Associated Press: Don’t overlook Apple’s iWork

“Microsoft’s Office is the go-to software package for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Google’s Docs has emerged as a good, free alternative for lightweight tasks,” Anick Jesdanun writes for The Associated Press. “But what’s often overlooked is Apple’s iWork.”

“Last fall, the iWork applications for the Mac — Pages for word processing, Numbers for spreadsheets and Keynote for presentations— got their first major update since 2009 and now work better with iPhone and iPad versions,” Jesdanun writes. “Apple also developed an online version that can work on Windows computers and let several people collaborate on a single document more easily.”

“After using iWork for a few months, I’ve come to appreciate the ways it simplifies work. It became my primary way of writing news stories at last week’s Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain,” Jesdanun writes. “The best part: iWork is free with the purchase of new Apple devices (the Mac version with new Macs and the iOS apps with new iPhones or iPads). Once you get it, you can install iWork on older devices. Otherwise, each of the three apps costs $20 for Macs and $10 for mobile devices, or $90 for everything. That’s a one-time fee. To use Office on multiple devices, Microsoft charges $100 a year.”

“iWork is a good option for personal documents that don’t require a lot of sharing [with non-iWork users],” Jesdanun writes. “If that’s all you need, there’s no sweeter word than free.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s ‘missing’ iWork features reappear – November 22, 2013
LAPTOP Magazine reviews Apple’s iWork for OS X: A compelling content creation platform – November 20, 2013
Hands on: Using Apple’s new iWork for iCloud collaboration tools – November 15, 2013
Apple releases next-gen 64-bit iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS; free with new Macs and iOS devices – October 22, 2013


    1. It didn’t sound like he imported anything. He just needed to export. There is nothing in Pages that won’t export to MS Word, since Pages is a simpler less featured program. There are things in Word though that are lost on importing into Pages.

      Though as Apple brings out updates with more functionality and features, that will become less of an issue. Pages is more than adequate for 95% of users anyway. Then there’s always PDF if you’re just producing content for consumption.

      The point is, MS Office is becoming less significant, people are wanting and searching out alternatives. Being Microsoft’s cash cow, that’s really bad for them.

    1. I found sometimes it opened old Word docs better than Word itself and Docs it produces shared better with Word than some Word Docs I have produced too. Certainly my preference, Word is just a complex mess when you try to produce anything, you probably get used to it if you work with it all the time but for me using irregularly very frustrating.

      1. I was the ‘goto’ person at work because my Mac could open anything and everyone else was stuck on Windows and Office. I had my Mac at work and was outside of the IT department because of it. My machine always worked. My Windows work issued machine was always messed up.

        1. Had a similar experience at a place I worked. A co-worker razzed me about using a Mac (my personal machine) at first…”c’mon, get a real computer”…then started to take notice when he started having to email documents to me to print them. His Windows machine wouldn’t print, and the IT staff couldn’t get it fixed. Meanwhile, my unsupported-by-IT Mac laptop printed just fine.

          A few months later was the day that really got his attention. I overheard him cursing his “damn Windows machine has slowed to a crawl again, gonna have to reboot it for the third time today!!” I laughed, and he said “yeah, I guess you’re gonna tell me you never have to reboot your Mac?”

          I called him over, popped open the Terminal app, and ran “uptime.” The result? 64 days. I pointed out that I’d installed a new OS update a couple of months ago, and that was probably the reboot 64 days ago.

          He has since bought a Mac for personal use. 🙂

        2. And if you set up printers on your Mac to print directly to the printer IP address rather than going through the (Windows-based) print servers, then you can happily continue to print while the pixels of Windows users are stuck on their displays. That situation has happened more than a few times at work, and Windows users always send me documents to print for them.

          I am happy to say that there has been a significant increase in the number of Macs over the past decade, mostly MacBook Pros, but also some Airs. That is in addition to the large number of iPhones and iPads. I am not so pleased at the zeal of the IT department in securing and locking down all computers with their one-size fits all approach and software (software primarily selected for compatibility with the Windows PC side). For instance, they are using third party software for full disk encryption rather than FileVault 2. If their objective was to make Macs act like PCs (less reliable, more prone to disk corruption, slow startup and shutdown, etc.) then they are succeeding.

