Apple iWork 12.1 desperately tries to make presentations more exciting

Apple iWork 12.1 desperately tries to make presentations more exciting

By

Apple iWork 12.1 desperately tries to make presentations more exciting
Moving backgrounds are new feature of Keynote 12.1.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple’s Keynote version 12.1 adds moving backgrounds intended to add visual interest to presentations. And Pages 12.1 adds support for mail merge.

Add in a performance-oriented tweak in Numbers 12.1, and you’ve got iWork 12.1, the latest version of Apple’s free productivity suite for Mac, iPad and iPhone.

iWork is a free Microsoft Office alternative

Apple’s iWork applications don’t include all the advanced features of Microsoft Office software like Word, Excel and Powerpoint. However, Apple’s suite is free. And it does offer basic capabilities for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Plus, Apple keeps improving it, like it did with Tuesday’s updates.

New features in Keynote 12.1

Most of the enhancements in Keynote 12.1 relate to the aforementioned moving backgrounds. Apple’s release notes say:

  • Add subtle movement and visual interest to your presentation with dynamic backgrounds that move continuously as you transition from slide to slide
  • Select from new animated themes featuring dynamic backgrounds
  • Skip or unskip all slides in a collapsed group

New features in Pages 12.1

In the new iWork version, Pages 12.1 adds mail merge, allowing it to generate letters and envelopes from entries in an address book. And there are other changes, too. Apple’s release notes for the latest version of the word processor say:

  • Use mail merge to quickly create personalized letters, cards, and envelopes for multiple recipients
  • Select from stylish new templates for event invitations and student certificates
  • Export your Pages documents as TXT files

‘Improved performance’ in Numbers 12.1

Numbers 12.1 gets no new features — just a performance boost. Apple’s release notes promise only:

  • Improved performance when inserting rows and columns in large tables

iWork 12.1 is available now. You can download Pages 12.1, Numbers 12.1 and/or Keynote 12.1 for iPad/iPhone from the App Store. Or get Pages 12.1, Numbers 12.1 and/or Keynote 12.1 from the Mac App Store They are free for Mac, iPad and iPhone.