Let me start this post with a few disclaimers. First, this is a post about the new iWork for iCloud from Apple. I know, this is not a tech blog, but I am a closet tech geek, so bear with me. Second, I never win anything, so you can imagine my surprise when I was picked to test the beta version of the web-based iWork for iCloud.
The New iWork
As you probably know by now, I love my Mac! One obvious example is that my book, APA Made Easy, is the only APA formatting supplement that includes Apple’s Pages program. The new iWork has an updated version of Pages that will, no doubt, make its way into my book. So what’s new with iWork?
For starters, the new iWork will be completely web-based. For the beta version, I was asked to simply log into my iCloud account and Voila! – Pages, Keynote, and Numbers just showed up. I like it already.
Pages for iCloud
Immediately, I notice some pretty great things about the new Pages. Not only is the design clean, uncluttered, and typically Apple, it looks as if the new Pages will be able to upload Microsoft Word files into the cloud and thus sent automatically to the iPhone, iPad, and other devices connected to the cloud.
The New Look of Pages
Right now, the beta version has about 15 templates, which I am sure more will be added shortly. After opening a blank document, I am struck by how different the look of Pages has become. The first thing I notice is the absence of the Inspector. Instead is vertical bar on the right that changes options as I click through the menu. Pages still very much has the drag-and-drop formatting feel, which I prefer over Microsoft Word. Simple, clean, and fast – the new Pages will be a hit with college students who need to format papers without the headache that usually goes with.
Because the new Pages beta is dialed down quite a bit from Pages ’09 (doesn’t have the same export options, hyperlinking, etc.) I decided to search through the help menu. After a little searching, it seems that Apple fully intends on including these features in the near future, making Pages on iCloud just as functional as the older versions of Pages.
The Verdict for Pages
Because the look and feel are completely different, the new Pages will take some getting used to, but I am looking forward to it. I will admit that I don’t fully understand the implications of making Pages web based, but that’s why Apple is known as the innovator, not me!