So, Macworld is over, finished, kaput. And although there was nothing of iPhone calibre to show off, we saw downloading improve for the iPhone, an update to iTunes – iTunes Plus – which means a promise to upgrade you entire purchased library, DRM tunage, flexible pricing and a happy Apple customer. The rumours didn’t disappoint either, and we saw the unveiling of the rather tasty lightweight 17-inch Macbook Pro.
So all that’s left is the new Apple software suites – iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand) and iWork (Keynote, Pages and Numbers). Notable changes include an improvement to the iPhoto photo management, with the addition of Faces and Places tools – designed to assist with the organisation of photos around people and locations (geotagging) respectively. Using facial recognition technology, the Face application will identify the people in your photo and cleverly determine which photos feature the same people. iPhoto 09 also sees the integration with Facebook and Flickr. The Places app is all about browsing photos by location using either GPS or Google Maps by typing in location data. There’s also a new slideshow feature as well as loads more.
iMovies was also treated to a bit of change with an expanded timeline view for advanced users as well as with the main focus being on ease of use. Drag and drop of clips has been improved and automatic video stabilisation is now a key feature. There’s also the introduction of new dynamic themes with titles, transitions and credits, including what sounds like a very fun “Indiana Jones” style animated travel map.
GarageBand has also seen a revamp with the main focus on personal tutorials with Learn to Play, which brings you face to face with built-in high definition videos of instructors providing lessons in how to play musical instruments (beats having to travel to a teachers house right?). Lessons will be available for $4.99 USD directly from GarageBand.
The changes to iWork aren’t as exciting, but the Keynote presentation application, the Pages writing and page-layout offering, and the Numbers spreadsheet tool have all been given new features. As well as this, Apple also launched a new online service (iWork.com) giving users the opportunity to share and collaborate with documents online.
Both suite updates will be available for $79 USD, with Family Packs available for $99 USD. Apple is also packaging the two with Leopard for a Mac Box Set worth $169 USD. All will be available as of late January.
Check out the latest from Apple here