Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Suite Harmony: iWork and iLife

I've also been playing with Apple's newly announced iWork '05, and it's worth noting how well it works with iLife.

Both Keynote 2 and Pages 1 provide a media browser that puts your music, photos, and movies at your fingertips. Want to add a photo to a Pages publication? Just drag it in and then resize it as desired. Pages doesn't automatically update the photo if you edit it in iPhoto, but it's easy enough to simply drag and drop the edited version into place.

And don't get me started on Pages -- I was a Compugraphic and AlphaType typesetter operator in the late 1970s, and in the 80s, I used to write about publishing programs for Macworld, Publish, and others. Pages is no word processor -- it's a layout program with a degree of interactivity that InDesign and QuarkXpress can't match. If you want to see goosebumps on a former typesetter, drag a photo around and watch text reflow in real time. You kids have no idea how hard creating text wraps used to be. (Begin old man voice.) Why, in my day...

I digress. The point of this post is that Apple is extending iLife's reach. That isn't a first -- Apple's DVD Studio Pro also provides media browsers for photos, music, and movies. But it is a first for mainstream productivity software, and it's an advantage that Microsoft Office doesn't provide.

And Microsoft Windows? It's still back in the cut-and-paste era. Memo to Bill: we've gone beyond the Clipboard over here.