Following the introduction of Apple’s new iWork apps at its iPad Air event earlier this week, an increasing number of users have taken to Apple’s support forums to voice concerns over the removal of features as the apps receive new simplified user interfaces that bring them more in line with the iOS versions. Several pages of complaints from users in Apple’s forums point out that many features, those mostly used by power users, have been removed from Apple’s new redesigned version of Pages:

Why does Apple get rid of so many useful features in new pages? iWork 13 has been a huge disappointment and nothing more than a downgrade to match the capabilities of the iOS iWork apps.  If Apple simply made performance upgrades to iWork 09 I would have been happy.  I hope there is a way to get back to the most up to date version of iWork 09.

It comes down to this. Apple has discontinued Pages in its entirety. You can no longer download it or purchase it, and Apple won’t support it. Apple has simultaneously introduced a completely new and different product, also called Pages, that is designed for different users and different use cases. Despite the name, it is not a successor to Pages (old), except in the licensing terms, it is completely a completely different species of animal. Those of us who depended on Pages (old) cannot use Pages (new). We have to save all our Pages files in a widely used format and import them into a new word processor that supports the formatting.

Pages isn’t the only app, users are also hitting Apple’s forums to list features that have been removed from the redesigned versions of Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie:

It appears that Apple has decided to make the Mac versions of iLife and iWorks apps identical to the IOS versions on the iPad. This required a “dumbing down” of the Mac versions which they did in the newly released versions. I see this in iMovie ’13 which among other missing old features is the ability to group Projects into folders (like Family, Vacations, etc.) which is extremely important when you have a few dozen or more projects.

In another forum, it is clear they did the same thing with iWorks:

As a dedicated user of the iWork applications I looked forward to seeing what new features Apple was going to support. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am – all three represent regressions IMHO. Read through the discussion about Pages, Keynote and Numbers, and you will see right away that people are deeply puzzled with the features that have vanished. It sure seems in an effort to make the iWork apps more like their iOS cousins that Apple has dumbed down and severely limited the OS X versions.

The missing features in Pages alone range from the removal of keyboard shorcuts, the floating inspector panel, custom text autocorrection, and alignment tools to lack of support for AppleScript. Some have pointed out that installing the new versions of iWork doesn’t remove the old versions of iWork 09. The old apps are still accessible in the applications folder, which could be a move by Apple to provide users with an alternative to the new apps while it works to bring back features it removed during the redesign.

It’s not the first time in recent years that Apple has received criticism for removing features while redesigning an app to focus on a more simplified user interface. In 2011, Apple released a scaled-back Final Cut Pro X that received much criticism from pro users. Apple eventually responded, issued refunds to unsatisfied customers, and launched a new campaign to try and win pro customers back. Apple has been slowly adding back many of the features that professional complained were removed from Final Cut Pro X, so it’s always possible that could also be the case with Pages and the other new iWork and iLife apps.

Apple’s redesigned iWork apps come alongside the announcement that all iWork and iLife apps will now be available for free to all new devices (and those purchased after Oct.1). Apple also launched its new web-based iWork for iCloud beta with collaboration features and support for the new Pages for Mac and iOS this week.

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117 Responses to “New iWork & iLife apps go for simplicity, upset power users all over again”

  1. I have to wonder how intimately familiar someone is with a piece of software if they can’t even call it by the correct name. iWork. No ‘s’.”

    • tallestskil says:

      You can tell the OLD software users by the fact that they do that. Those of us who remember ClarisWorks and AppleWorks INTIMATELY sometimes throw on the ’s’ because, hey, those had them.

      Those are the people who know what they’re talking about more than anyone else.

      For example, I wanted feature parity between the three (disgusting…) iWork versions. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I WANTED FEATURES REMOVED TO GET PARITY.

      • Good point. Also just my 0.02 — I don’t see why features should *ever* be removed. Ever. If you want to hide them, fine. Make it so power users can turn them back on though if you want to do that. It seems to me like it would take less work to hide them by default than to remove them all together…why pay for all that R&D when it’s going to piss people off so much and there’s a better way to do it?

      • I wonder if people who used Emagic accidentally misspeak when referring to Logic too… because that totally makes sense. /s

      • right on brother! if you learned the IPadIMac interface for photos, pdfs and files etcs using 10.6 snow leopard; NOW we are using 10.9 mavericks WHICH is a NIGHTMARE!!! people make a place, NOT the other way around! APPLE is diseased!!! is there a doctor in the house??

    • I too wonder why the ‘s’ slips in. Isn’t 7 years enough time to learn the proper name of something?

  2. What Apple did here is inexcusable. They should’ve learned this lesson with Final Cut Pro’s redesign, but they didn’t and it cost them. While the new iLife and iWork are essentially free, they come with a major cost to those of us who used these apps in earnest.

