iWork contains two major applications. “Pages” is a word processor that reads and writes Microsoft word files. “Keynote 2.0” is an improved version of Apple’s Keynote released a couple of years ago (so it seems). They work very well together.
If you’re expecting that iWork’s two applications will enable you to be fully “Microsoft FREE” then you’ll be disappointed.
“Pages” is not Word. The Microsoft word processor has every feature you could imagine and Pages does not. However, Pages is very good, very professional, loaded with Mac-like features, AND, it seems like Microsoft’s Publisher has finally found a home in Apple’s new word processor.
Page layout is supreme in Pages. Easy. Fast. Simple. Powerful. Stylish. Loaded with Templates and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Did I mention that Pages is easy AND powerful? It is.
Mac users who like to use Word to create documents and export them to PDF will love what you can do with Pages. Graphics, photos, movies, MP3s, all just “drop” into place on the page, and they’re easy to move around. Just drag.
Tables can NOT get easier, and I thought they were easy to set up in Microsoft Word. Pages also imports and exports more formats than you can spell. Pages will look much better than you’ll expect.
Don’t try to export a complex page layout in HTML, though. Ugh. Of course, almost all HTML exports suck. Pages is just no different.
The $79 question is, “Is it worth $79?” If you need a word process and don’t want Microsoft’s, yes. But there’s more to the package than Pages.
Keynote, Apple’s somewhat neglected but well acclaimed presentation package cost $99 until last week. Now it’s included in iWork (with Pages) for $79.
That’s a good value. Like iMovie, iPhoto, and Garageband, Keynote 2.0 doesn’t have a bucket of new features. But current features work better and smoother.
Keynote lets you export your presentation slides in QuickTime, QuickTime “interactive” (click to move directions), AND Macromedia Flash.
That’s right. Flash from Keynote. It also saves and imports as PowerPoint files.
Oh, it still exports PDF and imports from Appleworks. There’s more themes, more interactivity, and more self-play functions than in the predecessor.
Plus, Apple’s getting into the “integration” thing big time. Moving files and pieces of files between Keynote and other apps is easier than drag and drop.
So, is it worth $79? Yes, if you need either one of the applications it’s still worth $79. For both, it’s an absolute steal.
Where’s the spreadsheet? Well, it’ll be in AppleWorks (which comes free with the Mac mini) but not in iWork. For now.
I actually expect, and predict, that we’ll see a spreadsheet component in iWork by Macworld 2006 (if not sooner). Mark the date and look for it. The whole package of iWork—Pages, Keynote and Numbers (my name for the spreadsheet component) will still not be a Microsoft Office killer.
It won’t have to be. The “value leader” will be Apple. iLife, Mac OS X Tiger, iWork. And the Mac mini.
I’ve always been impressed that Apple could make such cool and nifty applications and hardware, and didn’t mind (too much) paying for the privilege. Now, you get the best of everything at a price as low or lower than crappy Wintel systems. Awesome.
2005 will be a great year for Apple. It’ll be a better year for customers.