visually. Users can also add notes and location to any item and Moredays automatically synchronizes with its own web application for access from a computer. Moredays HD requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download; an iPhone/iPod version is also currently under development.
Evernote has released an update to its iOS application with major enhancements to the note editing features. Evernote 4.2 now provides iPhone users with some of the editing improvements recently added for the iPad in the last update, including an upgrade and redesign of the note editor and improvements to checkbox functionality. Users can now more easily access attachment features, text styling and formatting options when editing notes; a redesigned note information screen and more advanced note editing capabilities have also been added. Checkboxes can now be indented in the editor and continued simply by adding new lines after the first box.
The new version also adds support for importing images from the iOS Photo Stream and a redesigned audio recorder. New options are also available to disable automatic saving of new photos to the Camera Roll and the automatic note titling feature that was introduced in the prior update. Evernote 4.2 is a universal app requiring iOS 3.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download; some of the newer features and editing enhancements require iOS 5.0 or later.
Evernote announced today that it has acquired Cocoa Box, developer of Penultimate, the highly acclaimed digital ink notebook app for the iPad. In a post on the company’s blog, Evernote CEO Phil Libin noted that the handwriting app has been one of the company’s favourites since it was first released two years ago and goes on to announce that Penultimate creator Ben Zotto will be joining Evernote to head up future development on the app; Penultimate is expected to remain a separate application but will gain new Evernote integration features such as full search and synchronization. Zotto will also work with Evernote to bring handwriting and digital ink functionality into the company’s other products and platforms. Penultimate remains available on the App Store for $1.
Spring Partners has released a major update to its Springpad online notebook service and companion iOS app introducing a complete redesign with new sharing, collaboration and discovery features. Springpad allows users to create online smart notebooks that are automatically synchronized between the web and their iOS devices; items entered into a Springpad notebook are automatically enhanced with relevant information such as price comparisons and availability alerts for products, links to reservations for restaurants, reviews for movies and more.
The new Springpad also introduces the ability for users to share individual notebooks between friends, family and colleagues for team collaboration on a project, activity or to simply put together a group-sourced collection of information. Additionally, users can now explore Springpad to discover and follow public notebooks created by other Springpad community members on a variety of topics. Notebooks have been redesigned and simplified with enhanced customizability and the ability to personalize designs with a collection of themes and accents. Users can also now sort, filter and organize notebooks with category and tag information and getting information into Springpad is also now much faster with a new Smart Bar for quickly adding new information and new bookmarklet and browser extensions on the desktop side. Springpad 3.0 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
LogMeIn has updated its free LogMeIn and paid Ignition apps for iOS adding support for the new iPad Retina Display along with additional in-app Pro subscription options for users of the free version. Following a recent update to the Mac OS X LogMeIn app, the iOS version now also provides Mac users with access to high-definition video streaming capabilities and sound directly from their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
HD support was added to the LogMeIn iOS apps in December, however the feature requires an accompanying update to the computer-side component which was initially only available for Windows users. With the latest Mac update, LogMeIn Pro subscribers can now stream HD-quality video with sound from their remote Mac, allowing users to view movies and TV shows and even play games over a remote desktop connection. For users of the free LogMeIn iOS app, a Pro subscription is required to access the new HD features for each remote computer; in-app subscriptions have been updated in the latest release with three-month and six-month options in addition to the $40/year annual subscription. Users of LogMeIn’s paid Ignition app can access the HD video streaming and other iOS-related Pro features such as My Cloud Bank for multiple remote computers with no additional subscription required. LogMeIn for iOS is available from the App Store as a free download; Ignition is priced at $100 and is a free update for users of prior versions. Both apps are universal with support for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
FiftyThree has released Paper, a new sketching and drawing app for the iPad. Focused on a providing a minimalist design, Paper acts as a simple notebook or journal effectively turning the entire iPad screen into a freeform drawing canvas with no additional buttons, controls or other distractions. The app instead relies heavily on a gesture-based control interface: users open and close journals and journal pages with pinch gestures, flip pages by swiping in from the bezel at the sides and access the drawing tools by swiping up from the bottom; users can “Rewind” (undo) by rotating with two fingers in a counter-clockwise direction while other one-finger gestures are used simply to draw on the page with the currently selected tool. The free app includes an eraser and single fountain pen drawing tool with 9 colours; additional tools are available via in-app purchase for $2 each or $8 for the full set of four. Paper is available from the App Store as a free download.