        3. Reminds me of the old quote:
          “Being a Mac user is like being a Navy SEAL: a small, elite group of people with access to the most sophisticated technology in the world, who everyone calls on to get the really tough jobs done quickly and efficiently.”

      2. Never for me has Pages opened a Word document better than Word. Pages cannot handle tables in a satisfactory way. A table row cannot split over two pages, a single cell cannot be resized without changing the whole column and the tables do not export well to Word.

  1. Call me a cynic, but I subconsciously read that headline as “Associated Press: Don’t overlook Apple’s iWork When Bashing Apple” before I read the article. These Mac blogs got me conditioned to brace for the hate.

  2. My response to this recommendation is “Ya gotta be kidding me!” I’ve helped and encouraged many people to switch over the years. I’ve been able to say, “Don’t worry. Pages is fantastic for most business owners.” Not any more with the crippled Pages 5. After being updated, numerous critical basic functions are still missing. How long before it gets back to where Pages 4 already was!?

    1. The new iWork is fine and the fact that I can use it on a PC with iCloud is great. However, Pages 5.1 is not the same product as Pages ’09. I’m not sure I’d call Pages 5.1 crippled, but it does not do everything that Pages ’09 did. Hence, I have both versions of Pages on my Macs and use whichever one is appropriate for the task I am doing at the time.

      In the case of Numbers, the differences between version 3.1 and ’09 as not as noticable, so I only keep the new version of Numbers on my Macs. However, while Pages can take the place of Word, Numbers cannot replace Excel for heavy number lifting. Hence, I dropped $10 for NeoOffice in the App Store and I’ve been extremely pleased with the spreadsheet portion of that app. NeoOffice may not be as pretty as Excel, but it can do all the same stuff.

      BTW, not using Microsoft products feels soooooooo gooooooood.

    2. … I understand your thinking. Yes, the previous version of Pages (AND Numbers!) was “more fully featured” than the newer version is. Mostly. Unless you want to share on the ‘net. They took out quite a few of the features I’ve learned to expect and added some others I’d never missed.
      Pages is STILL more than sufficient for most SOHO operations that aren’t run by show-offs. Numbers has re-focused and is now – IMHO – even BETTER for the SOHO users. OK, there are some users who will suffer … not many. If you are one of them, it’s still “one too many”.

      1. “Unless you want to share on the ‘net.”

        I know thats supposed to be the wave of the future, collaboration and all that. Its just that I have never seen a situation where anyone seriously used it.

        Not on any document that I will sign off on, if I sign it, I write it. Period.

        Someone once said; if you put an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters, one of them will eventually produce a work of Shakespeare.

        Not holding my breath. Staying at 09, thank you very much.

        1. … with you. The words you quoted were merely an example of where the newer version is MORE fully featured than the older version. And you don’t care because you have never used such a feature in the past and don’t see yourself using such a feature going forward. Me, too. It’s still a new, and possibly quite useful, feature.
          I updated my own computer when the new version came out – and I kept the old version on the Dock while I tried it out. Still there! I just (JUST, as in last night) updated my wife’s computer. New icons not even on the Dock. Yet. Stay with the software you know until you are comfortable moving on. Or it breaks!
          I would point out that things were a bit constrained with the first New Numbers, but now I am getting into the newer features while they have filled in many of the holes. It’s good!

        1. I didn’t say it was ideal. At least there’s still a solution. Hopefully Apple will be enhancing iWork with significant updates on a yearly basis.

          Now if Apple really wanted to upset the Apple Cart. They’d bring out a version of iWork for Windows. Offer it for free to people who already own MS Office and charge $20 for the others. Though I doubt Apple would do something like that. It’s not their style.

  3. I *literally* make my living on Pages and Keynote. After a few days of WTF? I was fine with the new versions, in fact in several areas I like them *better* than the old versions. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, “John Smith!”

    1. It’s not necessary to take a shot, after making your perfectly clear and solid point. Why do it? (Mind you, a fairly mild shot compared to a few on this site.)

