Looking for Those 'Free' iWork and iLife apps? Start Here

Having trouble finding those supposedly free version of Apple's updated iWork and iLife apps?

Think you should get iLife and iWork for free? You're probably right.Think you should get iLife and iWork for free? You're probably right.

Apple's been uncharacteristically obtuse on this, at times making it sound like only purchasers of new Macs or iOS devices get the goods. But for most of us, those apps really are free.

Here's the scoop:

1) If you buy a new Mac or iOS device, you get the iLife and iWork apps for free.

2) If you already own the iLife and/or iWork apps and you're running iOS 7/Mavericks, you get the newest versions for free.

In other words, the only people who have to pay for iLife or iWork are those who didn't buy either a new Mac or older versions of the apps or (for the Mac versions) those who didn't upgrade to Mavericks (which as you know, is also free.)

There were some glitches in the Mac App Store that resulted in iLife and iWork apps that weren't purchased through the App Store to go unrecognized as being eligible for free upgrades. In those cases, the apps listed the normal price for each app -- US$14.99 and $19.99 respectively. Apple says this glitch has been fixed now, and I can confirm that all the apps show up as free for me. (I bought iLife and iWork on disc.)

Here's the relevant part of Apple's press release:

iWork and iLife for Mac come free with every new Mac purchase. Existing users running Mavericks can update their apps for free from the Mac App Store℠. iWork and iLife for iOS are available for free from the App Store℠ for any new device running iOS 7, and are also available as free updates for existing users. GarageBand for Mac and iOS are free for all OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 users. Additional GarageBand instruments and sounds are available for a one-time in-app purchase of $4.99 for each platform.

Some Observers are reporting workarounds that involve clean installs of Mavericks and other drastic measures, but it looks like patience is the best approach. How did your upgrade go? Let us know in the comments.