Pages – iPhone App of the Week
This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.
This week’s App is Pages.
Exclusively designed for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, Pages lets you create, edit and view documents wherever you are. Every page looks stunning and clear on iPad — and also on iPhone 4 and the latest iPod touch, thanks to the high-resolution Retina display. Pages uses Smart Zoom to automatically zoom in on text while you type, and zooms back out when you’ve finished, so it’s easy to write and edit on iPhone and iPod touch.
I have reviewed Apple’s Pages before when it was only available for the iPad.
Since then Apple have made it an universal App and so it now works on the iPhone and the iPod touch. One of the reasons they have done this is that the new iCloud will allow you to work on the same document using Pages on the Mac, the iPad and the iPhone without needing to sync through iTunes or copy off through e-mail, iDisk or a WebDAV drive. With iCloud it will be possible to start a document off on your iPhone, work on it on your iPad before finishing it off on your Mac. Changes would be made automatically via the forthcoming iCloud service.
So can you use Pages on the iPhone as a word processor?
Well most of this article was written in Pages on my iPhone.
Virtually all the functionality in the iPad version can be found in the iPhone version. You can embed photographs, tables, charts and shapes.
As before where I think Pages falls down is on document management, specifically getting documents on and off the iPhone. For example in getting documents off the Iphone you have three quite limited options:
- Send via Mail
- Share via iWork.com
You also need to remember to Export your document if you want to remove it via the file management part of iTunes! Sending via e-mail is often the easiest option, whilst iWork.com is really in my opinion still in beta. However as mentioned previously the new iCloud service should make it easier to edit documents between your iPhone and your Mac.
There are three Export options, Pages, PDF and Word, so if you have a Windows PC that you use with your iPhone then even though you use Pages on the iPhone, you will be able to import and edit your documents using Word on the Windows PC.
Once you have exported you can share that exported file via one of the file sharing Apps such as AirSharing. Alas one of the things I would love to see is Dropbox support, but there isn’t any. The new version does have better document management and rather than have all your files in one place, you can now organise them into folders.
Getting files into Pages is not that simple. Even if you copy files over through iTunes, you then still need to import them again into the Pages App, an extra process that in my opinion isn’t really needed and should be done automatically.
Disappointingly you can’t use Pages on the iPhone in landscape mode, so as a result you do need pretty good eyesight to edit the document or have the text shift from side to side as you write.
There are flaws in my opinion with Pages, but having said that, it is still an excellent word processor for the iPhone and as you would expect very stable on the iOS platform and I am pleased with my results the times I have used it.
From a learning perspective, learners would be able to use Pages to make notes, start writing their assignment, edit essays on the move and so on.