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Traditional iWork features to return in later updates, Apple promises

updated 02:28 pm EST, Wed November 6, 2013

Users have complained about missing features

Some features that went missing in last month's iWork update for the Mac will return within the next six months, Apple states in a new knowledge base article. The company says that it rewrote the suite with compatibility in mind, including 64-bit processing and interaction between Mac, iOS, and iCloud. That led to some iWork '09 features being left out, but a number of them should return in a series of future updates.

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote will all, for instance, regain support for customized toolbars. Pages specifically will get a vertical ruler, shortcuts for text styles, page and section management in a document's thumbnail view, and import of Numbers cells containing images, as well as better alignment guides and object placement. Numbers is due to pick up multi-column sorting, in-cell auto-completion, header and footer definition, and improved zoom and window functionality. Keynote will receive '09 slide transitions and builds, and an enhanced presenter display. Both Keynote and Numbers will get more AppleScript hooks back.

Users of the updated iWork suite have complained vocally about the lack of previously standard features. The missing AppleScript support has been a particular problem, since some businesses and professionals previously depended on it to automate repetitive tasks.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    Ok, right. So they're basically saying "It took us a frickin' 4 and a half years to get this thing updated, and you know what, it still wasn't finished when we released it". What's going on, Apple?

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    Exactly what Jeronimo2000 said. Four years absolutely nothing iWork and then they released that crap. I would never say that Apple would release such nonsense.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    ...are users complaining about legacy compatibility, lost workflows and inaccessible sweat equity...?

    Is 'app killing' Apple's blind spot and Achilles heel...? iWork 11 & Appleworks still run just fine in Snow, and ironically Appleworks still runs in XP, the latter of which is still officially supported by their competition...

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Apple has just detailed the already obvious to shut up the shouting morons.

    As to those pointing and claiming the iWork developers sat twiddling their thumbs for four years, I suggest you show the world what you've created in the past four years.

    The iWork team has probably been working on three or for other projects in the meantime (Apple likes to reassign entire development teams - usually quite small - to various different projects, depending upon need and priorities), and they had to get iOS AND OS X AND web versions up to releasable state SIMULTANEOUSLY in time for the iOS 7 release.

    Naturally, being Apple, they pared down functions in order to get a working, stable release, rather than bunging a load of half working shit into three different platforms.

  1. boleric

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-02-07

    I like iwork but it was taking to long to get any updates. I finally bit the bullet and payed for MS Office. While office has warts as well at least it doesn't feel abandoned.
    Biggest concern with iWork. Numbers can't do error bars. Pages takes too many clicks to get things done.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    SH, I'm not the yardstick by which the world should measure Apple's efforts. I'm happy to show you what I've done in the past four years (among that would be writing a book on iWork '09), but it's hardly relevant.

    The point is: Apple prides itself in a stellar customer experience, or as Tim Cook would put it, "high customer sat", and this iWork debacle goes the exact opposite way. What you are delivering are excuses: "team has probably been working on other projects" - well, yeah, obviously they have. I do understand it's no small feat putting iWork on three platforms, but what you call "releasable state" is nothing such. If it takes six more months to bring iWork back to a feature set that people are expecting, why didn't they TAKE these six more months to bring it up to scratch and release it then?

    I just find it difficult to put any kind of faith anymore in the people who develop iWork. Remember iwork.com? It was launched together with iWork '09 in Jan. 2009 as a beta. It remained in beta a couple of years, before it was killed off without much fanfare. Mind you, it had gained some nice features in the meantime (I loved embedding Keynote presentations into web pages), but since Apple did a horrible job communicating those new features to its customer base, hardly anybody used them.

    I love iWork to bits, I've been using it almost daily for nearly the last decade (since Keynote 1.0 came out). And it saddens me a bit that they didn't take the "nearly great" iWork '09 and improved upon it, but instead felt the need to push some sort of "reset button" to make iWork easier for new users (which I doubt it is) - and pissing off existing users along the way.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Existing users did not get the old versions deleted off their hard drives in the upgrade.

    iWork.com is now amply replaced by a web-based iWork that — get this — has full feature parity with all other platforms!

    They didn't TAKE these six more months because they figured that what they'd have would suffice for the vast majority of users (and it does). It was WAY more important to launch this off the publicity surrounding iOS 7 and the new iPhone/iPads than to satisfy all of the edge cases.

    Those who needed more are probably smart enough to realize how Apple works, and may yell and yap a bit, allowing Apple to gauge interest and prioritize accordingly.
    And they may even look through their hard drive on occasion and discover iWork 09, right there, in its own little folder, completely unscathed.

    This is anecdotal, but the new iWork does more than enough to satisfy my needs. I use it primarily for light office stuff — figuring budgets, writing bills, the odd letter.
    I do suspect that this is representative of the vast majority of people using iWork.

    This release is not a "debacle". Casual users stand to gain a LOT more from full feature parity between the platforms (the lack of this is what kept me from using iWork on my iOS devices AT ALL so far) than the advanced user who DIDN'T have iWork 09 installed stood to lose.

    C'mon. It's not just Apple who's learned from the Final Cut Pro X release, is it? I mean, surely we've all learned a bit about how they set their priorities?

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    If Apple had deleted your iWork 09 installs and REPLACED them with the pared-down versions, you whiners would have a case. But they didn't, and you don't, so sit down and STFU.

