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Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 04:08 pm PT (07:08 pm ET)

Apple updates iWork, Podcasts, iTunes U for iOS

As part of the rollout of its next-generation OS X 10.8, Apple on Wednesday updated a number of first-party iOS apps to take advantage of the tight iCloud integration offered by Mountain Lion.

Apple rolled out updates to the Keynote, Pages, Numbers and iTunes U, that add automatic iCloud-based syncing between the iOS apps and their OS X Mountain Lion counterparts. The company also took the opportunity to push out bug fixes for the recently-released Podcasts app.

iWork Update

Overall, not much has changed with Apple's suite of iDevice iWork apps as the updates merely add automatic syncing between iOS and OS X Mountain Lion. The enhancements are much-awaited, however, as similar functionality can already be found on other platforms like Windows. The iTunes U app adds the same syncing functionality

From the release notes (because all changes were identical across the board, only one example is listed):
What's New in Version 1.6.1

[iOS iWork app name] 1.6.1 works with iCloud to make presentations automatically available between your iOS device and [OS X iWork app name] on your Mac*. Changes made to a presentation on one device are instantly available on the other.

In order to correctly sync with their desktop counterparts, Keynote, Pages and Numbers must have OS X versions 5.2, 4.2 and 2.2 or later of the software, respectively, installed on OS X Mountain Lion.

iWork

iWork suite updates. | Source: Apple


Versions 1.6.1 of Keynote comes in at 280 MB while Pages hits 221 MB and Numbers is 249 MB. All updates are available through the iOS App Store.

Podcasts Update

Apple updated its new standalone Podcasts app to version 1.0.1 to fix a number of customer complaints and minor bugs.

From the release notes:
What's New in Version 1.0.1
Podcasts 1.0.1 provides a number of improvements, including:

• Significant improvements to performance and stability
• Podcasts in your library now show the number of unplayed episodes
• Top Stations now show the podcast title if artwork is missing 
• Playback speed is now remembered when playing the next episode
• Fix for a problem where the Subscribe button is inactive
• Resolution of an issue where Top Stations artwork may not appear

Podcast app


Podcasts version 1.0.1 weighs in at 8.9 MB and can be downloaded for free through the iOS App Store.

iTunes U Update

Version 1.2 of Apple's scholastic iTunes U app adds the ability for users to take notes while watching video content or listening to lectures and also brings expanded search capabilities.

iTunes U


From the release notes:
What's New in Version 1.2

iTunes U 1.2 now makes it easy to take notes while watching or listening to a lecture. This update also adds the ability to search within posts, assignments, notes, and materials — from any of your subscribed courses — using the improved Search feature in iTunes U. It is also now simple to share your favorite courses with friends using Twitter, Mail, and Messages.

iTunes U version 1.2 comes in at 18.1 MB and can be downloaded for free through the iOS App Store.