Hot on the heels of Microsoft launching Office on the iPad, Apple has issued an update for its free office suite of iWork productivity apps on iOS, Mac and with a focus on iCloud. This includes updates to word-processing app Pages, spreadsheet app Numbers, and presentation app Keynote.
MS Office users will be happy to note that iWork has had some Microsoft Office compatibility upgrades, giving you the ability to export password-protected DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files, and general enhanced compatibility with MS Office 2013 documents.
The big news, though, is for users who like to access iWorks through iCloud. One of the gripes in our review of iWorks for iCloud was lack of collaboration. While Apple included that ability already, it’s the new update that it has made it really usable. On Pages, Numbers and Keynote, you can now view the list of collaborators, see cursors and selections for everyone in the documents, and see people move and edit images and shapes in real-time.
There’s also some enhanced sharing features. For example, you can now share files in a “view-only mode” that restricts the other person from editing it. And if you want more control over your security, you can now add passwords and also save password-protected files. This works seamlessly with the iWork suite on Mac and iOS, as long as you are signed into your iCloud account.
Finally, iWork for iCloud has gotten a visual upgrade with an all-new design that makes it seem more homogenous across Mac and iOS. Oh yeah, and it’s now Retina-ready.
You can find out more about the iWork update on Apple’s official site, and grab the update through the Mac or iOS App Store.