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iWork vs. Documents to Go: An Overview of Business Office Applications for the iPad

The iPad has tremendous business potential, allowing people to forgo carrying laptops and conduct their every day business on a tablet. iPhone business software has been very successful in allowing people to conduct their business remotely. Now, more and more iPad business software is being released that will leverage the mobile capabilities of the iPad.

One of the most common applications that we use on our computers is word processing, and these options for iPhone business software applications have been revamped for the iPad. The following is an overview of two different iPad business software applications that focus on the creation of documents, spreadsheets and presentations.


Apple’s very own application is now available on the iPad, allowing users to create and modify word documents, spreadsheets and presentations. iWork is built as three separate applications, priced at $9.99 each.

  • Pages: Pages for iPad allow users to create and edit text documents just like they would on a computer. Pages supports document export to the Pages file format, Microsoft Word file format or PDF format. Documents created on the iPad can be stored on the device itself, emailed or saved to a cloud storage service.
  • Numbers: Numbers for the iPad is built with a sleek user interface that allows for intuitive data entry. Functions and other options are easily accessed with icons at the top of the screen. Documents can be exported to the Numbers format or PDF format, but it does not support exporting to the Microsoft Excel format.
  • Keynote: Keynote is Apple’s premier presentation software that allows users to create rich presentation slides. Keynote has simple-to-use navigation features and takes advantage of the iPad’s wider screen by using only the landscape mode. Keynote supports the exporting of slides to the Keynote file format and PDF format, but it does not support exporting to the Microsoft Power Point file format.

iWork’s sleek user interface and ease of use make this application a great business tool for the iPad. iWork is great for those avid Mac users, but lacks in features for those who enjoy Excel and Power Point better.

Documents to Go

For those people who love Microsoft Office, Documents To Go offers a Microsoft Office-friendly application for the iPad. Documents to Go offers two different pricing packages: a regular version for $7.99 and a premium version for $11.99. Advantages to the premium version include support for Power Point, Microsoft Exchange and cloud storage services.

  • Word Processing: Word processing on Documents to Go is very similar to word processing on a computer. Formatting options are displayed at the top of the screen. For instance, icons are neatly organized, with certain icons opening up to menus with more options. Users can easily create documents in the iPad and export them in Microsoft Word format to edit at a later point.
  • Spreadsheet: Icons on the spreadsheet are organized intuitively with the most commonly used options displayed on the menu. Modifications can be easily created in spreadsheets with icons to add and remove rows and columns. Double tapping a cell will display cell details so that users can adjust formulas or copy details to other cells. However, this spreadsheet program does not have a chart creation function. Exporting to Microsoft Excel format is supported.
  • Presentations: Slides can be created and modified right on the iPad. Presentations are simple to make and modify and can even be displayed directly from the iPad itself. However, templates and creation options are basic and rather limited.

Documents To Go is a viable alternative when choosing an iPad application that offers a full range of document creation options while also preserving functions native to Microsoft Office.

Want to get more information on deploying mobile business applications? Our report on mobile device management compares 10 of the top MDM products on key features, pricing and technology model.

[Photo courtesy of Techacks3.0.]

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Darlene Lin

Web Contributor,
Expert in CRM, Social, ITSM/IT Help Desk, and ERP
Darlene is a web contributor, specializing in the CRM, Social, IT Management and ERP segments. She has several years of experience covering the software technology world, writing about the latest companies and trends and interviewing the founders of emerging and ...