What was once a private beta meant only for developers is now trickling out into the public. For those who signed up to be invited to the public beta of iWork for iCloud should be getting them now. Apple originally unveiled the new cloud-based office suite at WWDC last month, and now the software is ready for a public chewing as the company looks to get feedback before an official launch.
As expected, iWork for iCloud is Apple’s version of Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365. The software offers users cloud-based versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, which provide a word processor, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint-like presentations, respectively. Users will be able to access the software via the web browser of their choice (as long as it’s either Safari, Chrome, or IE).
If you received an invite, all you have to do is sign in to iCloud on any computer and then click on either Pages, Numbers, or Keynote to get started drafting up your first iWork for iCloud document. From there you can save a document and it’ll automatically be saved to the cloud where you can access it on another computer. iWork for iCloud can be accessed on either a Mac or Windows PC (no word on Linux, specifically, but we’re guessing that works too). Mobile devices will have support as well.
Essentially, it works just like the traditional version of iWork, where you have access to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, only this time it’s available in cloud. However, it comes with a bit of caveats. For starters, collaboration is pretty much out of the question. Unlike Google Drive, users won’t be able to share documents with other iCloud users.
Apple still has a lot of work to do to make iWork for iCloud a true competitor, but the company knows that. They’re working on adding several more features in the future, including the ability to print documents. As for collaborative editing, Apple hasn’t mentioned such a thing yet, but it’s certainly a feature that iWork for iCloud will need if it wants to compete with Google Drive and Office 365.