    Apple has always been about pushing things forward in measured steps. Here they’ve taken us back, and rather far at that. The modest gains of the new apps is not worth mentioning in light of the many losses. But for me, nothing is lost. I’m content with the previous versions, but have to wait again for these apps to catch up.

    So I’ve decided not to upgrade — not even to Mavericks over all of this. Not out of spite, but just to play it safe. I didn’t come to Apple to lose, I came to Apple gain. They’ve let a lot of us down, and for those of us who have long championed Macs and their apps to our friends and family, it’s rather embarrassing.

    • I promise I’m not trolling, I’m honestly curious. Can you give some examples of the features that are missing?

      • One feature I really enjoyed was the simple lines that helped you align things better to the page and to other objects on the page.

      • jordanshow says:

        The info pane at the bottom was a nice feature that is now gone. Also, why aren’t the words capitalizing on a new sentence, anyone?

      • Jonny Mack says:

        In Keynote they removed pretty much anything that made it intuitive. In animations, for example, a bullet next to the item meant you had to click to make it go. No bullet meant it followed after and simple L-shaped icon meant it animated with the previous build. Why remove this simple visual language? It’s awkward and hard to follow. Also, animations lost some of their fascinating grace. I am trying to figure it out, but it’s a huge disappointment. In general I think Apple has become less and less intuitive, their menus and programs getting more and more bland and abstruse and Microsoft spreadsheet-like. Why would you turn the highlight element in the OS into a little disconnected dot off to the side? I wanted to highlight something special in a list of 600 items. Now I have to find the dot and then look to the left. It used to be highlighted in red or green or whatever and be clear as crystal.

      • @liquidwolverine1 actually you can turn that back on in preferences. One missing feature in Pages that annoys me is the lack of vertical ruler, and the oversized horizontal ruler. Plus, the horizontal ruler can’t change the margins of the document, and one can’t right-click it to get more options like changing units (I don’t think you could before, but it’s an easy addition that benefits the UI). Other ones: you can’t highlight several disjoint words and change them at once. When editing a table, tab and enter don’t switch cells. To move a table you must click the “move” circle in the upper left, instead of dragging from anywhere. You can’t customize table styles from the drop down. You can’t customize the toolbar. Can’t rearrange/delete pages from thumbnail view. Clicking text box button gives a drop down instead of a simple text box (like Word, very annoying when 99% of the time I want a simple text box). Still no built-in equation support. Can’t get rid of footnote separator. Word count now covers part of the document. Right clicking a misspelled word doesn’t offer alternatives (you must highlight it first). The list goes on.

      • degraevesofie says:

        In Pages ’09, you could assign function keys to paragraph and character styles. I used this all the time for my technical writing because I’m constantly switching between “code”, “spec”, and “discussion” content (with each of those having associated character styles; e.g. “code”, “emphasized code” and “comment” for code content). That’s gone in Pages 5 (you have to mouse around for all of that).

        Fortunately, upgrading doesn’t actually remove Pages ’09 (at least it didn’t for me). So while I try to find an alternative, I can still live with the old software. Hopefully, they’ll eventually have “the new Pages” catch up with the capabilities of the old one (and more), but meanwhile it’s true that the current situation is disappointing (all the more so because the new stuff has some compelling improvements in some areas too; I like the new in-window “inspector”, and I imagine the collaboration tools might be useful some time).

      • @liquidwolverine1
        Guides and snapping alignment is still there, just not on by default.
        see how, here:

      • Babel Rain says:

        Two pages up is missing. Now it just scrolls like a giant PDF file. Seeing that is the first change I make when opening a doc to view it, it was the first missing feature from the pseudo Pages app.

      • They eliminated headers and footers from Numbers.

      • Placing Graphics in Tables is not possible anymore. This renders all the old Documents which I made useless. This is an essential feature if you are a teacher and your work depends on designing good work sheets. It is not possible anymore to select multiple words / sections of your document and work on them at once. It is not possible anymore to add Latex-It elements (formulas, etc.) which is horrible if you are a science teacher …
        The old pages 4.3 works just fine, but now every time I want to open a Pages-document I have to select “Open With” which is annoying. I’ll probably uninstall the new Pages/Keynote/Numbers version.

      • The user used to be able to cut/copy/paste sections if we didn’t like the order. That option is now missing. Same with “split cell into columns” and “split cell into rows” for their tables. Even the lowliest of word processors has still that option for a table. ugh.

      • Manesh Nagar says:

        You can no longer use multi-touch to rotate an image you place on the page. I also used pages to design the DVD covers, and use the entire page for artwork. Now every time I place text box close to the header or footer, it becomes difficult to select the text box without a “pop up message” asking to place page numbers in the header.
        Also when a text box was place vertically on a page, and I wanted to edit the text, the box would (in the old version) become horizontal and allow me to see the text box correctly and edit. – In the new version the text box stays vertical, and I have to turn my head to see where the cursor is and where in the text box I am.

