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Apple adds sharing features, interface tweaks to iWork.com beta

post #1 of 55
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Apple this week quietly announced a handful of enhancements to its fledgeling iWork.com beta service, including the availability of new sharing features and improvements to the online service's user interface tailored for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Share documents on websites and social networks

More specifically, Apple said users can now create a public link that will allow them to shares documents with large groups or on websites and social networks. As such, there's no longer a need to set a password or send an invitation. Anyone with the public link can view documents shared in this manner, but cannot add comments or notes.



Improved Shared Documents page

Meanwhile, Apple also said that user can now download documents shared on iWork.com without leaving the Shared Documents page. This same page also lets users track the number of views their publicly shared documents receive.



Refined user interface

Finally, Apple said it has redesigned iWork.com's Sign In and Shared Documents page for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, to make it easier for users to access their documents while on the go.



"The new interface and improved scrolling help you find your shared documents faster," the company said. "Visit www.iwork.com from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to view your shared documents."

To take advantage of iWork.com and these new features, Apple noted that users should be using the latest version of iWork on their Mac. It's also requesting that users provide it with feedback on the latest round of changes.

About iWork.com

Released as a public beta on January 6, 2009 at the Macworld Conference & Expo, iWork.com provides a web interface for viewing, downloading, and commenting on uploaded documents from Apple's Mac-based iWork productivity suite.

The service supports uploading of Pages '09 documents, Keynote '09 presentations, and Numbers '09 spreadsheets. Users can download documents in both Microsoft Office and PDF formats, in addition to their native iWork formats.

The user who uploads the document determines which of the aforementioned formats are available as download options. However, in contrast to cloud-based office applications such as Google Docs, iWork.com does not offer editing. The service is currently free as a beta but will morph into a subscription-based offering once it's finalized.

Last year, AppleInsider published an extensive look at iWork.com.
post #2 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple this week quietly announced a handful of enhancements to its fledgeling iWork.com beta service, including the availability of new sharing features and improvements to the online service's user interface tailored for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Share documents on websites and social networks

More specifically, Apple said users can now create a public link that will allow them to shares documents with large groups or on websites and social networks. As such, there's no longer a need to set a password or send an invitation. Anyone with the public link can view documents shared in this manner, but cannot add comments or notes.



Improved Shared Documents page

Meanwhile, Apple also said that user can now download documents shared on iWork.com without leaving the Shared Documents page. This same page also lets users track the number of views their publicly shared documents receive.



Refined user interface

Finally, Apple said it has redesigned iWork.com's Sign In and Shared Documents page for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch to make it easier for users to access their documents while on the go.



"The new interface and improved scrolling help you find your shared documents faster," the company said. "Visit www.iwork.com from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to view your shared documents."

To take advantage of iWork.com and these new features, Apple noted that users should be using the latest version of iWork on their Mac. It's also requesting that users provide it with feedback on the latest round of changes.

About iWork.com

Released as a public beta on January 6, 2009 at the Macworld Conference & Expo, iWork.com provides a web interface for viewing, downloading, and commenting on uploaded documents from Apple's Mac-based iWork productivity suite.

The service supports uploading of Pages '09 documents, Keynote '09 presentations, and Numbers '09 spreadsheets. Users can download documents in both Microsoft Office and PDF formats, in addition to their native iWork formats.

The user who uploads the document determines which of the aforementioned formats are available as download options. However, in contrast to cloud-based office applications such as Google Docs, iWork.com does not offer editing. The service is currently free as a beta but will morph into a subscription-based offering once it's finalized.

Last year, AppleInsider published an extensive look at iWork.com.

Ha! How can the haters deny that the iPad is a serious business machine?
post #3 of 55
GOOOoood!!!!!

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post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLuv View Post

Ha! How can the haters deny that the iPad is a serious business machine?

I fully agree with you! Microsoft shoud develop Office for ipad quickly!!

