Apple iWork vs. Microsoft Office vs. Google G Suite: Your iPad can largely function like a laptop

“The iPad makes a great laptop, and nowhere is that more obvious than in its productivity tools. Apple showed the way years ago with its iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), and Microsoft has validated the notion with its Office suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint),” Galen Gruman writes for InfoWorld. “Of course there’s also Google G Suite (Docs, Sheets, and Slides), which includes mobile versions of the apps for iOS.”

“Which of these office suites should you use on your iPad? Part of the answer depends on the functionality of the individual apps, but part depends on your greater ecosystem—namely, how your iPad productivity work fits into your overall productivity work on computers and other devices. That of course is for you to decide,” Gruman writes. “Naturally, I’ll focus here on how these three suites stack up in terms of functionality and ease of use.”

“Your iPad can largely function like a laptop with two of the three main office productivity suites,” Gruman writes. “The good news is you really can’t go wrong with Office or iWork. The more Apple-centered you are, the more iWork is plausible. But Office has the key advantages of working well across all platforms and fitting in easily with your existing Office infrastructure.”

Tons more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iWork easily does everything we need (of course, we’re all-Apple here, so iWork offers seamless continuity across all of our devices).


    1. Maybe because iWork is the worst POS out there.. seriously its total garbage, and I usually love apple apps. they removed so many features that you actually need to do real work… where as Google and M$ keep adding newer and better ones.. eventually iWork apps will only have two menu items.. New, and Purchase more iCloud space.

  1. iWork is crappy! Not that it’s a bad product, but Apple has not given any of it much of an update in nearly 8 yrs. I hate using Google Docs, but it is far more advanced for two reasons: 1) It’s continually being developed within Google. 2) It’s is open enough that a developer base can also advance it’s features through add-ons from the Google App Store, etc.

    I love iWork. I did a 200+ page dissertation with Pages 09 and wowed a lot of my fellow colleagues with it’s ease and power, proving it was every bit as capable as MS Word, and even better in most cases. Then Apple went and tried to make it a cloud app. The first iteration of the Mac Pages App was hamstrung by feature deletion. They’ve slowly brought back many, but not nearly all of the features of Pages 09. Next, they rolled out as an iPad App with missing features from the Mac App. And, then the iCloud version with even more features missing from both the Mac and iPad Apps.

    If Apple would update and bring feature parity across all platforms, I’d never complain again, but they’ve haven’t and they’ve allowed this to languish like many other things. iWork could have been (and maybe still can be) so great for Apple, but they aren’t updating it and/or allowing it to be opened up for development like Google Docs and that’s killing this product for me.

    1. Unfortunately this has become the standard for Apple software: Take a quality product (initial release of iWork-iWork 09) and then dumb them down removing many of the features that made it powerful. I was a BIG user of Keynote from its initial release through iWorks 09 as it beat the heck out of Powerpoint. Then came the MAJOR rewrite with all the missing features. My previous Keynote files did not work correctly due to the missing features forcing me to have to do major revisions (which I chose to do in Powerpoint). Since the “upgrade” of iWorks 09, Apple has been very slow (if at all) to update the suite and add back features that were already present in iWorks 09 (and were actually present in the initial release of iWorks).

      Add to this the disaster that is Photos (vs iPhotos), the neglect then demise, of Aperture as well as a lot, if not most, of Apples consumer software and it makes one very leery about ever using an Apple specific software. I’m back with Microsoft Office suite and simply won’t even consider the Apple programs for real work. I’m still struggling to find a decent replacement for iPhotos and Aperture (am using Lightroom but it has lots of issues).

      Apple as a software provider is simply unreliable.

      1. The comparision is a joke because Pages is a joke.

        I used to enthusiastically recommend it to Windblows users. “Come on in. The water is fine. Your major activity is word processing and Pages is great for almost everybody.” What was especially great about it – and what distinguished it dramatically from Word – were the layout capabilities. I (and most people, I think) didn’t want to have to learn a professional layout program.

        Yeh, until it got castrated with the revision to Pages 5 – cross-platform capability being attained by drastically cutting the abilities of the desktop version, rather than elevating the mobile version. It remains pathetic to the most recent version.

        I emphasize that I am no power user at all, but Pages’ capabilities remain far, far below my needs. It supports the Touch Bar, but you can’t even link text boxes — perhaps the single most basic layout function. (Check out App Store reviews for specific complaints.)

        Really, really stupid. The quality of the software should match the quality of the hardware.

      2. But Lightroom is SO MUCH FUN!!!


        I’m taking photo classes and I’m glad I’ve used other Adobe programs before (InDesign, etc.). LR is a complex beast. I never used Aperture as I wasn’t that heavy into photography at the time. Guessing it was much easier.

  2. It might be just me but this comment seems strange: “Apple showed the way years ago with its iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), and Microsoft has validated the notion with its Office suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). ”

    Funny here is what wikipedia says: The first version of iWork, iWork ’05, was announced on January 11, 2005

    For Microsoft Office: “It was first announced by Bill Gates on 1 August 1988,”

    I guess we are up for more revisionism.

    1. The writer is comparing three MOBILE office suites on iPad, not three office suites. Microsoft had to port their versions of Word, Excel, etc. to iOS, and devise a new User interaction model based on Apple’s but going beyond them in incorporating Apple Pencil input. Good for them.

      1. Oh, so there is a difference between laptop, desktop, mainframe, place your bits here, mobile wearable operating systems about.

        Oh would a word processor on another device print as well? Are desktop spreadsheet cells more rectangular on a new phone?

        OK, mobile apps, brand new name, same formulatic concept.

        It’s always been about the interface for me.

        1. Right. I’m just saying this writer was sloppy in what he was trying to say. Myself, I prefer more precision in language, particularly when used to describe technical matters.

  3. iWork has no Apple Pencil support. Until it doesn’t, Office is the best option (on paper, at least). That said, I prefer Keynote and also make extensive use of Notability. Notability is what allows me to replace a laptop..and makes my Pro BETTER than a laptop for day to day use (especially meetings/conferences).

    All of the workflow issues I’ve had with the Pro are due to the lack of pro features in Apples own applications. Lack of pen support in iWork and the fact that things are “trapped” in iBooks once there (pdfs) are two examples.

  4. Sorry but iPad is not a laptop replacement and iWorks is not an Office replacement. Apple is just not serious in software development and iPad products due to lack of vision, commitment and resources.

  5. Nope. To type seriously you need a mouse or a trackpad. And if you are a serious Nac user an iPad will drive you mad with all its cut-down facility.

    Forget iWork – Apple did 10 years ago.

    If i couldn’t have a Mac i would have a windows notebook before an iPad any day.

  6. I guess I’m the only one that really likes iWork, even on my iPad. Continuity is great across my MBP, iPad Pro and 6S Plus. The Apps are somewhat basic but super stable. For small data sets I totally prefer Numbers over Excel. In the last few years I’ve moved most of my company docs from Office to iWork…no regrets

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.