      • Jessica Jewell says:

        @stustu_douglas: One way to work around the missing tab is to hit shift tab (⇧⇥) and then you can use tab all you want. I know it’s not ideal but it at least prevents you from having to pick up the mouse.

      • hereigoagain04 says:

        What annoys me is the absence of the command & hold/click/drag/highlight function to highlight multiple separate lines in Pages to format. Lets say I wanted to make five separate lines all the same type of subject heading format, before I could do so by holding down command and clicking what I wanted. Now that has to be done for every line. That was a feature I’ve had going back to my Microsoft days a decade ago.

    • With Final Cut Pro there really wasn’t a lesson to be learned. Older FCP was based on a Quicktime framework that wasn’t going to survive the transition from 32-bit to 64-bit. If you’ve got to rip out the guts of an app and rebuild you may as well modernize as much as your can. Enter FCPX. FCPX, being more modern down to its foundation, has had more updates in the last year than FCP had in its final two years. The lesson Apple learned if any at all was to keep both programs active simultaneously rather than forcing editors to migrate cold turkey.

      iWork clearly has regressed but I’m confident it will see many more upgrades in the near future to shore up the deficits. Sadly things like scripting will likely not come back because if their difficulty on iOS and the web.

      • This is the problem right here, web and iOS app are intended for content consumption. Maybe we only speak for ourselves and a handful of others, but when we are on our Macs, we are creating content.

        If you try to streamline OSX to iOS standards, where will the content come from? Only Windows 8 users?

    • tallestskil says:

      >>but they didn’t and it cost them.

      Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    • Have you ever heard about Microsoft Office that is 100 times more solid and productive than iWork?

  3. mockery17 says:

    The new iWork is a complete joke. They should improve the iOS version to match the Mac version, not dumbing down the Mac version to match the iOS version. Why won’t they learn from the Final Cut Pro X fiasco?

    • tallestskil says:

      Because there was nothing to learn, since it wasn’t a “fiasco”.

    • Yeah, Apple lost a ton of business when FCPX came out. Everyone switched to Premiere. But then Adobe switched to CC, and that pissed everyone off even moreso…so now what the F are people using for NLEs? Avid? Or did they just go back to FCPX?

      • Everyone clamored that “everyone” mass exuded (exodused?) to Premier. But the reality wasn’t so dramatic. A few notable production houses switched. But yeah, with finicky people like that, they probably switched back after mandatory CC came around. The fact is there was about a six month period where FCPX sucked, but the complaining carried on long after everything was fixed. People just need to chill here. It’ll all be ok. Just hold off on upgrading if your business depends on it.

  4. What I fail to see is what features actually got removed. I know AppleScript got pretty much stripped out, but the most advanced document I did a while ago – and on which I had the opportunity to work in iWorks exclusively – still works. Paragraph styles still work, numbering still works, … I can still write a book or technical documentation in it. I admit, it feels easier to do in Microsoft Word, but Pages still has all of the features needed to even write technical documentation.

    If I go through the list of things that are missing, it more seems Apple moved around things or set different defaults.

    I will miss the outline though.

    • Read this thread for some insight into what Apple removed from Pages:

    • Neil Chapman says:

      They stripped the merge functionality, which would allow you to drag-n-drop contact cards on to a template with blank fields, and the fields would automatically populate with the data contained in the Contact card from your Address Book. (Not called Contacts.) This is a very big deal for anyone who has to write correspondence or fill out forms, etc. With the new Pages, you now have to TYPE the name of the recipient, the address, etc etc etc. The missing merge feature threatens to destroy my workflow as an attorney, as it saves me countless hours a week. I simply could not run my office on the new Pages. Thank God the old Pages still works. I hope it continues to work until they add merge functionality back in. What good is a word processor if it makes you re-type everything? It feels like going back to a typewriter to me!

  5. lex05 says:

    FYI: When I downloaded the new versions it moved my old versions of iWork and iMovie into a same name folder in my applications folder so you can access both the new version and the old version. I think Apple did learn from the old iMove/Final cut experience and allowed the old programs to remain for power users. Hope this helps!

  6. Important part here is to see where Apple goes with iOS 8 and beyond. When you take iWork 13 and iWork iOS 7 you see that Apple is revamping the iOS architecture (Text Kit) but it’s a slow process. Look for larger leaps forward with text handling in the next version and subsequently the Mac and web versions should improve in step.

  7. Its FREE, stop crying. Apple gets nearly all of its revenue from iSheep, not professionals, so your tears will not turn their hearts any more than the Mac Pro outrage did from ending Europe sales or introducing the Mac Mini Pro.

    Buy MS Office for $220 if you want “pro” features and compatibility.

    • mockery17 says:

      This is the troll of the year.

      • iSheep always describe others as trolls. When will you accept the others opinion?

