Color me a died in the wool veteran of all things Microsoft and Adobe. That means the suites for Office and Creative Cloud. Nearly every app either software giant makes runs on whatever Apple device I use.
No, I’m not a lover of either platform. Office is $10 a month forever. Adobe charges the same for Photoshop and Lightroom alone, and five times that for the other apps in the suite. Pay. Pay. Pay. For me, Office is a business necessity for compatibility. Alternatives? Yes. And they’re free.
Apple launched iWork way back in the day, moved the suite of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote to iOS for iPhone and iPad, upgraded them for iPads with built-in Pencil capability, and continues to upgrade and improve all three. iWork apps are free. What is not to like?
One improvement I could see beneficial to Apple would be to change the name from iWork to Apple Office, but that might piss off Microsoft (not that they don’t deserve some attitude foisted in their direction).
The latest iWork suite for iOS brings illustration and notation capability. Yeah. Use Pencil to draw on iPad. Use the apps on any device and have everything get saved automatically and automagically to iCloud. Schools may very well like Apple’s new education program with iBooks Author and 200GB of iCloud storage. Per student. That’s double what Google offers for Chromebooks in schools.
Are Pages, Numbers, and Keynote worthy competition for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint? Yes. No. It depends. Office apps are something of a de facto standard in business. That’s why they grace my Macs, iPads, and iPhone and why I fork over $10 a month to Microsoft. The reality is this. Not every needs all the features in Office apps and Apple’s iWork apps are very capable competition. They tie in well with iCloud, files are easily accessible via iCloud Drive and the Files app on iPhone and iPad. And most Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files can be imported into their respective iWork apps.
As life stands today we have three basic platforms from which to choose. Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Most of what Google offers is free thanks to those crazy wild profits from advertising derived from following you around wherever you go across the interwebs; your private information is valuable to Google and they don’t pay you a dime for it, but let you use free apps.
Microsoft sells software but is caught in the middle between Google and Chromebooks on the low end and Apple’s hardware sales on the high end. Office might be the most capable of the app suites, but Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are more useful for the masses and students than Google’s anemic sheets and docs and whatever, oh my!
Office might be packed with features but it comes with a price tag. iWork’s suite of apps is free and works very well between Apple’s Mac, iPhone, and iPads, but even the online apps are decent so with an iCloud account you can access files from anywhere and everywhere.
Not bad for free, right?