I have been waiting for an update to iWork for what seems like forever. So, I was happy to see Apple finally announce an update today that includes revamped versions of Pages and Keynote, and a new application called Numbers.

Pages is a word processor that has style; more specifically, it has nicely designed templates that make it sort of a word processor-slash-desktop publishing program. (I like to think of it as an InDesign “lite” or something like that.) In Pages ‘08, more templates have been added, and Apple has declared you will be able to “switch easily between word processing and page layout modes.” Sounds great to someone who loves to multitask.

Keynote is designed for presentations, and is fantastic for the same reason—it’s really easy to use, and the templates actually look nice! There are several new features to Keynote ‘08, such as new effects and transitions between slides. It also looks as though slide manipulation has gotten a little slicker, too: you’ll be able to remove a background with one click. And, if you need a little help, new video and animation support will add punch to an otherwise lackluster presentation!

Now on to the newbie: Numbers ‘08 adds spreadsheet functionality to the iWork suite, which it had previously lacked. Those of you who use (or have used) Appleworks know that it was a feature not brought over into Pages. In reality, I don’t use spreadsheets too often in my every day life, but it seems to me that Apple needed to remedy this. Numbers is touted as “spreadsheets the Mac way,” which has to mean both its ease-of-use, and an impressive, clean interface! (I don’t think Apple will disappoint.) Some of the features include: customizable templates, tables, charts, an interactive print view, and “effortless” compatibility with Microsoft Excel.

iWork ‘08 will be available for $79.99… we’ll add more info as soon as we can get our hands on it!


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