As many of you would have noticed by now, I’ve been an avid user of iWork 09, specifically Keynote. And each Apple event gets my hopes up on a new version of iWork I can use to impress audiences.
Now of course a disclaimer. You CAN make terrible presentations with Keynote and great presentations with Powerpoint. Trust me, I’ve done both and everything in between. But Keynote is a real winner here: it’s one of the major reasons why I got a Macbook Pro in the first place.
Now, Steve Jobs always has his hands on the latest internal builds of Keynote and uses them at Apple events like WWDC and Macworld, showing off a couple of new features. I want to talk a bit about the keynote at the latest Apple special event.
At the very beginning of the keynote, he shows off this new build effect of dust particles flying as the object lands. Cool, but I was looking forward to more. Throughout the rest of the presentation, Steve uses this effect quite a few times.
And the limelight of the iWork went to the iPad. Apparently, the iWork team has been hard at work on porting the suite to the iPad, and not really updating it for Macs. A tad disappointing, seeing as I don’t have much interest in the iPad.
And that was it. Just one new effect.
As a semi-pro user of Keynote, what I would really want to see in a new version of Keynote are:
1. Custom animation sequences
In the keynotes, Apple has been using really cool animations that I’m certain are not in the current public builds of Keynote, such as the clock wipe etc. I’ve looked around, and it seems that they are built in Motion, Shake or some other app. It would be sweet to see this kind capability built into Keynote itself.
I know that Keynote is not a graphic application like Photoshop, but building impressive presentations these days often requires a lot of hard work and adding graphics and making sure the builds and actions look right.
And what better way to do grouping of objects than layers? Instead of manipulating objects grouped together (which is unwieldy), Keynote can allow users to specify the layers they want to place objects on, making for much easier operations on multiple objects.
3. Better slide master usability
One of the reasons I complain about the amount of graphic elements on slides is because I don’t place them on slide masters. For some reason I cannot remember, I’ve never liked the slide masters system on Keynote whereas I used them frequently in Powerpoint while I still used Windows mainly.
I don’t consider myself software illiterate or aversive to learning new software, in fact far from it. But there was this certain unintuitive feel about slide masters on Keynote. I’ll post again about this when I figure out what.
And that’s about it. Kind of sleepy now, so I guess I should stop before I post some gibberish here. In one of my next posts, I will try to post some of my slide designs to show the increasing intricacy of my slides.
For now, let’s just say iWork 2010 seems unlikely, or at best slated for late 2010 where it would be called iWork 2011 anyway. I’m just another disappointed fanboy for now.