iPad smackdown: Microsoft Office vs. Apple iWork vs. Google G Suite

Your iPad can largely function like a laptop with two of the three main office productivity suites

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iPad productivity smackdown: Presentations compared

Google Slides is a relatively more capable app than its word processor and spreadsheet analogs. Slides lets you create and edit slides, along with their content, and even add speaker notes. If you use the native Slides file format, you can include tables in your slides, as well as apply borders to text boxes and adjust line spacing. PowerPoint and Keynote do all that, too. Advantage: None.

Nonetheless, PowerPoint and iWork Keynote are leagues more sophisticated. Both support dozens of build effects and slide transitions, and you get the same sophisticated charting, table, and shapes tools here as you do in the rest of the Office and iWork suites. Plus, you can insert videos from your iPad's Photos app. Advantage: PowerPoint and Keynote (tie).

Both PowerPoint and Keynote also let you set up presentations to autoplay; Keynote even lets you associate a music playlist from the Music app to a slideshow. By using a subset of Keynote's collaboration capabilities (called Keynote Live), Keynote lets you publish a presentation to the web for others to view at their convenience. Advantage: Keynote.

PowerPoint and Keynote also let you annotate your slides as you present them, with a simulated laser pointer and the ability to draw on your slides, such as to post to an item or underline text as you speak. PowerPoint's presenter view shows the upcoming slides (which you can jump among) and your presenter notes. Advantage: PowerPoint and Keynote (tie).

Keynote assumes you're remotely controlling your presentation from Keynote on your Mac, iPhone, or iPod Touch via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct, so it puts the speakers notes and upcoming slides on that device. Keynote's remote-control capability is very handy, especially if you (like me) tend to walk the stage while presenting.

PowerPoint can't do that, but it lets you control your presentation from your Apple Watch—if you run that presentation from your iPhone. (So does Keynote.) G Suite's Slides can't do any of this. Advantage: Keynote.

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