Apple announces updated iWork and iLife apps for free -- although there is a catch

Despite being billed in the press as an iPad event, Apple announced much more than just the iPad Air and new iPad mini today. As well as improved hardware it revealed its OS update Mavericks would be free, and the giveaways didn’t stop there.

Its iWork productivity apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- and its iLife creativity apps -- iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand -- have been redesigned to take full advantage of OS X Mavericks and iOS 7, updated to 64-bit, integrated with iCloud and made entirely free. They’ll come bundled with new Macs or iOS devices. If you’re an existing user, and running Mavericks or iOS 7, you’ll be able to update to the new versions. Not planning on buying new hardware and not an existing user? You’ll still need to pay to get them, I’m afraid.

Well most of them, at least. GarageBand however, is now free for all OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 users, although it will cost you $4.99 (per-platform) if you want to purchase additional GarageBand instruments and sounds.

"This is the biggest day for apps in Apple’s history," said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "These new versions deliver seamless experiences across devices that you can’t find anywhere else and are packed with great features like iMovie Theater, Drummer and a new unified file format for iWork documents across all your devices".

Here are some of the highlights:

  • iWork for Mac and iOS introduces a new unified file format, and the iWork for iCloud beta adds support for real-time collaboration -- you can work on a document on an iPad, Mac and on a PC via the cloud.
  • iPhoto for Mac and iOS is now 64-bit, and offers new tools and effects. You can share images as custom slideshows,
  • iMovie for Mac and iOS has been redesigned to make it easier than ever to browse your video library and share favorite moments. iMovie for Mac includes simplified editing tools, while iMovie for iOS lets you edit movies on your iPhone and iPad.
  • GarageBand for Mac has received a huge update with a new Sound Library, and additional features like Drummer and Smart Controls. GarageBand for iOS has been updated to match the look and feel of iOS 7 and offers a full recording studio with up to 32 tracks.

Are you excited about the new software?

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