To some, iWork has remained the poor stepchild at Apple. A successor to AppleWorks, it was meant to provide all of the basic productivity functions, from word processing to spreadsheets to presentations, which most regular people would need. Within the limits for advanced formatting, you could also read and write files in Microsoft Office formats, so you could be compatible with the rest of the world.
After a promising start, iWork appeared to languish in the “09” version, with only modest updates to fix bugs and enhance support for newer versions of OS X and the iOS alternatives. The iOS versions, as you might expect, focused on just the basics, avoiding the advanced features that might require too much in the way of system resources.
Between 2009 and 2013, there were occasional rumors of an impending iWork update, but it never happened. When Apple announced that iWork would henceforth be free at the recent iPad rollout event, it had to come as somewhat of a surprise, though it makes sense after the decision to do the same with the iPhone and iPad. But a number of Mac users aren’t happy with the new, free versions.
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