Over the last month, a handful of people have asked me whether I like the new iWork or not. I think the best way to respond is to say that iWork represents a tradeoff of a lot of secondary functionality for big gains in very few areas. Liking the product will depend on whether you appreciate the improvements enough to overlook the missing features.
I formed that sentence carefully. I don’t think ‘overlook’ can be substituted for the word ‘outweigh’ here. Big features (like page counts) are absent. If any of these regressions are mission-critical to what you need to do, then — frankly — you are screwed.
When rumours of a re-architected iWork suite surfaced, my primary interest was to see if scrolling had got better. I’m obsessed with responsive scrolling — I crave iOS level performance to be universal on OS X too. At least for me, the culled feature set is not a deal-breaker. Therefore, it’s all worth it. Zooming and panning using the glass trackpad of my MacBook is an absolute joy in the new Pages.