Apple might not have the same footprint or reputation as Microsoft when it comes to office and productivity software, but it’s not giving up without a fight. Last night it issued updates to all three of its productivity apps in the free iWork suite, which now regains some functionality that went missing when the revised apps first landed.

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote updates are available for iPhone and iPad users, as well as Mac users. All of apps gain closer integration with Apple’s iCloud service, in the form of password-protected documents – important for those using iWork in a corporate or shared work environment. Additionally, the updated apps have had some core functionality restored. When Apple released the re-engineered versions of iWork for Mac OS X and iOS, the applications lacked functionality that was present in previous versions. Last year the company promised it is working to restore those features along with adding new ones, so it’s good to see that it hasn’t forgotten those who do rely on its productivity suite.

The iWork apps are free downloads for all Macs and iOS devices purchased after September 1st. Anybody who purchased the apps before then will also be eligible for the new versions, as they’ll update through the iOS App Store or the Mac App Store. Thankfully, with incremental updates on iOS not the entire app has to be re-downloaded – they weigh in at between 234MB and 466MB, which won’t do our mobile data cap any favours.

These updates also apply to the apps on iCloud.com. This means Windows and Linux users also get to cash in on the updates, even if they don’t have an iOS device. Anybody with an Apple ID will be able to log into iCloud and use the online versions of the apps, which run remarkably well and have incredibly functionality when compared to similar online suites.

Full change notes for the app, from Apple, are below.

Pages for Mac

• Vertical ruler
• Share password-protected documents via iCloud link
• Customizable alignment guides
• Set keyboard shortcuts for styles
• View character count with or without spaces
• Improved precision for inserting and pasting objects
• Create charts with date, time, and duration values
• Delete sections from the page navigator
• Improved compatibility with Microsoft Word 2013 documents
• Export password-protected documents to DOCX format
• Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Pages ’09 and Microsoft Word documents
• Start a list automatically using new special characters
• Improved support for bidirectional text
• Improved ePub export
• Bug fixes and stability improvements

Keynote for Mac

• New transitions including Droplet and Grid
• Enhanced presenter display options
• Share password-protected presentations via iCloud link
• Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Keynote ’09 and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations
• Create charts with date, time, and duration values
• Improved compatibility with Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 presentations
• Bug fixes and stability improvements

Numbers for Mac

• Sort by multiple columns
• Sort a subset of rows
• Text autocompletes when editing cells
• Chart date and duration values
• Optionally highlight rows and columns on mouseover
• Progress indicator for calculations
• Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Numbers ’09 and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
• Share password-protected spreadsheets via iCloud link
• Export password-protected spreadsheets to XLSX format
• Improvements to AppleScript support
• Improved compatibility with Microsoft Excel 2013 spreadsheets
• Bug fixes and stability improvements

Pages for iOS

• Share password-protected documents via iCloud link
• View character count with or without spaces
• Export password-protected documents to DOCX format
• Start a list automatically using new special characters
• Create charts with date, time, and duration values
• Improved support for bidirectional text
• Improved ePub export
• Improved compatibility with Microsoft Word 2013 documents
• Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Pages ’09 and Microsoft Word documents
• Bug fixes and stability improvements

Keynote for iOS

• Use the new remote feature to control slideshows on other devices
• New transitions including Droplet and Grid
• Enhanced presenter display options
• Share password-protected documents via iCloud link
• Create charts with date, time, and duration values
• Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Keynote ’09 and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations
• Improved compatibility with Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 presentations
• Bug fixes and stability improvements

Numbers for iOS

• View and edit spreadsheets in landscape orientation
• Chart date and duration values
• Share password-protected documents via iCloud link
• Export password-protected spreadsheets to XLSX format
• Improved compatibility with Microsoft Excel 2013 spreadsheets
• Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Numbers ’09 and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
• Bug fixes and stability improvements

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.