Apple Announces Upcoming Features for iWork Mac Apps Following Criticism

iwork.jpgFollowing the release of updated iWork apps for the Mac and iOS, many power users were upset with the loss of several important features within Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

Multiple threads on Apple's Support forums lambasted the changes, and one blogger called the removal of features within Pages an "unmitigated disaster." Apple has now responded to user outrage with a new support page detailing upcoming updates that it plans to add to all three apps within the next six months, which will see the return of many lost features.

The new iWork applications—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—were released for Mac on October 22nd. These applications were rewritten from the ground up to be fully 64-bit and to support a unified file format between OS X and iOS 7 versions, as well as iWork for iCloud beta.

These apps feature an all-new design with an intelligent format panel and many new features such as easy ways to share documents, Apple-designed styles for objects, interactive charts, new templates, and new animations in Keynote.

In rewriting these applications, some features from iWork '09 were not available for the initial release. We plan to reintroduce some of these features in the next few releases and will continue to add brand new features on an ongoing basis.

Pages updates will include a customizable toolbar, a vertical ruler, and improved alignment guides, object placement, and word counts. Importing cells with images will also be possible, pages and sections will be manageable from the thumbnail view, and keyboard shortcuts for styles will also return.

Numbers will also gain a customizable toolbar, improvements to zoom and window placement, auto-complete text in cells, page headers and footers, and improvements to AppleScript support, which was a major complaint.

Along with a customizable toolbar, Keynote will see the return of old transitions and builds, improvements to presenter display, and improvements to AppleScript support.

As Apple works to return features to its suite of iWork apps, the company recommends that users who want to use these missing features can access previous versions of iWork applications, which are found in Applications > iWork '09. Apple also details how to revert documents to old formats to retain compatibility with its older apps.

On October 22, Apple began offering free copies of the updated iWork apps to all users who owned a previous version. The company is also supplying free copies of the apps, which are normally priced at $19.99, to any customer who purchases a new Mac.

Top Rated Comments

zen Avatar
104 months ago
Wait, the new Pages had WORD COUNT removed? Seriously?
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrisrodney Avatar
104 months ago
Good

Looks like they are giving iWork the Final Cut Pro X treatment.

But this helpful webpage should have been available on release day, not weeks later.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vacheron Avatar
104 months ago
At least this Tim Cook version of Apple is willing to admit they are wrong.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
104 months ago
How does this even happen? It's not like Apple is still in 1996 and barely holding it all together. Biggest company in the world (at times). Massive cash hoard that could make it easy to throw a thousand programmers at a "from scratch" rewrite. And yet, Apple keeps doing this: rolling out the new without a bunch of features of the old. Then, there's backlash. Then, a pseudo-apology with a promise that features that used to be there will come again. Why keep recycling this approach?

As smart as they are, you'd think they'd learn from- say- rolling out FCP X without core features important to users of the prior version, getting fierce backlash, then apologizing and promising to resurrect features. How long did they have to build this version of the iWork apps? 4 years?

I use these apps just about daily and have turned others onto Macs because of these kinds of apps. What a disappointment to have brand new versions come out stripped of many popular (or even fundamental features). Vertical ruler? Really?

Edit: Due to too many missing the point and taking one bit of the above literally, please see post #209 before pointing out the flaw in my non-literal thinking about "throwing a 1000 programmers at it". I'm not suggesting that's what they should have done- just that they could have done ANYTHING that would have yielded a fuller & feature-complete result. If one thinks one programmer is THE way, they could hire the best (ONE) programmer in the world. If one thinks X number of programmers on the team is optimal, they could hire X number of programmers in assembling the best such team in the world. Pick your own number of programmers and Apple could both afford them and assemble the top people to be on that team. Instead, we get "new version available today", "where'd the good features go?" backlash, "we're sorry, we'll build those same features back in in future 'upgrades'" over and over and over again. Make's no sense to me.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chobit Avatar
104 months ago
Wait, the new Pages had WORD COUNT removed? Seriously?
Pretty sure it means improved word count. I just used the Pages word count feature today, and it's this annoying overlay on top of the document.

Edit: Here's a pic
Clicking the word count will let you change it to character or paragraph count.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bekiil Avatar
104 months ago
Very good. Apple listens to the customers.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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