Google has made a background update to its Gmail mobile app for iOS devices adding support for sending from alternate addresses. Users of both the native Gmail iOS app and HTML5 web app can now choose to use any of their configured From addresses when sending a new e-mail message or replying to an existing message. As before, Gmail will still select the appropriate sender address automatically when replying to a message, however the new feature now allows users to visually confirm which address will be used when composing a reply. Alternate address support has been added on Google’s end and does not require an update to the native Gmail iOS app; users of the native app should see the option appear over the next few days. The native Gmail app is a universal iOS app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Following an extended period of App Store submissions and rejections, Zanther has released Taposé, a new iPad productivity app that provides an integrated collection of tools including a collaborative multimedia journal, fully featured web browser, interactive maps, calculator and more. Designed with a focus on collaboration, Taposé is tied into a cloud-based service with a unified virtual workspace, allowing multiple users to share and edit journals in real-time. In addition to text editing and formatting features, the journal also supports rich content such as drawings, media elements, contact cards, web clippings and maps. Users can also share either complete journals or individual pages as static PDF documents via e-mail, Evernote, and Dropbox, or print them via AirPrint. Taposé is available from the App Store for $3. Collaborative sharing requires registration for a Taposé account; 400MB of storage is provided for free with unlimited storage available for a $30/year subscription.
Our initial impressions of Taposé show evidence of a great concept in need of significant user interface improvements. The UI relies on many gesture-based actions that are not immediately apparent to the user, and the included tutorial journal does not provide enough information in this regard. Further, the decision to mimic a real-world journal design in the app contributes to this confusion, forcing the user to endure a disorienting left/right “sliding pages” interface when working in portrait view. Turning pages requires corner swipes that are confusing at first, and worsened when you change orientations. The app appears to be considerably less confusing and more usable and responsive in landscape orientation. It is also worth noting that the button to log into or register for a Taposé account only appears in the control hub in landscape orientation.
SugarSync has released a major update to its universal iOS client adding a completely redesigned interface for iPad users. SugarSync is a cloud-based storage and synchronization service that allows users to easily sync their files and folders across multiple computers and mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with the free, universal iOS app. With SugarSync 3.0 the iPad interface has been completely redesigned to provide better use of the larger screen both for the display of information as well as new drag-and-swipe navigation for commonly used features.
With version 3.0 on the iPad, devices and shared folders are now displayed in a permanent sidebar at the left of the screen along with mobile photos and videos, web archives, recent documents, the Magic Briefcase and more. A sliding and stacking panels interface allows users to more effectively navigate into their folder structures while viewing multiple folders at once, providing quick access to other folders and the persistent top-level sidebar at the left; users can use drag and swipe gestures to move the stacked panels in order keep track of current and related folders as they navigate the file system and view individual files. SugarSync 3.0 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple updated a handful of its iOS apps today alongside the introduction of the new iPad. The iWork suite—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—have received unspecified updates while GarageBand now features Smart Strings, Note Editor, iCloud syncing, and sharing over multiple devices. The new iMovie adds outlining and storyboarding features, along with the ability to record video with the new iPad’s 1080p rear camera. All of the updates are free, and available today.
Alongside the new iPad’s introduction, Autodesk announced its newest app, SketchBook Ink. The company started by noting that it’s reached tens of millions of iOS users in just two years, compared to the 29 years it took to reach that number on the desktop. SketchBook Ink focuses on line art, and takes advantage of the iPad’s new A5X processor. The app is capable of exporting images greater than 100 megapixels. It’ll be available in April, exclusively for iOS.