      • hereigoagain04 says:

        Lance Newcomb/Steven A.- We’ll accept others opinions when they’re of depth of substance exceeding that of “shut up and spend more money”. iWork wasn’t “FREE”. I paid $45 bucks on it in the App Store (not to mention the iOS versions) just over 2 years ago and now all I have is crappy stripped-down freeware which is essentially at best worthless duplicates cluttering up my Mac, iPhone, & iPad. Not only that, but this “simplified” version now no longer goes cross platform with my simpler old iPad as did my more complex previous version of Pages. True, we could “shut up and spend more money”, but we also have the right to voice our dissent and to cast or not cast our $$$$ votes however we desire. It’s unfortunate, however, that most in this line of comments waste that right on asinine dramatics. This is what I get for sinking to the bottom of the article barrel.

    • Janet Jones says:

      YEEE HAAAAA! Gota love those original thinking, non following Microsoft types!! All those people who use Word…really thought long and hard about the choice they made…AHH wait a sec….

    • tallestskil says:

      Screw you, worthless idiot. Where’s the report button…

    • weakguy says:

      Translation: I have absolutely no knowledge of computer, so I came to this site to troll.

      • bulk001 says:

        +1. He has found himself banned on other sites for a while. It is one think to enjoy apple products. It is another to think that Apple can do no wrong ever.

  8. I am curious to know what people think was removed functionality wise? I just opened all my docs just to check to make sure they work well and they all still do. I am happy they finally removed the inspector feature as it brings everything into a unified window. I still use more advanced apps for writing reports and papers but for most of my uses Papers works quite well and Keynote has always been solid.

    • mockery17 says:

      I actually would prefer a floating inspector because I can put it somewhere inconspicuous and put my document and some other reference material side-by-side. The new docked formatting sidebar requires you to widen the document window. Hiding it makes it almost impossible to format the text because the toolbar is now gone.

      Here are some features that I certainly miss, in the case of Pages:
      Sort only selected rows in a column
      Selection of non-contiguous text
      Some templates
      Outline view
      Linked text box
      Color options are severely reduced

      I haven’t tried out Keynote yet but given the state of the new Pages, I don’t think I ever will.

  9. Kenny Tang says:

    When I first try the new iWorks, I found it more easy to use and the inspector improved a lot (easier).
    I do not use the advanced features so often so I didn’t check that until reading this article. It seems many function are gone just like the mail merge.
    I love the simplicity in the new iWorks and the new interface is good. However, I think the advanced features should be add back. Maybe learning from Safari, the Developer menu is hid unless people turn it on. The advanced features of iWorks can do so.

  10. godrifle says:

    I’m not sure I would call the users who need the features that have been removed “power” users. Many of the now-missing features (like mail merge) are features in any word processor used in a business setting (of any size).

    I honestly am at the point where I believe Apple’s senior leadership have just completely lost touch with the usage patterns of their customers. They don’t understand how their own products are being used. Or, they don’t care.

    • Neil Chapman says:

      Agreed! It blows my mind to learn that, apparently, very few people use merge fields in iWork . . . Wow! They must work in a new-age industry that only communicates by email: All you need is an email address. In many old-world industries, such as legal, banking, medicine, insurance, etc., the letter and the fax are sadly still the rule. Which means you need to type names, addresses, and other formal information and print the correspondence on paper. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a paperless law office for 8 years now. But it takes 2 to tango . . . and the folks on the other end of my correspondence like State Farm and other insurance companies, still insist on paper and faxes. Ugh!

  11. Pages 5 is a bad joke. We are not talking here about removing a few power user features! Hey, the removed endnotes. People did work with this software and after the update their projects are fucked up. This is irresponsible! Here is a list of all removed features:

    Select non-contiguous text
    Outline view
    Customizable Toolbar
    135 templates
    Capture pages/sections
    Drag reorganize pages
    Duplicate pages
    Delete page
    Manage Pages
    Subscript/superscript buttons
    Select all instances of a Style
    Retain zoom level of document
    Facing pages
    Layout Breaks
    Layout Margins
    Media Inspector links to iPhoto library on external drive
    Media Inspector links to Aperture Library
    Alignment Guides
    Styles Drawer
    Merge Fields
    Drag and Drop VCards
    Default Start Up page
    Vertical Ruler
    Style Function key shortcuts
    Bookmarks and Links
    Images within Tables
    Import Styles
    Clean Import of older .pages formatting
    User Guide
    Search Sidebar
    Open Type features
    Textbox linking
    Background Object selectable
    Text to Tables
    Tables to Text
    Tables in Headers/Footers
    Export to .txt or .rtf
    Multiple Comments view
    T.O.C. clean numbering
    Selective formating in Character Styles
    Insert File Name
    Search in Media Browser
    Bullet points in comments
    Search comments
    Two up view
    Paste and keep style
    Accented characters in Footer
    Mail Merge
    Mask with shapes other than rectangle
    Find & Replace special characters e.g. paragraph returns
    … and more!

