“We reported previously on the possibility of Apple making its iWork suite, and possibly its other premium content creation apps, available for free alongside iOS 7 and the launch of new iWork for iCloud web apps,” Jordan Kahn reports for 9to5Mac.

“It would make a lot of sense given it’s hard to imagine Apple allowing users to create documents for free on iCloud but not seamlessly transfer from iOS to Mac without having to throw down $30 for the three iOS apps,” Kahn reports. “Today we get a little hint from the latest iOS 7 beta that Apple might actually be considering making the apps free this fall.”

Kahn reports, “Curiously, on iOS 7 beta 3, the recommended free apps screen includes Apple’s iWork suite in addition to other paid apps such as Garageband, iMovie, and iPhoto. In the past, Apple has only included free apps in the pop up such as iBooks, iTunes U, and Podcasts. This could signal Apple has plans to offer its premium apps for free in the future.”

Read more, and see the screenshot, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Whatever accelerates weaning people off Microsoft Office and onto iWork is what Apple should be doing. They don’t need the money for the apps more than they need to grow the user base.

As an aside, it might also help Apple’s iAd to have an inconspicuous placement in the free Pages, Numbers, and Keynote iOS apps with an option for users to remove the ads for an inexpensive, one-time purchase. Something like that might fit with Apple’s evolving iAd foci. (Of course, if you already own the apps, you would get free upgrades and no ads).

Related articles:
Computerworld first look: Apple’s iWork for iCloud beta is super-speedy – July 5, 2013
Tim Bajarin: Steve Jobs’ legacy lives on; Apple’s iWork for iCloud sets new standard for Web-based productivity tools – June 17, 2013
Hands-on with Apple’s new iWork for iCloud beta (with video) – June 14, 2013