iWork, Apple’s own productivity suite for Macs, and a cheaper and more “Mac-like” product compared to Microsoft’s Office:Mac suite, was a popular choice for many new and veteran Mac users who didn’t require the bloated feature set of Microsoft’s offering. However, the last time a proper version was released was back in 2009. That’s three years ago.
In that time, we’ve had new iPhones, iMacs, MacBooks, and even a completely new device – the iPad (which had a revision of its own in that space of time). But no new version of iWork. In contrast, Microsoft’s released a new version of Office:Mac, bringing it more in-line with what the current generation of productivity apps are all about – specifically, cloud computing.
Sure, Apple’s got iCloud, but what us Mac users yearn for is an improved iWork. New features. Improvements on what’s already there. In short, a productivity suite that’s more 2012, and less 2009.
And, with the Mac App Store, it makes it even easier for Apple to release new versions of the iWork apps. There’s no need to worry about stylish packaging; simply uploading them to the store, at favorable prices, ensures their stake in the productivity faction of Mac software. Sure, I understand that iOS is their flagship product line, but Cupertino mustn’t forget about their core customers – the Mac users.
Mac is in Apple’s DNA; it’d be a shame to just let it fall to the sideline. We’ve seen, with OS X Lion, how the two product lines (iOS and OS X) can symbiotically exist; let’s just hope that Apple will continue this relationship.
Keynote, the presentation app in the trio, is, in my opinion, far superior to PowerPoint. I’ve used it on numerous occasions, from small to large-scale projects and presentations, with exceptional results. But if Apple remains as complacent as they currently are, it may begin to lag behind the very program it’s out to best.
Numbers is certainly no Excel killer, but I think I speak for many Mac users who require an intuitive and lightweight spreadsheet app without the complexity of Excel, when I say that there’s certainly room for improvement in this app.
Then there’s Pages; in fact, I’m writing this blog post in Pages. It’s been my go-to app for both word processing and myriad desktop publishing projects. I love its ease of use and excellent typography features; but, again, we need an update. We need more features that bring it in-line with what’s out there from the competition.
So, given that we’re in a new year now, I do hope that Apple gives their productivity suite the much-needed refresh that it deserves. What’s your thoughts on iWork? Let me know in the comments section below.