    • joushikijin says:

      Those features really existed!

      • Pat Chapman says:

        You forgot “Make booklet” – for me the most important feature of all as I need the impostition features so I can create journals and print them. How on earth can I do that now?

    • Agree Dr.!
      For me option of working with old pages is difficult to exercise as iPad would only work with new file formats (i.e. one supported by new versions of Pages).
      What I looked forward to, was better support for equations and possibility to work with landscape/portrait mode in one document-however, this is one major negative upgrade losing out what we already had in first place.
      Strength of Apple design philosophy was that it treated mobile devices and desktop ones differently (two different OSes)-something MS messed up, but that they can abandon a powerful productivity suite is just incredible!
      Final Cut ProX, Adobe’s licensing fiasco, MS Vista prompted many to look for alternatives. Hope this iWork issue gets remedied quickly.
      Hope Apple is listening.

  12. William May says:

    I guess all us users of iWork are idiots. We have been buying products named “iWork” and we have been using them to do actual work. People using the apps to get payable work done actually enjoy more useful features and enhancements. We do not mind a bit of a learning curve or complexity because we use the apps to make difficult work easier to achieve. We do not enjoy ever more simple apps that appeal to beginners. Please forgive up Apple for misinterpreting the purpose of something called iWork.

    IMHO, there is no way to fix this problem. The new Mac applications are Mac versions of the iOS apps. The old code base has not had any real development since the iPad was introduced in 2010. Much as we might wish for “iWork Pro”, I cannot see Apple doing this at this point. The problem for Apple is that when users can no longer find the elegant AND powerful software they used to enjoy on the Mac, they will have use Windows machines to do real work. Just think that one over for a minute, Mr. Cook.

    • Shaun G says:

      Did they leave anything of use in? I hate Microsoft but I’m glad I stuck with Office now instead of moving to Pages and Numbers. You simply can’t trust Apple when it comes to software. This is AppleWorks all over again.

    • joushikijin says:

      Who is “we”? Because I use the new iWork suit daily and I am very happy with the upgrade. Maybe my voice doesn’t count because I am just not part of “we”!

    • Devil’s advocate answer: Or Apple simply decided offering a “me too” version of Office — without being able to ask $220 for it — wasn’t worth their while, and decided to offer an Office Lite For The Casual User instead as an alternative to those frustrated by M$’s cluttered bloatware.

      Keep in mind that if M$ ever stops updating Office, Apple’s goose is cooked in the business and higher-ed markets.

  13. illed says:

    All I care about in Pages is for Ctrl+Y to be available, like in MS Word. That’s all I ask.

  14. Rick Z says:

    Need 2 versions, Standard and Pro. Problem solved!

      • Seriously? You troll, blast people who reply to your comments for not actually posting an argument, then do the same thing. “That’s idiotic” isn’t an argument. Pot, meet Kettle.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        Of course it’s an argument, you moron. The idea presented to which the reply was posted is idiotic. It represents everything that Apple isn’t, does absolutely nothing to solve any of the problems being presented, and only hurts consumers further. Give a reason FOR it, or a reason dispelling any of these facts, and maybe it won’t be so idiotic for you to be on its side.

  15. Scophi says:

    When will these tech giants learn that we don’t want our desktops/laptops to look and work like our tablets/smartphones? I don’t want my desktop machine to look like my tablet. Why the hell would I?

    Combining interfaces, reducing app/program functionality to match one another, hiding features and streamlining everything to the point of uselessness is not what the world needs. They need to get that notion out of their heads.

    Mobile devices are not the same as power devices. They need to remain separate!!!

    • rettun1 says:

      They’re moving forward and trying new stuff. They are sure to confuse a few people in the process

      • Scophi says:

        Cutting features is not moving forward.

        Apple seems like they want to break into the office productivity world, but every time they get close, they make decisions that keep it from happening.

        They’re either just missing the big picture, or they see it and are intentionally staying away. Neither makes sense.

        It’s like they want to stay small. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But if that’s the case, they need to stop pretending that they’re making inroads against Microsoft or Google.

        (Not an Apple hater. I’m very pro-Apple. I want to see them do well and it pisses me off when they do stupid things. We don’t need to give Microsofties more cause for their arguments.)

    • joushikijin says:

      Apple does keep them separated!

      • Scophi says:

        Apple used to keep them separated. But the point of this article shows they are starting to merge. It’s just being done more slowly than Microsoft did with Windows.

        First apps get renamed. Then the icons change. Then features disappear. Then interfaces overlap. It won’t be long before iOS and OS X look identical.

        How much do you want to bet that the next iteration of OS X gets an interface overhaul very similar to iOS 7?

        The problem is that Apple can see the problems that Microsoft has in trying to do this very thing. No one wants it. Why would Apple follow suit?

