OS X’s Keynote 6 is here, hooray!

I’ve been eagerly awaiting an upgrade to Keynote 5 for more than a year and its here!

I have used Keynote intensively since Steve Job first announced it ten years ago on 7th January 2003. The moment he said it was available, now, I was at the Apple Store Singapore webpage to order a box. It arrived a day later and I put Keynote through its paces as I prepared a public talk, probably about Chek Jawa.

Weeks later I attended a demo session at an Apple Store where a store guy introduced us to the basics. I took over the session eventually because I was very familiar with Keynote by then!

I embraced every version release – Keynote 2 (2005), Keynote 3 (iWork ’06; 2006), 4 (iWork ’08; 2007) and 5 (iWork ’09; 2009). Mind you, even the edu price was not cheap – for example, Keynote 2 was $90 and Keynote 3 was $97.65 as part of iWork. I never hesitated because of my heavy use, the savings in effort was priceless.


No hesitation over Keynote 3 in 2006, which cost cost S$97.65
as part of iWork ’06. Release today, Keynote 6 is S$25

Every time I am forced to use MS Powerpoint, I am stunned by the effort users have to exert for every single slide, and groan at the messy embeds. Mac users using Powerpoint have no idea how cheap the US$20 price tag for Keynote actually is. I’d shell out that amount for a single presentation.

When I switched to full-time lecturing with four modules just two weeks before semester began, Keynote 4 was a life saver. Each lecture was an overnight session with my snoozing cat for company as I grabbing images, videos, journal content for insertion and synthesis into my lectures on zoology, form and function, ecology and marine biology.

Digital content was quite obscure then and I employed many tricks from years of being a macaddict. Had I been using MS Powerpoint, I would have thrown in the towel for sure.

I’d deliver those lectures in the morning after a stiff cup of coffee (some were 8.00am lectures, mind you) and then crash. That doesn’t happen anymore, thankfully!

LSM1103-09 Worms, Mollusca and Tardigrada
Mr Bats, October 2009, as I prepare a five-phyla lecture for LSM1103.
He kept me company as I raced to prepare lectures through many nights, thankfully on Keynote!

In recent years as Apple focused on hardware, there no upgrades. Since 2012, Keynote ’09 had begun to show its age, even crashing on me a couple of times. OS X recovers well mostly but during the rapid five-minute presentations at the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat Workshop, I had to abandon my Keynote for one presentation as time was running out.

Happily, at Apple’s “Special Event” early this morning, Keynote 6 was announced as a free upgrade for existing Keynote 5 users and will come free with new Macs! Loads of undergrads will definitely be using Keynote in future.

Once I upgraded to OS X Mavericks this morning, the updates appeared in App Store:

App Store

There is a whole other dimension to Keynote 6 (and Pages and Numbers too) – iWork for iCloud enables collaboration, sharing with non-iWork users on macs and pcs and presentation on a browser: freedom! This might make iCloud an attractive alternative to DropBox but iCloud’s limit of 100mb prevents me from trying – about 20% of my files exceed that limit.

iCloud - Keynote

Keynote was far from the main focus of last night’s event – they just showed a few visibly impactful features. The big news was OS X Mavericks being made available for free. Then upgrades and integration of iLife and iWorks. before mentioning something about hardware.

Still I had great trust that my wish list about a myriad of details about slide construction had been addressed, and I look forward to enhanced keyboard shortcuts. Guess what? I took a brief look as I wrote this and it is all that and more!

Keynote is going to be very helpful all over again and is just what I need now.

What joy!


Two updates, and both say keep Keynote 5.3 around still:

Keynote 6 choked when trying to open some of my public talk files – these are large files (0.5 – 1.0 GB). So I activated Keynote 5.3 which was still residing in the Applications > iWork ’09 folder and all was well. I could also use the “Open with…” to call up the old app to open the file. Hope this gets fixed soon.

A second problem I encountered is when I tried to open and old file. Keynote 6 declared this was to old a version and quit on me, but did try to call up Keynote 5. Which it failed miserably to do!

You have been warned, early adopters!

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