Numbers 3.0 for OS X (Mac screenshot 001)

In response to the outrage over the missing features in the latest round of iWork for Mac app refreshes, Apple has taken an unusual step of confirming that much of the removed functionality will be gradually added back over the course of six months.

Before the haters jump with joy, saying Apple always backpedals on everything, let me remind you that the company similarly faced criticism over the supposed dumbifying of the Final Cut Pro X video editing suite. A few updates later, most of the missing features pro video editors were crying for – and then some – were fully restored…

Apple made the surprising announcement in a support document issued this morning (thanks, Matthew!).

The company has updated iWork and iLife suite of apps on both Mac and iOS side on October 22. All apps have been re-written from the ground up for 64-bit computing, introducing a much reworked user interface and full file compatibility between the web, Mac and iOS platforms.

Casual users welcomed the refreshed suite, but people whose daily productivity depends on these apps slammed Apple for sacrificing functionality over cross-platform file compatibility. Blogger Pierre Igot, for example, called the new release of Pages an “unmitigated disaster”.

Keynote 6.0 for OS X (Mac screenshot 001)
Keynote for Mac.

Features making a comeback in upcoming iWork releases in the next 6 months:

Pages

  • Customize toolbar
  • Vertical ruler
  • Improved alignment guides
  • Improved object placement
  • Import of cells with images
  • Improved word counts
  • Keyboard shortcuts for styles
  • Manage pages and sections from the thumbnail view 
Numbers
  • Customize toolbar
  • Improvements to zoom and window placement
  • Multi-column and range sort
  • Auto-complete text in cells
  • Page headers and footers
  • Improvements to AppleScript support
Keynote
  • Customize toolbar
  • Restoring old transitions and builds
  • Improvements to presenter display
  • Improvements to AppleScript support

If a massive thread on the Apple Support forums is an indication, there are still other missing features Apple’s support doc doesn’t mention at all.

Even if you’ve updated your iWork suite, the installer hasn’t wiped out the previous versions of apps from your system – you can still find old iWork apps in your Applications > iWork ’09 folder.

This speaks volume about Apple’s realization that the new iWork suite may not be suited to power users.

Apple argues it rewrote iWork apps for 64-bit and to support a unified file format between OS X and iOS 7 versions, as well as iWork for iCloud beta.

These apps feature an all-new design with an intelligent format panel and many new features such as easy ways to share documents, Apple-designed styles for objects, interactive charts, new templates, and new animations in Keynote.

In rewriting these applications, some features from iWork ’09 were not available for the initial release. We plan to reintroduce some of these features in the next few releases and will continue to add brand new features on an ongoing basis.

While existing users are required to fork out $20 for each of the iWork apps, Apple since October 22 has switched to offering iWork and iLife apps free of charge with every new Mac and iOS device purchase, confirming that future releases of these apps – as well as OS X updates – will continue to be free downloads.

Also, Apple’s Up-To-Date program offers to upgrade your iWork suite to the latest version free of charge for new Mac purchases made between October 1-22, 2013. Purchases made after October 22 will have 30 days to qualify and Apple warns customers have to apply to the program by November 21.

Numbers 3.0 for OS X (Mac screenshot 001)
Numbers for Mac.

That initiative is only available to those living in Canada or in one of the 50 United States states, including the District of Columbia.

You can also get the latest iWork apps free of charge on your older Macs by first installing a free trial of iWork ’09 from Softpedia. After running each app at least once, go to the Mac App Store and hit the Purchased tab. There, you should find your free Pages 3.0, Keynote 6.0 and Numbers 3.0 downloads.

A company spokesperson told MacTrast that even though the company is aware that this enables piracy for unethical users, “Apple has never taken a strong stance or action against piracy in the past. We like to believe that our users are honest, even if that belief is in vain”.

Screenshot top of post: Pages for Mac.

  • chumawumba

    Apple logic: remove features, then spend the next 6 months trying to put them back

    • TesticularFortitude

      If a program is rewritten from the ground up, how are features removed? They were never added in the first place… According to this, features from iWork 09 will be added along with new ones.

      • Raashid

        Sounds like you have a non-conventional definition of “Rewritten”. Just so you know, changing a bunch of icons/animations isn’t considered as rewriting.

      • Lee

        A lot more has changed then just the animations and icons. It seems you have a non-conventional definition of change. It has been rewritten to more match the iOS version.Now that they are matched, they can bring them both up to more updates version. (I’m sick of opening copies of docs on my iPad).

        Granted, they could have just updated the iOS version to match the desktop versions, but I have a feeling that wouldn’t have worked well.

