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Apple's iWork for iCloud Apps Gain New Collaboration Features

When Apple launched its new iWork updates at its October iPad-centric event, it also officially debuted iWork for iCloud, which is a browser-based version of its Pages, Numbers, and Keynote productivity software. Files edited in iWork for iCloud are designed to sync with the Mac and iOS versions of Apple's iWork software.

During the event, Apple showed off some impressive real-time collaboration features within the software, allowing multiple users to work on a document simultaneously and share changes easily.

As noted by 9to5Mac, iWork for iCloud today gained some new features to enhance its collaboration tools, including a list that displays all users currently editing a project, plus the ability to toggle on "cursors and selections" for each person to see changes in real time.

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The apps have also received new folders to make file organization simpler, printing can be done directly from the Tools menu, and it is now possible to skip slides within Keynote during playback.

The iWork for iCloud software is available to all users for free, and it can be accessed through Apple's iCloud.com website. Collaboration through the software is simple and can be initiated through sending a simple link to another user.

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13 months ago

Handy indeed, but please bring back the missing features in the Mac iWork apps..


They've already told us they'll be doing that.
Rating: 8 Votes
13 months ago
Handy indeed, but please bring back the missing features in the Mac iWork apps..
Rating: 7 Votes
13 months ago

With the amount of money and developers they have, this would've been done by now.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks%27_law
Rating: 4 Votes
13 months ago

I think his point is why ask if they're already working on it.


With the amount of money and developers they have, this would've been done by now.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago

They've already told us they'll be doing that.


Telling isn't the same as doing.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago
Better collaboration is great, but it just seems a bit out of order to me. I've got to assume that the majority of those who will utilize collaboration are business/professional users; however, the long list of features removed from iWork '13 are those that most negatively effect those same users according to the complaints on the various threads I've read (and for me personally as well).

What's the point of collaboration if professionals don't have the tools necessary to collaborate WITH?
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago

The problem exactly is that while I can use iWork '09 RIGHT NOW, it will become obsolete. The upgrade to the new version is unusable for some people and it's apparent that the new direction that iWork is going is the wrong one.
People who use iWork, Numbers especially, know that at some point with compatibility issues and so forth iWork '09 will be dumped and the current offering doesn't deliver when it comes to productivity. If that doesn't change, then I have to look for alternatives, and sooner rather than later so I can build in a learning curve. If that alternative belongs to another ecosystem (e.g. Google or Microsoft etc, then I may have to reluctantly look at transferring towards that eco-system. I.e. I won't need to be tied into using Apple's software (Which has worked up to date). If I don't need to be tied in to Apple, OSX, iCloud, I might not need to keep my iPhone, buy from iTunes, or use Aperture over Lightroom for example.

This is what pro users have been talking about for some time. If Apple products and software gradually become easy access, universally friendly products then that's great. But if that comes at the expense of productivity, powerful focussed applications, and cohesiveness then the pros who just need things to work will find another solution, perhaps even away from Apple software or hardware.

Why is that process so hard to understand?


It's not hard to understand, but it's different point from what we were discussing. It's a hypothetical future scenario, just look at the amount of times you use the word "if" in your post. I'm more pragmatic and worry about actual problems at hand and how they can be solved. Anyone that holds a job is a professional and the needs in that group differs widely. I have often noticed that it's only purpose in discussions is that it enables the user to keep a frown on their face.

Collaboration is something that can be useful for proof reading of a document and to get an ok from someone else that now also can edit the document directly, regardless of native OS. The new version also supports docx and epub formats, just to name some improvements.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago
Apple is beginning to add more advanced features to their iWork lineup, and this is a very reassuring thing to see. Would be very nice, though, if they would add some security to the sharing features, as anyone with the link to the document can access and edit it. Permissions would be welcome, being able to set access passwords and privilege levels (read, write, read & write) would make it safer to share and collaborate. Over the next 6 months we will be seeing more features come to the iCloud, iOS, and OS X versions of the iWork programs, which will be very helpful. I think that since Apple owns FileMaker, Inc. (author of database software), the company should include FileMaker in its iWork offering, to create more parity with Microsoft Office, since that suite includes Access (another database offering). Apple will likely also add scripting support to its iWork software, and this will also be a nice addition. I am looking forward to seeing what Apple will do with its productivity software going forward.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
There are a lot of people here defending the current iWork applications citing the fact that Apple would have had to build the suite 'From the Ground up' (I love it when people say that - so technical!) and it's a universal platform etc. New features are coming, and so on.

While this may be true, the fact remains that features and therefore workflow have been reduced in what is essentially a public beta program. If features are to be gradually added back in when it's possible to do it across platforms, then it's likely that the software wasn't ready for this new launch. There is no reason that the whole cross platform universal iWork project couldn't have waited until it was of equal value to the feature rich(er) previous versions.

Personally, I need to use iWork on my desktop today. I can live with not having iCloud and share features, web apps and iOS for the time being, but free or not the new iWork OSX implementation is severely lacking in functionality. The oversimplification of Numbers has crippled my workflow and costs me more time and effort sussing out complicated workarounds to simple UI or menu problems. And these are just the problems that can be found on a superficial level - some of the formatting and rendering problems are perhaps more critical.

I love Apple software - I generally use stock applications (Mail, Calendar, Safari etc) across the board. I always thought Numbers and Pages wiped the floor with MS Office personally, but this release is too beta and it's not funny.
BTW It reminds me of the MobileMe debacle, so please don't think I'm going all 'This wouldn't have happened under Jobs' on you.

If Apple have the faculty to fix this, and they are presumably aware of the problems, then perhaps they should have waited until the software was ready before crippling it.

And also, I'm not expecting that Apple can just throw resources at it and that's why they got it wrong. I think it's deeper than that; I think that from the developer stand point iWork was mistakenly simplified to get it to release as quickly as possible to showcase universal cloud based applications in the wild - no mean feat to be sure, but at the expense of a clear usability and feature set Apple's judgement and timing is clearly off this time.

Yes, you can use the previous versions, and I do. But defending Apple tooth and nail is a little blind and it doesn't change the fact that (shock-horror!) they actually got this one wrong.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

Um, isn't this exactly what Google docs has been doing (quite well) for several years now? I am glad Apple is doing it finally, but it's not like they have just invented sliced bread.


No. Actually all Google has is some web apps. Much harder to do with real native desktop apps (Mac) syncing with the web and syncing with real native mobile applications (iOS). Google's so called cloud services are just web sites. They have a long way to go to catch up with what Apple is doing.

Syncing with just one platform (the web) is easy. And you're stuck with all the slowness and limitations of a browser. Native apps are much harder to do but better for the user and allows more choice.
Rating: 2 Votes

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