Today's Apple event obviously had the new iPad (latest news, screenshots, and specs here) as its main focus, but there were also hints of new software releases optimized for the iPad. We saw the unveiling of iBooks, a book reading software connected to Amazon for book downloading and reading on the nearly 10-inch touch-screen interface. But Apple had another software surprise as well, with downloadable iWork apps made specifically for the iPad interface.
During the presentation, Steve Jobs demonstrated new iWork apps optimized for the iPad's unique interface. All three of the main iWork apps will be available as separate purchases, including Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Keynote (presentations). Apple will charge $9.99 for each iWork app on the iPad. These should become available once the iPad is ready to launch, which is in 60 days for the Wi-Fi-only (non-3G) iPads.
According to Apple, the new iWork app versions will add new touch-screen features including new menu overlays, new gestures, and new ways of working on your projects. We saw them quickly demo Keynote, using touch-screen gestures to organize slides and set up smooth presentations. Pages lets you use the touch screen to design your page layouts and drag and drop images into your project with autoformatting so your text wraps around the image. With Numbers, they showed how to create spreadsheets with touch input, including resizing columns using the "pinch" and drag gestures, and quickly adding rows using an overlay menu. A pop-up calculator will make it easy to edit formulas within fields all on your iPad's touch screen.
There have been mixed reviews so far for the iPad based on the presentation, but the addition of touch-screen compatible iWork apps will be a big advantage to those who use their iPad to work on the go. As more news materializes in the coming days and weeks, we expect to see many more apps optimized for Apple's latest device. We hope we'll see more Apple software like GarageBand and other useful apps land on the iPad as we get closer to release.
What do you think? What apps would you like to see for Apple's new iPad? Do you think you will be purchasing an iPad when they come out? Let me know in the comments!