Opinion: iWork’12 Could Be Released In A Matter Of Weeks

Apple could be on the verge of releasing a major update to iWork for OS X, perhaps even releasing iWork’12, in the coming weeks, particularly in the context of the impending iWork.com shutdown. The company recently issued a warning to users of the iWork.com beta site offering a reminder that the iWork.com Beta will be discontinued on July 31st 2012. The service is being shut down due to the fact that iCloud is now predominantly responsible for online storage and syncing iWork files across multiple devices. As a result, iWork for OS X devices is going to require two major changes in the coming weeks to ensure full integration with iCloud.

The first change is actually relatively straightforward at first glance, but becomes more complicated if you look at it closely. If you look at the iWork suite of programs on Mac OS X, in pride of place, in the very center of the menu bar, there is a ‘Share’ button. If you hit this button then you will be invited to share your document, spreadsheet or presentation on the iWork.com Beta site. Obviously, with the site being shut down, the Share functionality for iWork apps will have to be revamped, but it will have to be revamped in such a way that it takes into account iCloud document storage and, given the recent precedent set in iOS, likely integration of Facebook and Twitter.

The second major change relates to the transfer of files between devices. Currently, there is seamless syncing of files between iOS devices and the iCloud service, including the iCloud web interface. However, in order to get an iWork document stored into iCloud on to a Mac, users have to manually download the file from the iCloud web interface, which is an extraordinarily clunky method of doing things. Apple will have to release an update to iWork which allows seamless syncing of documents, through iCloud, to the individual iWork apps on OS X.  Notably, at WWDC, Apple stated that automatic syncing of documents would be coming to Mountain Lion through ‘Documents in the Cloud’.

How Apple will implement this change is unclear, but the document browser will likely look pretty much like the file chooser option found in iWork for iOS devices. How Apple will implement document sharing in iWork through iCloud is an interesting issue.

With iWork last receiving a major version update in January 2009, the software is long overdue for a major new release, likely exclusively distributed through the Mac App Store. Perhaps the shutdown of the iWork.com Beta and the launch of Mountain Lion at the end of July will be just the start.

Work It…

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  • Dave10101010

    It would seem natural to update iWorks at the same time as the OS is rolled out.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeldreves michael dreves beier

    All though an update of iWork 09 is about needed I do not think 10.8 will drive that. When Lion arrived last year I had the same hopes but only am update was released in order for the suite ot support fullscreen and versioning. With ML I think it’s going to be the same. An update to support documents in the iCloud. 

  • Jacksongreyoberg

    They did announce that in Mountain Lion, the iCloud document space will be accessible from the applications themselves.

    “To find an iCloud document, just open its app. The iCloud Document Library shows your iCloud documents for the app with the most recent one at the top.”

  • DD

    There is also one other concern – given that certain features in OSX iWork are not present in iOS iWork – to be seamless the software will have to be seamless as well. For example iOS Keynote does not manage 1920×1080 – a slide size that many use all the time…

  • Abtruj

    I really hope you’re right; an update is LONG overdue. Unfortunately, I think it’s just wishful thinking…

  • http://www.MacStartup.com Kevin Cullis

    I expect Apple to release the new iWork ’12 at the same time as Mountain Lion. It’ll probably be similar to iOS apps, but it may be a lackluster suite of apps since the files for both the Mac and iOS devices are different. I hope I’m wrong, I used Page to write and publish my book, would love to see some improvements as it is long in the tooth.

  • ppgreat

    They are long overdue!! Mr. Cook, tear down this wall!

  • Donald Michael Kraig

    I would buy an iPad tomorrow if the new version of iWork for iOS was identical to iWork for Mac. Right now, there are differences between the lesser-powered Keynote on iPad and Keynote for Mac. I have dozens of presentations I’d have to re-work by deleting many of the aspects of the presentation. Sorry, I’ll lug my MacBook Pro (or maybe get a used Air) rather than switch to a iPad.

  • Erb

    Good article – makes sense that apple would give iwork a facelift soon