The iWork suite of apps for the iPad – Keynote (presentations), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Pages (word processing) – has been updated today, to Version 1.5 for each app.
These updates add iCloud support for the three apps, with these features:
- Automatically store your documents in iCloud and keep them up to date across all your iOS devices.
- Download your documents to a Mac or PC at icloud.com/iwork as Pages ’09, Word, or PDF files.
- Drag and drop Pages ’09, Word, or plain text documents to icloud.com from your Mac or PC to have them automatically appear on your iOS devices.
I’m looking forward to trying this out a bit and seeing how well it works.
As I mentioned earlier, a few of the slick new iCloud features have already made their way to the iPad and iOS 4.3. Another one that I’ve just been testing out is the ability to setup automatic downloads for apps, music, and books that you purchase. So, for instance, when I buy a new song or album on iTunes on the desktop, it automatically downloads to all of my iOS devices – with no more need to connect to a PC to sync these new items.
I’ve given this a whirl today with songs and apps and it works like a charm. A new song purchased in iTunes on my MacBook Pro shows up and is available to play within less than a minute on my iPad 2. When I added new apps via iTunes on the Mac, it took just a few seconds for them to appear on the iPad.
It’s very simple to setup this feature on an iPad running iOS 4.3.3 or above. Here’s how:
— Go to the Settings app and tap on the Store section in the left pane.
— On the top of the right pane you’ll now see the Automatic Downloads section, where you can turn automatic downloads on and off for Music, Apps, and Books individually.
— There’s a setting below where you can choose to turn on or off the ability to carry out these automatic downloads when you are not connected to WiFi. By default this is set to Off, which is a good way to leave it if you don’t want to run the risk of using up your cellular data plan.
That’s it. Happy auto downloading.
Apple’s new iCloud service – due to release this Fall – will offer a number of exciting new features for iOS and Mac users. One of its cool features is already live and working well on the iPad and iOS 4.3: you can now see your purchase history in all iOS store apps, review your purchased items, and re-download any of those that are not currently installed.
This new feature is visible in the App Store, iTunes, and iBooks apps. It shows up as a new tab in the main navigation bar in each of these apps. It shows all your past purchases and shows an iCloud icon with a downward arrow on any of them that are not currently on the device. You just tap once on that icon to download them to the device. Apps that have new updates available will also show the iCloud download icon.
In the App Store, you can toggle with one tap to see purchases made on iPad or iPhone – and for each of these there are tabs for viewing All or ‘Not On This iPad’ to show those not currently installed.
Another iCloud feature that appears to be working already on my iPad is iTunes in the Cloud Push. The way this works is that when you download new music from iTunes on any device it is stored in iCloud and then automatically pushed out to all your Mac and iOS devices. I tried this out this morning. I purchased about a dozen new songs on my MacBook Pro and almost instantly those songs showed up on my iPad 2 in the Purchased section, ready to download. The downloads are relatively quick with a low volume of tracks selected to download so far.
For some reason, I imagined these downloads of newly purchased songs would occur automatically in the background, mostly due to the ‘push’ term I guess. It would be great if that was at least an option, maybe one where you receive an alert asking if you wish to download new purchased music now.
These first bits of iCloud are looking good and working well for me. When iCloud is full rolled out in the Fall it’s going to offer a lot of strong features for a free service. Between iCloud and iOS 5 it’s going to be an exciting last quarter of the year.
Apple’s keynote event for WWDC 2011 kicks off in just over two hours. Apple’s statements leading up to the event have made it clear that this year’s keynote is all about software, and that no new hardware announcements should be expected.
The three featured topics for the event are iOS 5, the new iCloud service, and Mac OSX Lion.
Of course there is all sorts of speculation about what exactly will be announced about each of these topics, and I’ve been thinking about how the first two in particular 9iOS 5 and iCloud) may impact the iPad. Here are some of the possibilities, and some of my hopes:
— The general consensus is that Notifications will finally be (much) improved in iOS 5 – and that we’ll see deep Twitter integration of some kind throughout the new version of iOS. These both sound very good to me.
— I really hope we’re going to see some level of refresh on the way we can organize our home screens and apps. Even with folders, which are a big plus, it’s still a huge pain in the arse to organize apps if you have a lot of them.