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Apple's iWork suite rumored to go web-based

post #1 of 76
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Apple may build on its success in delivering web-based applications for its .Mac internet service by taking its iWork productivity suite of applications online as early as next week's Macworld Expo.

A new report suggests that the trio of applications -- Pages, Keynote, and Numbers -- will be reintroduced as web applications, similar to the company's .Mac Web Gallery application that was built using SproutCore.

SproutCore is an open source, platform-independent, Cocoa-inspired JavaScript framework for creating web applications that look and feel like Desktop applications. When combined with HTML5's standard offline data storage technologies, the framework is capable of delivering a first-class user experience with exceptional performance.

During a private session at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference titled "Building Native Look-and-Feel Web Applications Using SproutCore," Apple revealed that the framework played a critical role in the development of each of the apps that comprise its online suite of Web-based MobileMe applications.

In its report on the matter, AppleInsider noted that: "Using SproutCore enabled Apple to deliver a new suite of online apps in MobileMe for a cross platform audience. The natural next step will be to expand those offerings to include others, for example, iWork productivity apps."

Because SproutCore is offered under the open source MIT license, anyone can use it to develop their own highly responsive web apps. It's also believed that Apple will at some point invite third parties to deliver their own MobileMe applications, either included as part of the subscription service, or with their own nominal fee.

Such a move would mirror the company's efforts in creating a mobile software market for the iPhone Apps Store.
post #2 of 76
Please describe Apple's "success in delivering web-based applications."

MobileMe has had its fair share of problems, and while Apple has continued to iron out the issues, I would hardly call their delivery a success.
post #3 of 76
Not liking this idea.

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post #4 of 76
This would be bad.

Maybe if they make it so the files can be easily viewed on the web.

That would be good.
post #5 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Not liking this idea.

I love the idea. I think one of MobileMe's downfalls is that it doesn't have iWork built in. My interest in the idea assumes that Apple will ALSO keep the local versions of iWork up-to-date, but AI's use of "reintroduce" does shy away from that.

I'd like to be able to put documents in my iDisk folder that I can access at any time. Or more specifically, go to Get Info on any iWork viewable file and click the box to sync with MobileMe without having to specifically have to place in a specific folder the way iDisk currently works.
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post #6 of 76
It would be a neat additional service, but iWork can get a bit clunky enough as it is, even when pre-scaling images and such so they're close 300 dpi for print. As a web app? No thanks! solipsism's suggestion does sound interesting, then it's more network storage than a network app.
post #7 of 76
I just don't see this as any way possible. I couldn't see using Keynote as a web application. My system doesn't like it much when I use my 2 gig keynote presentation as it is. I couldn't imagine trying to add high def video and all that via a web application. If I have a 2 gig video clip I want to show, think of how long it would take to upload that. I don't see it.
post #8 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I love the idea. I think one of MobileMe's downfalls is that it doesn't have iWork built in. My interest in the idea assumes that Apple will ALSO keep the local versions of iWork up-to-date, but AI's use of "reintroduce" does shy away from that.

I'd like to be able to put documents in my iDisk folder that I can access at any time. Or more specifically, go to Get Info on any iWork viewable file and click the box to sync with MobileMe without having to specifically have to place in a specific folder the way iDisk currently works.

There are some limited aspects that are interesting, but nearly every web app I've dealt with has been underpowered, difficult to deal with (due to lag) and not my cup of tea.

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post #9 of 76
My problem with web apps that you pay for is that I fear I would be locked into a subscription plan, where the program gets updated whether you like it or not. And, say you don't want to continue paying for the App, then you lose access to the app. I don't want subscription plans out the ying yang in my life. If anything, I want less subscription plans.
post #10 of 76
This seems to be opposite to Google, who use the web to prototype, and then write native versions if successful.

Personally I prefer data in the cloud but apps on the client, because clients can vary so greatly (e.g. Mac vs iPhone) it makes sense to write for the native platform. Unless it is the kind of app that is essentially the same on any device in which case a generic platform such as the web could save money.

