Keynote ‘13 Sucks

In: Graphic Design (bad) Graphic Tools

30 Oct 2013


Apple finally released a new version of Keynote last week – and it is terrible.

In an effort to make the ios version of Keynote on ipads/iphones work the same as the OSX version, they removed a lot of features and dumbed down others. I call this “iosification”.

What’s worse, they did not bother to make the software backwards compatible. None of my existing presentations play properly in the new version. Font alignments have changed, slide transitions have disappeared, builds no longer build properly, image and movie adjustments have disappeared, smartbuilds have all been removed, build indicators have been removed, alpha layers no longer function the same, and formatting options previously easily accessed from one context sensitive smart toolbar are now buried in multiple menu pages. I could go on, but that was enough for me to close the program and re-open the old version so I could actually get some work done.

If people only used Keynote for 5th grade book reports, this would not be a big deal. I can see that having portability between the desktop and mobile devices would be nice. However, a lot of professionals use Keynote to produce high quality presentations – pulling together outputs from Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, and data visualization platforms.

I have long suspected that the reason iWork ’09 was not being updated was because they were waiting until the processing capabilities of the mobile platforms were fast enough to run a new unified version. I would have preferred it if they had waited a little longer, instead of lowering the capabilities of the software to the lowest common denominator.

Oh well. There is some hope that Apple will listen to the power user community and restore crippled functionality, like they did after they broke Final Cut Pro back in 2011. In the meantime, I think most experienced users will use the old version, or take a closer look at Powerpoint.

By all accounts, iWork’s word processing software “Pages” has been similarly gelded. (The spreadsheet software “Numbers” has always sucked, so I don’t know if anyone even noticed any changes there.)

If you want to follow the reaction online, check out Apple’s keynote discussion groups:

Update 11/6/13: 
Apple has responded to user discontent with plans to re-introduce some of the missing features in the coming months:

4 Responses to Keynote ‘13 Sucks



October 30th, 2013 at 17:56

I too have regressed and stopped using Keynote ’13 and Pages ’13. What Apple has done is inexcusable. Did you notice how they called out the presentation last week was built in Keynote ’13? Do you think that it is a coincidence that the deck did not have the same level of polish as it normally does? I would love to hear what that team at Duarte who built the presentation thinks of the new software.

I do think the update to Number ’13 is alright though. I wasn’t a big user of Numbers as I use “R” and Mathematica primarily for spreadsheet type functions but thought Number ’09 was fine and so far I have not had any issues with Numbers ’13.


Mad Hemingway

October 31st, 2013 at 11:42

I switched off iWorks this year to Open Office and Libre Office. I was using Numbers to prep some data to be loaded into MySQL and after the first few hundred rows it kept crapping out.

They really should test volumes before releasing it.


Assnap Kined

November 1st, 2013 at 08:57

crApple does whatever they want because they have a cult of zombie users. They keep their high margins on products because they know theire are IDITOS that will wait days in a snowstorm to buy their crap on the first day of sale. They do what they do because THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY DO. Jim Jones (where the term, “drank the Kool-Aid” originated) what be envious of the crApple cult.

Assnap Kined


James Smith

November 3rd, 2013 at 00:47

I’m a apple koolaid kid but learnt many many years ago never use their software for ANYTHING.

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