I scored the new iLife 08 and iWork 08 today. That's a great impulse buy and I'm sure Apple knows it. What a deal for $158. With the upgrade of Pages and addition of Numbers, I'm hoping to forego an upgrade to the next version of Office for Mac.
I actually have never upgraded to Office 04. So, why bother with Office 08? it better be good is all I can say if Microsoft wants to have a prayer of getting people like me to upgrade.
Meanwhile, I'm trashing Excel. OK. I'll keep it around but I hope to use it rarely if ever. Of course, there may be places where I like Excel better than Numbers, but right now I'm liking Numbers. Ease of use is excellent. The program isn't very big which is a major plus. And it feels way different (Apple does not disappoint).
The differences in Numbers are several but I can't do a point by point comparison because, like I said, I'm still using Excel X from 2001 or 2002. I'm just about positive, though, that this paradigm change in Numbers is not in Excel.
See the photo above. The two spreadsheets there are tables. From what I can see here, Apple has done a really nice job. You want to work with Numbers. I haven't had that feeling about a spreadsheet program in a long, long time.
Numbers has sheets. Excel has worksheets. Similar there. But numbers has tables and you can have multiple tables per sheet. A table is like a mini spreadsheet object that can have as many rows and columns as you want and can be dragged around to the exact spot you want it on the sheet.
You can insert rows and columns right on the sheet. Calculations that I tried are easier to use. Charts are droolworthy. There's a certain scrumptiousness to the look and feel of the application itself.
Numbers is accessible, easy and fun. The way I figure it, that's what most of us want in a spreadsheet. If you push spreadsheets every day for hours on end, maybe that's not what you want. But the majority of us use spreadsheets less frequently and less intensively. That's the sweet spot Apple exploits with Numbers.
I hope to write more on this the next time I get into a spreadsheet project. Actually, knowing me, I will think up a spreadsheet project just so I can play with Numbers some more. You can download their 30-day trial free or just pop the $79 to get Numbers plus improved versions of Pages and Keynote.
The first program I tried today was iPhoto. I take a lot of photos and wanted to see what else I could do. Mostly, I've just played around with the new Events feature. I loved having all my photos grouped by import batch. Some of the batches are a mish mash of things for that day. But, often enough, the batch deserves its own grouping and now I don't have to do it the hard way.
Good thing. The Events view in the multiple photo view shows a single photo for each event. This seems much more manageable. You can easily see mini views of each photo just by moving your cursor over the single photo. You can split and merge events to modify the groupings. I plan to create a big iPhone July 07 event which will be all the iPhone photos I've collected online in the first month.
This is fun people! Photos are great to play around with and this is a substantial upgrade to iPhoto so the fun gets even better. You also get easy integration with .Mac photo galleries and other cool features there where you can email photos taken on your iPhone and let your friends email photos to gallery photo Events. That's going to be great for aggregating photos taken at parties and other get togethers. And for interest groups I would think. There are new flag and hide functions that should come in handy.
I am not planning to buy a new Mac in the next couple months, so I couldn't wait. If you do buy a new Mac, you'll almost surely get iLife for free. I couldn't wait, but that's just me.