Apple’s online office suite, while still in beta, never really caught on for most people, and now it’s being completely discountinued for good on July 31, 2012. Released in 2009, the iWork.com beta was supposed to be Apple’s answer to Google’s online office suite, but from the get go, it never really caught on, and now that iCloud exists, the service was likely dying on the vine.
Apple published a note to its iWork.com users today:
Last year, we launched iCloud, a service that stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. Today, there are already over 40 million documents stored on iCloud by millions of iWork customers … With a new way to share iWork documents between your devices using iCloud, the iWork.com public beta service will no longer be available. As of July 31, 2012, you will no longer be able to access your documents on the iWork.com site or view them on the web.
Ask yourself this: When was the last time you logged into iWork.com and used any of its features? For me, the first and last time was the day it launched. Dropbox made it pointless, and now iCloud has pushed it further into my rearview mirror than ever before. iCloud lets users automatically push their files to all of their devices, both in OS X and iOS. Having access to something everywhere like that drastically reduces the need for a web portal. Apple’s killing off iWork really puts the cloud into perspective, and Apple’s new philosophy on cloud services really hammers home the point that if used properly, native applications can make fantastic use of cloud services.
A user shouldn’t have to log into a website to edit a file or check email. It’s a nifty feature, but in today’s world that same user can edit a document or presentation on his iPhone in a cab on the way to a keynote, and then review those changes immediately on his iPad before walking out on stage. There’s no need for a front-facing, web-view hub. If done appropriately, a user shouldn’t even need to know that the hub exists. iCloud solves that problem. iCloud is what iWork.com should have been from the start.