But then you could probably save similar money by putting all the non platform specific code in a reusable library and recompiling it for each client, and then have the benefit of native snap. Why do we need this web thingy again?
post #11 of 76
Another problem with these "cloud" apps... if you have no net access, you're out of luck. Several power outages recently have really brought that home for me.

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post #12 of 76
What I like most about this plan is the slowness, unreliability, and limited feature-set of web apps!!! Thank you, Apple, for giving us what we really want!
post #13 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoewee View Post

I just don't see this as any way possible. I couldn't see using Keynote as a web application. My system doesn't like it much when I use my 2 gig keynote presentation as it is. I couldn't imagine trying to add high def video and all that via a web application. If I have a 2 gig video clip I want to show, think of how long it would take to upload that. I don't see it.

Its already been done. While there are always going to be some performance limitations. Web apps are becoming more usable for the majority of tasks.

GoogleDocs is being increasingly used by enterprises.

I will be curious to see how their implementation compares with 280slides.

Also these web apps are dependent upon the next generation of JavaScript engines for performance.

Although Phil will be demoing Leopard, I doubt he will be showing iWork online until WWDC.
post #14 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by stangmatt66 View Post

Please describe Apple's "success in delivering web-based applications." ....

Yeah, it's a bit of a picky point, but it's true.

It's not really fair to say Apple is anything close to "successful" at it's web-based efforts (unless you include the iTunes store in that mix). As a .Mac user since day one, I would put it somewhere between "adequate" and "barely functional."

Apple has also consistently talked up the idea of web-based everything but delivered something like 1% of what they talked about, so there is a bit of a credibility gap here when they talk this topic up. We are still waiting for the announced functionality of MobileMe to be fully implemented a year later remember, and the majority of what was promised was only finally delivered about a week and a half ago.

Personally, in terms of iWork, I would rather they focus on the product they already have. With the last revision, the apps came within a hairsbreadth of being solid competition for Office. With just a few more features they could function as a complete replacement. It would be a shame if by making a sub-set of that functionality available on the web, they end up taking a step backwards for the whole suite. If they have been focussed on making these apps 64 bit for Snow Leopard as well as web-enabled for Mobileme, I doubt they've had the time to actually add to the basic functionality of them at the same time.
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post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoewee View Post

I just don't see this as any way possible. I couldn't see using Keynote as a web application. My system doesn't like it much when I use my 2 gig keynote presentation as it is. I couldn't imagine trying to add high def video and all that via a web application. If I have a 2 gig video clip I want to show, think of how long it would take to upload that. I don't see it.

If you have a 2Gig video clip that you are trying to include in presentation software (Keynote or PowerPoint), then you simply don't know what you are doing. You should consider yourself lucky that you tied your shoelaces right in the morning and call it a day.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #16 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Its already been done.
Although Phil will be demoing Leopard, I doubt he will be showing iWork online until WWDC.

Where'd WWDC come from.

http://9to5mac.com/iwork-going-cloud

It's supposed to be a Macworld announcement.

Frankly, I welcome online access to iWork but if they intend to take it web app only then i've purchased my first and last copy of iWork.

I'll continue along my path and replace iWork with 3rd party apps when they offer a superior solution

I'm ok with the "Cloud" as an addendum to standard desktop computing.
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post #17 of 76
Who at Apple is setting the priorities for application development? That person needs to be fired.

The Mac platform is crying out for a proper sales management program (like ACT or Goldmine on the PC.)

Daylite and Contactizer don't cut it and Redlien seems all but abandoned.
Filemaker doesn't (yet) hook into AB and iCal.

If Apple is going to build a quality app that links into the cloud, fills a need on the platform and brings switchers over from the dark side, this is it.

Why did Apple build a whole machine (MacBook Air) just for mobile salespeople? Did anyone really ask for a mobile version of iWork?
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post #18 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Who at Apple is setting the priorities for application development? That person needs to be fired.

