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Apple leak reveals GarageBand to go free for iOS, plus iLife and iWork icon updates

Hitting the ‘publish’ button before you’re supposed to clearly isn’t the preserve of Google employees, as an Apple worker over the weekend did exactly the same thing, revealing a couple of tidbits ahead of the tech giant’s special event in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Text that appeared briefly on the company’s Built-in Apps page Sunday suggests that from Tuesday Apple will launch a free version of its music-making GarageBand app (usual price $4.99) for all iOS 7 users, not just those with an iOS 7 device bought in the last couple of months.

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 5S and 5C last month, it also announced it’d start offering its other iLife and iWork apps – iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote – for free to buyers of either handset, as well as to those purchasing any other Apple device running iOS 7.

Although GarageBand will be offered as a free download, it looks as if some instruments will only be available via in-app purchases. According to Apple news site MacRumors, which spotted the page before it was taken down, the small print said:

“GarageBand is free on the App Store for all iOS 7 compatible devices; additional GarageBand instruments and sounds are available with an in-app purchase. iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are free on the App Store for qualifying iOS 7 compatible devices activated on or after September 1, 2013.”

MacRumors suggests the in-app purchase option is the Cupertino company’s way of dealing with some licensing issues associated with the software.

The page also revealed new iOS 7-themed icons for its range of iLife and iWork apps, shown below. These, too, have been taken down and replaced with the old iOS 6 icons, with Apple expected to officially unveil the new look, possibly with information on updates to its iLife and iWork software, on Tuesday.

ilife iconsiwork icons

In case you’ve been away on vacation recently or spending most of your time exploring local caves, revamped iPads are expected to be the main focus of this week’s San Francisco event. We might also hear something about new MacBook Pros, as well as release dates for the Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks.

Of course, Apple could also have something up its sleeve, in every sense of the expression, but let’s not build our hopes up.

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