A number of iWork users have taken to Apple’s Support Communities forums to air complaints about the numerous changes Apple made to its productivity suite, which are leading some to believe cause the suite to be unusable. At Apple’s iPad event last week, the company debuted all-new, redesigned iWork apps for both OS X and iOS, touting the changes as part of the biggest update made to the suite ever. It appears however that a significant number of users haven’t taken kindly to the tweaks.
Much like any other software update, not everyone will be pleased by feature additions and omissions but a look at Apple’s Support Communities shows a rising tide of discontent from longtime iWork users. One of the more active forum threads deals with the new Pages app for OS X. The thread which was started one day after the updates rolled out has discussions regarding a rolling list of features “missing” or “removed” from Pages version 5.0. Among the more prominent feature “nerfs” were the removal of Pages’ floating Inspector tool, deleted templates, non-configurable toolbars, no vertical ruler, no format bar and merge field functionality along with several others.
Adding to the frustration, opening Pages documents created in older versions of the app will automatically translate the file into a form editable by the new software, meaning unsupported assets may be discarded. For example, a few users complained of a conversion error that deletes table data. If these changes are saved in version 5.0, there is no way to recover the complete document unless it was backed-up or duplicated beforehand.
As far as Numbers goes, a similar thread listing the new apps’ deficiencies was posted by a different forum member. In the thread, users complain of missing spreadsheet cell management functions, the removal of selected row sorting and the inability to set margins, among other changes.
The Cupertino California company is no stranger to negative feedback spurred by a revamp of popular software. A similar situation occurred in the past with Final Cut Pro X in 2011, when professionals panned the video editing tool to being inferior to its predecessor. In response, Apple quickly issued an update to reinstate some of the more-requested features, introduced a free-trial program and in some cases, offered full refunds to dissatisfied customers.
With Apple making iWork free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device, the company is clearly looking to expand the number of people using its productivity software in the face of competition from the market leader, Microsoft. It should be noted that while some users are vocal about their disdain for the new apps, many others seem to be happy, saying the updates offer a more cohesive experience across both the Mac and iOS ecosystems.
Have you tried the updated iWork suite? If so, what do you think?
Source: Apple Support Communities (1