We reported previously on the possibility of Apple making its iWork suite, and possibly its other premium content creation apps, available for free alongside iOS 7 and the launch of new iWork for iCloud web apps. It would make a lot of sense given it’s hard to imagine Apple allowing users to create documents for free on iCloud but not seamlessly transfer from iOS to Mac without having to throw down $30 for the three iOS apps. Today we get a little hint from the latest iOS 7 beta that Apple might actually be considering making the apps free this fall (via @nielskorte & iFun).
The screenshot above shows the screen that Apple presents most users with when launching the App Store on their iOS device for the first time. Curiously, on iOS 7 beta 3, the recommended free apps screen includes Apple’s iWork suite in addition to other paid apps such as Garageband, iMovie, and iPhoto. In the past, Apple has only included free apps in the pop up such as iBooks, iTunes U, and Podcasts. This could signal Apple has plans to offer its premium apps for free in the future…
With the introduction of Apple’s new iWork for iCloud web apps, there are a lot of questions surrounding what this means for the future of Apple’s productivity suite on iOS. Apple’s iOS versions of its iWork apps– Pages, Keynote, and Numbers– all currently sell for $9.99 on the App Store, while Apple also sells its other premium content creation apps, such as GarageBand and iMovie, for $4.99. Apple could offer the free iCloud web app versions of iWork in addition to the paid downloads on iOS, but free versions of the iOS apps would be major draw for selling hardware, especially as Google continues to grow its free Drive offerings and Microsoft is rumored to bring its Office apps to iOS.
You can read our full piece here on why it would make sense for iWork for iOS to go free this fall.