Nine years after Pages first debuted, Apple’s cross-platform word processor is finally giving Microsoft Word a run for its money.
Pages works seamlessly with iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service, which means you can start a document on one device and continue working on it seamlessly from another device. This same option is available for Microsoft Word users, but only if you spring for a pricey Office 365 subscription, which costs $12 per month or $119 a year.
Pages, on the other hand, is available for free on new Macs and iOS 7 devices. For older Apple devices, it costs $10.49 on iOS and $20.99 on Mac. There’s also a free iWork for iCloud beta available online that can be accessed through any desktop browser.
To be fair, Pages doesn't have anywhere near the breadth of features that Microsoft Word offers, but for day-to-day word processing, it’s doubtful you’ll find anything missing. This applies doubly to the iOS client, which is head and shoulders above any other mobile word processor – even the official Microsoft Word client available for Office 365 subscribers.
A toolbar at the top of the screen provides easy access to common tools such as the undo button, text formatting and embedding rich content, and the on-screen keyboard has also been given a once-over, adding one-touch tools for things like text alignment, font settings and page breaks.
Business users will love the collaboration features in Pages, letting you add comments and highlights, as well as track changes to a document for other users to review. You can also share links to your Pages document through multiple channels, and since all of your documents are stored in iCloud, anyone that has a link to your Pages document will always have access to the latest copy.
Pages doesn't have anywhere near the breadth of features that Microsoft Word offers, but for day-to-day word processing, it’s doubtful you’ll find anything missing.