iThink iStill iLike iThem

So, I dug a little deeper into iWork yesterday – discovering more things I liked (and didn’t like). I’m still overwhelmingly impressed with the suite. Michael Markman made note and cared to clarify a few points that I didn’t necessarily make in my video review last week:

1. iWork ’08. Numbers is a totally new app in this edition. Not an upgrade to a previous version. This product started as Keynote. Then, with the addition of Pages, they called the bundle iWork. (but that was just the two apps for two versions ’05, ’06); iWork ’08 is the first time the suite has all of the big three productivity apps. Curiously, the pricing remained the same for the one-app version, the two-app version, and the three-app version. It’s always been $79.

BTW: cool, little-known tip: you can use the Apple remote to advance slides when you’re in Keynote slideshow mode.

Pages now has two modes (writing and layout), where the original version had only the layout mode. A lot of people passed it by because they wanted a simple word processor. For anyone trying to compare Pages to previous word processors (e.g. MS Word), the total orientation to layout seemed like excess baggage. If you were adept at Keynote, the layout U-I of Pages is an easy shift. but if you expected a word processor, the Pages metaphors seemed disorienting. The new version is meant to correct that with a mode that works the way traditional word processors work.

2. iLife ’08. Worth mentioning that this is bundled with Macs. ($79 for the upgrade). iMovie ’08 is controversial. It’s a five steps forward five steps back deal. See Pogue’s blog for deets. (Apple makes the previous version–iMovie HD–available as a download to people who get iMovie ’08). There was no ’07 version of either bundle.

I, too, was baffled with the new iMovie – having noted that the iLife ’08 installation already made a backup of the “classic” iMovie in a separate folder in an earlier video. The YouTube integration was relatively seamless, although the speed (rendering and upload time) was anything but impressive: