Apple is looking to hire a software engineer to help the iWork team craft a web experience, according to a job posting discovered by Appleinsider. The position calls for an applicant to work with the iWork team on the ‘front and/or back end of scalable web applications’.
The posting comes just a day after Apple revealed its iCloud.com beta service which allows access to web apps like the Calendar, Contacts and Mail. These apps were previously a part of Apple’s now-defunct MobileMe service. The new beta service also features a section for iWork apps although there are just placeholder graphics there now.
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The current iWork.com domain still houses documents from iWork applications but it seems likely that this feature will soon be rolled into iCloud. But the current iWork web service does little more than allow you to view documents, offering no editing features, only sharing.
The job posting is limited to the iWork team so it’s not clear whether this would be to work on the existing product or to continue the work that has begun on the iCloud component of iWork. If I had to take bets though, I’d say the latter.
Hiring one engineer may not mean a huge change in Apple’s plan for iWork, but the posting does call for experience in “developing web application frameworks, building and maintaining large-scale distributed systems and building web application user interfaces.”
The mention of ‘web application user interfaces’ isn’t necessarily an indication that Apple plans to expand iWork beyond its current ‘view only’ roots and begin offering a more expansive version of iWork on the web, but it does indicate that we will be getting web apps of some sort to replace those splash pages.
There are plenty of alternatives out there like Google Docs and the recently announced Microsoft Office 365, but if Apple can combine some of the flexibility of an online document editor with seamless iCloud integration, it could convince many iDevice and iWork users to go all in with Apple’s solution instead.
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