Apple makes iLife, iWork free with new iOS or Mac purchase

At its iPad event Tuesday, Apple announced updates for iLife and iWork.

Apple refreshes iLife with new iPhoto and iMovie

Apple showed off revamped versions of its iLife and iWork apps Tuesday at its event in San Francisco. Both suites of apps, which include Garageband, iPhoto and Pages, are now free with any Mac computer or iOS device purchase.

Apple is calling this the biggest update to iWork ever, though some of the changes are subtle. The most notable change, is a brand-new sharing feature that marries iWork with iCloud. You can now start a document or project on one device and pick up where you left off on another. Files that you share via iCloud can be opened by multiple people at once and edited in real-time. You can also edit documents from the web, through the iCloud website, which challenge's Google's cloud-based and web-based Google Drive, which offers word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation apps. iWork for iCloud is still in beta and works on Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.

Apple refreshes iWork.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

As far as the individual apps are concerned, Pages, Numbers and Keynote were reworked for iOS 7 and Mac OS X. They're all getting new designs and layouts that work well on both the desktop and on iOS. They also all have full-file compatibility, meaning you can open and save docs in Microsoft Office formats.

Keynote, Apple's answer to Microsoft's PowerPoint, gets new transitions with more realistic physics-based movements. Spreadsheet program Numbers gives you more control over fonts and styles and offers an easy-to-use interface for spreadsheet newbies. Lastly, you can add interactive charts to your projects.

In iLife, iPhoto, Apple's photo editing and organizing apps, gets a new look on both Mac and iOS that's black and gray instead of silver. Apple also introduced a new program called Print Products. Using iPhoto, you can organize photos that you want to make into a book, calendar, or greeting card and Apple will print the finished product and ship it to you.

Video editing app iMovie also gets a new design, along with revamped editing features. You can now use the app to share videos directly to your social networks. All of the same editing features you're used to are still there, but on iOS, there's a picture-in-picture feature and on the Mac, there are new special slow-mo controls to edit the 120 frames-per-second videos you've captured on the iPhone 5S. Lastly, there's iMovie Theater, which corrals all your clips into one place and syncs them to your iOS device or Apple TV via iCloud so you can watch them on the go or on a larger screen.

iMovie's iMovie Theater feature sends videos to your Apple TV or iOS device.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Lastly, GarageBand too gets a new look and bumps the number of tracks from eight to 16. With a new feature called Drummer, you can now add a virtual backup drummers, each of which have their own names and personas -- there's Kyle, the modern rocker, and disco-inspired Nikki to name a few. There are 15 drummers from four genres in all. Lastly, though Garageband is free, you can purchase additional back up instruments in the app.

The news follows Apple's announcement during its iPhone event in September, where the company said that it is giving away iWork, its suite of mobile productivity apps, for free on all new iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.

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