Apple Just Made A Whole Host of Productivity Apps Free (AAPL)

Buying a new Mac OS or iOS device is no longer required.

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If you purchased your iOS or Mac OS device in the last few years (specifically, from September 1, 2013 onwards), you know that automatically you get a free version of iWork, iMovie and GarageBand apps installed, or they’re available to you for free through the App Store.

However, if you purchased your Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) hardware prior to September 1, 2013, those apps aren’t free. For iOS users, iMovie and GarageBand would cost $4.99 while iWork apps cost $9.99 each. For Mac OS users, on the other hand, GarageBand costs $4.99; iMovie is pegged at $14.99; and each iWork app costs $19.99.

That’s no longer the case, though. As of April 18, 2017, the productivity and creativity apps mentioned are now free, regardless of when you purchased your Apple device, and regardless of whether you’re going to purchase a new Apple device or not.

iWork is pretty much like Apple’s version of Microsoft Office or Google Docs. It includes Pages (word processor comparable with MS Word); Numbers (spreadsheet program comparable with MS Excel); and Keynote (presentation app comparable with PowerPoint). Whichever Apple device you use — whether it’s an iPhone, an iPad or a Mac — the iWork apps work in sync and you can access all your documents via iCloud.

iMovie is a video editing app while GarageBand is a music editing app.

All three apps were updated by Apple in March, and several new features have been added, including Touch ID support for the Mac OS versions of iWork’s Pages and Numbers.

Below are the software version requirements to run the latest versions of the now free apps:

Mac OS

iWork: 10.12 or later

iMovie: 10.11.2 or later

GarageBand: 10.10 or later


iWork: 10.0 or later

iMovie: 9.3 or later

GarageBand: 10.2 or later

As reported by MacRumors based on a support document from Apple, the price change ‘will make it easier for business and educational institutions to download Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, and iMovie through the Volume Purchase Program store’. The uniform free pricing for all makes it less confusing and now allows anyone with an Apple device to download the apps even if they purchased their device way back. Additionally, this move will help Apple prevent their customers from buying apps that may no longer be updated for much older devices.

If you’ve had your Apple device for a while and you’ve always wanted to try their productivity apps (in other words — iWork) but couldn’t bring yourself to do so because you didn’t want to spend for it, now’s the perfect time to try those apps out. And whether you end up loving or hating them, you won’t be losing out because they’re free anyway.

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