Opinion: iPad – iWork (NOT)

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Date: Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, 03:55
Category: iPad, Opinion, Software

If you are planning on buying an iPad to be a portable editing device for your iWork content – think twice. The Apple Discussion boards are all aflutter with teachers and professors who hoped they could leave their laptops in the office and only take their new iPads to the lecture hall. This is not the case. Although Apple has branded the programs the same as the versions you can buy for your Mac , this is where the similarity ends. It’s like using Google Translation to convert a foreign web site into your language of choice, but worse. The two programs i was interested in were Pages and Keynote and they both corrupt files on import (once you can get them in – that’s another article). Formatting is lost in Pages so formulas and footnotes disappear in Keynote transitions and builds go away. It is not as if they are temporarily suspended while on the iPad they are gone so when and if you save back to your Mac they are no longer there.

My comment is, if you are calling it by the same name it should have the same display features. I can agree to editing and creative limitations on a mobile class device but display corruption is unacceptable. To me that’s synonymous with PDF’s looking different on different computing devices and operating systems, not what a PDF is supposed to be.

My biggest complaint is that Apple re-confiigured some of their standard fonts, and when you import a Keynote Presentation of simple Text and Paragraph builds everything is scrambled, mostly because replaced fonts don’t translate to the same font size constraints. I gave up looking for a way to reduce the font size so the text would fit on the slide and have gone back to my laptop to write this article. Now if you create on the iPad and leave it, there’s not a problem. I guess I got my hopes up, with iWork Beta working so seamlessly between cloud and desktop I figured the transition to iPad would be as painless. I was wrong!!

Look at the Samples Below and see if the change from Chalkboard to Chalkduster font would cause you sufficient grief to not make the transition.

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5 Responses to “Opinion: iPad – iWork (NOT)”

  1. I'm canceling my ipad 3g order right now. Apple, in efforts to not cannibalize their own laptop sales have created another cube. I cannot believe they are this unconcerned for their faithful users.

  2. I unfortunately haven't used or purchased an iPad YET. But if I remember right I heard Andy Inhatko make a comment on a podcast that the iPad has something like 12 built in fonts. Is it possible that one has to use the same fonts on both the iPad and your Macintosh.

  3. I'm reminded that I downloaded the iTouch/iPhone version of Bento. Found I couldn't import Mac versions of Filemaker databases. Serious disappointment in the ap! Deleted it from iTouch and wrote the $6 off to gullibility.

  4. Right, one of the reasons I don't buy as soon as something comes out. I'm not calling the iPad junque, but Apple has made junk before! I have 3 dead iBooks with logic board failures, a MacBook that has a mind of it's own with the cursor, etc. Now the Pismo, that was one great Mac! Still using mine after 10 years! Best keyboard I have ever touched. Oh well, a little rant… but I appreciate you posting this about the iPad – I had planned to get one soon, but don't think so now. Looking at the netbooks again, or a used MacBook Air – that fits the bill for me, but wow, the cost!

  5. As was stated in the article, Apple changed the Fonts. Being in education I typically use the Chalkboard Template which defaults to the Chalkboard font, but as you can see from the display samples when they converted to Chalkduster on the iPad the font size characteristics did not transfer. I can agree if you get extravagant with your font choices you expect to pay a penalty but if you stick with the Apple standards Times, Helvetica, etc. your samples should be identical. As also stated, we expect PDFs to be identical across platforms similarly named software should as well.