Apple faces backlash over missing, changed functions in iWork revamp

Posted:
in Mac Software edited March 2014
A growing 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 some say is now unusable.

Pages


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 suite's biggest update ever. It appears, however, that a significant number of users have not taken kindly to those tweaks.

As with any 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. Anecdotally, AppleInsider readers have also voiced their complaints as to the apps' modifications.

One of the more active forum threads deals with the new Pages app for OS X. Started one day after the updates rolled out, the discussion consists of a rolling list of features "missing" or "removed" from Pages version 5.0. So far, the thread has racked up over 18,500 views and 235 replies over the past five days.

Among the more prominent feature "nerfs" are the removal of Pages' floating Inspector Tool, deleted templates, non-configurable toolbars, no vertical ruler, no format bar, and merge field functionality, along with many others.

Adding to users' 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.

As for Numbers, a similar thread listing the new app's deficiencies was posted by a different forum member. The discussion has been visited over 8,300 times and carries 137 replies. Users complain of missing spreadsheet cell management functions, the removal of selected row sorting and the inability to set margins, among other changes.

Apple is no stranger to negative feedback spurred by a revamp of popular software. A similar situation occurred with Final Cut Pro X in 2011, when professionals panned the video editing tool as 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 refunds to dissatisfied customers.

With Apple making iWork free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device, the company is looking to expand the number of people using its productivity products in the face of competition from market leader Microsoft. It should be noted that while some users are vocal about their disdain for the new apps, many others are quite happy, saying the updates offer a more cohesive experience across the Mac and iOS ecosystems.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 218
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    I certainly understand their concern the way I understood FCP and iMovie users not liking how Apple went back to square one with their apps but it's not something they should be complaining about since they can still use iWork '09 apps the same as a week ago.

    Personally I like how iWork apps on iCloud and iWork apps on my Mac look similar and work together.
  • Reply 2 of 218
    nchianchia Posts: 124member
    Just stick with the older versions of iWork which do NOT get removed for previous documents. Can't help with loss of data and no back ups however.
  • Reply 3 of 218

    I like the direction that Apple takes with the new iWork platform. They are going to heavily build upon it adding new features and making sure that now onwards the productivity and creativity suite is going to be fully integrated and cross-device compatible. 

     

    I also understand that users are puzzled about the transition. I expected fully compatibility with the old format since I have lots of work done with the former iWork.

     

    Apple stripped it for higher purposes? OK then. But why not warning the user when s/he opens an old format and offer the opportunity to create a copy leaving one copy intact, just the way they did on the iOS devices? 

     

    Apart from that, I love the new iWork and I am excited to learn what else Apple has up its sleeve. Keep it up Tim, Craig, John and Roger Rosen! :)

  • Reply 4 of 218
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    The Mac sold 4.6M units last quarter, that's over a million a month. And it's still not enough to justify Apple developing a dedicated word processor? All those sales and all we get is a port of the iOS one?

     

    This is the second questionable decision by whomever is the software architect for iWork. The first was wasting years of man hours developing a web version, in what has been an app-centric world for several years now (thanks to Apple in fact). *Ring ring* *Ring ring* Hey iWork architect, it's for you! It's the 2000s and they want their web app back.

  • Reply 5 of 218
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    ascii wrote: »
    The Mac sold 4.6M units last quarter, that's over a million a month. And it's still not enough to justify Apple developing a dedicated word processor? All those sales and all we get is a port of the iOS one?

    This is the second questionable decision by whomever is the software architect for iWork. The first was wasting years of man hours developing a web version, in what has been an app-centric world for several years now (thanks to Apple in fact). *Ring ring* *Ring ring* Hey iWork architect, it's for you! It's the 2000s and they want their web app back.

    What's not dedicated about the iWork for Mac apps? It's definitely not a port of the iPhone app.
  • Reply 6 of 218
    "I certainly understand their concern the way I understood FCP and iMovie users not liking how Apple went back to square one with their apps but it's not something they should be complaining about since they can still use iWork '09 apps the same as a week ago.%u201D

    That%u2019s not true. The new iWorks apps on both OS and IOS are missing signficant number of features. Hence, any previously created document in iWorks 09 using any of those features is now rendered essentially useless once opened in the new apps. For example, the first document I opened in the new IOS version of Pages stripped a number of important tables from the document, simply because the new app lacked those same features. Before I realized what had happened, the document was automatically saved in the new file type making that document unreadable in iWorks 09. Compounding the problem, I have lost the ability to view my existing iWork 09 documents on my iPad (something I could do prior to the intro of these new apps.) That%u2019s a major PITA! So no, I cannot use my iWork 09 apps the same way I used them a week ago.

