¶ iWork '09 Turns Three

This day in history, three years ago, iWork ‘09 — the current shipping version of iWork — was announced and released.

That’s quite a long time for a consumer Apple product to go without major revision. My guess is that development of the Mac version of the iWork suite fell behind as Apple built the suite for iOS — first the iPad, then the presumably monumental task of scaling it down for the iPhone & iPod touch.

But iWork on the Mac is really starting to show its age. The iOS apps have iCloud integrated, and it works like magic. But the Mac versions can’t see those iCloud files. In fact, Apple hasn’t updated any of their Mac apps to peer into iCloud document storage. There isn’t an example from Apple of how iCloud documents should be presented in the user interface.

iWork should have been a prime candidate for demonstrating iCloud documents on the Mac. Instead, iA Writer was the first to do it. And though iA Writer does a good job, I think Apple should be setting the bar.

I love iWork, and use it often. I recommend it over Microsoft Office to new Mac owners, as long as they don’t have needs that explicitly require Office. But it’s three years old and hasn’t kept up with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem.

It’s time iWork got a facelift and joined the cloud.