iWork for the iPad: Productivity On-the-Go

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iWork for the iPad

Well, I am sold. There is now a real reason to buy the iPad. As if all of the other functions weren’t enough (e-reader, iPod, photo viewer, browser, and more), I can now work on documents with complete ease.

The iPad appears to be a real productivity tool with the launch of iWork for the iPad. This is a completely new version of iWork according to Phil Schiller, designed specifically for the iPad. Each application has a gorgeous user interface designed to make it easy to either create slides, documents or spreadsheets. Further, each App also integrates the Media inspector for easy access to your photos and music.


Keynote

From what we could see during Apple’s presentation, you can rearrange slides by pressing on each and then move them accordingly. In addition, there is a unique slide management feature in that you can tap multiple slides, and with a gesture, it moves the slides into a bundle. This should definitely be a timesaver for many folks. Lastly, we learned that the iPad also has an optional cable for connecting with a projector, making it easy to use the device as your primary presentation tool.

Pages

Like its desktop counterpart, you can create publications with standard text and images. However, you can also use gestures (pinch for example) to move images around the publications and more. What’s interesting about this feature  is that it could make placement possibly easier than using a mouse with the desktop version, as long as the proximity “drop” is accurate.

Numbers

From what was demonstrated at the Apple Event, the iPad version of Numbers automatically displays fields and sums (which then infers what the output will be). Otherwise, this version seems relatively comparable to its desktop partner.

What is the bottom line (price and more)?

Interestingly enough, Apple is pricing the Apps individually at $9.99, instead of in a bundle like the desktop suite. This might change by launch time, although it’s a pretty reasonable price for each app, given the richness in functionality. Further, each app shares the desktop file format, so you can be sure not to lose any fidelity in your documents. And you can import Microsoft Office documents too. Lastly, these versions will allow you to email them in iWork ’09 and PDF formats.

As a sidebar, this is an interesting tactic for Apple given that on the iPhone, they’ve ceded document creation/editing to both Documents2Go and QuickOffice (which both only support Microsoft Office file formats). This is a bold step for them to broaden the availability of the iWork suite at such a reasonable price. I wonder if Microsoft is taking notice, and more importantly, I wonder if we’ll see versions for the iPhone too…

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