Working with files is still more painful than it should be: you’re generally restricted to working with one file at a time (i.e. when copying to/from iTunes), and you can’t open more than one spreadsheet at a time.
Later this year, Numbers (as well as Keynote and Pages) will support Apple’s iCloud service. This should greatly ease the sometimes-tricky document management issues related to working with one file on multiple devices. Instead of winding up with multiple copies of the same file on multiple devices, iCloud integration will allow you to have one copy of the file that’s simply synced to all your devices. Create a spreadsheet on your Mac, close it, and you will then be able to pick up your phone and continue working, right where you left off.
While iCloud integration looks like a win, it’s not clear yet what will happen with iWork.com, Apple’s perpetually-in-beta iWork document sharing service. The features provided by iWork.com aren’t necessarily replicated by iCloud, so I would expect that it will continue to exist, at least in some form.
The potential upside of iCloud support in Numbers is huge, but we’ll have to wait until later this fall to see exactly how well it works, and what becomes of the iWork.com beta program.
Numbers is a solid spreadsheet program for the iPad and iPhone/iPod touch. Depending on the complexity of your spreadsheet needs, the iPhone/iPod touch support may be a key feature to you, or may just be something that’s good to know if you ever have a critical need to edit a worksheet and you’re not carrying your iPad. But the other features in Numbers make the program worth consideration for working with spreadsheets on the go.
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