Apple lets fly with iWork collaboration features

The company releases an iWork update that adds Google Docs-like collaboration features that Apple announced last month.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
James Martin/CNET
At Apple's iPad event in San Francisco in October, the company demoed a handful of collaboration features that would come to iWork, making it more of a direct competitor with Google Docs. But almost a month after that press event, we hadn't seen those changes in the software.

On Thursday, though, Apple released a beta update for iWork for iCloud that includes the features. Among the new tools that let multiple people work together on a project: you can see a list of who is currently working on the project, and each person's individual cursor; and you can jump directly to any collaborator's cursor by clicking on his or her name.

The update also adds the ability to organize documents in folders, and lets you print documents, spreadsheets, and presentations directly from the Tools menu.

Apple's rollout of its new software offerings hasn't all gone smoothly. A few days after the company released free upgrades to the iWork and iLife suites, power users howled at some of the features that had been taken out of the new versions. Last week, Apple backtracked and announced that it would re-introduce some of the missing features in subsequent updates of the free version of iWork.