Talking tech since 2003

Macworld 2009 wasn’t too bad all things considered. However, it wasn’t anything spectacular but that was to be expected when Apple announced Phil Schiller would be doing the keynote and not Steve Jobs. While the expectations were much lower for Phil Schiller I feel he did a decent job presenting the keynote. The new iLife ’09 and Macbook Pro 17″ look awesome. iWork ’09 looks good too, you can tell Apple is definitely gearing more towards businesses with this version of iWork.

iLife ’09 looks extremely impressive. The new iPhoto and iMovie are enough to make me want it, badly. And for $79, it’s definitely worth it. Here are some of the new features in iPhoto and iMovie ’09.

iPhoto ’09:
Organize and search your photos in new ways.

* Easily find photos of the people in your life using Faces.
* Explore your library based on where you took each photo using Places.
* Instantly create stunning slideshows with animated titles and multiphoto layouts.
* Publish photos directly to Facebook and Flickr with a click.
* Create travel-themed photo books complete with custom maps.

iMovie ’09:
Create a movie in minutes or edit your masterpiece.

* Fine-tune your movies with the new Precision Editor.
* Use enhanced drag-and-drop to easily edit your projects in just a few clicks.
* Smooth shaky clips with automatic video stabilization.
* Apply themes to an entire project with matching titles and transitions.
* Add eye-catching animated maps to your travel videos with a few clicks.
* Choose animated titles, new transitions, and cinema-quality video effects.

Additionally, GarageBand ’09 has received some updates as well. Some of them look very interesting. Including the new Learn to Play where you can purchase ($4.99/each) HD video tutorials from artists where they will teach you how to play their music.

GarageBand ’09:
Learn to play. Start a jam session. Record and mix your own songs.

* Learn to play piano or guitar at your own pace, with interactive lessons that combine video instruction with animated notation and instrument views.
* Let leading artists – including Sting, Fall Out Boy, and Colbie Caillat – teach you how to play their hit songs, then practice along with the band.
* Play and record with new guitar amps and stompbox effects.
* Jam with virtual instruments in Magic GarageBand using a new full-screen view that lets you mix, play along, and record.

iWork ’09 looks promising as well with updates to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote it definitely has caught my eye as a possible replacement for Microsoft Office 2008 on OSX. The iWork.com web site allows you to share and collaborate on documents with others making it extremely simple to receive and give feedback.  iWork ’09 is also selling for $79.

Before we move onto the new Macbook Pro 17″, I wanted to make note that Apple is selling iLife ’09, iWork ’09, and Leopard in a bundle box for just $169.  That is a pretty good deal.

The new Macbook Pro 17″ is a solid upgrade for current Macbook Pro 17″ users.  The new model supports up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM (don’t buy that RAM from Apple though, it’ll cost you $1200), 256GB SSD (Sold State Drive), and up to a 2.93Ghz Core 2 Duo.  A very substancial upgrade from the previous model.  The new Macbook Pro 17″ also claims up to 8 hours of battery life.  However, the battery is not removable.  In my opinion if I can get 7-8 hours of battery life I don’t care if it’s removable or not – that’s amazing especially for a notebook with that much power and size.  Lastly, you can get an anti-glare display for an additional $50.

One last thing, I love the fact iTunes is moving completely DRM-free and you can now purchase music over your 3G connection with the iPhone, however, I don’t like the fact that you need to pay 30 cents for every track you want to upgrade to the DRM-free format.  I don’t suspect that is Apple’s doing, most likely it was the record labels, but nonetheless, it sucks.  I’m not really affected much by this because I generally have been buying CD’s (I know, I know – I like them though!) so I can rip them in a DRM format.  That being said, I’m happy about this transition I think it is definitely a much needed one.

What are you thoughts on Macworld 2009? Leave a comment!


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