Apple significantly updated iWork today for the people who haven’t yet transitioned to Google apps, particularly in the education space. At its event today in Chicago, Apple announced that there will be new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, all of which support Apple Pencil. This goes hand-in-hand with Apple’s announcement of a new iPad that also supports Apple Pencil. Students will be able to add drawings to reports in Pages or Keynote. They’ll also be able to write in Numbers for a “lab report.”
Apple says it’s working on a new tool called “Smart Annotation” in Pages, which lets teachers mark up papers live while students make notes. Each note will be anchored to specific words, so it’s not just ink on a page, Apple’s vice president of product marketing Greg Joswiak says. The beta version launches today.
These updates, particularly Smart Annotation, could make Apple Pages a tempting product for educators. Google Docs is broadly used because of live collaboration and its notes features. Apple is beating Google to live stylus markup, which could be particularly appealing to teachers who might already be doing that by hand. Google Docs doesn’t currently allow annotation through styluses. iWork ships with Apple devices and doesn’t require a subscription fee, like the desktop version of Microsoft Office.
Correction March 27th, 12:30PM ET: An earlier version of this article stated that Apple Pages hadn’t allowed for live collaboration. That was incorrect, and we have updated to clarify that stylus support is new. We also previously stated that iWork apps aren’t available across devices, but they are via the web, as opposed to native apps.