Apple expands iWork for iCloud beta to free developer accounts

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Apple first announced it would bring iWork document editing to the web at last month’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Although an early beta of the feature has been available to those with a paid developer subscription ever since, it seems the company is now expanding access to free tier developers as well.

According to several reports, Apple sent out emails to registered developers inviting them to try out the latest version of the Web-based service. Registering as a developer takes no more than a couple of minutes on the company’s website, but apparently the rollout is happening gradually, so don’t expect to get in just as easy.

Right now any Pages, Keynote, or Numbers document created on a Mac or iOS device can sync with your iCloud account so it’s easily downloadable anywhere. The new feature adds web-based document editing into the mix, adds Microsoft Word document imports, and is compatible with Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Compared to rival web-based suites like Google Docs and Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, however, its feature set is still rather sparse and is missing things like real time collaboration tools.

A public beta is expected later this year ahead of the full release, which might land alongside Mavericks or iOS 7.

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