So, how does iWork for iPad work?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ThatsMeRight, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #1
    Well. It's been a while now and how does iWork for iPad work?
    Is it fine to create documents with (in combination with a keyboard?) or keynotes or presentations?

    1) Can you create documents with it just fine? Does it support like most of the standard features you would also find on a computer?
    2) What about spreadsheets or presentations? I don't expect it to have just as many possibilities as on a computer, but again, does it support most standard features?

    Just curious. This will be the breakthrough for me: I'm planning to use the iPad to create mostly documents, and maybe a few spreadsheets and a few presentations. Besides that I'm of course also going to use it for web browsing, watching videos etc. but I'm really interested in iWork for iPad.

    Thanks!
     
  2. caubeck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #2
    I use Pages as my main office app. This is not so much because it's brilliant - in fact it's pretty average - but because the competition is worse.

    In any case, I could not get my work done (writing, translating, research, reading, composing documents with images and text, etc.) without combining Documents to Go (occasionally useful), Readdle or GoodReader (doc storage and opening zips etc.), Pages (composing text) and Photogene (getting my images right), plus WhiteNote (now they've debugged it) for more complex single-page docs.

    I have everything covered with these 5 apps, though I own tons more.
     
  3. reckless2k2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 10, 2008
    #3
    Pages and Keynote are not that bad and come with a lot of stuff. Numbers is alright but I've found importing from Excel or Word to strip quite a bit. That's something to consider as well as getting your documents off of the iPad if you need to print.

    I've had better experiences with QuickOffice if I'm importing in files and have a need to retain information from an MS Office perspective.

    From the strict creation process on the iPad using the iWork suite, it's pretty hot though.
     
  4. eddy64 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #4
    I don't personally own these apps but i've considered buying them and I've seen a lot of reviews/comments.
    From what I understand, these apps are suitable for simple and light use. Maybe to dish out memo's, short essays, simple presentations, etc. Most people say that it shouldn't be expected to replace your iWorks suite on your Mac. Big reports/presentations should def be done on the Mac. Pages, for example, does not have all the features, but you can edit font, import images, and use templates. I feel that creating spread sheets would be most annoying. Maybe numbers is more suited for editing spreadsheets, since most of the data would already be inputed.
     
  5. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #5
    I'm a pretty big spreadsheet user. (Excel on the Mac) I considered getting Numbers for my iPad, but it doesn't do a good enough job with Excel compatibility. It will import Excel files, but will only export Numbers files. I really don't want to be forced to use Numbers on my Mac to read and convert the files from the iPad.

    Instead, I purchased Mariner Calc for the iPad. It is cheaper, has full Excel import/export and supports more features I use (like Freeze Pane).
     
  6. Red5403 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    KS
    #6
    I have Numbers on the iPad. Also, I'm not a master spreadsheet user - formulas are not too fancy - so I have no idea of how well Numbers words for a power user.

    You can export a Numbers spreadsheet on the iPad to excel users, but not directly.

    (I have an entire Mac system - meaning, I don't use a Windows/PC at all.)

    1. I made a spreadsheet to keep track of client contact hours and other professional duties/hours. I have it on my iPad. I needed to share that with some Windows friends - they only have Excel.

    2. I created an account on iWork.com (never used it before the other day...) and uploaded my iPad Numbers spreadsheet to iWork.com. Sent the two people that wanted the file the email that iWork.com creates when you want to share. It is an email with a direct link to the file at iWork.com.

    3. They can then click on the download button and download it as a Numbers file, PDF, or Excel .xls maybe .xlsx?, file.

    They downloaded it, fired up Excel on their Windows machine and voila, it was there and worked perfectly.

    ** Caveat - I have no idea if you can upload to iWork.com with a Windows computer - not sure if iWork.com is Mac only. I have only Macs, so I have no idea.

    So, you CAN export to Excel users, it is just a little more involved that simple clicking the export in iPad Numbers and mailing an excel file.
     
  7. wyneken macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    The great State of Maine
    #7
    I can only comment on Pages. Eddy64 is right that the iPad version of Pages lacks many of the features of the desktop version. Depending on how you look at it, the app has been either (a) drastically stripped down or (b) boldly re-imagined for the smaller form-factor and finger-based interface.

    Personally, I kind of like it. It's quirky and sometimes non-intuitive, and in general feels very much like a version 1 kind of thing. But that is not without its charm. If Pages on the desktop is an IBM Selectric, Pages on the iPad is a Remington manual in a little faux-leather carrying case. And seriously -- which would you rather pop open in your hotel in Havana to bang out a brilliant though flawed novel on, while your companion mixes another batch of mojitos?

    I feel like, if people can shoot and edit HD movies with an iPhone, you should be able to write books with Pages on an iPad. Just ignore the obvious objections and do it.
     
  8. afireintonto macrumors 6502a

    afireintonto

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Portland
    #8
    Pages is nice. I used it to write my English final last spring. 1300 words, and it didn't take to long to punch it all out on the ipad. I'd go ad far as saying that I'm better at typing on the ipad than I am on my MacBook.
     
  9. ThatsMeRight thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Sep 12, 2009
    #9
    Okay, thanks for the responses! I'll probably get the iPad and Pages. It seems like pages is good enough for making documents easy but not too many complicated functions.
     
  10. MrWillie macrumors 65816

    MrWillie

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    #10
    ThatsMeRight,

    One more thing... Numbers does not merge cells, and it unmerges merged cells from other spreadsheet programs rather poorly. This is one MAJOR reason why I still lug the laptop with me too.
     
