C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

Summary: iWork '09 was released three years ago today (on January 6, 2009) and it hasn't received a major update since.


C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers! Jason O'Grady

Back in November 2011 I wrote a post titled Where the heck is iWork '12? In it I complained how the last major release of Apple's productivity software suite -- iWork '09 -- has sat idle. Coincidentally iWork '09 was released three years ago today (on January 6, 2009) and it hasn't received a major update since.

I know some iWork customers that are starting to regret their purchase of iWork over, say Office for Mac 2011.

A comment in the Talkback by NoAxToGrind summed things up particularly well:

Apple isn't all that interested in personal computers anymore, they have phones to sell.

Well said.

Today I want to vent about a one particular component of iWork in particular, Numbers. When is Apple going to finally release a upgrade (not an update) to this dinosaur?

Numbers couldn’t handle importing a 6MB CSV file.

Numbers can't import an Excel file with more that 64,000 rows.

Numbers needs function parity with Excel.

Speaking of Excel parity, how about a Format Painter feature for Numbers? This can’t be difficult to add.

And one cannot talk about Excel parity without mentioning pivot tables.

Lastly, Numbers performance is anything but speedy. In fact, it's abysmal. I have a relatively tame no-formula five column table with 6000 rows and changing a value in a single cell requires 20 minutes to update the graph. That’s 20 minutes – not 20 seconds. With all the processing horsepower of a MBP, that's absurd.

Come on Apple. Upgrade Numbers!

In the meantime you can give Apple your thoughts on Numbers and iWork ‘09 here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/

Topics: Apple, Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

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  • Junk software

    iWork is really, really bad software, and Apple must surely know this. It's so bad, it's not even worth writing about.
    Tim Acheson
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @Tim Acheson I find iWork to be a very accomplished, polished piece of software that handles my workflow just fine. For you to comment 'is really, really bad software' and give no justification for this, frankly is childish. 'Apple must surely know this' - C'mon Tim, that just reads as a totally naive comment. In future try to form a basis for your opinion otherwise it just comes across a troll-like comment.
      Stuart Denton
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @Tim Acheson
      I'll bet pounds to peanuts you've never even used it! You are just another anti-Apple ranter.
      • iWork is horrible

        I tried iWork recently. Crashed twice in one day. Piece of proprietary Junk. Use Microsoft Office for Mac instead.
        Sean Foley
        • proprietary

          ((( "Piece of proprietary Junk. Use Microsoft Office for Mac instead." )))

          Microsoft Office is also proprietary, so that's a particularly silly insult to sling at iWork.
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @Tim Acheson Numbers is admittedly sub-par, but I find Keynote vastly more powerful and capable of producing professional striking presentations than PowerPoint. You can achieve similar results in PowerPoint but with a hell of a lot more effort. Pages is actually really good for producing worksheets (I'm a teacher) and the ability to save to a PDF natively (as you can in all OS X apps) makes it very easy to create a non-editable electronic copy I can fling up on to our Virtual Learning Environment for students who missed the class/lost the sheet/have a hungry dog that ate the homework :)

      Numbers isn't very good for most spreadsheet stuff, but it is good for producing tracking lists (got married last year and we used Numbers for the guest list and working out the seating plans etc. but we used Excel for the financial side of it all as it is far better at actual numbers ironically!).
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @Tim Acheson

      Tim, in every forum, you are simply a Microsoft cheerleader. As others have mentioned, it's pretty clear that you've never even used the software and you certainly haven't provided any reasons which justify your position. Numbers does suck compared to Excel at most things, though it actually has some better graphing capabilities. Numbers is also the newest and least mature product in the suite. Keynote is better than Powerpoint though. Layout is easier, templates are better, simple things like centering objects are much easier, etc. Pages is comparable to Word. They each have advantages and disadvantages. For example, simple page layout like doing a brochure or newsletter is much nicer in Pages. But hey, don't let the details get in the way of your pre-disposition for anything that comes from Apple.
  • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

    Why don't you just buy Microsoft Office 2010 and save yourself all this trouble.
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      You mean Office 2011 - and it has its problems, too.
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @DreyerSmit I did and Office 2011 is plain awful. Many commands and actions are moved around with no reason to do so other than for "change". PowerPoint is so appalling that if I have to make a PowerPoint deck, I do it in Keynote and export to PPT. Apple should release an updated suite without a doubt, but even iWork 2009 is more advanced than Office 2011.
      • Though I was the only one having Office 2011 problems

        @Jwmf I find Office on the Mac to be a pain to use .... because they could not keep the commands consistent. Also, not all features are supported on the Mac version.
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @DreyerSmit - because some of us don't give Microsoft a dime or support any of their warez.
      The Danger is Microsoft
  • at least i get support from Apple Store

    to use Apple iWorks, none for Windows products (note $99/year fee)

    during fall, there was a free workshop at the SF Apple Store Main, where an experienced Apple dude from NYC were teaching us to improve our Keynote skills.

    Unfortunately, something happened in October and the privilege and honor wasn't reinstated. But it was a great experience!!
  • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

    Just buy Office.
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @ccrockett@... - never!
      The Danger is Microsoft
  • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

    Yes Apple have phones to sell. But as Nokia and soon also RIM will realize that business can soon turn sour. Nokia will soon be back to making toilet paper, RIM to cleaning toilets and Apple would be able to fall back on their loyal Mac customers, unless of course the the new rakes at Apple have been forgotten about their past without Jobs.
    • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

      @rhon@... Sorry, what's this got to do with this iWork and Microsoft Office discussion? Shouldn't you be trolling some other thread where you think people actually know what you are talking about?
      Stuart Denton
  • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

    Succinctly, Numbers is quite forgettable software. Keynote is excellent. Pages is way above average.
  • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

    It certainly is time that Apple upgraded the iWork products but too those on here who have made such negative comments about iWork I can only say that you have just not used it!

    I use both Office 11 and iWork. Office is essential for my work as I have to be totally compatible with my colleagues who in the main use Windows as opposed to my choice of Mac. But every document that I create I do so in iWork. Presentation is so much more professional than Office and quality is easier to achieve. My colleagues very regularly comment on how clear and easy to work with my documents are and some of the formats that iWork provides as templates have been imported to Office and are now being regularly used by my Office based colleagues.

    Yes there are issues; especially with numbers, I agree that Excel has more functionality, but for the price you get so much functionality with very high quality presentation of documents, I will chose iWork any time over Office. Don't knock it until you try it!

    Please Apple, lets see what you can make a new version do!
  • RE: C'mon Apple, upgrade Numbers!

    I would just like Apple to fix the bugs in Mail (which 'unexpectedly stops' on too frequent a basis for me. Just sent a crash report to them this morning).

    Additionally, I had mysteriously disappearing address book entries after upgrading to the new iPhone (the 3G I had worked fine for two years or so). Then for no apparent reason, the address book started working fine after a few weeks, with no upgrade... very odd.