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News

Macworld Expo 2009 Release Roundup

 

At the Macworld Keynote in San Francisco, Apple has announced new versions of iLife and iWork, a new unibody-enclosed 17-inch MacBook laptop with a built-in battery and longer battery life and changes to the iTunes Store.

 

iLife ’09

iPhoto 09: The new version of iPhoto introduces two new features called Faces and Places as well as a number of new slideshow themes. Faces uses face recognition technology to discover faces within a photograph and tag those faces as friends and family. Once a face has been recognized iPhoto can scan an entire photo library and find the faces you have selected.  Facial recognition also applies to the new slideshow themes in iPhoto ’09 allowing iPhoto to intelligently scanned photographs in order to make sure that faces are represented properly and centered in slideshows. Places is a technology to take advantage of geo-tagging in modern cameras and the iPhone that allows users to pinpoint exact locations where a photograph was taken using maps and also applying these maps to new travel books in iPhoto ’09.

Support has also been added for Facebook and Flickr with automatic syncing of geo-tags and names that can be synced between these Web services and iPhoto on your computer.

iMovie 09:The much maligned iMovie ’08 has seen a great update with new context-sensitive menus that allow a user to edit audio or video quickly and in a visual manner. The new precision editor makes it easier to work with audio and video clips and accurately see the edit that’s taking place in real time. New special effects and transitions have also been added in iMovie ’09 as well as automatic image stabilization which helps to steady shaky footage. A new 3D and 2D Maps feature allows you to dynamically chart your journeys across the world through your movies in a fun and visual way. 

 

GarageBand 09: A new feature has been added in GarageBand ’09 called “Learn to play” which teaches users how to play guitar or piano. There are nine basic lessons included in GarageBand ’09 with many celebrity musicians signing up to teach their songs including John Fogerty, Sting and Ben Folds. Additional lesson downloads can be accessed within GarageBand ’09. 

 

 

 

iWork ’09

iWork.com: A Beta version of this service is due be announced soon and allows users to collaborate on iWork documents by accessing them online. Beta testing will be free however Apple will finally charge for this service when it goes live.

Pages ’09: Pages word processor and page layout features now allows for full screen viewing and offers 40 new themes. In full screen mode you can still access menus and tools by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. New outlining features allow you to plan out a document before beginning and re-organise your project by simply dragging and dropping sections in the outliner. MathType and EndNote support is also now included. A mail merge feature can connect tables and lists in Numbers with Pages documents and this also works with Address Book contacts. 

Numbers ’09: 250 new features have been added including Table categories for re-categorising data in your documents and easy formula writing. 

Keynote ’09: Keynote now offers updated transitions and new three-dimensional and two-dimensional charts. A new feature called Magic Move creates automatic transitions between two slides. Apple has also announced a Keynote Remote application for the iPhone.

 

The Mac Box Set:


Mac OS X Leopard is required to run iLife ’09 and therefore Apple is offering the Mac Box Set which includes iWork, iLife and Mac OS X leopard. The boxed set will cost $169 and ships at the end of January.

 

New 17″ MacBook Pro: The new 17-inch MacBook Pro has the same unibody enclosure as the recently released a 15-inch MacBook Pro. At 0.98 inches thin, and weighing 6.6 pounds, it is the world’s thinnest and lightest 17″ notebook. 

The display offers a 1920×1200 pixel resolution with a 60% greater colour gamut. For an additional $50 users can also buy the MacBook Pro 17-inch model with an anti-glare screen by comparison to the standard glossy display. 

The new MacBook Pro also features a longer lasting battery reported to last up to eight hours. As predicted the battery is non-removable, however Apple claims the new battery can accept up to 1000 charges and will last at least five years. The company is also offering a recycle program to replace batteries in the new Mac book Pro. 

iTunes: Apple has announced that 8 million of 10 million songs on the iTunes Store are now available DRM free and in higher quality via iTunes Plus. The remaining 2 million songs will be available in the same format by the end of March. Users may upgrade their library to iTunes Plus DRM free for £.20 per song [ $.30 ] with 30% of album prices.

Also, in April, Apple will begin selling music on the iTunes store in three different price bands. These prices will be based upon the record labels recommended pricing. The price bands will be £.59, £.79 and £.99 [ $.69, $.99 and $1.29 ].

iPhone users can now access the iTunes store via iPhone without having to connect to a Wi-Fi network. The user can now browse and purchase music with a 3G connection and at present even use Edge.

 

For more information see www.apple.com

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