Following the release of Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for the iPad, Apple is drawing attention to its own office suite with a visual overhaul of the online versions of iWork. The iCloud and Mac versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote all resemble their iOS 7 counterparts after today's update, bringing a common visual aesthetic to the Cupertino company's productivity suite regardless of which platform you prefer.
As we reported yesterday, Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint finally made their way to the iPad, and they're already smashing successes just a day after their release. All three apps currently occupy the top three positions for free apps on the iPad App Store, and the fourth is occupied by Microsoft's redesigned OneNote. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella celebrated the news on Twitter, saying, "looks like it’s a productive Friday for #iPad owners!"
Microsoft Office for iPad? After roughly three years of rumors and bogus launch windows, the whole project had started to seem like a myth. But today the Redmond computing company finally launched the iPad version of its widely used office suite, including its signature programs Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The launch was announced earlier this morning by Satya Nadella, who took over as CEO in the wake of Steve Ballmer's departure.
Once upon a time, Microsoft Office for iPad was was hailed as the office suite that would make Apple's tablet a worthy work product for professionals. And now, years after the device's first appearance, it appears (via a report from ZDNet), that we may get it after all. The big question, of course, is if it's too late to matter.
When Pages for iOS was released alongside the iPad in 2010, it was a showcase of all that was possible with Apple's revolutionary tablet. A natural extension of the Mac app, it set the tone for multitouch content creation, with powerful page layout and word processing templates plus tools that complemented the ones we used on our MacBooks. With the new version 2.0 release, however, Pages is no longer a companion app. A complete rewrite for iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks has brought parity across all platforms, and you'll find the same templates, menus, and features everywhere you go, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and editing.
In a significant stain on the otherwise welcome announcement that iWork would now be free for Mac and iOS users, many long-time users were surprised to find that the updated version no longer included several important features in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. As AppleInsider relates, Apple has now responded to these criticisms with a new support page stating that we'll see the features added again within the next six months.
If you do a lot of writing on your iPad, you know how important a good word processing app is. Whether you're using a Bluetooth keyboard or have somehow mastered the virtual one, ultra-minimal interfaces and smart features have made writing on the iPad a joy, with apps like iA Writer and Write for iPad transforming the way we work. You probably don't think you need another one, but that's only because you haven't tried Editorial. With rich formatting and powerful automation features, Editorial isn't a stripped-down tablet app with a pretty face – it's one of the best text editors we've ever used, on our iPads or anywhere else.
Word processing on the iPad is far from perfect. No matter how adept I may be at using the touch keyboard, tapping through a document to delete a stray word or dragging blue dots to rearrange a thought is an overly arduous task. Tyype HD leverages iOS gestures to envision a better way to edit text. Power users of Pages already know about the one-character swipe, but Tyype HD kicks it up a few notches with a dramatic re-imagining of how we interact with text on our iOS devices.
TextEdit may not have the power of Microsoft Word, or the pizazz of Apple’s Pages, but the humble little word processor that comes with OS X has a lot going for it. While it doesn’t do templates and other fancy things that the others do, it’s more than up to the job for many word-processing needs.
It’s that time of year again, and fear is in the air. Around the world writers are knitting their brows, clenching coffee-stained teeth, and breaking out in cold sweats at the thought of not finishing their stories with a bang. It can only mean one thing: it’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and take that dive into the literary world you’ve always dreamed of––at least, I hope so. I’ve already completed one novel-length manuscript, but this year I’ll be competing against the clock in my first NaNoWriMo. Besides understanding friends and an endless supply of caffeine, I’ll rely on software suited to NaNoWriMo’s unique demands. Fortunately, there are plenty of NaNoWriMo-friendly options available for your Mac and iOS devices.