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    Congratulations spheric harlot and chas m. Feel free to call us morons and that we should shut the fuck up. Great arguments and communiation skills. Your mother is proud of you!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    My mother is dead, you insensitive clod! :p

  1. mindwaves

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-24-00

    This is good. I'm sticking with iWork 09 for now. I use it for my small business and was shocked at the inability of iWork 13 to do basic things.

  1. pastusza

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-01-99

    If Apple wants to get serious about iWork, they need to release a Windows version.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-29-99

    (This might get duped - trying again...)

    "iWork.com is now amply replaced by a web-based iWork that — get this — has full feature parity with all other platforms!"

    Demonstrably false.

    Get your Pages iCloud or iOS to turn into a page layout doc by going to Setup and de-selecting the Document Body. Take your time. I'll wait.

    Use Pages on iCloud or iOS to get the Media option to add Movies or Music. Again, I'll wait.

    How's that going?

  1. abbaZaba

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 06-14-06

    they took two steps back to eventually go 5 steps forward. they've got the framework now for full feature/file parity across iOS, OS X, and the Web (you could argue that is cross-platform). There WILL be frequent and healthy updates coming out the pipe now, adding back familiar stuff all the while keeping features identical throughout all versions. This is a Pretty Good Thing.

    Take a breath and think about the forward thinking involved in this. As others have pointed out, iWork 09 applications were left there on purpose.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    mojkarma: hey man, if the shoe fits ...

    I guess whiners just gotta whine, even though they lost nothing and gained desirable features (that will expand as time goes by). We went through this exact same thing when iMovie '07 came out ... their precious copy of iMovie 6 HD remained functional and right where it was, but everybody was too busy wailing and gnashing their teeth over how basic iMovie was (and it was!). How many people are still using iMovie 6 HD today versus iMovie '11? About the same number of people still on Tiger vs the number of people on Snow Leopard and higher. See also the transition from the "mature" OS 9 to the early OS X and a dozen other previous examples.

    It's sad to see people who should have figured this out by now behaving like children because they think you can just keep adding bloat to the original "house" instead of periodically building a whole new (and ultimately far better) house.

    This is how Apple works. You lose nothing, but change is a part of progress. If that's not for you, that's okay -- I think XP is still available ...

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    @Spheric Harlot
    Oh! I'm an insensitive clod but you are free to call other people morons. And now you hide yourself behind your dead mother? You insensitive idiot. Have respect for other peoples opinion and you'll get some respect back. That's something your mother should have teach you.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by mojkarmaView Post

    @Spheric Harlot
    Oh! I'm an insensitive clod but you are free to call other people morons. And now you hide yourself behind your dead mother? You insensitive idiot. Have respect for other peoples opinion and you'll get some respect back. That's something your mother should have teach you.



    I'm sorry, but you're either really really new to this Internet thing, or a complete moron.

    A smiley with a tongue sticking out has been an indicator of not-so-serious intent for almost twenty years.

    And the "you insensitive clod!" thing has been an Internet meme since long before anybody even knew what a "meme" was.

    I WAS KIDDING.

    (Though my mother is, indeed, dead, and has been for some time. But I am in no way sensitive to whatever some random clueless guy on the intarwebs may or may not believe she would have thought of me. So don't worry about it.)

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    Ok, so we all seem to agree on one thing: some people are happy with the iWork, some are not. Moving on.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    Microsoft To Cut Windows XP - Business Insider

    "Time is finally running out for the 500M or so people around the world who still rely on Windows XP to perform their daily computing chores."

    "...it is surprising how many firms still have no plans for abandoning XP."

    "One problem is that upgrading a computer network of several thousand desktops and laptops can take two to three years to plan and execute. Another is the prohibitive expense involved."

    "Over the years, many firms have developed custom software that is crucial to their business, yet runs only on Windows XP machines. In these circumstances, deciding how and when to migrate to another computer system can all-too-easily be deferred, especially when cash is scarce."

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/02/windows_8_v_windows_xp_july_data
    Windows XP - enjoying second place in the stats - had a minor resurgence during July

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Users-Giving-Up-on-Windows-XP-Not-Really-396908.shtml
    "Users Giving Up on Windows XP? Not Really"

    http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_xp_users_may_wait_until_last_minute_upgrade2013
    "it's still holding its own as the second most installed OS in the world"

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-29-99

    "Casual users stand to gain a LOT more from full feature parity between the platforms (the lack of this is what kept me from using iWork on my iOS devices AT ALL so far)"

    Except that's not what the article says. It says the missing features will be reintroduced to the OSX apps. So much for this imagined "full feature parity".

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by jpellinoView Post

    "Casual users stand to gain a LOT more from full feature parity between the platforms (the lack of this is what kept me from using iWork on my iOS devices AT ALL so far)"

    Except that's not what the article says. It says the missing features will be reintroduced to the OSX apps. So much for this imagined "full feature parity".



    While the article explicitly refers to the Mac versions, those being the only ones robbed of functionality, one would hope that the implication is that these functions will be added across the board.

    There would be little point in doing what they've done in the first place if they won't.

  1. tundaman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-04-10

    Thanks to the MacNN staff for the revision of the original text, placing the new iWork into context with the vast criticism received from people that relied on the old versions to work... although it was done at the cost of deletion of my message.

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