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Apple hiring iWork web developer as it preps iOS 5 and iCloud support

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Apple has posted a new engineering position on its iWork team to "build the front and/or back end of scalable web applications," indicating an expansion of the company's existing iWork.com and future iCloud offerings, even as it continues to improve its native desktop and mobile iWork apps.

The job posting calls for a candidate who "will be part of the core engineering team responsible for the design and development of the software system," asking for strong programming skills and "commitment to delivering great user experience," suggesting that iWork will be expanding as a consumer facing web app.

It doesn't necessarily mean that Apple will pursue online document editing similar to Google Docs or Microsoft's Office 365. To date, Apple has restricted its iWork.com to making documents created in Pages, Numbers and Keynote available to other users for viewing and collaborative comment.

iWork.com is being combined with Apple's existing MobileMe apps to deliver the upcoming iCloud website, which the company just made available to developers for testing.



Existing MobileMe apps (most of which are being brought forward to be part of the new iCloud) do translate desktop apps into web equivalents, ranging from Mail to iCal to Address Book. By folding iWork's web presence into these existing apps, Apple may be signaling an intent to eventually deliver some iWork document editing functions into its web apps, but the company has never publicly announced any intention to eventually do this.

Apple prioritizes mobile apps ahead of web apps

Instead, Apple's priority has clearly been to deliver mobile iOS versions of its iWork apps, initially targeting iPad before also adding support for iPhone and iPod touch users, rather than trying to replicate its Cocoa apps using HTML5. The tepid response to MobileMe's web-based alternatives to Mail, iCal and Address Book suggest that an investment in translating iWork's far more complex apps into standalone web apps would probably not be very successful either.

Apple's prioritization of moving iWork to its mobile devices as native iOS apps has resulted in Pages, Numbers and Keynote remaining in the iPad's highest grossing top ten apps since its inception. The apps also rank in the top 100 best selling iPhone apps amid a large number of free and low cost games.

In general, web apps have proven to be far harder to sell, even for Microsoft and Google. Even Apple's iWork.com, which was launched two years ago for free with the notice that it may someday require fees, never got around to asking for any money.

iCloud also ahead of any potential iWork web apps

Apple's recent web application announcements have all centered around iCloud, which will provide iWork apps on the Mac, iPad and iPhone with the capability to keep their documents in sync and current across a user's devices, as well as making it easy to share large documents with other users without resorting to email attachments (using web sharing features similar to those that are already present on iWork.com).

Apple hasn't delivered an entirely new version of iWork since launching iWork.com at the beginning of 2009 alongside the release of iWork 09. However, a minor update has recently added support for features of Mac OS X Lion, including Full Screen, Resume, Versions and Auto Save.

A developer 1.5 release of iWork apps for iOS devices has also added iCloud support under the forthcoming iOS 5.
post #2 of 12
Still no sign of a major update for the iWork desktop apps. I love iWork, can't wait to see how it's been developed. Hopefully I won't have to wait too much longer!
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Still no sign of a major update for the iWork desktop apps. I love iWork, can't wait to see how it's been developed. Hopefully I won't have to wait too much longer!

Hopefully it supports export ePub 3.0.

Sure would be nice to extend an API to support the likes of XeTeX/LaTeX from TeXLive as the typesetting output option when producing PDF. It'll never happen, but one can dream.
post #4 of 12



That must be the iPhone 5! Bigger screen!
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post




That must be the iPhone 5! Bigger screen!

Na, probably just a rushed placeholder iPhone 4 until the 5 is announced.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Still no sign of a major update for the iWork desktop apps. I love iWork, can't wait to see how it's been developed. Hopefully I won't have to wait too much longer!

The sad part is even though we have waited so long already, any update to the desktop apps will almost certainly just be for iCloud functionality. We won't get a 'real' update (as in a rethink of the UI or the features or anything new at all really), until probably next year at the earliest. Maybe not at all.

While I enjoy the apps as they are, I do feel somewhat cheated personally in that I switched to iWork for everything and dropped Office completely, yet Apple hasn't bothered to do much for us in this regard. Pages still feels like a 1.0 product on the desktop and the iPad version still doesn't even have a full feature set more than a year after it's debut. You don't even have the beginnings of the ability to edit or even control the styles for instance, which are the heart of any word processor.

It's sad because they could be so much more. I mean they push the thing as an alternative to Office, and while it's never (hopefully) going to include all the bloat and useless crap that Office has, it currently doesn't include enough to be seriously considered as an alternative for anything but the most casual of users. Sometimes I think that the designers believe that updating the templates each time is all they have to do and that they consider the core product "finished." It's not.

It reminds me of a lot of Apple products, in that they sometimes come out with a big fanfare and show great promise, but then languish for years without an update (usually because the one guy they have working on it was transferred to another department). In truth this happens way too much with Apple products and I believe this attitude will eventually be their downfall, even if it's years down the road.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The sad part is even though we have waited so long already, any update to the desktop apps will almost certainly just be for iCloud functionality. We won't get a 'real' update (as in a rethink of the UI or the features or anything new at all really), until probably next year at the earliest. Maybe not at all.

