Pulling at the threads of recent revelations that Apple is hiring iLife and iWorks staff, combined with the company’s recent acquisition of patents, MacRumors recently reported that Apple is likely on its way to revamping its productivity applications. Although an overhaul is a ways off, we are sure to get something spectacular in the next few years.
According to MacRumors, various blog sites have been noting new job postings from Apple Corporate regarding listings for the iLife and iWork team, including Quality Assurance Engineers, a Senior User Interface Designer and Senior Software Engineers specifically for the user interface of the productivity suites.
Additionally, Apple recently acquired 18 patents from Maya-Systems for design of a file sorting system that can reorganize according to time, category, or common theme and sync with cloud servers.
It makes sense that Apple would set to work on updating its six productivity applications. The iLife suite, iPhoto, GarageBand, and iMovie ($4.99 each) haven’t been updated since October of 2010. The iWork suite, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers ($9.99 each), could be a replacement for Microsoft Office if the remodeled versions were good enough. Microsoft has yet to launch Office on the iPad. If the Word creator doesn’t get on the ball, Apple could easily fill the void with a better productivity suite that would make Office look outdated.
When Apple executive Scott Forstall left the company, many analysts were predicting the end of the company’s skeumorphic design. However, there have not been any major changes to suggest that software designers are clamoring to get away from the faux realism that Forstall loved so dearly.
Now that Apple is on the lookout for new designers and engineers for iLife and iWorks, it is possible that one of the major changes in the productivity suites will be to rid the apps’ design of pesky natural wood grain imagery and realistic looking textures in exchange for a simpler, modern appearance.