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(Credit: Lance Whitney)

Those of you who use some of Apple's key productivity apps on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac will find new features awaiting you with the latest versions.

SEE: The 10 most important iPhone apps of all time

In what's shaping up to be a busy week, Apple has kicked off new versions for its GarageBand, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps. The updates range from new features for iMovie and GarageBand to bug fixes and stability improvements for the iWork suite.

Beyond the app updates, Apple's latest hardware is now available in stores. The new and improved lineup includes the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, the Mac Mini, and the MacBook Air. Updating its core apps to take advantage of new hardware is par for the course for Apple as it tries to woo customers and reward those who buy the latest iPad and Mac devices.

Designed to help you record your own music, GarageBand now supports keyboard commands when you're using a Smart Keyboard or Bluetooth keyboard. The Smart Guitar feature has added Face Control and a Wah stompbox pedal.

The iMovie video creator and editor for iOS now lets you connect an external display to your mobile device so you can mirror the activity on a bigger screen while you edit your masterpiece. The latest version supports uncompressed 4K video output, but only on the new iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch models. iMovie for the Mac has added a new Prepare for Facebook feature to export a video file that you can upload to the social network.

On the iWork front, the Pages word processing app for iOS and Mac now helps you publish your books directly to Apple Books for download or purchase. The Numbers spreadsheet app for iOS and Mac and the Keynote presentation app for iOS and Mac both contain stability and performance improvements.

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Takeaways

  1. Apple has updated and improved its iOS and Mac apps for GarageBand, iMovie, and the iWork suite.
  2. The changes range from new features for GarageBand and iMovie to bug fixes and performance enhancements for the iWork apps.

Also see

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."