The scary part about this is that software is supposedly Apple's Forte. They've made some curious decisions lately.

1. Letting Filemaker ship Bento when we all know it should have been part of iWork.
2. Final Cut Server? I've yet to find many online many people even using the product.
3. Missing apps- There are 50 fckuking million notetaking apps but the CRM field is a mess. Apple has no Drawing/Painting app even at iLife level.

I realize that Apple's had to focus on the iPhone but jeezus man the only people I hear ranting about the "Cloud" are wannabe Web 2.0 mavens and other snake oil marketers.

I think the typical computer user wants applications tailored to the job. They want responsive applications that are highly available and intuitive and automated to varying extent.

I don't see the Cloud usurping the desktop but rather the augmentation of current desktop apps with web based service. Try to find 5 popular web services that don't have a desktop front end.

Gmail- covered in multiple ways
Flikr- a million exporters in apps
Twitter- plenty of clients

People don't want to go web only. They want their data to be accessible but the creation of that data is most comfortable using standard desktop app metaphor IMO and I think others would agree.
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post #19 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by stangmatt66 View Post

Please describe Apple's "success in delivering web-based applications."

MobileMe has had its fair share of problems, and while Apple has continued to iron out the issues, I would hardly call their delivery a success.

My thoughts exactly! If MobileMe is setting the bar for what success is for Apple, then I'm very, very concerned for their future should any real competition (ie, not MS) come along one day.
post #20 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Not liking this idea.

I agree. Mobile me is not working properly now even. What they really need to do with Mobile is make it a free service. Would actually be a good business move. All automatic and free.
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post #21 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Who at Apple is setting the priorities for application development? That person needs to be fired.

The Mac platform is crying out for a proper sales management program (like ACT or Goldmine on the PC.)...

http://www.highrisehq.com/
post #22 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Another problem with these "cloud" apps... if you have no net access, you're out of luck. Several power outages recently have really brought that home for me.

Beyond issues of accessibility, what about security? My god, it's amazing to me that we live in a world where hackers routinely bring down even some of the biggest sites and where we read about security and viruses daily and yet everyone is all hyped up to start storing their personal data and work out there in "the Cloud" (a buzzword that I've heard just about enough of already.)

Yeah, right. I'm no Luddite, but count me way the hell out of that plan.
post #23 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Not liking this idea.

I'm with you.

The web based apps I have used (and subscribe to) suck. Once again, the MicroS--t theory - "be everything to everybody"

I guess all web based app designers think everyone is running a T3 to the bathroom.

I bought it I want to OWN it!... guess I'm just too picky.
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post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Not liking this idea.


Me neither. Looks like I'll be buying Office for the Mac from the Microsoft store afterall if that happens.
post #25 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I agree. Mobile me is not working properly now even. What they really need to do with Mobile is make it a free service. Would actually be a good business move. All automatic and free.

1) Free with no ads makes it a cost center for Apple, which means that complaints about its current updates would increase.

2) Free would mean that any and all would sign up for it, with means it would slow down considerably. Remember the first week of MM when the servers were bogged down?
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post #26 of 76
Frankly I don't ever want my applications to be in the "cloud" If I can't run them on my computer I don''t need, will not use, them even if they are free.
post #27 of 76
Yikes, not liking this idea. I second the notion that I don't want my apps in the cloud.
post #28 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Free with no ads makes it a cost center for Apple, which means that complaints about its current updates would increase.

2) Free would mean that any and all would sign up for it, with means it would slow down considerably. Remember the first week of MM when the servers were bogged down?

Yeah, I don't want it to be free.

