On Tuesday Apple had a little product announcement that made the bloggosphere ‘splode with excitement. The most interesting part for me as fully committed Google Drive fan-middle-aged-man is the iWork for iCloud beta announcement. Like Google Drive, the iWork suite is now free, and like Google Drive, it offers real-time collaboration. Sorry Microsoft SkyDrive 365 Office Sharepoint. If you don’t give your software away now, you’re in even bigger trouble.
Last night on The Google Educast, Sean, Fred, and I put iWork collaboration to the test, and it actually kind of works. Here Sean is trying to get a rise out of me.
Here are five reasons I think iWork for iCloud is not a Google Drive iKiller.
1. No collaborator cursor. I can't tell who is typing what. Without the cursor, words appear out of nowhere and I can't tell where my colleagues are working. Confusing.
2. No authentication. All of these docs are shared essentially as "anyone with the link can edit." For secure documents, this is a major problem. All my collaborators have to do is post the link on Facebook and ANYONE can edit the document. This also means they could destroy it with no accountability.
3. No visible way to search for documents. I have a list of my documents, but no clear way to organize or sort them. I can't even find a way to organize these documents with folders in the iCloud interface.
4. Crashy crashy. In the 20 minutes I had to spend with iWork for iCloud, I had my document crash twice. No changes were lost, but still.
5. No Android support. Are we surprised? No. But sad iCloud is sad on my otherwise happy Android.
iWork for iCloud is not going to wean me off Google Drive by a long shot. It’s still very much in beta mode. I am rooting for this service, though. The better Apple gets at cloud computing the better Google will get at it.
Have you tried iWork for iCloud? What do you think?