Since October 2013, shortly after Apple’s Keynote event, iWork for iCloud is available as a beta version going along with a redesign of it’s components Keynote, Numbers, and Pages. The iOS 7 adapted productivity tool is now free for new purchased devices.
iWork for iCloud now allows working on documents across all kind of devices even on devices of other vendors. This works with every any browser like Safari, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Internet Explorer after signing in to iCloud with your Apple ID on iCloud com.
Use copies …
It’s always good to have a copy.
Resolve conflicts …
If you use iWork on more than one iOS device and activated syncing via iCloud conflicts might occur if one of the devices you are working on is temporarily disconnected from the internet. In this case the document is saved locally on your device but cannot be updated in iCloud.
There seems to be a problem with iWork documents if one of the iOS devices wasn’t connected to the internet when editing a document.
But don’t panic. There is a way to fix it in a jiffy.
Just keep both versions of the document and decide later which one you finally want to keep.
This method of resolving conflicts is much more sophisticated than resolving conflicts which might occur in other apps like e.g. ByWord, a simple markdown text editor where you only can keep one version.
And Apple wouldn’t be Apple if there would’t be more:
Edited documents are saved to iCloud along with a *history of the edits* you made. So when you open the document on another iOS device, you can undo individual edits, just as if you made them on that device.
If an iOS device is not connected to the internet a local copy of an iWork document is used to allow editing.
If you finish your work and the internet connection is still not available you will see an up-pointing arrow on this document in the documents overview. It means that the document is waiting for an upload to iCloud. The arrow disappears if your device connects to the internet again via WiFi or a cellular connection.
File sizes …
I myself use iWork for iOS extensively.
File sizes always matter if it comes to your iCloud data plan (5 GB for free), your data plan you fixed with your mobile provider, and the memory of your device.
So here are some average values for the ZIP files of iWork documents …
The ZIP file of the mentioned Keynote presentation consists of 489 single files, primarily images.
The ZIP file of the mentioned Numbers spreadsheet consists of 11 files with 4 tables and 2 images.
The ZIP file of the mentioned Pages document consists of 21 files with 10 pages, a table, and 5 full-page images.
Go to Settings – General – Usage and you get a list with you installed apps and the amount of memory they use on you device. If you extensively use the presentation tool Keynote keep an eye on the used storage, Keynote is a cormorant space eater if you extensively make use of images.
Exporting iWork documents …
If you use ‘Send a copy’ or ‘Open in another app’ for an iWork document you have to choose a format (e.g. for Numbers, PDF, Excel, or CSV within the app Numbers).
If you choose the native iWork format for Keynote, Numbers, or Pages the app then generates a ZIP file. It contains the document, images used in the document, and a further ZIP file index.zip which contains properties of all objects you created in the document.
This is quote different from former versions of iWork which produced a single file with the extensions .keynote, .numbers, and .pages. The reason is the new collaboration feature of iWork for iCloud. It needs to save all objects separately to check whether they have been changed or not.
And it’s quite different from Microsoft Office documents which can only be edited by a single person.
This file can be easily opened on all devices running on iOS or OSX.
If you want to open Apple’s proprietary file format from within a cloud client app like Microsoft’s OneDrive client just choose ‘Open in Another App’ and then select the appropriate iWork app.
iWork sync documents via WiFi or Cellular connections.
Go to Settings – iCloud – Documents+Data and at the end of the list you will find the option ‘Use Cellular Data’ to turn syncing via Cellular networks on or off. If you have a small sized data plan or work on large file sizes it’s recommended to set this option to OFF.
I already explained that each iWork file is split into a set of files which allows improved collaboration features as well as performance improvements.
See what happens if you open an iWork app which files have been edited on other devices.
In a first step you only can see the file names and after downloading the preview images iWork looks up file sizes so that only small files are immediately downloaded and others are downloaded not until you want to look into the content or edit it.
iCloud security …
iCloud secures your data by encrypting it when it is sent over the Internet, storing it in an encrypted format when kept on server (review the table below for detail), and using secure tokens for authentication. This means that your data is protected from unauthorized access both while it is being transmitted to your devices and when it is stored in the cloud. iCloud uses a minimum of 128-bit AES encryption—the same level of security employed by major financial institutions—and never provides encryption keys to any third parties.
iWork documents are part of the ‘iCloud – Documents + Data’ section in ‘Settings’ for your device. Documents are encrypted at a minimum of 128-Bit AES in transit (when sent over the internet) and at rest (when stored on Apple’s servers).
When you access iCloud services using Apple’s built-in apps, authentication is handled using a secure token. Using secure tokens eliminates the need to store your iCloud password on devices and computers. Even if you choose to use a third-party application to access your iCloud data, your username and password are sent over an encrypted SSL connection.
I’d like to think Apple products are perfect and (not surprisingly) they obviously are (with some resyrictions). A powerful new approach to collaborative working. Apple’s ecosystem got a forward-thinking improvement.
Related links …
iWork to AirPort
iCloud, a paradigm shift
iWork and Sharing
Apple: iCloud Security
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