New iWorks beta

The beta of online iWorks applications (Pages, Numbers, KeyNote) is now available.
Just go to and logon with your Apple ID and password.

I have only tried Pages so far and immediately noticed that Outline view was not available.
Bummer for me, since I use the outliner all the time.
Having the apps online is helpful, since you may access files from various machines.
Including a ChromeBook, which now also reads and writes all MS Office files.

So, what do you think of this effort to innovate by Apple?
Just in time, or too little, too late (see Apple TV)?

This will do well IMHO. The main reasons, apart from access to files from all machines, being 1/ that the Apps sit alongside Calendar etc so making icloud a convenient working hub and 2/ the ability to drag and drop Apple and Microsoft format documents into the IWork apps on screen. At this stage, Pages in icloud is better at importing .docx files than Pages on the desktop.

Personally, I have never found Google docs and similar services useable - although many people do. But the Iworks suite is easy to even though some functions are not yet implemented.

One limitation is that the icloud site and so the IWorks cloud apps cannot be accessed directly from an Ipad.

I thought that, too, until I traded Safari for the Chrome browser on Mac and installed its iCloud extension. It zips me directly into the specific app I want, like Calendar or Pages, for read/write access. Chrome also opens all Office formats. A Chromebook with 3g thus becomes a great travel machine, at 1/4th the price of a Macbook Air.

The thing I dislike the most about such cloud applications is that they make the most important functions of my computer completely dependent on it’s most unreliable element (ie internet access). I’d also be amazed if they are ever able to run as smoothly or as efficiently as a native application on your hard drive.

The question I have here is this: What problem do the existing technologies have that this one fixes?

I really can’t think of a credible answer from the consumer’s perspective. In the case of Microsoft’s Office 365, the problem being solved is that Microsoft would like to take more cash off you by moving you to a subscription model. I don’t know what Apple’s intended pricing strategy is post-beta, but it may well be similar. That, plus accelerating the hardware upgrade cycle by forcing the software upgrades on you. Cloud-based software takes all control about software updating (and therefore it’s suitability for your machine specs) completely out of your hands.

In other words, I strongly encourage you to avoid these programs, lest Apple / Microsoft / Adobe see their success as allowing them to start phasing their traditional software models out from the market.

I thought you would figure this out already. Scriv/Scrap shows the problem clearly…

Platform independence.

Have a MS Tablet? no problem. iPhone? no problem. Win8 system? No problem. OSX 10.6? Maybe a problem, but you need to upgrade anyway. Driod phone? no problem. Chomium laptop? no problem.

Market share, market share, market share.

I thought it was pretty obvious.

Thanks for the tip - I had not tried Chrome extensions before.

That all sounds like something that Apple / Microsoft would care about. Not the consumer.

Whoa, let’s try and avoid ex cathedra pronouncements. If cloud-works are not for you, fine, but there’s a definite shift going on, and for now it’s going to favor users with fast broadband and the need for uniform, efficient updating. That means corporations and institutions, especially educational. Contrary to your fear of obsolescence and price-gouging, the cloud-works model lowers costs and I’m willing to bet will one day improve the quality of native applications, if we still need them.

I have worked extensively in two rural locations. Fifteen years ago they had slow dialup connections. Today they have 15 and 30 mbs access, the latter at $1.50 a day. The Internet is expanding, getting faster, and will be cheaper. I’m happy that I can work on a $250 laptop, make a new bookmark, and know that change is also on all our other Chrome-browser machines. Then I go to the iPads and groan: another 25 apps that need updating, and once again iCloud has not made our calendar or address changes of two days ago.

PS: I agree with Jaysen: in the future, apps should rule and not the platform.

Until you are working on a project and need to access it from your desk at home, work, smart phone, tablet, second cousin’s XP install, my linux box, or any myriad of other places. If it was possible for L&L offerings to be web based, L&L would not have 5 separate code branches for each product, and consumers would have “identical” features no matter what platform they are on.

I’m not advocating web services. Not at all. I’m just pointing out that the problem hits both the consumer and the software house.


You see! It’s started. They have got to Droo!
You’re on my list, now. :wink:

That’s called appealing to the lowest common denominator and is the root cause of everything that is wrong with the world today.
You are also on my list. :wink:

As Keith would say,

[size=200]CRIKEY[/size]. :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

It would make NSA’s life so much simpler! :wink:

I want to like it. I prefer my Mac. I use all the time at home and in my own work but, in order to print and use some apps, I need to use a Windows machine on campus.

On my Mac I use Pages, Numbers and Keynote far more than Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Way more. Like… lots.

So, then I get into Uni and want to work on my student spreadsheet. Tough. I need to print those lecture notes. Too bad. I want use those Keynote slides. Oh well.

So then Apple added iCloud iWork. “Yay!” thought I, “Problem solved.”


Nothing’s changed. iWork on iCloud is not, yet, any good. In particular, Keynote sucks so much you could clean your carpet with it. One of the (many) things that Keynote on Mac and, to a lesser extent, iOS does effortlessly better than Powerpoint is animations. Brilliant. If used well (important caveat), they make lectures and other presentations so much more interesting and easy for people to follow. But they are completely, totally, absent in iCloud. Made one of my lectures unusable (luckily I was experimenting with a copy).

Phrased differently: What Jaysen said*

*Yes, I agreed with Jaysen, in public, and without qualification. It helps that he was right.

I’m sorry nom. knowing that

  1. I was right
  2. You agreed with me
    Likely has you depressed. My wife tried to sympathize with you, but she can’t believe that either 1 or 2 are actually true. You are in uncharted waters. Hopefully you can swim.

It sounds to me that what you really want is non-proprietary file formats and cloud based storage.

Nom wrote:

Nom, I hope you will report your findings to Apple.

Of course you could be suffering the well known Austral Effect, in which water, and all household appliances, swirl down the drain backward. Not to mention the seasons and the constellations. :mrgreen:

Seriously, please send Apple a bug report?

Nom, why can’t you use your Mac files at the uni? You can’t even print? Why not?

I’m fine.