Apple Pages 2.6.1 for iPad and iPhone review
Welcome to our review of Pages 2.6.1 for iOS, updated on 10 February 2016. Original review by Karl Hodge.
Pages was updated to version 2.6 in October 2015, with the usual collection of bug fixes following just a month later in version 2.6.1. Pages 2.6.1 will still run on iOS 8.4, so you don't need to upgrade to iOS 9 in order to use it. However, most of the new features in this update are designed to reflect the latest features and technologies introduced with iOS 9 and the latest iPhone and iPad hardware.
Update 16 September 2016: Since our review, Apple has added real-time collaboration to its iWork suite. This was showcased during Apple's event on 7 September 2016, where a free update (version 3.0) for iOS users was pushed out on 13 September. The update will come to macOS on 20 September. We're pleased to see an update to the iWork suite, as real-time collaboration will help those working in teams, such as global teams in businesses and even students taking part in university group projects.
The new version brings the following collaboration updates (among others):
- Edit a spreadsheet with others at the same time in Pages on Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iCloud.com
- Share your spreadsheet publicly or with specific people
- See who else is in a spreadsheet
- See participants’ cursors as they’re editing
Pages 2.6.1 for iOS review: Pages on iPad
Owners of recent iPad models get the best deal, as Pages on the iPad now supports the new multi-tasking capabilities of iOS 9, including the Slide Over, Split View and Picture In Picture modes.
Split View is great when working with Pages - especially on the large screen of the iPad Pro - as it allows you to edit documents while also viewing other information in Safari or other apps. Just remember, though, that Split View is only available on the most recent iPad models, such as the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4.
Another iPad-only feature is the new Short Cut bar that appears on the on-screen keyboard and provides instant access to a number of formatting tools. This allows you to quickly change font, style, alignment and size, or to add comments and column breaks directly from the keyboard. On the iPhone side of things, Pages now supports 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which provides a quick shortcut for creating new documents from the Home screen.
Pages 2.6.1 for iOS review: Version History
You don't have to own the latest, greatest iPhone or iPad models, though, as there are a few other worthwhile features in Pages that will be available on most existing iOS devices. A key feature here is the ability to view previous versions of your documents, and to revert back to any of those old versions whenever you want.
Mind you, it'd help if - rather than simply listing new features on its website - Apple actually bothered to explained how those features work. We had to hunt around for quite a while until we discovered that you need to tap-and-hold on a document thumbnail in the Pages browser window in order to activate the 'Versions' command that displays all the saved versions of that document.
Like its Mac counterpart, Pages for iOS now displays recently used fonts in the main Fonts menu and, somewhat belatedly, Apple has added the ability to import documents from the '06 and '08 editions of Pages. It's also possible for other people to view previews of shared Pages documents using a web browser on iOS or Android devices, even if they don't have Pages installed.
Of course, Pages for both Mac and iOS have had the ability to share and sync documents online via iCloud for some time, but they are now officially joined by Pages for iCloud, which has finally come out of its seemingly never-ending beta test phase. This means that you can now create and edit Pages documents online at www.icloud.com, giving Apple a cross-platform app that can attempt to go head-to-head with Google Docs at last.
There aren't many new word-processing features, but support for Split View multi-tasking and other iOS 9 features make Pages 2.6.1 for iOS a must-have upgrade - especially if you own an iPad.