        Plus, there was a bunch of crap in iWork that wasn’t needed to they needed to start afresh.

      • TesticularFortitude

        This!

      • Raashid

        What so-called “crap” in iWork wasn’t “needed”? These features that they’re promising to add back? FYI Having options isn’t considered crap in the non-Apple world, ’cause people aren’t the same.

      • John

        Well said.

      • “Granted, they could have just updated the iOS version to match the desktop versions, but I have a feeling that wouldn’t have worked well.”

        Why not? Microsoft almost did it all with Office RT, only missing macros, add-ins, and other custom programs written by users or developed by third parties.

      • Lee

        Yeah, but I doubt that the office it matches was built in ’09. I remember when they bought out .docx format, it stripped out a whole heap of features. This is exactly the same thing.

      • TesticularFortitude

        What does rewriting an application from the ground up mean?

      • Raashid

        Rewrting implies re-implementing a large portion of existing functionality without re-use of its source code or writing inscription.

      • John

        Have you actually used the Apps?

        Just so you know, there’s MORE then changing a bunch of icons and animations that has gone into the new versions of iWorks and iLife.

        Should try them out sometime before running your fingers off like you just did.

      • Raashid

        Nope, I haven’t, but I’ve read many reviews of it and past versions. Here’s one on the present version, it does agree with you:

        “Why does Apple get rid of so many useful features in new pages? iWork 13 has been a huge disappointment and nothing more than a downgrade to match the capabilities of the iOS iWork apps. If Apple simply made performance upgrades to iWork 09 I would have been happy. I hope there is a way to get back to the most up to date version of iWork 09.

        It comes down to this. Apple has discontinued Pages in its entirety. You can no longer download it or purchase it, and Apple won’t support it. Apple has simultaneously introduced a completely new and different product, also called Pages, that is designed for different users and different use cases. Despite the name, it is not a successor to Pages (old), except in the licensing terms, it is completely a completely different species of animal. Those of us who depended on Pages (old) cannot use Pages (new). We have to save all our Pages files in a widely used format and import them into a new word processor that supports the formatting.”

      • John

        If you haven’t used…no matter what sort of reading you do, you cannot judge so download them and have a play with them and then come back and give us YOUR review rather then a copy and pasted one.

    • Raashid

      Same with Microsoft as of Windows 8 and Office 2013…their reason apparently (according to some representative) is to support third party devs; in other words, they’re forgetting it’s the 1st party that buys their product.

      • John

        First party developers that buy their Apps…? Really.

      • Raashid

        Better educate yourself on economics.
        First party – Consumer
        Second party – Main Manufacturer/Developer
        Third party – Addon Manufacturer/Developer

  • thetomthebomb

    That’s cool they kind of turn a blind eye to the little workaround
    “You can also get the latest iWork apps free of charge on your older Macs by first installing a free trial of iWork ’09 from Softpedia.”

    I will do this for my mom as she never originally bought iWork.

  • Quang

    Hope they bring Double-line cell border to the new version of Numbers

    • John

      I hope they bring cell border to the iOS version that matches OS X because currently you can barely do squat in the iOS version.

  • jack

    you should really stop calling people who disagree “haters”

    • Falk M.

      People relied on these features, Apple removed them and then takes a long time to bring them back.
      What for?

      It took them about 4-5 years to ship the new iWork applications and then they ask for another half a year to bring back SOME (not all) of the missing features?

      Apple’s in too good standing in terms of consumer trust and satisfaction apparently or they need a damn reality check on how to release new versions of software.
      Rewritten from the ground up my ***, what does 64bit get me on my iMac when I need the features.
      Jolly Lord, can I now open text files larger than 4GB or what?
      Get real Apple, these features are essential.

      They really removed the vertical ruler? Really? Thank God I still use iWork ’09.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Buying new ios device with a free download of Apple suite apps. With a catch.. its strip down version lol. I applaud apple for bringing the features that were missing.

    • John

      Doesn’t matter if you buy a new iOS device or you already own an iOS device…you still are going to download the same shitty version of App.

  • dpacemaker

    The problem of using the older version on a Mac is that you can’t downgrade the iOS Apps, thus making the icloud compatibility non existent. iOS 6 pages does not work with iOS7 pages. I have not checked iOS 6 with Mavericks yet, or iWork 09 with iOS 7. I just assume since iOS 7 doesn’t go with iOS 6 that the others would be the same.

  • Keynote is definitely a better application than Powerpoint. Pages and Numbers on the other hand… not so much

  • WolfgangHoltz

    When Apple give thing away, you always know something fishy is going on.

  • Jan Willem

    still missing the “smart build” feature, you damn Apple!