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post #5 of 55
It just keeps getting better!
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post #6 of 55
IMHO, absent collaborative features, iWork.com is still more an impressive curiosity than a useful Web-application.

Hopefully, Apple is edging cautiously toward a release that will finally close this gap with Google.com's offerings.

Until then, pass.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismarty View Post

IMHO, absent collaborative features, iWork.com is still more an impressive curiosity than a useful Web-application.

Hopefully, Apple is edging cautiously toward a release that will finally close this gap with Google.com's offerings.

Until then, pass.

But Google is the most Evil! Google is trying to KILL Apple! But Apple will kill Google instead.
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLuv View Post

But Google is the most Evil! Google is trying to KILL Apple! But Apple will kill Google instead.

i don't think so if apple won't embrace some 'free' aspects of cloud. they also should avoid the MS problem of disjoint projects that cause confusion (i.e. all the products and names regarding cloud that ms have and seem to overlap...).
let people have a free @iwork.com email address and some tiny storage space (do away with 'mobileme' name) and let people that by mac hardware/products have more space/percs.
the majority of people aren't going to pay for something that google provides for 'free'
post #9 of 55
I've always liked iWork.com. Nice to see the integration here.

Of course the iPad is a serious machine. Apple and developers are ready to make this thing *the* next computing platform, no fail.
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I've always liked iWork.com. Nice to see the integration here.

Of course the iPad is a serious machine. Apple and developers are ready to make this thing *the* next computing platform, no fail.

One question for those of you who have used iWork.com. Can you play Keynote presentations from the webpage?
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post #11 of 55
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Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

One question for those of you who have used iWork.com. Can you play Keynote presentations from the webpage?

Never tried. I've only ever uploaded documents there for review, corrections, etc.
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by giosaccone View Post

I fully agree with you! Microsoft shoud develop Office for ipad quickly!!

I completely agree. If Microsoft put a full version of Office (Word, Excel, PPT, Outlook etc) out for the iPad I would take it very seriously, and give it serious use as my full time home device.

I'll still use a desktop for work, but MS office on the iPad would been enough to suit almost all my needs at home.

Please Redmond ... we know that people will soon be able develop WPS7 apps fast now, and we know you can do the same under the iPad SDK. Perhaps make one for both platforms and you'll have a lot of us as very happy paying customers.
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

One question for those of you who have used iWork.com. Can you play Keynote presentations from the webpage?

Not really. You can certainly display the presentation, but it's in edit mode rather than presentation mode. I would also love to see that, as there's a serious problem with displaying keynote presentations unless you actually have a Mac at your presentation. Displaying a full-featured (or even mostly-full-featured) presentation via a browser would be a great cross-platform solution to that problem, but it's not presently in iWork.com.
post #14 of 55
iWork really needs to be as complete as Google Docs.
I shouldn't be required to purchase the iWork suite if I have already paid for Mobile Me.

-Edit files with tracking of changes
-Ability to present Keynote
-Print files to local printers
-Save files to local networks
-Note taking functionality (OneNote)
post #15 of 55
I think iWork.com needs a dedicated app for iDevices. I'm sure that's in the works.
post #16 of 55
I like how iWork works compared to other. I think it gets a bit confusing and hard to manage if you have, say 5 people constantly editing documents and making changes directly. Commenting system and having the author do the actual changes helps keep it in order and not become a clusterfkt of who did this and what and tracking change after change, so on.
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismarty View Post

IMHO, absent collaborative features, iWork.com is still more an impressive curiosity than a useful Web-application.

Unfortunately I have to agree. I recently did some freelance work for a client who had some fairly strict workplace constraints, for security reasons. I wanted to use a Numbers spreadsheet published to iWork to keep track of my times on and off the clock, but I discovered that iWork documents aren't actually editable. They can be viewed and downloaded, but not edited.

I then tried using a Google spreadsheet *but it was just way too much of a pain to fight with. I ended up keeping a Gmail window open all the time, and just emailing myself my notes for the day so I could transcribe them into a timesheet that evening at home.

