Apple's iCloud for iWork Beta Lets Users Create Documents in the Cloud
Apple is expanding its iCloud offerings by taking its iWork document-creation capabilities into the cloud for ease of use and greater portability.
Apple's iWork applications are getting easier to use and synchronize under a new iWork for iCloud beta that lets users create and edit their documents anywhere using a Web browser.The new beta is being unveiled by Apple in emails to select users that invite them to participate in the beta project.
"Introducing iWork for iCloud, coming this fall," said the email, which outlines the offering's expanded capabilities. Previously, iWork documents were created on a user's device, and then were available to other devices using synchronization that kept the created documents up-to-date on other connected devices.Now users will be able to tap iWork for iCloud to build their documents on the Web using a Web browser, which means they will have more flexibility to create text documents, spreadsheets and presentations using iWork. Key to the arrangement is that they will be synced to a user's other devices, too. To use the beta version of iWork for iCloud, including the Pages, Numbers and Keynote cloud capabilities, users can sign in to iCloud on a Mac or a PC using the current version of Safari, Chrome or Internet Explorer and then get to work, according to Apple. Apple introduced iCloud back in June 2011 as a place for Apple device users to store and maintain constant and easy access to their personal content, regardless of which Apple device they were using at the time.
iCloud iWork document types are compatible with iWork '09 Keynote, Pages or Numbers; Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint); plain text; and CSV.Interestingly, iWork for iCloud does not fully support the Mozilla Firefox browser, though it does offer basic functionality. Some features may not work as expected using Firefox, Apple reports. The supported browsers for use with iWork for iCloud beta are Safari 6.0.3 or later (OS X), Internet Explorer 9.0.8 or later (Windows), and Google Chrome 27.0.1 or later. iWork for iCloud is essentially Apple's version of a Web-based office suite, much like Google Docs and Apps or Microsoft's Office 365 offerings. There's still a lot of work to do on the beta version, however, including the incorporation of lots of needed features such as printing capabilities, which are not yet here. Collaboration capabilities also are missing so far. iWork for iCloud beta was first publicized by Apple in June at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).