It had “Pages” for word processing, “Numbers” for spreadsheets, and “Keynote” for presentations. Since Microsoft never rolled out a version of Office for the iPad, each of those three apps sold well for Apple.
Pages is the most popular paid app of all-time. Keynote is the tenth most popular and Numbers is eleventh.
After Apple introduced those apps in 2009, it’s largely left them alone. There have been some minor tweaks, but nothing major.
That could be about to change.
Apple has been hiring people for iWork, which is the division that houses those apps, since February, says MacRumors. Early on it was hiring senior software engineers. Now its hiring quality assurance engineers, which suggests its getting closer to having a new, finished product for testing.
Since it doesn’t look like Microsoft is going to make Office for iPad any time soon, it makes sense for Apple to polish these apps. They’re still popular for people buying their first iPad, and there are a lot of people still buying their first iPads.
One semi-related note: It’s interesting that Google hasn’t built great Google Drive apps for the iPad. Google’s spreadsheet and word-processing apps should have been great native iPad apps a long time ago.
Perhaps the reason Google and Microsoft skipped the iPad is that 1. it’s mostly a consumption device, and 2. they don’t want to strengthen Apple’s iPad business.