Posted in Uncategorized, tagged apple, ios, ipad, iWork, mac, Microsoft, Office, productivity, software development, technology on May 14, 2013 |
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There may be a refresh for the very long-in-the-tooth iWork suite, Apple’s productivity software (courtesy MacRumors). iWork has remained relatively unchanged since its 2009 introduction, although there have been incremental improvements over time- most recently the addition of iCloud storage and iOS versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
I’ve been a proponent of iWork from my first Mac. It offers a simpler, easer to navigate interface than the industry gold standard Microsoft Office equivalents. While not always as powerful, for a majority of the tasks I had in graduate school (and even more so in professional life) iWork has been a pleasant and productive experience. That being said, the software is long overdue for a refresh; time passes quickly in the tech world and with Apple focused on releasing iOS 7 on schedule, continuing the development of OSX, and the quick pace they release product hardware refreshes it seems only logical that such a small corner of the iWorld would go neglected.
According to the MacRumors article, several new positions have been opened for engineers and developers on the iWork team. Until Microsoft recognizes the benefit of expanding Office to iOS, iWork is the best option for iOS productivity needs- and in my opinion the best cross-device solution as well
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A post from BGR (formerly the Boy Genius Report) has reinforced the rumor of an upcoming release of an iOS version of Microsoft Office. The site references a “reliable source”, so I don’t accept the rumored release as concrete. That being said, Microsoft would be turning their back on a very large (and growing) demographic of iPad and iPhone users that have either been assigned an iOS device by their employer or those that joined the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) crowd and are using their devices in a professional setting.
While some argue that Microsoft would be better served keeping Office to just Windows devices (especially the pending tablets running Windows 8), I’d wager the money to be had from iOS users will outweigh any benefit exclusivity might provide. Exclusivity has already been ignored thanks to the OSX version of Office, and considering that iOS is founded on OSX it would seem that transitioning it for Apple’s touchscreen devices would be a fairly straightforward affair. I’ve restricted all my productivity tasks to iWork apps (specifically Numbers and Pages) and have been very satisfied with the experience so far, but many businesses are heavily vested in Office, and Microsoft’s file types have become industry norms.
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