Well I tried out iWork ’13 over the weekend.
I’ve been using computers for a long time. I’ve had Linux, OS/2, and Windows all as my desktop OS, all on the same machine – for various purposes – and although these days I use a Mac I’m never afraid to try something new.
I was not daunted by the new interfaces in Pages, Numbers, or Keynote (I really barely looked at Keynote, not being the sort to give presentations). One interface is much the same as another once you understand the core principle of what visually different but functionally similar buttons do.
The new flat look was a bit boring, a bit bland. It gives the suite a kind of staid, almost cold sort of technical feel, but I had no real issue with that either.
I didn’t even mind the fact that with the update from iWork ’09 to iWork ’13, Apple has given the entire suite an almost child-like, playful quality and has no real capacity to serve as a professional office suite any more. It has lost a great many features that I and other people use to create documents for use in business. Oh well, I still have iWork ’09 on my laptop.
What I minded was that I paid for iWork on my iPad in July, and now I can’t downgrade back to what was once a part of my workflow. I’ve been on the phone to Apple, talking to two different people. They have no link to an older .ipa file I can install. They can’t even refund me what I paid for the suite so I can use that money to replace iOS iWork with something else that works in my workflow – instead I was offered a small voucher for use in an Apple Store, to buy some piece of kit I have no need for.
The only work-a-round that’s possible is keep iWork ’13 on the laptop to act as a go-between for iWork ’13 on my iPad and iWork ’09 on my laptop – iWork ’13 on iOS and iCloud cannot export to ‘iWork ’09 file formats.
The problem with this is that I will lose formatting when opening an ’09 file on ’13, and ’13 doesn’t have formatting features I use. There is also the issue of not being able to set iWork ’09 apps as the default opening apps for documents or spreadsheets I create in ’09.
This is, to be polite, a cluster-fuck.
I can’t complain too much though. At least they didn’t charge for the downgrade.