In retrospect, it would've been easier to just do it all on paper.
post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

-Note taking functionality (OneNote)

Apple should buy Evernote and integrate it into iWork and MobileMe, that would be amazing.
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post #19 of 55
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Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Not really. You can certainly display the presentation, but it's in edit mode rather than presentation mode. I would also love to see that, as there's a serious problem with displaying keynote presentations unless you actually have a Mac at your presentation. Displaying a full-featured (or even mostly-full-featured) presentation via a browser would be a great cross-platform solution to that problem, but it's not presently in iWork.com.

It is not in edit mode. It is in comment/note mode. You can if the author allows you to, download a copy in varying applications, including PowerPoint.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomfoolery View Post

Unfortunately I have to agree. I recently did some freelance work for a client who had some fairly strict workplace constraints, for security reasons. I wanted to use a Numbers spreadsheet published to iWork to keep track of my times on and off the clock, but I discovered that iWork documents aren't actually editable. They can be viewed and downloaded, but not edited.

I then tried using a Google spreadsheet *but it was just way too much of a pain to fight with. I ended up keeping a Gmail window open all the time, and just emailing myself my notes for the day so I could transcribe them into a timesheet that evening at home.

In retrospect, it would've been easier to just do it all on paper.

Virtually every decent place I've worked for is exactly the same. None of them would ever touch Numbers or iWork. Not with a ten-foot pole would I use them for work, no matter how collobarative they get in future.

Consider yourself lucky with the Gmail access as Google is a word I dare not utter inside the workplace.
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

Virtually every decent place I've worked for is exactly the same. None of them would ever touch Numbers or iWork. Not with a ten-foot pole would I use them for work, no matter how collobarative they get in future.

Consider yourself lucky with the Gmail access as Google is a word I dare not utter inside the workplace.

I don't get why you all don't just keep your docs on MobileMe and edit from there. Haven't yet quite got the purpose of iWork.com, other than the fact it might be free. Which, you get what you pay for. . . but in this case and a potential subscription method, . . . maybe not.
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismarty View Post

IMHO, absent collaborative features, iWork.com is still more an impressive curiosity than a useful Web-application.

Hopefully, Apple is edging cautiously toward a release that will finally close this gap with Google.com's offerings.

Until then, pass.

As an author/editor/publisher, the last thing I would want is someone else revising manuscripts unilaterally.

Unless it is in collaboration with another author/editor; in the business we would submit manuscripts for markup, i.e., comments/proofing/approval. It is then somebody's duty (usually the author gets first crack) to take the suggestions under consideration, make the required changes and resubmit/re-edit until necessary.

We use iWork.com routinely to pass copy for editorial and client approval. If there is a comment or request for changes we can see it immediately, quickly dialogue with the viewer, clarify the issue if necessary and make final changes on the original manuscript. Since there is now an activity log on comments (which we file) attached to the submission, the final signature which is always on a hard copy comes a lot quicker.

Too often I have seen 'electronic collaboration' efforts fail miserably. As they say, the more cooks…spoil the broth, and the more choices…the longer it takes to make a decision.
post #23 of 55
I've considered using iWork.com for document sharing a couple of times, but each time I decided against it after spending a bit of time with the web interface and asking myself how I'd feel being faced with figuring it out. The last thing you want to do is frustrate a client. It just isn't easy or obvious enough yet. Maybe it's been improved with this upgrade.
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post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

As an author/editor/publisher, the last thing I would want is someone else revising manuscripts unilaterally.

Unless it is in collaboration with another author/editor; in the business we would submit manuscripts for markup, i.e., comments/proofing/approval. It is then somebody's duty (usually the author gets first crack) to take the suggestions under consideration, make the required changes and resubmit/re-edit until necessary.

We use iWork.com routinely to pass copy for editorial and client approval. If there is a comment or request for changes we can see it immediately, quickly dialogue with the viewer, clarify the issue if necessary and make final changes on the original manuscript. Since there is now an activity log attached to the submission, the final signature which is always on a hard copy comes a lot quicker.

