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.
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.
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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