As promised, Apple adds real-time collaboration to iWork for iCloud
Move follows Microsoft's by a week, but both are years behind Google Docs
Computerworld - Apple yesterday updated its online iWork for iCloud productivity apps, adding collaboration tools that let users simultaneously edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
The real-time collaboration features had been announced Oct. 22 when Apple not only launched its new iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini tablets, but also said that the iWork desktop applications for OS X would be given free to buyers of new Macs.
"The number one piece of feedback we got in terms of feature requests was [for] collaboration," Roger Rosner, who heads iWork development, said during the Oct. 22 demonstration of the new iWork for iCloud tools.
Apple also added other new features to iWork for iCloud, including printing from the browser-based app -- albeit in a clumsy process that first morphs the document into a PDF, then automatically downloads it to the PC or Mac, where it can be printed -- and the ability to create folders for better document organization.
iWork for iCloud has not been stripped of its beta label, but is free to use for anyone with an Apple ID, the username and password combination necessary to access the iCloud storage and synchronization service, as well as for purchasing apps and applications from the iOS App Store and OS X Mac App Store.
Apple's move followed rival Microsoft by a week.
On Nov. 7, Microsoft began rolling out a major update to its own Office Web Apps -- like iWork for iCloud, browser-based apps -- that added real-time editing within Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Like iWork for iCloud, Office Web Apps are offered free of charge as a standalone suite. They are also a foundation of the lowest-priced Office 365 plans, Microsoft's software-by-subscription offer, and are included with all Office 365 deals.
Both Apple and Microsoft are more than three years behind Google, whose Google Docs online service has had real-time editing since April 2010.
While some analysts believe that iWork, which includes iWork for iCloud, poses a threat to Microsoft's Office franchise in casual scenarios -- like those many consumers encounter -- few see Apple's applications as a hazard to the Redmond, Wash. company's lock on the business market.
iWork for iCloud apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- can be accessed from icloud.com.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
- Apple hands stock worth $12.1M to top execs in retention deal
- Hands on: Apple's Mac Pro is the fastest Mac ever
- Apple CFO to retire in September after he cashes in $53M stock award
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks
- Apple patches critical 'gotofail' bug with Mavericks update
- Why Apple needs a $700 MacBook Air
- Apple takes top spot in brand value computation
- Apple gets a patent for health-monitoring ear buds
- Apple shifts to hardware-first TV strategy with revamped set-top box
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Riverbed Stingray Application Firewall: Securing Cloud Applications with a Distributed Web Application Firewall Responsibility over IT security is moving away from the network and IT infrastructure and to the application and software architecture itself. IT organizations...
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts