Productivity

Pages, Numbers and Keynote pick up new editing features, Touch ID support & more

Apple’s productivity-focused iWork apps—Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and iCloud.com— were updated this morning with a bunch of new features, including new editing capabilities across iOS, macOS and the web and the ability to quickly open password-protected documents using Touch ID. Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS are available free from App Store.

Pages, Numbers and Keynote for Mac are available via Mac App Store. Web-based versions of these apps are accessible via a desktop web browser at iCloud.com.

Spark for Mac gains labels, better folder management, smarter search & more

Prolific Ukrainian developer Readdle today pushed a major update to its award-winning macOS email client, Spark, bringing new features such as labels, improved folder management, smart filters the ability to save emails in Drafts manually and other improvements that will make you love email again.

As I wrote before, Spark is (in my personal opinion) hands down the best email client I’ve used on my Mac. Spark 1.2 for macOS is available at no charge from Mac App Store.

The app is also available for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

New iPad Pro ads highlight note-taking and other productivity features

Apple just rolled out a pair of new iPad Pro commercials via its YouTube channel, running sixteen seconds each and titled “Need Less Stuff” and “Take Better Notes”. The former positions iPad Pro as a clutter-free alternative to clunky desktop PCs.

The latter makes the bold claim that iPad Pro and Apple Pencil “revolutionized the way people take notes,” adding that users can even record voice notes. Watch the new videos, then jump into the comment section to tell us how you liked them.

New iPad Pro ad focuses on Apple Pencil

Reminiscent of Apple’s legendary “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials, the latest iPad Pro ad campaign based on real tweets from real people continues with a new 16-second video posted to the company’s YouTube channel Tuesday.

Titled “No More Printing,” the video is based on a 2013 tweet which reads: “When you’re printing personal things at work and you have to run to the printer to get your stuff before anyone else does.”

The commercial shows off iPad Pro’s ability to sign digital documents right on the device with Apple Pencil. “You wouldn’t have to print anymore, if your computer was an iPad Pro,” Apple wrote in the video’s description.

17 months later, Gmail gains a single 3D Touch shortcut

Google today refreshed its mobile Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on App Store, adding very limited 3D Touch support nearly a year and a half after Apple first brought pressure sensing to iPhone’s display with the September 2015 release of iPhone 6s.

Owners of the iPhone 6s/7 series can now press Gmail’s icon to quickly compose a message, but that’s about it. Thank you, Google, but seriously?

In my view, Google doesn’t really have a clue how to properly build 3D Touch gestures into Gmail in a manner that would save users time and boost their productivity.

The app still lacks Peek and Pop gestures., but we’ll get those next year, right?

New Apple ads continue positioning iPad Pro as being better than a computer

Apple today published four new ads on its YouTube channel that continue to position its iPad Pro tablet as being better than a computer. The four new commercials, running sixteen seconds each, use the tagline “Real Problems… Answered” and appear to be based on typical PC user tweets.

The videos promote the tablet as a device that’s free of wires, immune to viruses, faster than most laptops and able to run Microsoft Office apps and connect to fast LTE cellular networks.

Give the new ads a quick watch, then meet us in comments.

Email client Spark for Mac adds a bunch of new productivity features in latest update

Less than a month ago, Ukrainian developer Readdle launched Spark for Mac with Touch Bar support and many advanced features to help you achieve Inbox Zero Nirvana. Last evening, the app received a bunch of new features in the new 1.1 update. You can now assign a different color to each email account so it’s easier to distinguish in the account list. Multiple messages can now be marked as spam at once, IMAP folders can be created directly from the sidebar, contacts now sync with your address book and more.

Dropbox for iOS gains bulk renaming of photos, offline folders & recent save locations

Popular cloud-storage service Dropbox has refreshed its iPhone and iPad application on the App Store with three new features: bulk-renaming of photos, offline folders and recent save locations. In addition, the company announced a major infrastructure push enabling faster sync speeds thanks to several new proxy servers established across the globe, including accelerators in California, Texas, Virginia, New York, Washington, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Google Drive becomes Android migration tool with contacts, photos, videos & calendar sync

Google wants to make it even easier for Apple fans to switch from iOS to the Android platform so it’s turning the mobile Google Drive app into a migration tool of sorts with new features that let you upload and synchronize your contacts, photos, videos and calendar events.

The search giant also provides a Quick Switch Adapter with its Pixel smartphones that allows users to quickly transfers data directly from an iPhone to their Pixel phone.

Google Drive is available at no charge from the App Store.

Google updates Docs, Sheets and Slides with Trash view

Google has updated its productivity mobile apps on the App Store—Docs, Sheets and Slides—that act as alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The new versions of these apps have added a brand new Trash view which lets you easily recover previously deleted documents, spreadsheets and presentations. In addition to Trash, the most recent updates to Docs, Sheets and Slides come with the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.