iWorks Suite Now on iPhone, iPod Touch – But Do You Need It?
If you’re an aficionado of Apple’s iWork suite on the iPad and wish it was available on the iPhone or iPod Touch, your wish has been granted. Apple officially launched its three productivity apps — Pages, Numbers and Keynote — for the iPhone. But how well do they work on the small screen? Read on for some perspective (no pun intended) …
Each app goes for $9.99 — the same price as the iPad version, but now they’re universal apps, which means if you bought it already for your iPad, you can download it free on your iPhone. That actually is the real point; these apps, while robust, are slightly less useful than their iPad counterparts. I’d call them companion applications.
I don’t own Keynote or Numbers, but I have owned Pages since the iPad’s inception. Loading up the app presented me with a similar friendly interface that the Pages for iPad does. There’s the same list of templates, too, or you can chose for a blank document. All of the menu items you’ve come to know and love are there, including inserting shapes, tables, photos and charts, but they’re a bit more tucked away than the iPad version. Still, it’s easy to use. Pages for the iPhone has a smart zoom feature that zooms into your text and moves with the cursor as you type. (This is also inside the Numbers app, making cell editing easier.)
Big problem for me as blogger: there’s no landscape mode available. No amount of rotating, shaking or setting changes allows for the application to run in a mode that’s way more easy on the eyes and more pleasing to edit in. (Yes, I made sure I didn’t have rotation lock on.) That’s a bummer for me, because I type faster in landscape mode on my iPhone. It would seem especially useful to have landscape mode since the iPhone supports Bluetooth keyboards. Apple could’ve done it, too — hackers in 2010 put the iPad version onto the iPhone and it worked beautifully in landscape mode. That complaint aside, Apple has implemented some nice features for the iPhone versions of the apps, including the ability to use the HDMI-out cable to display Keynote presentations. And if you’d like to get really meta, you can actually use an iPod Touch or iPad with the Keynote Remote App to control the iPhone running Keynote.
Bottom line for VARs looking for a productivity boost: go for it. If you’ve already bought it on the iPad, don’t hesitate to download it. If you’ve got an iPad and iPhone combo and you’re thinking about it, it’s a good value. It’s still the best document suite I’ve seen on a mobile device. But if you only have an iPhone or iPod Touch, I’d say hold off for now, it’s not a must buy.