Ever since releasing their premium iWork and iLife apps for iOS, Apple has pushed them pretty aggressively as must-have productivity and creative apps – and according to a report from iFun (via 9to5Mac), they may be about to take that a step further by making the entire set of apps free for users of iOS devices.
A welcome screen found in the App Store in the latest iOS 7 beta, pictured above, curiously lists Apple’s iWork and iWork apps among the recommended free apps to get started in the App Store – a screen that is shown the first time the App Store is launched on a newly restored iOS device. Not all of the iLife apps are listed however – GarageBand, for whatever reason, is missing from the list.
Given each app’s tight integration with iCloud, the fact that the iWork suite greatly enhances the base functionality of iOS devices, and the fact that both iPhoto and iMovie are already included for free with all new Macs, it’s a move that makes a lot of sense. It’s a great way to add value to all new iOS devices moving forward – and particularly in the case of iWork, makes each app far more accessible for their users, alongside iWork for iCloud, which will also be released later this year.
Previously, Apple only included already free apps, including iBooks, iTunes U, and Podcasts. It’s also worth noting, however, that iOS 7 is still very much in beta. As such, it’s quite possible Apple could change this before the final version is released – but from where I stand, it would certainly make a great deal of sense to offer them for free on all iOS devices in the first place.
Only time will tell for sure – but I’m hoping this sticks around for iOS 7’s public launch.