Apple's iWork for iCloud software suite has been updated to include more collaboration features as well as support for documents up to 1 GB in size. With the new features, iWork is in a better position to compete against Docs, Google's free office software suite.
Changes to each individual program -- Numbers, Pages, and Keynote -- were also made to improve the functionality of those services. All of the programs have received features like the ability to create 2D or interactive charts and the ability to insert images up to 10 MB in size.
Up to 100 Collaborators
The biggest overall change to iWork for iCloud has come in the form of its upgraded collaboration features. Prior to Tuesday's update, it was only possible to collaborate with 50 people on a Numbers, Pages, or Keynote document. Now, that limitation has been adjusted to 100 people, which means that businesses can take full advantage of iWork for iCloud when necessary.
Collaboration features are important for both small and large businesses since accessing a document in real-time and editing it makes creating presentations or other files far easier. No longer is it necessary to constantly e-mail revised versions of a file back and forth, so finding the right office suite is crucial. The impressive collaboration features in Google Docs have contributed to that service's popularity among businesses.
Like Google Docs
Google Docs has been in the free Web-based office suite industry far longer than has Apple. iWork for iCloud was first launched in 2013 and only a few major changes have been made to the service since it was released. Given Google's vast experience in the industry, it is not surprising that businesses and individuals gravitate towards Docs even if they are using Apple devices like Mac computers, iPhones and iPads.
Tuesday's iWork update may at least partly change the game in that those who are already relying on Apple products may now find it possible to switch to iWork from Google Docs. Businesses still have fewer collaboration options in iWork than in Docs, but the two services are now more comparable.
Individual upgrades for all of iWork's programs will also result in it becoming a better platform for anyone who is trying to get work done without spending money on a full-fledged office suite that is not cloud-based. Editing documents that are up to 1 GB in size rather than iWork's previous 200 MB limitation will make a difference, since large projects can be done in iWork without running out of space.
Authors will also find the upgrades useful since it is now possible to export files in Pages to ePub, a standard file type for e-books. This export option was not previously available, which made book creation needlessly difficult in iWork when compared with other software suites.