iWork for iCloud to get online edit and creation rights

Icloud with phone, ipad and laptop below

Apple has tightened up the integration between its online syncing service iCloud and its productivity software suite iWork to let users create and edit documents within their web browsers.

The revamped cloud service, dubbed iWork for iCloud, was unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple’s WWDC yesterday.

The service means users can create and edit Pages, Numbers and Keynote documents while logged into iCloud through a Safari, Internet Explorer or Chrome web browser.

This represents a considerable step up in iCloud’s functionality, which has been largely relied on in the past by Apple device users to sync and store documents online.

It also means iCloud could soon become a serious competitor to the likes of Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365, with the Apple CEO Tim Cook revealing that some 300 million users now hold iCloud accounts.

Roger Rosner, vice president of productivity applications at Apple, treated WWDC attendees to a walkthrough of iWork for iCloud during the keynote, showing attendees how it can also be used to edit Microsoft Office documents and by Windows 8 users.

“We know we live in a world full of Microsoft documents...and I have a Word document here. I drag it, I drop it, [and it] uploads,” he explained.

“I open it up and here I am editing a Microsoft Word document in pages for iCloud.”

To use the service with Windows 8, all users have to do is fire up Internet Explorer or Chrome, and log into iCloud, Rosner added.

The iWork for iCloud service has already been rolled out to developers, and looks set to go into public beta later this year.

The event also saw the firm flesh out details of how iCloud is used to power other Apple services, including iMessage, and announce details of how it is being integrated with the next version of its desktop operating systems OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

For instance, the launch of the OS will mark the arrival of a new feature called iCloud Keychain, which aims to make password management easier for Apple users by securely syncing and storing login credentials, credit card details and other sensitive information across multiple devices.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.