Crippled iWorks apps for iPad causes confusion and frustration for new owners

Crippled iWorks apps for iPad causes confusion and frustration for new owners

Summary: It seems that the iPad's crippled support for iWorks documents is causing frustration for some users.

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Special Report: Apple iPad

It seems that the iPad's crippled support for iWorks documents is causing frustration for some users.

The problems relate to the Keynote and Pages apps for the iPad and how these apps support certain features when documents are imported to the iPad from Keynote and Pages for Mac.

Here's one excerpt from the support forum:

The part that comes as a huge and surprising disappointment - TO ME - is that my Keynote and Pages documents are altered when they are converted to the iPad version. Grouped objects are ungrouped (this for me is a big issue given my complex presentations), endnotes and footnotes are not imported in Pages, Table of Content changes to regular text, some fonts cannot be used on the iPad, etc.

This means, for instance, that I won't be able to do the following: Transfer a Pages document (with footnotes, etc.) to iPad, edit it while on the road, then sync that file back to my Macbook when I reach home. The moment I move the file to the iPad, it loses a whole bunch of things that are standard on most documents that I create (e.g., footnotes and endnotes).

Similarly, I cannot create a Keynote presentation on my Macbook (with grouped objects, for example) and expect it to transfer intact to the iPad. To use the iPad's Keynote I will need to change all my existing KeyNote classnotes (hundreds of pages) to remove the fonts that the iPad does not like, to remove grouped objects and other formatting that the iPad does not like, and so on. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the inclination to dumb down my years of carefully-prepared presentations in this manner

I had thought that the iPad will give me the ability to make presentations more easily and to edit documents while on the road, without having to lug around a laptop. Looks like I am not the target audience for this device yet.

This feeling is echoed in numerous other postings on the support forum.

Apple does have knowledgebase articles related to both Keynote and Pages for the iPad that outline the limitations.

Will there be changes to a Keynote for Mac document that I import?

In many cases, you will see no difference when a document is imported and converted to the Keynote for iPad optimized file format. During the import process, Keynote creates a copy of the imported document and retains the original. After the import process, changes made to the content or document layout are listed for review by the user.

There are some considerations when importing documents:

- Recorded or Embedded audio is not imported from Keynote presentations. - Grouped objects are ungrouped. Styles, order, and location are retained. - Presenter Notes and Comments are not imported. - 3D charts are converted to 2D charts. Chart data is retained and editable.

Will there be changes to a Pages for Mac document that I import?

In many cases, you will see no difference when a document is imported and converted to Pages for iPad’s optimized file format. During the import process, Pages creates a copy of the imported document and retains the original. After the import process, changes made to the content or document layout are listed for review.

There are some considerations when importing documents:

- Footnotes and Endnotes are not imported. - Documents using page layout are converted to word processing with text wrap. Linked text boxes are separated, retaining text, styles, and placement. - 3D charts are converted to 2D charts. Chart data is retained and editable. - Changes tracked in an imported document are accepted and comments are not imported. - Tables of Content are converted to regular text. - Grouped objects are ungrouped. Styles, order, and location are retained. - Tables that span more than one page are split into separate one-page tables. - All links other than weblinks are removed.

The problem is that is documents are synced to the iPad and then synced back to a Mac, the formatting and information is lost. That's bad news for anyone who doesn't have a backup, and still very annoying for users who have put in the time editing documents on the iPad.

Apple isn't making these limitations clear to potential buyers, and there's no mention of this made on the iPad or iWorks propaganda pages. Here's another support forum post from a user who only stumbled upon the limitations on the forum:

What is also somewhat disappointing is that Apple does not mention these limitations of iWork upfront, on the iWork for iPad page. I came upon the information accidently when I was looking at this board. I think quite a few people may be in for a rude shock when they inadvertently lose significant parts of important documents on the iPad.

The problem here is that Apple is attempting to blur the lines between the desktop/notebook ecosystem and the iPad by releasing the iWorks apps for the iPad, but the company is being disingenuous in obfuscating the limitations of the mobile app, especially when those limitations can actually cause irrevocable changes to those documents. Much in the same way as Apple is glossing over the iPad's lack of Flash support for web browsing (and almost trying to make out that the omission is a "feature"), Apple is giving the impression of full iWorks support without actually delivering that.

Topics: Hardware, Collaboration, iPad, Mobility, Software

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116 comments
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  • ITS NOT CRIPPLED!

    I'm sorry, just wanted to see what it was like to be an Apple devotee!