Too often I have seen 'electronic collaboration' efforts fail miserably. As they say, the more cooksspoil the broth.

I agree entirely. Every "track changes" document I've seen eventually becomes an utter disaster. Someone, ultimately, has to be responsible for the final document and make the appropriate changes based on comments.
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post #25 of 55
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Originally Posted by giosaccone View Post

I fully agree with you! Microsoft shoud develop Office for ipad quickly!!

Gawd, what a nightmare that would be!

I would like to see Apple allow iWork to save Word docs directly as PDF's though. The timing would be perfect with the iPad and the cloud, and it would drive adoption of Pages and the pages format while simultaneously outflanking Microsoft and keeping the Word doc format from dominating the web.
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismarty View Post

IMHO, absent collaborative features, iWork.com is still more an impressive curiosity than a useful Web-application.

Hopefully, Apple is edging cautiously toward a release that will finally close this gap with Google.com's offerings.

Until then, pass.

How hard is it to surpass google docs? It has no support, many of the features still don't work or are buried deep in the settings, import/ export is atrocious and everything must reside on a their cloud with no utility to synch anything. Google docs is a bastard and it won't take long at all for Apple to surpass GD. The bar is set very low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

I completely agree. If Microsoft put a full version of Office (Word, Excel, PPT, Outlook etc) out for the iPad I would take it very seriously, and give it serious use as my full time home device.

Why is everyone so fixated on Office? Every program in that package is a lame duck. I mean power point over keynote? I doubt it. MSFT makes a boat load of money selling software that for the greater part hasn't been updated in 15 years. It reminds me of quark in that way. Deny that there are better and easier ways of getting the job done and let a competitor railroad you when everyone sees how easy it is to do things a new way.

The only reason google docs has gained in popularity is because office is such a POC. If MSFT had reworked the interface, added new tools and new features that are more intuitive, easier and faster to use, google would never have been able to compete. I have to say that I feel like I make about 20 or 30 more clicks than I have to every time I open word to do anything other than type and the drawing/ picture and layout tools are a joke.

I can get the same features and clunky interface for free (open office) and MSFT has given few people any reason other than perception ("I need Office") to continue to use the suite. Sure back in 1995 Office was great, better even than Apples stuff, but that is simply not the case any longer.
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post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Gawd, what a nightmare that would be!

I would like to see Apple allow iWork to save Word docs directly as PDF's though. The timing would be perfect with the iPad and the cloud, and it would drive adoption of Pages and the pages format while simultaneously outflanking Microsoft and keeping the Word doc format from dominating the web.

So to be clear PDFs are ok, but we don't want .DOC files dominating the web?

I don't really see the difference, and I still don't see Pages doing any outflanking this year either, though it would be nice to see it get adopted much more widely.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post



Why is everyone so fixated on Office? Every program in that package is a lame duck. I mean power point over keynote? I doubt it. MSFT makes a boat load of money selling software that for the greater part hasn't been updated in 15 years. It reminds me of quark in that way. Deny that there are better and easier ways of getting the job done and let a competitor railroad you when everyone sees how easy it is to do things a new way.

The only reason google docs has gained in popularity is because office is such a POC. If MSFT had reworked the interface, added new tools and new features that are more intuitive, easier and faster to use, google would never have been able to compete. I have to say that I feel like I make about 20 or 30 more clicks than I have to every time I open word to do anything other than type and the drawing/ picture and layout tools are a joke.

I can get the same features and clunky interface for free (open office) and MSFT has given few people any reason other than perception ("I need Office") to continue to use the suite. Sure back in 1995 Office was great, better even than Apples stuff, but that is simply not the case any longer.

I'd agree when it comes to Powerpoint you're spot on. As for Word, the innovation has been extraordinarily limited for many years so your point holds well there too. I think you're right, everyday processes are faster in Pages.