        Some apps can be universalized. Small utilities like Notes or Contacts. But more powerful apps need to stay separate. A dumbed-down Pages app isn’t worth installing on any device.

  16. rogifan says:

    I wonder how many people are really impacted or upset. Or is it more about rumor sites getting page hits. Now that this is front and center here it will find its way on MacRumors in short order and will be good for clicks over the weekend.

  17. Shaun G says:

    I said months ago that they would downgrade iWork and iLife to make them free apps. It was obvious given the decision not to upgrade them annually anymore. Apple has always viewed software as a way of selling their hardware rather than something to focus on. I think this represents a further move in that direction. Fill their hardware with a suite of basic tools/apps for free to make the hardware look more better value and then if you want a better app go buy something else from the Mac App Store. Apple doesn’t care, they get 30% of that sale aswell so they win either way.

  18. Letian Yang says:

    All the old versions are still there in your Application folder after updating, as a folder called “iWork ’09” or “iMovie/GarageBand+version#”, only iPhoto seems to get completely updated.

  19. Very true… I even emailed Eddy Cue and posted on the forum why took out some of the Transition I was using in Keynote 09’… I’m very disappointed!

  20. I don’t…android people always say google is more imaginative and experimental with software, but no one can say apple isn’t willing to butcher experiment with their software.

  21. Scott Waugh says:

    There’s another way of looking at this as well. And that is of a hardware company treating their standalone software updates like they were hardware updates. When you go for something new in hardware you scrap it all and start over cause its a new product with very residual damage cause the user buys the new hardware (standalone software is another world).

    iMovie (with plugins), rewrite from the ground up and drop it on users with much less capability (poor plugin guys) and it never gets back to its original capability, FCPX same (although for single users its very capable now – multi user workflow like the old FCP forget it) and now we get an abandonment of the old iWorks codebase with what appears to be essentially a port of the new iOS version and of course the old iWorks programs can’t read the new file version. This supports the strategic vision that you can open and edit any of these docs on any of the Apple hardware or the web interface and it all works the same or similar – course you could have kept the OS X apps and updated them to support the new file system, fix some bugs and keep them more capable while bringing the iOS and web versions up in capabilities over time – that’s what a standalone software shop would have done that depends on software sales, but Apple isn’t that.

    There is a lesson in all this, IMHO, its that Apple’s standalone software is really there at the whim of what the current “vision” of how things should be (to sell hardware) is. The user’s really need to understand this and its a bit of a risky bet to embed part of your business on their standalone software (cause it could be dropped, abandoned or rewritten without notice when the hardware vision wind blows another direction). JMHO…

  22. Jeff Harris says:

    Let me chime in with a product manager’s point of view (10+ years in media products, 30+ years in dev/design).

    While I understand all the negative feedback on the part of the existing users of the products, I think you have to step back a second and think about the basic principles to be balanced for good product management:

    1. Time to market
    2. Features
    3. Cost (in Apple’s case, who cares)

    So, let’s take time to market, especially since you could see that they wanted to announce all this together. Let’s also take into account that they took ALL of the apps and rewrote them from the ground up to be compatible on all platforms: web, iOS, Mac. So, let’s do the math:

    6 apps x 3 platforms = 18 builds

    Any software developers in the house? You want to do that math on how many man-months that is? Even with Apple’s resources, you reach the law of diminishing returns the more developers you throw at a software build.

    Now factor in the time. You have a fixed launch window. You have to toss some features out to make the date. So how do you do it without causing the most hair-pullin’ teeth gnashin’ body thrashin’ amongst the Mac Intelligentsia?

    Data. Look at what are the most essential things to keep. The main job of a product manager is learning what not to do. It’s hard.

    But I betcha my vintage 512k that Apple knows A) how many paying customers they have, B) how many are actually using the product, and C) which things they could safely leave out (defer) for now.

    Finally, you know they looked at the halo effect of making these apps free, and understand the lift in the numbers of people using the apps and possibly buying devices to get the apps, and I bet the numbers support the decisions.

    Frankly, I use these apps, and some of them needed some rethinking, since they have evolved into abby-normal creations over the years. A clean slate to build up from is often the better path, but does come with the risk of backlash.

  23. I hear people saying “why didn’t Apple learn from FCPX?” The better question is “why didn’t the user base learn from FCPX?” Apple had in FCP a bloated piece of very capable software. iWork was becoming equally so. Look no further than Office for a great example of where it would have gone on the track to “power user land”. However, FCPX has now recovered and exceeded the capabilities of its predecessor. It was necessary to take two steps back in order to take three forward. The same thing applies to iWork. Everyone is welcome to not upgrade during the transition. But fear not, it’s only temporary. Apple is most certainly backing the Mac version up a few steps to align with the iOS version, since there was probably no way to bring that up to par in the same direction. Now they’ll evolve together.

