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Numbers 2.6.1 for iOS review: Spreadsheet app is now a better competitor to Excel

Rob Griffiths | Feb. 1, 2016
In my November 2013 review of Numbers 2.0, I found the app to be a “good, solid, usable spreadsheet tool.” Fast forward a couple of years and Numbers for iOS has reached version 2.6.1, with many new and/or improved features.

Finally, if you work with a lot of exported data in CSV format, Numbers should import it much faster than did the old version. I don’t have an old version to test, but I was able to import a 48,000 row by 24 column data set in about a minute; desktop Numbers took around 30 seconds to open the same file. While I wouldn’t describe it as speedy, it’s more than fast enough for most users, who probably won’t ever import a CSV file of that size.

Bottom line

Numbers 2.6.1 is still “a good, solid, usable spreadsheet tool,” and it holds up well compared to Excel for iOS. The new features make it easier to use and improve Numbers’ ability to share with others and import Excel spreadsheets. Numbers’ templates, which are basically unchanged from the first review, are still excellent.

Perhaps the biggest strike against Numbers is that it’s a $10 program (though free with new devices) while Excel for iOS is free (with a free Microsoft account required). Is it worth $10? It probably boils down to whose interface you prefer, Numbers or Excel. On its own merits, though, the Numbers app is well done and should meet the needs of nearly any iOS spreadsheet user.


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