Updated iWork, iLife, iTunes missing in action

Missing today from Apple's exciting Mac announcements was any mention of updates to the in-house apps that power those devices. In particular, many Apple fans had hoped for a long-awaited update to iTunes -- not just an update, but more of a total rewrite to reflect the fact that the app is for more than just music now. iTunes is also horribly slow on most Macs, making any media-oriented use case an exercise in frustration.

iLife was ignored outright as well. Sure, Apple has updated iPhoto and iMovie for the Retina displays, but basically the software remains unchanged from years past. With the boom in digital photography, iPhoto really needs to be able to handle more images with higher resolution at a much faster pace. Aperture is not the answer for every digital photographer.

But the biggest omission today to me seemed to be iWork, which hasn't seen a major upgrade since 2009. Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned that there were 125 million Documents in the Cloud, which is actually a mere pittance when you consider the number of people who use Pages, Keynote and Numbers. What's missing from these apps is the ability to really do any collaborative work, something that's essential for iWork to be taken seriously in business.

AppleInsider reported a rumor yesterday that Apple and VMWare are teaming for a cloud-based business version of iWork. The post says that the "iWork in the Cloud" concept is aimed at iOS users, but it could theoretically work cross-platform on OS X and Windows as well. The cloud solution could be available prior to Microsoft's rumored release of MS Office for iOS in March 2013.

So, TUAW readers, how about you? Would you like to have heard Tim Cook or another Apple executive announce new Mac apps today? Let us know in the comments.