      1. What’s the matter? You like taking cheap shots at people on this forum and you can’t take some mild shit directed at you? What are you? Some kind of pussy wipe or something? Forget about it.

    2. I *literally* like to emphasise particular *words* which show how an *inferior* product can be used if you *adapt* yourself.

      Stop WHINING people!!!! Learn to use less featured programs and live with it.

      Just sayin.

  4. iWork performs well for me, but I’m retired with pretty light demands on the apps. I also have Bento, which FIleMaker has discontinued. I would love to see Apple bring Bento into iWork to provide a light weight database into the suite. Shouldn’t be that big a problem as Apple owns FileMaker

    1. Yeah, but why use a very good database app, when 99% of users who should use a database soldier on with the misuse of spreadsheets where they should be using databases because thats all they have ever known.
      Do it the hard way, I suppose.

  5. Apple needs to fix the Ver 5 so it will have the features of Ver 4.x.x. This update caused me at lest days worth of work getting the files it ruined back to useable. Get busy Apple!

  6. If you use Excel for things like checklists and project management, switch to Numbers – it is night and day better for interactive spreadsheet checklists in the cloud.

  7. Google’s Docs are not good at all … and iWork remains an amateur’s tool. Those are facts. When Numbers can run a visual basic script then it might be worthy of consideration. Apple seems hell-bent on dumbing down everything to the lowest common denominator instead of offering great software GUIs that encourage intuitive ease of use AND powerful tools. To be honest, the GUI on the newest Apple software continues to get worse and worse, with few ways for the user to customize. That’s pathetic — almost as bad as the MS Office ribbon.

    1. The problem is iCloud. Apple is trying to fit documents through iCloud’s keyhole, and that requires stripping out all of the useful features in the OS X software. We are left with an application that has all the limitations of iOS but none of the benefits of OS X. Now we can use iCloud to collaborate on documents we no longer care about.

  8. Microsoft Office is an . . . . . option for documents that don’t require a lot of sharing [with non Office users],”

    At that price, there’s fewer of them every day.

  9. I hate the “Document is too old to open in Pages” message. Dammit! I wrote it in Pages and Pages can’t read it? I have a book manuscript that took me a year to write and now there is no way to open it.

    1. The PseudoPages 5 downgrade should have left a copy of RealPages 4 on your computer in the iWork folder in Applications. That’s a tacit concession from Apple that PseudoPages 5 is not a substitute for RealPages 4.

      PseudoPages hijacked the file extension, so after that, only open files from within RealPages.

    2. Welcome to Tim Cook’s Apple ‘upgrade’ paradigm.
      1. Like it or not Apple is still playing on M$’s turf. If M$ turns left, Apple must follow suit.
      This will not change until Apple reinvents what an Office app can do. iWork needs compelling features that M$ users will crave, which will force Redmond to play catch up, but WITHOUT removing features users need. It has to be full featured and not dumbed down for the sake of an empty Menubar.
      Cook’s Apple is lazy, this will not happen until he’s fired and someone with vision comes along.
      It is simply unacceptable for any app to have key features ripped out with no warning, no explanation and no apology, and it’s odd that Apple demands their vendors have a multi-year roadmap but refuses to afford their pro customers the same courtesy.

  10. I used, and still use, all of the features in Pages 4, every day. Then Apple abruptly assassinated Pages, replaced it with a text editor that can include pictures, and left me high and dry. I was an enthusiastic fanboy one day and just a Mac user the next.

    It’s not just iWork. My tenant traded in his iPhone for a Galaxy because the iOS UI is so horrible. He says he will switch back as soon as Apple recovers from its esthetic trainwreck.

    I am severely disillusioned with Apple. Pages is a good example of how they have gone beyond simplification to stupidification. I sent them feedback that not all of their customers are in the fourth grade.

    I took “iWork” to mean that iWork was for work, and I used iWork for work. Silly me to take Apple at their word. When they forgot that people use word processors to process words and only advertised PseudoPages ability to include butterflies, I knew we were in trouble.

    I hope Apple comes to its senses.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.