    Our job as users is to nicely and politely offer feedback and tell Apple what we want. Don’t be rude. Writing software is extremely difficult.

    • tronaldkarr says:

      I like the new FCP X quite a lot, but I can totally see why people with sophisticated collaborative workflow setups are upset, and Apple’s decision to simply end FCP7 the day they shipped FCP X was unnecessarily brutal and made clear to everyone that Apple is not a company that caters to the professional market, even if they do appear to make hardware and software that often works quite well for that market. What saves them in this space is the “compared to what” problem. Microsoft produces horrible bloatware, and so does Adobe. That basically leaves niche players who often have good products, but who don’t have the scale and muscle to build great products within a larger ecosystem.

      As for iWork, I have used it for years for all of my papers and presentations. It really did not feel bloated. It could use a few features here and there (my beef tends to be lack of references and better paragraph and section numbering), and maybe a more modern way of docking tools so that they are flexible side panels rather than floating windows. But, really it was clean and efficient. Now it is perhaps clean looking, but it lost a lot of efficiency.

      Fortunately, Nissus Writer Pro is inexpensive, about as clean as Pages, and has the capabilities that I was missing from Pages. Maybe with the death of Pages as a serious tool, some of these third party tools will get enough customers to be serious, profitable businesses. If so, perhaps some good will have come of this.

  24. Brett Carson says:

    As an avid iWork user, the new update is able to do 97% of the things old iWork does. Just because you can’t figure it out does not mean it is a dumbed down version. For “power users” it seems like that means people who want to take a long time to search for something, instead of it just being easier!!!

  25. They did remove “Covert text to table” which is actually very useful. I do not care for the “power user” label and roll my eyes at people who describe themselves as such, but it is a drag to use the older version of Pages just for this one thing. That’s the kind of thing that results in the death of a thousand cuts.

  26. Keynote 6 is a massive downgrade from 5.3. Free is too expensive for this.

  27. I think most of the posters who compare the FCPX debacle over the iWork one do miss a very strong and important point.

    During the move to FCPX, none of the previous FCP projects were affected or moved to FCPX. No data were lost and both FCP7 & FCPX could live together.

    Now, with iWork 13, if you open any of your files, it will be converted to the new ’13 format and you won’t be able to open it in iWork 09. Yes, just by OPENING it, not saving it or anything else. It does not open a copy and convert it. It just kill your document. I think that’s the first time in any software that opening a document can be dangerous for the file itself. That’s a major flaw in this new suite of software.

    I can already smell the class-action for all the work days lost in the process…

    • joushikijin says:

      You can save any document in the new iWork in the legacy format of iWork 09!

      • tronaldkarr says:

        Not everything is kept. Since new iWork is not 100% backward compatible with iWork ’09, the change is in fact destructive, and silently but aggressively so. If you have your work sync’d with iOS Pages or with the cloud beta, or whatever, your files can become incompatible except through a somewhat lossy “Save to iWork ’09 format” command.

        This has already been a pattern from Apple. Sometimes it is the refreshing antithesis of Microsoft and Adobe, whose slavish adherence to the cautionary principle holds them back from radically improving how we interact with technology. Sometimes, it is just dangerous to our own established use of their technology. I can imagine that this stuff results in some seriously angry meetings deep in the bowels of Apple and Microsoft and Adobe, as the optimists and the pessimists engage in their endless clashes. But, seriously, sometimes it is clear that the optimists and pessimists need better referees.

  28. I would like to point out that Apple has been short sighted on the MacBook Pro too. THERE IS NO ETHERNET PORT!!! School teachers and college students often have to have ethernet. Hotels still use ethernet. The price for a 500GB MacBook Pro is $600 more than the last model. And then, don’t even get me started on this iWork screwup.

  29. The missing alignment guides are the biggest problem for me….although you can turn them on in preferences, they are still not as advanced as the previous version of pages….

  30. albrip says:

    You can complain with Apple here:
    If Cook apologized for the innovative, if a bit immature, Maps 1.0, what should he do about this abomination? I suggest this:

  31. I was a Creative at Apple for almost 5 years, and the missing features are appalling. I understand the logic behind their decision: simplify the app, make it free, and broaden its appeal to the masses. But, this forces most business and intermediate/pro users to Microsoft Office—which is a shame.

  32. joushikijin says:

    I am not sure why so many people are unhappy. I use iWork on a daily bases for university and found this a very welcoming update. All three Apps are streamlined and finally allow me to continuously edit them on my MacBook Pro and my iPad without having to worry about the formatting. I reckon people who miss certain features should look into Microsofts overpriced bloat ware called Office. It is there where you can find a lot of knobs and buttons to twiddle around and allow you to be distracted from what you actually came to do, work!

    • Luke Towers says:

      you don’t merge data then do you?

