Apple's iWork suite of apps — Pages, Keynote and Numbers — are some of the best apps on my iPad. I use Pages, along with an external keyboard, to type documents, I use Keynote every time I give a presentation (I cannot even remember the last time I used PowerPoint), and while I don't use a spreadsheet on my iPad very often, when I need one, Numbers works great. But because there are no Pages, Keynote and Numbers programs for the PC (they do exist for the Mac), in the past I would have to convert documents created on my iPad to use them on my PC at work. But as of this past Friday, Apple has now given everyone access to all three of these apps via Apple's free iCloud.com website so you can now work with your Pages, Keynote and Numbers documents in the browser on any computer, Mac or PC. [UPDATE: Dan Moren of Macworld reports that due to overwhelming response, Apple is throttling iWork access for new users. If you don't have it yet, hopefully you will very soon.] Simply point your browser to iCloud.com (it works best using Chrome on a PC or Safari on a Mac), login with your Apple ID and password, and you'll see the new Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps in your browser.
For example, I can type some notes using Pages on my iPad, and then later I can simply go to iCloud.com on my PC, click on the Pages app, and all of the Pages documents on my iPad show up. I can double-click any document to read it or edit it on my PC, and then when I go back to my iPad any edits that I made on the computer are there on the iPad. You can also use iCloud.com to export a Pages document to Word or PDF format — something you can also do on the iPad, of course, but now you don't have to pull your iPad out of your briefcase to do this and can simply do it on your computer.
For people who use Keynote to give presentations, the Keynote app in iCloud.com could be a life-saver. Hooking up an iPad (or iPhone) to a projector is easy if you have the right cable, but if you ever find yourself in a situation where that is not possible — perhaps you forgot the necessary cable at home, or perhaps the setup in the room is such that the projector is far away from where you will be standing and you need someone else to handle your slides from a computer – you can simply go to iCloud.com from any computer connected to the Internet and pull up your Keynote presentation. You can make any last-minute edits on the computer, and then you can enter presentation mode in Keynote on iCloud.com. If the computer is connected to the projector, then you can give your presentation without using your iPad at all.
The iWork apps in iCloud.com don't have all of the features as the full apps on the iPad, nor do they have all of the features in the Mac versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers. (Jeffery Battersby of Macworld notes the limitations.) For example, you cannot print from the web browser versions of these apps, so you'll need to do that from your iPad or iPhone, or email the document to yourself (such as a PDF version) and print from your computer. But the essential features are there, so it is easy to make quick edits. And frankly, I'm amazed that Apple could create a version of this sophisticated software that runs in the browser.
The addition of Pages, Keynote and Numbers to iCloud.com makes those iPad and iPhone apps even more useful. If you use the iWork apps on your iOS device, be sure to check out the new iCloud.com.
Click here to get Pages ($9.99):
Click here to get Keynote ($9.99):
Click here to get Numbers ($9.99):