AWT News Update: September 20, 2017

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The construction's over at AWT HQ, and we take a look at some of the updates that have recently appeared or are about to arrive, as well as some new products from Nest

  • We tell you what's new in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS
  • Thinking about upgrading to macOS High Sierra on Monday? We give you a few pointers on things to do to prepare
  • Nest says Hello and wants to give you a Warm Welcome, as long as you're Secure

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for September 20, 2017. Sorry about missing out on the podcast yesterday; the construction that was going on? Craziness. That’s all I’ll say. At least it’s done, things are relatively quiet, and they’re just about ready to leave.

You may be wondering what was in the updates for Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS that clogged up your Internet pipes yesterday. Well, we’ll tell you! Pages has a new document manager that makes it much more simple to view files from third-party storage providers. In fact, that document manager happens to look a lot like the interface for the new iOS Files app. If you’re working with Pages on an iPad, the app now lets you drag and drop text and objects between iWork documents (that’s Pages, Keynote and Numbers, by the way) and other apps. It works especially well when multitasking on an iPad, where just touching, holding and dragging the item between Slide Over or Split View screens makes life simple. Pages now lets users select a paragraph of text with a triple-tap, and better PDF export capabilities mean you can look at a document’s table of contents in the sidebar of PDF viewing apps. Specific to Numbers are new date, time and duration keyboards that make it much easier to enter values, as well as what are called “Smart Steppers” to make minor adjustments to existing data, time and duration values. Keynote? Same stuff as Pages and Numbers, plus a new Break Apart command for complex shapes in the shapes library, and being able to use Unite, Intersect, Subtract and Exclude to make completely unique shapes from combinations of the items in the shapes library. 

Monday is macOS upgrade day, provided that you want to make the jump to High Sierra. It’s not a huge upgrade; I feel that it’s more of a fine-tuning of features in Sierra than a revolutionary jump in capabilities. As usual, we want to remind our listeners and readers to have a bootable backup — preferably using Carbon Copy Cloner to make the backup — and to shut down all startup and login items before beginning the upgrade. Make sure that your Mac is currently running macOS Sierra version 10.12.6, and if it isn’t, update it before you start the High Sierra work. Go through and delete any apps you never or rarely use, and then make sure that all apps are updated to their latest versions. Finally, if you have no overwhelming reason to upgrade on Monday, consider waiting a little while before taking the plunge. That way, if there is an unexpected issue with the release, you’ll look smart for waiting. 

Nest, which was started by former iPhone engineer Tony Fadell and bought up by Alphabet a few years ago, has added a number of smart home products to its lineup today. The devices work with iPhones using the Nest app, but it should be known that the devices are not HomeKit compatible. So what are they selling? First is a doorbell to compete with industry leader Ring; it’s called Hello, and it streams HD video from a camera with a 160-degree field of view as well as allowing the user to speak to visitors who ring the bell. Hello will do one thing that Ring can’t — that is, it can detect people who come up to the door but don’t press the button, then send an alert. There’s a Hello feature called Warm Welcome that will turn on a light when someone gets near the door. That should also be good for scaring away potential burglars. The Cam IQ Outdoor is a $349 outdoor camera that is weather and tamper proof. Once again, it will detect people and can even learn familiar faces and alert you when your son or daughter gets in at 3 AM. Finally, the company is selling a security system called Secure, which seems amazingly overpriced at $499. For that amount, you get a hub called the Guard, two keychain fobs that can arm or disarm the unit without entering a security code, and two Detect motion sensors. Unless you’re a big Nest fan, and many people are, the line of products seems quite expensive. 

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.