TheAppleBlog attended the Macworld Expo keynote presentation by Phil Schiller yesterday to bring you all the news from San Francisco. For your convenience, here is an overview of everything that Apple announced yesterday in one place. If you are interested in watching the full 90 minute presentation for yourself, Josh Pigford has the info on how to watch the keynote video stream.
Apple has updated the media software suite with some impressive new features. After playing around with it a bit yesterday, I really think that many home users will enjoy the new Faces and Places features. Personally, I think Faces and the Facebook integration are going to be the killer combination for the casual photographer that just wants to share their snapshots with friends. In a sense, Facebook becomes a crowd-sourced solution for identifying people in your photos. That’s cool. Read our review of iPhoto ’09 to get the full story.
I’m still not convinced that the Garageband lessons will really teach people to play (I played guitar semi-professionally for several years in cover bands), but it sure is cool to see top music artists appear inside the music product. In general, I think it’s a great direction for Apple to bring music tools to even more people. Check out the first look at Garageband for the details.
Phil Schiller admitted that iMovie ’08 took away some of the tools that people liked in iMovie ’06 and one of the goals for ’09 was to try to reach everyone with both ease of use and powerful editing tools in the same product. To a large degree, it appears that Apple has succeeded. The demonstration of video stabilization we saw at the keynote was astounding and the Precision Editor seems to be exactly what iMovie ’06 holdouts have been asking for. David Appleyard hit all the highlights in his article about iMovie ’09.
The changes to iWork ’09 are great, but I am particularly encouraged that the software has managed to hold on for a third release. I think this is the year that iWork really begins to take off with Mac users, particularly with the newly offered $30 discount when you buy a new Mac. That bundling is going to help a lot of Mac users try out the software, and then the beta of iWork.com may help expose Windows users to the elegance of documents created in iWork apps through the online sharing feature. You can get a more detailed explanation in our overview of iWork ’09.
The big news here is that Apple and the record labels have finally come to an agreement to make all music in the iTunes store DRM-free. Apple is already the #1 channel for music sales in North America, but this is a consumer-friendly strategy that I’m sure will only help the sales of music online. Get all the pricing info from Omar McFarlane’s overview of the iTunes update.
New 17″ MacBook Pro
The new MacBook Pro was widely anticipated, and the resulting announcement did not disappoint. We get a unibody design that is both thinner and lighter than the previous generation, matte and glossy displays (the glossy model on display in the Apple booth looks gorgeous), and absolutely amazing battery life (8 hours!). There’s some tradeoffs (the battery is not user-replaceable), but the upside is big enough that this should be a popular choice for those that have been waiting for the bigger screen. You can get the full details as well as a good comparison to the previous generation in a look at the new 17″ MacBook Pro from Darrell Etherington. We also have a look at the technology behind the amazing battery life.