I want them to give me something for the money I already pay besides syncing my bookmarks, the ability to let grandma see family photos on the web, and a bad email application.
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #29 of 76
if this web based suite is a sh*tty as mobile me then they can keep it!

keep it in the lab a while longer to make sure it really works.

mobile me is still sh*t. wiped out my entire contacts/calendar last week! LOL!!! on me.com, iphone and MBP. -- thank goodness I use Daylite and was able to retrieve my data.


love Apple however web-based Apple - I'm not convinced just yet!
post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I agree. Mobile me is not working properly now even. What they really need to do with Mobile is make it a free service. Would actually be a good business move. All automatic and free.

The problem with free is you have no leverage to petition for improvement. Your complaints will eventually lead to "it's free if you don't like it don't use it" I like my vendors to be a little more accountable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Me neither. Looks like I'll be buying Office for the Mac from the Microsoft store afterall if that happens.

Shudder...if iWork goes to web only Office 2008 will be my next likely step <tears>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Yeah, I don't want it to be free.

I want them to give me something for the money I already pay besides syncing my bookmarks, the ability to let grandma see family photos on the web, and a bad email application.

Exactly ...MobileMe needs to expand to the point where it's almost assumed that a new user will sign up.
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post #31 of 76
Rather than make MobileMe a free-for-all, Apple should give away free service with every Apple purchase...

professional Mac = 2 year
consumer Mac = 1year
iPhone or iPod touch = 6 months
iPod, Airport, AppleTV = 3 months

instead of those worthless coupons, give us something of substance.
post #32 of 76
"Apple may build on its success in delivering web-based applications for its .Mac internet service"

THAT, is a total joke. I love Apple as much as the next guy around here, but that statement is beyond laughable.


Now on to the rumor:

1. If this is in lieu of iWork 09 on the desktop, I suspect Apple has lost its mind. iWork is evolving into an incredible suite--note perfect, but truly incredible. It will be a killer asset to the Mac platform. Given Apple is a smart company, I think this can't be true.

2. If this is in addition to a desktop suite, I think Apple is losing focus. Get iWork 09 to insanely great status and give us iPhone iWork apps first.
post #33 of 76
I've been anticipating iWork 09 for so long. If it was to become a web app only that would certainly start 2009 off very wrong.
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post #34 of 76
I'm afraid that Apple have tried to transfer their high-tech approach to web apps, whereas what is needed to make things 'just work' on the internet ( or any shared technology space ) is low-tech. I struggled endlessly to get MobileMe to work using Safari on Vista ( I have a Macbook now thank god ) and no-one in my family has ever been able to view the photos I posted to my MobileMe gallery. I think the best web app ever was Hotmail, before Microsoft starting trying to 'improve' it. Just plain old HTML with an engine in the background is going to work on everything. On the net, keep it simple, and old.

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post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Free with no ads makes it a cost center for Apple, which means that complaints about its current updates would increase.

2) Free would mean that any and all would sign up for it, with means it would slow down considerably. Remember the first week of MM when the servers were bogged down?

That's a lot of crap.
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post #36 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Yeah, I don't want it to be free.

Oh God, Apple's doing something fucking right. Excuse me while I go vomit.
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post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

The problem with free is you have no leverage to petition for improvement. Your complaints will eventually lead to "it's free if you don't like it don't use it"

How bad would that be. So, more people would complain how crap the service is? Shocker. Could we survive it? Wow.
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post #38 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Rather than make MobileMe a free-for-all, Apple should give away free service with every Apple purchase...

professional Mac = 2 year
consumer Mac = 1year
iPhone or iPod touch = 6 months
iPod, Airport, AppleTV = 3 months

Please, I am not being pimped by Mobile me. It's either free or it's not, it's that simple. It should be free. It should be.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #39 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Wow, how bad that would be. So more people would complain how crap the service is? Shocker. Could we survive it? Wow.

Difference is you couldn't do shit about it. What are you going to do take your $.00 elsewhere?
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post #40 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Difference is you couldn't do shit about it. What are you going to do take your $.00 elsewhere?

Yes. It should be free, $99 is an embarrassment at this stage. Step off that fanboi stage please.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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