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Apple reveals new productivity features for the iPhone, iPad and Mac

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Wed 29 Sep 2021

Apple has updated its iWork suite of productivity apps with new features, enabling users to present in new ways and work with documents on the go. 

The new tools in Keynote aim to make presentations more engaging, adding the ability to show a live camera view of the presenter directly in slides. And also more collaborative with multi-presenter control. 

Pages now makes it easier to view and edit documents on the go by automatically displaying text and images in a single-column flow optimised for the iPhone. While Numbers introduces pivot tables that bring strong data analytics capabilities to iPhone, iPad and Mac.

"Whether in the office, at school or working remotely, users around the world love Keynote, Pages and Numbers for their powerful features, ease of use and seamless experience," says Apple VP of worldwide product marketing, Bob Borchers. 

"Today, we're adding even more power and capability to these apps with new productivity and collaboration features. Enabling anyone to create more personal and compelling presentations, make working with documents on iPhone a breeze, and bring full-featured pivot tables to mobile for the first time."

New Keynote presentation tools
Apple says the new Keynote tools make presentations more personal, engaging and collaborative. With the option to use the front-facing camera on iPhone, iPad and Mac, users can now add live video directly to their presentations. This allows the presenter to appear alongside the content in their slide, ideal for lectures, how-to videos and remote presentations through video conferencing apps. 

Pages experience optimised for iPhone
Pages now offers an experience Apple says will make reading and editing documents on the go better than ever. With the latest update, Screen View automatically displays text, images and other elements in a single-column, continuous flow optimised for the iPhone screen. 

Text is enlarged to improve readability, photos and drawings are sized to fit the display, and tables can be scrolled horizontally. Screen View is available for all word processing documents and doesn't require any additional setup.

Pivot tables with Numbers
Users can now quickly summarise, group and rearrange data to identify and analyse patterns and trends. Apple says creating a pivot table in Numbers is quick and intuitive. Users can easily select the data to include, choose how to group and summarise it, and access other display options from the sidebar. 

Users can visualise their pivot tables with insightful charts, share pivot data with others while keeping the source data private, and even import or export pivot tables to and from Microsoft Excel.

Keynote, Pages and Numbers also support the new translation features introduced in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey. Users can select text and quickly see a translation, hear it read aloud, and instantly replace the selection with the translated text.
 

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