    (Just a boring Tuesday morning :) )
    John Zern
    • good

      that was good, john. i give you that. :-)
      bannedfromzdnetagain
    • LMAO nt

      nt
      storm14k
    • Excellent

      Excellent
      tricktytom
    • funny

      I'm gonna use that as quote of the day.
      TxM2xTx
    • That's what makes it revolutionary!

      You're right, it IS fun to be a zealot! :)

      I wish I didn't have to wear these reality goggles all the time, I'd like to be excited about something new. Sadly, there isn't anything out there worth getting excited about these days. It's all crap in one way or another. I want to see a new OS written from scratch that blows away all the buggy, decades-old, patched-up, recycled crap we're stuck with now. I want to see a piece of hardware that didn't leave out obvious features that have been available for years everywhere else while calling itself revolutionary. And please God, stop the onslaught of the much over-hyped and worse-than-useless "Cloud."
      BillDem
      • Finally someone that gets it!

        I agree with you 100% and screw all these a$$ kissers.

        Apple fanatics when all they do is release a good looking but crap product AND by the way, so are the PC's

        Yep, I'll get excited too when there's something to be excited about.

        I recently bitc*ed about cellphones with all the cool damn features and NONE of them and I mean NONE of them had the ability to make fonts the size you wanted them.

        Some had the option of one font size larger which to my eyes was still virtually invisible.

        Hell, I can do it on the pc. One letter per page (if I wanted to) so why not on the phone.

        Yeah, I definitely agree
        guiri
        • You can change the default font size in WinMo 6.5

          It's under the System/Screen setting...
          kb5ynf
          • How big can you make them?

            I couldn't when I was trying that one but I'm glad to hear that they've done something now where you can.

            Thanks

            George
            guiri
      • I completely agree, except....

        For the cloud thing. I do see what is currently being marketed as "cloud computing" being the next revolution primarily for IT, but it will (and is) spill inot the consumer market. The XBOX Live experience I think is a good example of cloud computing done well.

        Pat
        omdguy
      • Scratch OS

        I always wanted Sony to develop an Win32 compatible OS that was centered around gaming. If anybody could build a sweet gaming OS, it'd be Sony. A streamlined OS built for the absolute best performance in PC gaming. While you could technically run MS Office on the computer, don't expect it to run very well. The OS would be made to run Mass Effect 2 at 9 billion fps, not do mail merges.

        Windows is designed for productivity. How about an OS designed for us gamers?
        WarhavenSC
      • What's wrong with them being constructed out of recycled materials?

        [b] [/b]
        AzuMao
      • Enough already

        Yeah laugh all you like, you are inventing devotees and then attacking
        the non existent devotee attitudes.

        F'ing windows cultists.

        You are much more predictable than any pro-Apple posters.

        Now for the real thing:

        Lack of Flash is not crippling.

        The ability to take IWork documents to/from the iPad without them
        getting changed and disabled is a problem.

        For those who do not use those features, then it is OK now, for the
        rest of us, this is a reason to think twice about an iPad.

        For someone wanting a portable iWork device that does not use iWOrk
        already - then there is no issue.

        As a portable device for Mac users who like to use the features of their
        software, then this is an issue. I for one think grouping is an important
        thing.

        There - now shut the F up you stupid windows idiots who like to
        argue with non existent Apple cultists - you are the true cultists so
        get over yourselves, you smug lying bastards.

        Yes - I am offended and sick of you lot.
        richardw66
        • Getting on your nerves, eh. Wow!! nt

          nt
          eargasm
        • You're Right

          Flash is not a problem, but compatibility IS.

          The solution may require amendments to iWorks 10.

          Create an "export to iPad" function so you can see how the
          document would change:

          Or at least export the Keynote in PDF so it won't change the
          layout when opened on the iPad.

          Lock the original document and add a change file so when you
          send the file back to the laptop you get the original back; and
          apply the changes then.

          As for the fonts, that's got to be fixable unless there's a
          copyright issue.
          Jkirk3279
          • Couldn't Apple just claim they had that copywrite 1st.

            It seems to work on all the other things they copy from. They are always trying to sue another company that just happened to use their technology a few years before Apple "invented it".
            mjolnar@...
          • They'd need definitive proof that they really created it first.

            [b] [/b]
            AzuMao
          • why start now? (nt)

            nt
            Turd Furgeson
    • @John Zern

      You even beat NonZealot to the first post, that in itself is an incredible feat!
      Axsimulate
  • RE: Crippled iWorks apps for iPad causes confusion and frustration for new owners

    What a mess. If I was an author and didn't realize the limitations of this before hand, I'd ask for my money back.

    Until an Apple product is launched, secrecy is what the company is known for. It may have sold 300,000 of them right out of the gate, but I wonder how many will be returned for a refund.
    doug.hanchard@...