      • Neil Chapman says:

        The lack of mail merge is huge. I didn’t realize how many people apparently never do this. I guess they just write novels or shoot off emails? Anyone who does business correspondence is missing out on a ton of time-saving by NOT using merge. I hesitate to call myself a “power user,” because it sounds so pretentious and offends others, I have learned. I don’t know what I am. I’m a guy who uses my Mac to communicate with other professionals in the legal, insurance and medical communities. So I can’t upgrade to the new Pages and Numbers because it makes me feel like I’m using a typewriter again.

  33. It is why it can be free for new H/W buyer. and, most of user need just a simple and easy solution ~

  34. Jonathan R says:

    Fortunately I was able to restore ’09 from Time Machine. Phew!

  35. Power Users, meaning people with real jobs who have to do real work. Yes, we do need to accomplish things and we need the best tools we can find to do that work. Not everything in life can or should be super simple to use. Rather than bringing down our computer based tools to iOS level, how about ramping up the iOS tools? Seems like a real missed opportunity. Glad I read about all this before upgrading!

  36. Waahhhh!!!

    Seriously: I’m willing to bet that stuff gets added back to both the Mac and iOS versions of iWork.

  37. I agree with most comments that Apple have pretty much ruined the iWork suite and the reality is that they have dumbed down the ability to create content whereas the iOS versions are mainly to consume content in my mind (and guess review and ability to amend on the fly but with limits).

    Just seems crazy that I need to now go with something else now to get what i still think are basic functions like text box links. I do not consider myself a power user, just need simple solutions to make life easier and this worked well in iWork 09, in Pages, Numbers and Keynote 5, a lot of the convenience we used to benefit from in full document CREATION has been taken away.

    I hope Apple listen to such issues but fear they will not. Perhaps it is purely to get the suite of software on a platform that they can develop iOS and OS X versions equally on, but in my view they should have got that platform to a stage where the OS X version would not go backwards first.

    Look forward to further development (hopefully quickly) of the software by Apple, in the meantime, i need to perhaps think about using something else. I have never used Final Cut Pro but maybe they will react to this sort of feedback otherwise i start to worry about the iOS revolutions impact on OS X.

  38. Is anyone also having issues sending new iWork documents via google mail?

  39. Jun Pacleb says:

    bring back iwork09. iwork13 is not an improvement.

  40. Luke Towers says:

    yes, i don’t think you mentioned MAIL MERGE (Numbers data into Pages) : an important and basic feature

  41. THANKS FOR THE ARTICLE. If apple intended for the redesigned PAGES to be distinct from the iWORKS PAGES, then why did they use language (i.e. UPDATE) that made the two seem related? Seems as if this was done with the intent to have iWORK customers buy the new products. The apple website doesn’t state clearly that iWORKS will not be supported.

  42. Metro Square says:

    On January 24, 1984, the Macintosh, its first computer was launched, “with the promise to put the creative power of technology in everyone’s hands.”
    And still the most innovative after these 30 years. Go ahead, Happy 30th to the Mac!

  43. RachelP says:

    Sooo…what word processor have all you folks switched to now that Pages is a mere shadow of its former self?

    • Neil Chapman says:

      I just stick with Pages ’09. But cannot wait until they add mail merge back into Pages ’13 so I can upgrade. That’s the main feature I can’t live without . . . As an attorney I save a ton of typing when I create correspondence– client names, addresses, dates of birth etc etc by using the drag-and-drop Vcards via Contacts on the Mac. I only have to put data in once, and never think of it again. That’s why we use computers, right? That’s why I referred to the new Pages as a glorified typewriter.

  44. Adam Parkin says:

    As a Mac user from System 7 days and a user of Clarisworks, those were the days. It pains me to say that Apple seem to have turned their collective backs on their core computer users in favor of chasing the “Computing for Dummies” sector mass market. This is obviously much more profitable for Apple, which now seems to be the total focus, I also realise Apple are a business and making money is their ultimate goal.

    By no means am I a “power user”. However, as Apple continue to focus more and more on their customers will who buy the next tiny iteration of the “magical” devices, they seem to be removing functionality in the core applications in a quest for ease of use and convergence of the user experience (UX) between devices, I find myself looking elsewhere when it comes to my next IT purchases.

    I am beginning to think that Micosoft may be on the right track of “One Device/Two Operation Modes” as opposed to Apples new UX ethos of “The Lowest Common Denominator”.

    Let’s see what late 2014/early 2015 bring from both companies, that’s when I’m looking to spend my next serious amount of money on IT………..

  45. It is not just power users that have been affected. Like not being able to put graphics in tables. That is basic. I’m using NeoOffice now. Their core philosophy on iWorks has become convoluted. Simplicity doesn’t have to mean dumbing down. Who are the core users they think are benefitting from this? They only exist in the mind of some person at Apple.

  46. …and the new Pages icon is so mundane I still find it hard to believe it came out of Cupertino.