Apple iWork Gains Real-Time Collaboration To Challenge Microsoft Office 356 And Google Docs

Apple’s iWork set of productivity tools have been tweaked to enable real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to simultaneously create and edit documents.

Working across Macs, iPhones, iPads and the web app, iWork’s collaboration capabilities mean groups of users can add text, animations and images to documents, presentations and spreadsheets on the fly.

Chasing Microsoft and Google

Apple’s iWork suite, which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote, is targeted at students and professionals and is effectively the Cupertino company’s take on Microsoft Office and Google Docs.

Until now the ability to work collaboratively within iWork was not possible, while it did send documents to the iCloud, it limited access to one account. This left the iWork suite trailing behind Google’s Apps for Work and Microsoft Office 365 which both have real-time collaboration features.

Office 365 also has connectivity to third-party cloud sharing and storage services, such as Box’s cloud collaboration platform, as well as the ability to push documents to cloud storage service Dropbox, both of which enable multiple users to access and edit files stored in the cloud.

The tweak to iWork is hardly ground-breaking, but it at at least allows Apple to offer a more competitive productivity suite to keep pace with its rivals.

It also comes at a time when open source productivity tools, such as OpenOffice, are at risk of closing down as their community of developers cannot support the further development of the suites.

The improved iWork came alongside the announcement of the Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which both feature boosted power and overhauled cameras.

Coupled with iWork, Apple’s latest brace of smartphones could appeal to business users who want a smartphone with high-end design and consumer features but also the capabilities for carrying out serious work while on the move.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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