As it stands right now, the iOS version of Pages (and other iWork apps) uses a flat document structure. You can choose whether that flat structure is stored locally or in iCloud, and if you change this setting it asks you if you want to keep local copies un-synced. iWork apps on the Mac do not use iCloud, yet. So getting documents in and out of iOS is a manual process that doesn't really flow well... I have a lot of documents as well, and of course they are in a logical folder structure on my Mac, so picking the ones I might want to edit when I am mobile is not satisfactory.
The good news is that there is already the seed of folder support in iCloud for Pages... I manually created a folder in my ~/Library/Mobile Documents/<pages> folder using Finder. I called the folder Test, and put a copy of a document in it. This is the result of what happened almost instantly in Pages on my iPad:
So... the iOS Pages app does have Folder support built into the UI at least, even if it's not yet fully functional (the document would not actually open from the Test Folder). Also, the iCloud.com UI also showed the Test Folder, in exactly the same way that the iOS Pages app did, but again the file inside the folder could not be 'used' in any way.
My hope (and requirement if iCloud is to be useful to me) is that an imminent Mac update to the iWork apps incorporates folders in the way that Goodreader does, and that it will be easy to import my existing document structure.
My concern is that the App model for documents does not really suit the way that many of us work on a Mac. We tend to store documents in a project centric manner, so a particular location on the Mac will most likely contain a mix of Pages, Numbers, PDF, JPG etc document types in each folder. There's no easy way to see how that can be reconciled with the App centric view of documents that iOS uses, so we're likely to be in for some pain if we want to use iCloud. In my opinion, this is probably why the Mac update for 10.7.2 didn't come with iWork updates yet. But I think the above screenshot shows that they must be at least thinking of how to allow us to organise documents in iWork for iOS.
Nice work. I've been doing some similar tests and agree with your general predictions. The only thing I've been able to think of so far as a work around will be adding documents to the system the way Apple wants (when the Mac apps are updated) and then creating symbolic links to the files stored in the Mobile Documents folder. I would then be able to place the links in my normal hierarchical project/folder structure. Kind of a hack and not very convenient so I truly hope Apple comes up with a way to have the files on my Mac sync with my iOS devices while allowing me to maintain my desired folder structure.
I am also a little disappointed with iCloud as it is now, especially because it is to replace MobileMe. So far, the iDisk has given me more functionality than iCloud's document sync does now, but the iDisk will be shut down next year. Another thing missing from iCloud is the syncing of mail accounts which I have used much because I have to manage 8 different mail accounts.
What would have helped me much more than the whole iCloud stuff would have been an "auto-save-to-iDisk" feature in iOS iWork apps, because the only thing actually annoying with iDisk was that I had to copy files on and off it manually on my mobile devices.
When I installed the OX X update and switched to iCloud, one of the first things I did was opening up Numbers on my mac and desperately looking for a menu option to access documents on the iCloud. After all the buzz about iCloud I was just simply taking for granted that something like that existed. But, as I know know, I was mistaken.
You're right: Apple never states explicitly that desktop iWork Apps also will support the iCloud, but the way iCloud is advertised it just implies that it will be so.
So, all of this being said ... why in God's name are they doing away with iDisk since it now appears to be a better product for sharing files across ALL of my devices, not just iOS.
Does Apple really believe that people are using the iPad or iPhone to GENERATE documents using these apps ? I will only use these if there is no other option unless its merely to read or edit.
In my eyes, the only benefit I see with this is the ability to access these documents offline which can't be done with iDisk ... ?
My concern is that the App model for documents does not really suit the way that many of us work on a Mac. We tend to store documents in a project centric manner, so a particular location on the Mac will most likely contain a mix of Pages, Numbers, PDF, JPG etc document types in each folder. There's no easy way to see how that can be reconciled with the App centric view of documents that iOS uses, so we're likely to be in for some pain if we want to use iCloud.
Totally agreed, and that's why I was using iDisk before, because it lets me both organise documents of different types in a structure I like and at the same time access the documents consistently across mobile and desktop iWork applications. For me, iCloud is a step backwards, not an innovation, as far as document management is concerned.
