Barcelona, Spain: Microsoft's Office is the go-to software package for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Google's Docs has emerged as a good, free alternative for lightweight tasks. But what's often overlooked is Apple's iWork.
Last fall, the iWork applications for the Mac -Pages for word processing, Numbers for spreadsheets and Keynote for presentations- got their first major update since 2009 and now work better with iPhone and iPad versions. Apple also developed an online version that can work on Windows computers and let several people collaborate on a single document more easily.
Apple's iWork won't replace Office, and Google Docs is better in some ways. But after using iWork for a few months, I've come to appreciate the ways it simplifies work. It became my primary way of writing news stories at last week's Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain.
The best part: iWork is free with the purchase of new Apple devices (the Mac version with new Macs and the iOS apps with new iPhones or iPads). Once you get it, you can install iWork on older devices. Otherwise, each of the three apps costs $20 for Macs and $10 for mobile devices, or $90 for everything. That's a one-time fee. To use Office on multiple devices, Microsoft charges $100 a year.