What I wrote two years ago about the next version of Keynote (File under: Psychologist displays fortune telling skills)

In a response to a comment on a previous blog entry on Presentationmagic.com written two years ago here, I agreed with the commenter about our shared hopes for the next version of Keynote. At this point Keynote was almost three years without an update. Here’s what I wrote:

<<<<<lesposen | October 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm | ReplyEdit

It’s a good question (about Apple’s interest in updating Keynote) I’ve pondered too, and not just about Keynote. It’s likely Steve (Jobs) approved a roadmap for Apple’s future products four years into the future, at the least. So his hand will still be present in the next update of Keynote. Given its long gestation and how PowerPoint has played copycat in its latest version, I’m guessing to prepare for Keynote Pro X, a major rewrite a la Final Cut Pro X. Lots of gnashing of teeth and tut-tutting about Apple’s choices, but ultimately a huge improvement. Fingers crossed.>>>>>

7 responses to “What I wrote two years ago about the next version of Keynote (File under: Psychologist displays fortune telling skills)

  1. Hi Les,
    As i expressed in a previous comment, i see the new version of Keynote as a (big) improvement.

    For instance, you can now set the timing of transitions and builds per 0.05 second! Therefore, you can be very specific in the way various objects build. This is especially nice if you want objects to build (almost) simultaneously, one building a bit faster than another one, but starting the build a bit later later so that they finish at the same time (or not, if you prefer that). You could do it before, but timings couldn’t be set as accurate as you can do now. I believe this is an example of what Apple calls ‘cinematic’ and it widens the gap with Powerpoint big time (my opinion, of course).

    Another one is the new capability to build new objects using Unite, Intersect, Substract and Exclude operators. Finally, you can build a circular process using shapes you can actually create inside Keynote, rather than having to make the detour to a vector drawing application. They’re true Keynote objects which means that they can always be re-edited. A big leap forward, in my opinion.

    A third one is the option to, again finally, create connectors between shapes that can’t only be curved (very nice, but hardly useful if you can to draw an org chart) but also angled. This was one of the few options available in Powerpoint which i really missed (in my job it’s important to show tree-structures and hierarchies to explain things). Again, a big step forward and no longer is it necessary to open a 3rd party vector drawing app to achieve this.

    So, many people may complain about lacking functionality, and probably for good reasons, but don’t let that give us all the idea that the new Keynote is a step back for power users. For me it isn’t, and i’m a power user too!

    • Glad you’ve located this subtle changes. One of them too is the length of certain builds has been extended away beyond their previous limits, and the ability to have objects move along a drawn line. This was available previously but restricted to shapes. It’s now been extended to text and movies which can be playing while moving.

      So while I’m sad for some of our colleagues I do think we will be surprised and delighted in the future.

    • Now that Apple has heard the Lamentations of power users, as well as Larry Lessig’s complaints which reach a very large audience, we can expect gradual return and then improvement of features, what with the rebuild from the ground up, and with 64 bit processing power.

      As I have written, we are at the start of a new cycle of presentation software and hardware. The King is dead: Long live the King.
      Ta for your comment.


  2. Hi Les,
    I don’t know if you’ve been able to listen to the 99th episode of the ‘The Critical Path’ podcast, but i believe Horace Dediu nails it when he analyses why Apple has done with iWork the things it has done.
    In my eyes it is why Apple has a more promising future than Microsoft; it’s another example of Apple willing to sacrifice its legacy for the sake of its future.


    • I started listening late last night but fell asleep. Try and track down jean-Louis gassee’s Monday notes where he really lambasts the iWork management for their mishandling of the upgrade. I’ll try and locate the locate and bring it in later.

      Ta for the comment.

  3. By the way, don’t get me wrong; i would have been mad if they had ‘sacrificed’ Magic Move.

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