Get All Access for $5/mo

Apple to Take on Google Docs With New iWork in the Cloud Updated tool offers slick document access, editing via your web browser.

By Amy Gahran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Today at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Apple announced the next version of the OS X operating system for Mac computers and notebooks: Mavericks. Among the many enhancements and expansions in this operating system, one that may prove especially useful to business users is cloud integration for Apple's iWork suite of applications.

Once a document is in iCloud, users can log in to iCloud from any device -- even a PC laptop running Windows -- and use any of several popular web browsers to view and edit a word processing (Pages), spreadsheet (Numbers) or presentation (Keynote) document.

Effectively, this can make iWork function more like Google Docs. You won't need to have any software other than a compatible web browser installed on your device to access and work with your documents. Also, you can easily share documents online with others for viewing or collaboration.

If iWork's slick interface lives up to Apple's demonstration, this could be one of the most attractive and fully functioned web applications available -- with high-end graphical editing capabilities and sophisticated sharing.

Related: Apple's iOS 7 Includes New Design, Improved Usability

Apple's iWork in the cloud can be useful for teams that must collaborate on documents or simply for working with your own documents from whatever internet-connected device is handy -- your own or someone else's. You can drag-and-drop iWork documents from your Mac to iCloud or create new documents entirely via a web browser.

The downside, compared to Google Docs, is that you must have an Apple ID to access this service, which means you must own at least one Apple device. Also, you can only share editable documents with other Apple ID accounts. Therefore, iWork in the cloud is not really "free." In contrast, you don't have to purchase anything to use Google Docs.

Also, it doesn't appear that you can publish iWork documents to the web, where you can link to them and anyone can view them -- a popular feature of Google Docs. Apple may add this and other features later.

When released this fall, the service is expected to function through these web browsers on Macs or PCs: Safari 6.0.3 or later, Chrome 27.0.1 or later and Internet Explorer 9.0.8 or later. It won't be immediately available on Firefox or Opera. Also, Apple did not clarify whether this service will work on mobile browsers for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Related: Apple's Next 'Wild Card' May Not Be What You Think

Amy Gahran is an independent writer and mobile technology enthusiast based in Boulder, Colo. Her work has appeared at CNN.com. Gahran blogs at Contentious.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Growing a Business

The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know.

Starting a Business

How to Find the Right Programmers: A Brief Guideline for Startup Founders

For startup founders under a plethora of challenges like timing, investors and changing market demand, it is extremely hard to hire programmers who can deliver.

Science & Technology

No More ChatGPT? Here's Why Small Language Models Are Stealing the AI Spotlight

Entrepreneurs can leverage this growing tech to create innovative, efficient and targeted AI solutions.

Business News

How to Build a Successful Startup, According to an Investor Who Made Early Bets on Twitter, Lyft, and Twitch

He's found a few patterns after nearly two decades of investing in startups.

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.