Apple iWork for iCloud now free to all -- no need to own a Mac or iOS device! Here's how
While I don't own a Mac, I do own an iPad -- which I love. However, as popular as iOS devices are, not everyone owns one. Yes, believe it or not, many people do not own any Apple hardware. Unfortunately, in order to register for Apple iWork for iCloud, you had to have an iCloud account. In order to register for an iCloud account, you had to own Apple hardware -- Windows, Android, Chromebook and other Linux users were out of luck.
Well, today this changes. Now, anyone can register for and sign in with a regular Apple ID and use the web-based office suite. What does this mean? Pretty much anyone with a modern operating system and web browser can take advantage of Pages, Numbers and Keynote at no charge. You no longer need a full-fledged iCloud account. Before you say you don't care since you can already use Office Online or Google Docs, I urge you to try it; Apple's offering is quite slick.
In order to get access, you must go to the Beta version of the iCloud site. The URL is https://beta.icloud.com. If you do not have an Apple ID, simply register for one -- it is free and easy (I did so using Internet Explorer). Just click on the link that says "Create one now". You can use any email address; I was able to register with my BetaNews.com email account. Once you finish the registration, you are off to the races.
Once logged in, you will see the above screen. It is a lot less crowded than the screen users will see if they have a proper Apple iCloud account registered with Apple hardware. There is no mail, calendar, contacts, reminders, etc. Instead you only see the iWork for iCloud office suite and a Settings icon. Clicking on settings reveals that you now have 1GB of iCloud storage too. This is where your files will be stored.
Should you use this instead of Office Online or Google Docs? If you are not in the Apple ecosystem, probably not. With that said, having another option is always good, and who knows, you just may end up preferring iWork. If anything, it is drop-dead gorgeous.
Try it and tell me what you think in the comments.