While I enjoy the apps as they are, I do feel somewhat cheated personally in that I switched to iWork for everything and dropped Office completely, yet Apple hasn't bothered to do much for us in this regard. Pages still feels like a 1.0 product on the desktop and the iPad version still doesn't even have a full feature set more than a year after it's debut. You don't even have the beginnings of the ability to edit or even control the styles for instance, which are the heart of any word processor.

It's sad because they could be so much more. I mean they push the thing as an alternative to Office, and while it's never (hopefully) going to include all the bloat and useless crap that Office has, it currently doesn't include enough to be seriously considered as an alternative for anything but the most casual of users. Sometimes I think that the designers believe that updating the templates each time is all they have to do and that they consider the core product "finished." It's not.

It reminds me of a lot of Apple products, in that they sometimes come out with a big fanfare and show great promise, but then languish for years without an update (usually because the one guy they have working on it was transferred to another department). In truth this happens way too much with Apple products and I believe this attitude will eventually be their downfall, even if it's years down the road.

Wow! Great post. I was thinking the same thing.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The sad part is even though we have waited so long already, any update to the desktop apps will almost certainly just be for iCloud functionality. We won't get a 'real' update (as in a rethink of the UI or the features or anything new at all really), until probably next year at the earliest. Maybe not at all.

While I enjoy the apps as they are, I do feel somewhat cheated personally in that I switched to iWork for everything and dropped Office completely, yet Apple hasn't bothered to do much for us in this regard. Pages still feels like a 1.0 product on the desktop and the iPad version still doesn't even have a full feature set more than a year after it's debut. You don't even have the beginnings of the ability to edit or even control the styles for instance, which are the heart of any word processor.

It's sad because they could be so much more. I mean they push the thing as an alternative to Office, and while it's never (hopefully) going to include all the bloat and useless crap that Office has, it currently doesn't include enough to be seriously considered as an alternative for anything but the most casual of users. Sometimes I think that the designers believe that updating the templates each time is all they have to do and that they consider the core product "finished." It's not.

It reminds me of a lot of Apple products, in that they sometimes come out with a big fanfare and show great promise, but then languish for years without an update (usually because the one guy they have working on it was transferred to another department). In truth this happens way too much with Apple products and I believe this attitude will eventually be their downfall, even if it's years down the road.

Hear.. hear..
post #9 of 12
And what about iWeb?

Hype feels like the spiritual successor of iWeb. Not mentioning Adobe, who introduced Edge to the world.

How long is Apple going to wait? It is very telling that the Hype company is created by two former Apple engineers
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

... Pages still feels like a 1.0 product on the desktop and the iPad version still doesn't even have a full feature set more than a year after it's debut. You don't even have the beginnings of the ability to edit or even control the styles for instance, which are the heart of any word processor.

Hmm, we'll I don't feel that way at all.

I bought iWork on release and only have iWork '09 now (waiting for the obvious next release because they never do upgrade pricing and the iOS iWork file format is incompatible with '09 on the Mac) but it doesn't feel anything like a 1.0 product to me.

I've used Pages for 20 page newsletters for my family with loads of photos and stuff, designed all our choir's posters, programmes, flyers and promo materials for over 5 years using it and everyone loves them. It is true that I have never had MS Office on my Mac so I never saw it as an Office replacement so perhaps it is lacking there. I wouldn't know.

Expecting "a full feature set" - however you would define that - on iOS means you are very likely be in for a long wait. If you think the Mac version feels like a 1.0 product how are you ever going to be happy with an iOS version where one of the things that Apple has made abundantly clear many times (to developers only maybe) is that you don't take the features of a desktop app and shoehorn them all into the iOS version, you selectively choose. Consequently, Safari, Mail, Garageband and so on for iOS do not replicate the feature set of their Mac counterparts and neither will the iOS version of iWork. They leave that to MS who it seems will try and fit the whole the whole of Office into their mobile version of Windows.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

Hype feels like the spiritual successor of iWeb. Not mentioning Adobe, who introduced Edge to the world.

It looks very slick but its purpose it quite different and it's a totally different sort of application. They both create content for the web but that's about the only thing they share.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgrisar View Post

Just ditched iWork in favor of MS Office for Mac.

You can't really do the professional stuff on iWork: it's SLOOOOOW, it lacks functionality (Is Numbers any better than a HP41?), iWork.com is a mess. After more than a year trying to do the best out of a bad situation, it was time to move on.

Troll fail. You forgot to mention that Numbers is a 1.0 product, and isn't designed to be everything for everyone. Also, in my experience Office is slower than iWork. Productivity takes a hit, especially when you're dealing with creating diagrams and floating layouts in Office. But you weren't interested in those things anyway, so yes, move on. No one will blame you for not choosing the Apple tree Because let's face it, iWork is great for some things, but it will never be all things to all people (which Microsoft Office seems to try to be).
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