There is an inexorably long and slow migration taking place on my Mac, and it’s not pretty. What may be surprising is that this migration started back in November 2010, nearly a year ago. The migration that I’m talking about is the gradual and almost imperceptible creeping of iWork icons making their way off my dock and back into the Applications folder, where they sit, day after day, just waiting for an excuse to be clicked. It’s a depressing truth.
What happened to initiate this sad exodus of core Apple software from its elevated viewpoint on the bottom of my screen back to the sad, multi-click-launch world of non-essential software? Well, back in October 2010, Microsoft decided to release MS Office 2011 for Mac. Unfortunately, and as much as some people would like me to say otherwise, the software is pretty decent. Very decent, in fact, to the point where, if it’s a choice of clicking the ‘W’ or the ‘Inkwell’, I’m going to go for the ‘W’. After all, as Tiger has said, ‘a W is a W’.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to use iWork. I really do. It’s on my iPhone and iPad, I bought the Apple VGA adapter for the sole reason that I could run my Keynote presentations off my iPad rather than my Air (great fun by the way), and I love the new integration with iCloud that Apple has implemented in the iOS versions of the iWork software. However, when I wrote this piece on Dropbox a few days ago, I obviously had my head up my ass when I was talking about what iWork for Mac could actually do. I was, more likely, confusing it with what I wanted it to do.
The sad truth is that, while Apple has delivered incremental updates to iWork, they have been insignificant compared to the dramatic shift that MS made when upgrading Office 2008 for Mac to the 2011 edition. Yes, iWork has full screen capability and support for Versions etc. but is that really that awesome. Is that really a fundamental change? Wouldn’t you prefer it if you didn’t have to upload stuff manually to the iCloud web interface so that you could access it on your iOS device? Wouldn’t it be better if the syncing happened behind the scenes rather than after 20 clicks with your mouse?
Just a thought.
iWork ’11 has been a long time coming. Of course, now it’s more likely to be iWork ’12 than iWork ’11 (Hans Dorsch is kicking himself right now) so I guess Amazon will have to stop running those iWork ’11 adverts. But now that we have iCloud, with one of it’s killer features being touted as iWork file syncing, don’t we actually need this on the Mac?
A job advertisement for an iWork User Interface engineer appeared on the Apple website in July of this year so I’m not holding out hope for a major iWork release in the near future. I guess iWork ’09 is just gonna have to stay in that Applications folder a little while longer.