Coding Range

On iWork for iCloud

July 2nd, 2013

In The Menu Bar Episode 12, Andrew, Mark and Zac discused some of the significance of iWork for iCloud. It definitely deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting, but people seem to be more obsessed with colourful icons than productivity software.

However, the discussion was mostly about Apple vs Office (likely Office 365) and Apple vs Google Drive (formerly Docs). Regarding that, I think a big part is going to be higher education.

Students using Pages, Numbers and Keynote (mostly Keynote) need a Mac or iOS device on them if they want to do any editing, viewing or presenting. If you’re at a high-school or university library, or logged in to a Windows PC connected up to a projector, it can be a hassle to edit on your own device instead of the provided machines - especially if you’re trying to do research and there’s no WiFi.

With iWork for iCloud, I can log on to any computer with an internet connection and edit my iWork documents with a full-blown web-based editor which quite frankly puts Google Drive’s editor to shame. The one moment that I was amazed at during the iWork for iCloud reveal at the WWDC 2013 keynote was the fact that Keynote could do all it’s fancy presenations and transitions in a web browser. I no longer need to carry around my Macbook and a mini-DisplayPort (or if I had a newer Mac, Thunderbolt) to VGA converter, or buy a VGA converter for my iPhone or iPad, since I no longer need it to present anything from a personal device.

What Apple’s longer-term goals are for iWork for iCloud, I wouldn’t know. Being able to edit productivity documents from any internet-enabled computer in the world with a full-blown editor, however, is definitely a plus. In regards to Keynote especially, this blows both Skydrive/Office 365 and Google Drive out of the water.

The only thing iWork is now missing to be even with both Office and Google Drive in the consumer market is collaboration.