  11. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Let's hope I can say the same within a few weeks :p
     
  12. afireintonto macrumors 6502a

    afireintonto

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Portland
    #12
    Hopefully you get netter than a D on your final :p hahaha
     
  13. kuaiyouming, Jul 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  14. wyneken macrumors regular

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    Feb 26, 2010
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    The great State of Maine
    #14
    I sometimes use a hybrid approach: draft a document in Pages on the iPad (because I can do this sitting comfortably anywhere) and then move it to the desktop for a final revision or polish -- or at least to make sure the formatting looks okay on a "real" word processor.
     
  15. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    Isla Nublar
    #15
    I really like Pages for iPad. That being said my word processing needs are not that great. Reports for class are pretty much all I do.
     
  16. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #16
    The apps themselves are pretty decent, actually quite amazing in some ways, considering it's their first version and on a brand new device with totally new interface requirements. Typing a large amount of text is what it is on the iPad, you can do it but you'd never choose it over a MacBook Pro, for example. But of course the MBP weighs 3x as much and gets at most 1/2 the battery life of the iPad.

    What sucks, and sucks hard, is the hoops you have to jump through to get documents into and out of the apps, involving emailing, importing, exporting, going through third party apps, and iTunes syncing. It's a ridiculous, toturous system that totally kills any productivity for me. If you want to switch off working on documents between the iPad and your desktop or laptop, I cannot recommend them. I should be able to save a Doc on my desktop to Dropbox, open it on the iPad, edit, and have it saved back to Dropbox (or iDisk if you prefer), ready for more editing on the desktop. But that just doesn't work at all.
     
  17. shellbryson macrumors 6502

    shellbryson

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #17
    I bought Pages with a hope that it would turn the iPad into a supplementary writing tool, but Pages is next to useless for me.

    I tend to write in Neo Office (OpenOffice) on my MacBook, but exporting in Word format results in documents consisting of no more than the cover page once loaded into Pages.

    These documents are fairly long (50+ pages), but have almost no formatting, and no images at all in them. I can't fathom why Pages wont load them, but it renders the app useless to me. Waste of money if you are a writer!
     
  18. wyneken macrumors regular

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    Feb 26, 2010
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    The great State of Maine
    #18
    I guess it depends on the writer. And on other things like what kind of documents you need to produce, what hardware and software you need to interact with, and how you feel about the iPad as a daily working tool.

    I like to work with RTF files so that I can do basic literary formatting but still be fairly confident that my documents will be easily readable at the other end. Editors seem to be okay with this, in my experience. (My current publisher actually requires that manuscripts be submitted in RTF, Courier-12, double-spaced, apparently so they will look like every manuscript since Hemingway.) Pages on iPad unfortunately does not support RTF, though desktop Pages does. I'm kind of hoping that the software will have matured by the time I finish my long-overdue novel in progress, which I've moved over to the iPad because I find this a lot more fun than sitting for hours at my desk.

    I guess what I'm suggesting is that Pages, like the iPad itself, and creative tools generally, might be either a good choice or an unacceptable choice for a given writer. I've spent a lot of money on word processing software over the years, and from my point of view, this $10 investment may be the best bargain to date ... excepting maybe MacWrite 1.0, which came free with the original Macintosh.
     
  19. mixvio macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #19
    I've currently been in the midst of a sci-fi/fantasy fiction project (self-advertisement here, ahem) and I wrote almost all of the 25k word first book on my iPad.

    Typing on it hasn't been an issue, after the first couple days I was up to speed at my normal typing and had no real problem cranking out about 1500 words a day in an hour or two.

    I use Pages for the actual writing itself, because I don't like the other document apps at all. But Pages (and iTunes') document syncing really sucks, so I bought Docs2Go for its desktop app that lets me sync a folder on my desktop and have any changes between documents go back to that. I write something in Pages, use iFile to cut/paste the file into the app folder for Docs2Go, then sync it back to my desktop when I'm done. It's convoluted and I really wish Apple just let you use the iPad as a damned storage device the way you can with the iPod, but until that day this is how my workflow goes.

    Typing, as I said, isn't really the problem. My biggest hindrance is the auto-correct. I loathe it. At least Pages has its own spellcheck irrespective of the auto-correct, while the global system only has one if you leave it on, but I really wish it worked the way it does on OSX.
     
  20. shellbryson macrumors 6502

    shellbryson

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #20
    Some interesting responses there.

    I'm also working on novels, and I have Open Office setup pretty much the same way - except I prefer a more elegant font than Courier for writing and editing. Easily enough to reformat for a publisher :)

    I'd LOVE the iPad/Pages to become more of a tool for 'virgin writing' on, but it's just not there yet.

    However I *do* use it as part of my writing setup. When I'm out in my fave writing spot (Yet Another Cafe that claims Harry Potter was drafted there) on my MacBookPro, it's incredibly useful to have the iPad next to me with my notes open (EverNote), current research (Safari) or reference art. Using it as a 'second screen' effectively removes my need to ever 'switch' away from Open Office and in turn interrupting the flow of words.

    So while I've not really learned to use the iPad to create new work yet, it has been an essential aid on my writing days!
     
  21. caubeck macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #21
    I'm writing the second version of my second book on Pages. My solution to the limitations of the app is to transfer my notes and drafts to the iPad and do all the writing there in a fresh doc.

    I need to check a document in Docs 2 Go to see footnotes, which is a pain.

    Neither Pages nor Quickoffice have a way to display footnotes. They'll tell you at Quickoffice that your notes will still be there when you next transfer the doc back to your main computer, but if you're editing it's easy to delete the footnotes without realizing it.

    Word count is dearly missed in these apps, too.
     
  22. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #22
    I've been using Numbers, it's pretty good, but the battery life seems to go down at a faster rate than usual when using it.
     

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