The one big draw in Office though is Excel. Numbers cannot come close to Excel for proper spreadsheet work. That is the untouchable and unbeatable app in Office for me, despite it not changing much for years.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I would like to see Apple allow iWork to save Word docs directly as PDF's though.

It can already. Just open the Word document in Pages, and either Save As or Print to a PDF.
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post #30 of 55
I dunno... If iWork.com is just a sharing service, I don't think I would be buying it. It has to at least offer collaboration services, I think. Maybe they'll roll it into Mobile Me.
post #31 of 55
Big Brother, that is.
post #32 of 55
Yes, iWork is great, but I am afraid I have been using Google Docs for a good few months and it is great. Yes, I rather have iWork and not google, but I definitively need Editing feature (and more when I get my iPad) as I am on the move all the time. So please Apple......get Editing on iWork for iPhone and iPad soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I beg you!!!!
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericvet8b View Post

Yes, iWork is great, but I am afraid I have been using Google Docs for a good few months and it is great. Yes, I rather have iWork and not google, but I definitively need Editing feature (and more when I get my iPad) as I am on the move all the time. So please Apple......get Editing on iWork for iPhone and iPad soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I beg you!!!!

I thought they already announced editing on the iPad, you just need to buy each app (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) each for 9.99, right?

Everybody else was talking about iWork.com... and how it doesn't have editing features, so you shouldn't go for iWork.com, you should go for iWork
post #34 of 55
The cool thing is that with the new iPad we'll soon have quite a few options available to us whenever we want to write something meaningful. Some of these would be on other devices too (ie the browser based ones) but it's a pretty good starting list to start trying out on the iPad.

1) iWork
2) iWork.com
3) Google Docs
4) QuickOffice App
5) Documents to Go App
6) Internet typewriter type apps (like in Bighugelabs)

7)....and whatever comes next from the other productivity software makers.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Apple should buy Evernote and integrate it into iWork and MobileMe, that would be amazing.

From your keyboard to Steve's eyes.
post #36 of 55
This still is a half baked effort to say the list. I really don't see why some of us who pay apple a very hefty annual sum for mobileme can't have iwork.com integrated in there. Maybe they plan to do so in the future because it's still in beta. Still, as the words mobile me would have it, being mobile is also about documents not a crappy idisk function/app solely.
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

So to be clear PDFs are ok, but we don't want .DOC files dominating the web?

I don't really see the difference, and I still don't see Pages doing any outflanking this year either, though it would be nice to see it get adopted much more widely.

Actually, I think there's a pretty big difference. From the PDF wiki:

Formerly a proprietary format, PDF was officially released as an open standard on July 1, 2008, and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO/IEC 32000-1:2008.[6][clarification needed]
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamrin View Post

Actually, I think there's a pretty big difference. From the PDF wiki:

Formerly a proprietary format, PDF was officially released as an open standard on July 1, 2008, and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO/IEC 32000-1:2008.[6][clarification needed]

My understanding is that a portion of PDF has been essentially an "open standard" for some time, at least since around 2000 when Apple decided to use it as the display language for OSX. They were able to do so without paying license fees to Adobe, which would have been required if they'd stuck with Postscript, as was used for the same purpose in NextStep.
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post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

My understanding is that a portion of PDF has been essentially an "open standard" for some time, at least since around 2000 when Apple decided to use it as the display language for OSX. They were able to do so without paying license fees to Adobe, which would have been required if they'd stuck with Postscript, as was used for the same purpose in NextStep.

Right. I was just explaining why I think PDFs "dominating" the internet shouldn't elicit the same negative response that .doc files do. I don't consider PDFs proprietary in the same sense that .doc is.
post #40 of 55
You have iWork, I have iWork.

I download your document, work on it, upload it.

You download my document, make changes upload it.

etc...

etc...

That seems reasonably collaborative to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismarty View Post

IMHO, absent collaborative features, iWork.com is still more an impressive curiosity than a useful Web-application.

Hopefully, Apple is edging cautiously toward a release that will finally close this gap with Google.com's offerings.

Until then, pass.
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