.. the advertising said you could put a Word document in the iCloud. How is this possible?
this ( icloud.com -> iwork -> settings icon -> "upload a document" -> opens file chooser ) :
versus this demo at WWDC 2011 :
No wonder the iwork for iOS forum , the pages,numbers and keynote for Mac forum , the icloud forum and all over this support board spreaded , people are totally confused how this is working. And then comes that genius Mr. Koenig to all the topics and tells us how nice it is and that surely some future update will fix it..
In the meantime a sort of workaround / howto possibly save from Mac Desktop pages/numbers/etc to iCloud/iOs5 iwork WITHOUT a browser :
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3391400?tstart=0 ( far from perfect, more sort of proof it works in the other direction also ) ..
I was so looking forward to iCloud, what a disappointment! Like Sjazbec pointed out with his pictures, we all expected macbooks and other mac computers to be included. Apple needs to fix it quickly and release an update that will resolve this issue, otherwise, they made false advertisement.
And honestly, where is the logic in not-including computers? No one will work on their documents solely on their idevices. You can't really type long documents, only touch up edits. I have to recheck the spelling too when I move it back to my laptop, the spellchecker on the iPad not being good at all. (It doesn't underline any mispelled word or can find the proper spelling either after moving away from it. The iPhone doen't have that problem but it's too small a screen to be able to truly edit yourself.)
I was excited about updating my macbook to Lion and my idevices to iOS 5, thinking that at last I would be able to smoothely edit my docs on all devices. Apple usually makes everything run smoothely. They are known for making everything user friendly and giving easy access to everything. So why stop at iDevices? It was a very disappointing shock! As a writer, using idevices to write and edit my stories everyone I go, this is a vital issue. Now I have to manually look at what changes I did in both places in order to merge the new version. I can't do that for more than a document or two at the time, so I have to limit myself when writing/revising my stories.
I think a way for Apple to get iCloud to automatically sync documents to the Mac would be to add in a "Sync to iCloud" button in the tool bar of each iWork program for Mac. To get iWork to sync it could save the document in two locations. One in the location the end user picks and the other in the iCloud sync folder. If you change the document on the Mac it would save in both locations. If you changed the document on an iOS device when you open the document again it would tell you the document was changed by another device and ask to use the most recent file from the iCloud sync folder or open from the location where the end user saved it. The sync process should also ask to override the document the user saved in the other location. This would allow you to sync with iCloud, but also allow you to save your documents in any location on the Mac.
Another way would be for Apple to automatically create a folder for each iWork program and just save to that folder always. They could give the end user the right to save in another location, but it would not be apart of iCloud. If the end user wants to have the file located in project folders they could put in alias in there instead which would of course point to the documents in the iCloud folder.
These are of course just my ideas. I think either would work and be easy to understand & manage.
For those who hate the idea ofiDisk going away, I'd recommend Drop Box. I was against it myself but nowthat iDisk is going away, i've been using it a bit more and I'm finding itquite flexible, espcieally if you go between a Mac and a PC like my work requires me to do.
When it comes to iCloud, I remember that Apple said they were handing out dev. tools for companies so they could write in iCould in their apps. Hopefully, this also applies to Pages for Mac, which seems to have been put on the back burner for iOS versions.
I'm not complaining. Those apps are awesome, but pages for mac is my doc hub (as cool as IOS Pages is, it's much easier to create docs on a Macbook pro than an iPhone).
In other words, my long awaited solution that was the iCloud came with more challenges than perks. In the immortal words of Lando Calrizian from Jedi: "Come on Apple, don't let me down."
I tried Drop Box, but it only synchronized one folder, so you have to go through all sorts of convoluted tricks with hard links and stuff like that, which didn't work for me.
I think SugarSync is better. You aren't restricted to one sync folder. You can have as many as you like. You can turn any existing folder into a sync folder. SugarSync monitors the folders, keeps them in sync, and stores a copy in the cloud. You don't have to change how you save files and it all works automatically.
Sugar Sync's iPhone and iPad versions keep your file hierarchy intact on those devices, too.
I think it offers a lot more than Drop Box.