    Apple really fxcked up on this one. The lack of clear communication about the implications of upgrading is rather appalling, especially for a company that seemingly prides itself on customer relations. I guess the %u201CMaps%u201D fiasco was not an anomaly after all.
  • Reply 7 of 218
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    2stepbay wrote: »
    The new iWorks apps on both OS and IOS are missing signficant number of features. Hence, any previously created document in iWorks 09 using any of those features is now rendered essentially useless once opened in the new apps.

    THEN OPEN THEM UP USING iWORK '09!!!!
  • Reply 8 of 218
    The dumbing down continues. Did apple learn nothing from the FCX fiasco or are they still too arrogant?
  • Reply 9 of 218
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,309member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2stepbay View Post



    "I certainly understand their concern the way I understood FCP and iMovie users not liking how Apple went back to square one with their apps but it's not something they should be complaining about since they can still use iWork '09 apps the same as a week ago.%u201D



    That%u2019s not true. The new iWorks apps on both OS and IOS are missing signficant number of features. Hence, any previously created document in iWorks 09 using any of those features is now rendered essentially useless once opened in the new apps. For example, the first document I opened in the new IOS version of Pages stripped a number of important tables from the document, simply because the new app lacked those same features. Before I realized what had happened, the document was automatically saved in the new file type making that document unreadable in iWorks 09. Compounding the problem, I have lost the ability to view my existing iWork 09 documents on my iPad (something I could do prior to the intro of these new apps.) That%u2019s a major PITA! So no, I cannot use my iWork 09 apps the same way I used them a week ago.



    Apple really fxcked up on this one. The lack of clear communication about the implications of upgrading is rather appalling, especially for a company that seemingly prides itself on customer relations. I guess the %u201CMaps%u201D fiasco was not an anomaly after all.

     

    All that ranting and raving, when you could have simply to used iWork09, as the new apps DO NOT REPLACE THE OLD ONES. I repeat: ALL IWORK 2009 APPS ARE STILL ON YOUR MAC. Jesus Christ, some of you people are unbelievable, attempting to ignore some basic facts and twist reality so you can use the "apple fucked up and ruined my life" narrative. And no, the document didn't "automatically save". That does not happen. You explicitly saved it, and explicitly chose to replace the old one, instead of making a copy, or a million other things that would have exercised some caution. Even if that did happen, you could have (and still can) use time machine to get the older version back. But yeah, keep making shit up, and ignoring obvious and plentiful solutions,  in order to sensationalize the situation. 

  • Reply 10 of 218
    FCP X is blooming in the right direction. Soon it will surpass FCP 7.x in functionality, never mind already surpassing greatly in workflow.

    If this course of action is taken with iWorks then people will stop complaining.

    Until then, just use LibreOffice for OS X. Next release will have full OpenGL acceleration across all platforms that matter: OS X/FreeBSD, Linux and Windows.
  • Reply 11 of 218
    I really wonder how many read through setups, Help & Tips before beginning.
    I know side rulers our not included for now! But if they were using Help which opens online
    help, theirs a send feedback @ bottom of page & would truly help Apple & they (complainers)
    more quickly.

    These apps are the 1st step in a new direction and thing will only get better, I'm not sure how long altogether Apple was working on this but if waiting for full feature app we may have been waiting another 8 months.
  • Reply 12 of 218
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post



    The dumbing down continues. Did apple learn nothing from the FCX fiasco or are they still too arrogant?

     

    I think they learned to ignore the whining in the internet echo chamber, and carry on rebuilding the product until it is better than the one it replaces.

     

    In iWorks, a lot of the functionality is gone, and a lot of it has just moved someplace else.  As many many many others have pointed out  the old apps are still on the machine, so you can carry on using them.

     

    What amazes me is all the 'professional' iWork users who are losing business because iWorks is no longer a high-level productivity suite. A week ago, iWorks was nowhere near good enough to replace Word, Excel etc, so where have all these iWork professionals come from all of a sudden?

  • Reply 13 of 218
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AirBubble View Post



    I really wonder how many read through setups, Help & Tips before beginning.

    I know side rulers our not included for now! But if they were using Help which opens online

    help, theirs a send feedback @ bottom of page & would truly help Apple & they (complainers)

    more quickly.



    These apps are the 1st step in a new direction and thing will only get better, I'm not sure how long altogether Apple was working on this but if waiting for full feature app we may have been waiting another 8 months.

     

    Exactly, and let's not forget that the old apps are still on your Mac.

  • Reply 14 of 218
    glnfglnf Posts: 32member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post



    FCP X is blooming in the right direction. Soon it will surpass FCP 7.x in functionality, never mind already surpassing greatly in workflow.



    If this course of action is taken with iWorks then people will stop complaining.



    Until then, just use LibreOffice for OS X. Next release will have full OpenGL acceleration across all platforms that matter: OS X/FreeBSD, Linux and Windows.

     

    Here lyes a major problem for companies and professionals. When Apple is prepared to ditch forward compatibility it will most likely happen again and again. So can you really base your work and business model on a software that might suddenly loose its forward compatibility? What happens to your archived work? You can keep several versions of a software package. OK. But what about automatic software updates?  Where do you get an old packaged when you migrate to a new computer in the days of Appstore? What about if a new version of the OS doesn't allow you to run legacy software anymore? (Anyone already tested FCP Studio on Maverick for that matter? DVD Studio Pro? Color?) 

  • Reply 15 of 218
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    The criticism that one should use the old app is unwarranted.

    Why should anyone be reasonably expected to know they should do this? A brand new version was just released. Why would you have any reason to suspect it would render you existing files unusable?

    Imagine the LMFAO if Microsoft had done this.

    I took one look at the new pages and moved right back. Thankfully I didn't lose any files, but time machine would have had my back, I guess. That's one thing to be thankful for.
  • Reply 16 of 218
    g13g13 Posts: 2member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    All that ranting and raving, when you could have simply to used iWork09, as the new apps DO NOT REPLACE THE OLD ONES. I repeat: ALL IWORK 2009 APPS ARE STILL ON YOUR MAC. Jesus Christ, some of you people are unbelievable, attempting to ignore some basic facts and twist reality so you can use the "apple fucked up and ruined my life" narrative. And no, the document didn't "automatically save". That does not happen. You explicitly saved it, and explicitly chose to replace the old one, instead of making a copy, or a million other things that would have exercised some caution. Even if that did happen, you could have (and still can) use time machine to get the older version back. But yeah, keep making shit up, and ignoring obvious and plentiful solutions,  in order to sensationalize the situation. 


    don't be a dick, brosephine. iwork autosaves. 



     

  • Reply 17 of 218
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    2stepbay wrote: »
    "I certainly understand their concern the way I understood FCP and iMovie users not liking how Apple went back to square one with their apps but it's not something they should be complaining about since they can still use iWork '09 apps the same as a week ago.%u201D

    That%u2019s not true. The new iWorks apps on both OS and IOS are missing signficant number of features. Hence, any previously created document in iWorks 09 using any of those features is now rendered essentially useless once opened in the new apps. For example, the first document I opened in the new IOS version of Pages stripped a number of important tables from the document, simply because the new app lacked those same features. Before I realized what had happened, the document was automatically saved in the new file type making that document unreadable in iWorks 09. Compounding the problem, I have lost the ability to view my existing iWork 09 documents on my iPad (something I could do prior to the intro of these new apps.) That%u2019s a major PITA! So no, I cannot use my iWork 09 apps the same way I used them a week ago.

    Apple really fxcked up on this one. The lack of clear communication about the implications of upgrading is rather appalling, especially for a company that seemingly prides itself on customer relations. I guess the %u201CMaps%u201D fiasco was not an anomaly after all.

    Does the new Pages lose Version?
  • Reply 18 of 218

    WOW!! check this Beautiful leaked image of IPhone6 awesome here http://imgdino.com/viewer.php?file=78253612471688092037.png

  • Reply 19 of 218
    I've been actively participating in the Apple Discussion Forums the past couple days, and I'm shocked at how childish some users can be. The guy who's compiling the list is a level 7 user, and he's been trash talking Apple on his thread, adding hopelessness to the already heated discussion by drawing conclusions about how Apple has abandoned its users and is intentionally damaging their data, AND HE HASN'T EVEN USED THE NEW VERSION! Of course if you try to jump in as the calm voice of reason the angry mob will thrash you. It's obvious they just want to whine and cry like babies.

    Here's the kicker. THERE IS NO DATA LOSS!!!

    This whole hubbub is for nothing. Sure, features have been removed. But the heat of the argument is over alleged data loss. All one has to do, even without Time Machine, is go to Flie > Revert to > Browse All Versions and you can restore the pre 5.0 version from within 5.0, close it (don't save!) and all is right again. You can delete 5.0 from your system and go back to using '09 with joy and happiness. Once Apple restores all the missing features, which they will do if proper, mature feedback is given, then you can upgrade.

    The moral of the story is, test before upgrading, especially if business is on the line, and for goodness sake backup, backup, backup. Oh, and don't be a whiny baby when things go wrong. This is software and it will always have bugs and glitches. ALWAYS.
  • Reply 20 of 218
    [QUOTE]Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy

    don't be a dick, brosephine. iwork autosaves.


    [/QUOTE]Don't be a dick, you can revert to previous versions.
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