Macworld ’09 Keynote Summary

/ 6 January 2009

This morning was the final keynote that Apple will ever do at a Macworld Expo. It was given by Phil Schiller in place of Steve Jobs. You can watch the Philnote for yourself at Apple’s QuickTime Page. If your just too hasty and want the flat facts, however, then just read on to see what was introduced and what is next for all of us Apple enthusiasts. Enjoy, Alex. iLife ‘09: New versions of the iLife Suite of applications.

iPhoto ‘09 has a few neat new features. The first of these is Face Recognition. iPhoto now can find faces, let you type in the name, and then find the same person in future photos. This is formally called Faces in the Library section of the iPhoto sidebar. There is also Places in the Library section of the iPhoto sidebar, this is geotagging support. When you click on it iPhoto will display a map that has pins of where all your photos were taken. This utilizes the built-in geotagging of the Coolpix and iPhone cameras, as well as allowing you to manually enter GPS coordinates. It uses nearby locations to figure out where on the map you are, but you can also enter Events as a nearby location. The maps are coming from Google Maps, you can go down to street level and satellite imagery. There is also built-in Facebook and Flickr uploading support. If you sync your photos to Facebook it will already have the photos tagged because of the Face Recognition. This tag syncing goes both ways, so your friends can tag themselves and you’ll get those faces tagged for you in iPhoto. Flickr can use the Places data to label your photos with where they were taken. Another new feature is Slideshow Themes. These work pretty much like the Books have for a long time. You can save these slideshows to iTunes for syncing to your iPhone or iPod Touch. They’ve also dramatically enhanced the printing and book features with newer themes and maps.

iMovie ‘09 has many cool and advanced new features. More experienced users will have access to an expanded timeline that includes audio, video, etc. Dragging video into the timeline will trigger context-sensitive menus. There is a video stabilization, animated travel maps, dynamic themes, advanced drag & drop, and a precision editor all as part of the more advanced features. There are advanced splicing capabilities for the audio and video. You will also be able to overlay audio with other video clips. You can add video effects (these include cartoon, vignette, X-ray, and aged film) and create animated maps out of your video.

Garageband ‘09 has great new guitar effects, great ways to jam, and one other new feature. That feature is called Learn to Play. This can teach you how to play guitar or keyboards. The layout has the instructor above and the rate at which you learn below. You have the option to turn on notation so you can learn to read music as well. Garageband ‘09 comes bundled with nine basic lessons for guitar and nine basic lessons for piano. There is a new section of Garageband that is your lesson library and has a built-in store to purchase additional lessons beyond the 18 that come bundled. Each lesson is $4.99.

This new version of iLife is $79.00 for an individual license and $99.00 for a family license. It’s free for all new Macs and will ship in late January (maybe the Inauguration week…).

iWork ‘09: A new version of the iWork suite of applications.

Keynote ‘09 has a huge new feature called “Magic Move” that lets you show start and end points for objects and they’ll transition on their own (Core Animation is certainly behind this new feature, I bet). Object transitions include object zoon, object push up, and text transitions (including swing, shimmer, and anagram). They demoed the swing transition: Bush -> Obama! New chart animations include slide and rotate. They added new themes including kyoto, showroom, brushed canvas, and venetian. The final new feature involves your iPhone (or iPod Touch). That is the (yet-to-be-released?) App named Keynote Remote. Vertical orientation shows you slide plus speaker notes, in horizontal orientation it shows you slide plus next slide. Flick your finger to go to the next slide. The app sells on the App Store for $0.99.

Pages ‘09 has a full screen view, which lets you focus on the task at hand and ignore everything else on your Mac. Dynamic Outlines allows you to start working on a document in outline view, and when you go back to the page view it is all reorganized according to the outline. 40 new templates for newsletters, poster, flyers, certificates, and business correspondence. Mail merge with Numbers, this is access to not only Address Book contacts, but also tables and lists set up in Numbers. MathType and Endnote support have also been added.

Numbers ‘09 is focused on the features that customers wanted. These include Table Categories, easy formula writing (type in search for functions, paste into formula), advanced chart options (mixed chart types, charts with multiple axis, trens lines, error bars). If a chart is crosslinked with a Pages document and you update it in Numbers, the updates will automatically appear back in Pages. They also added templates.

This new version of iWork ‘09 is $79.00 for an individual license and $99.00 for a family license. It costs just $49.00 for new macs. It’s already being shipped.

Mac Box Set: Apple understands that some customers haven’t yet upgraded to Leopard, but that it can be expensive to upgrade both the OS, iLife, and iWork. They now have made a boxed set of all 3 packages that ships in late January for $169.00, the same time that iLife ‘09 ships. This is a new service that was announced in beta today. It lets users share documents with other people, invite others to collaborate, view documents, and easily comment on documents. It is easy to upload and notify, and download a copy in multiple formats. There’s a button in each of the iWork ‘09 applications to share the document online. The resulting popup allows you to add people from your Address Book and send them an invitation email (and of course upload the document in multiple formats). The receiver gets an email with a View Document button. The online view of the iWork applications is identical to that of the local ones. You can leave comments on the document as well as leave messages for each other. There is also a download popup that allows you to download the document in either Pages, PDF, or Word formats. You can also open them in Google Docs as well. In the local apps there is an option to show a list of your shared documents as well. The beta is open and free, but in the end will be a fee-based service.

17’’ MacBook Pro: The computer is just 0.98 inches thin, and just 6.6 pounds. LED backlit display (1920x1200), 60% greater color gamut, 700:1 contrast ratio, 140H/120V viewing angle, offering both a glossy and matte version. 2.93 GHz processor, up to 8 GB of memory, 320 GB HDD or 256 GB SSD. Works with the new cinema displays because of the Mini Display Port. The most innovative feature is the battery, they had challenged their engineers to create the longest lasting battery life ever. 8 hours on a single charge, can be recharged up to 1,000 times (more than 3x that of a regular battery), more environmentally friendly computer. The battery cells are custom-shaped for the portable’s enclosure. These new battery cells expand battery lifespan and reduce the wear & tear while recharging. With the lifespan extended to 5 years, fewer batteries end up in landfills. If you use the 9600GT graphics chip you get 7 hours on battery, if you use the 9400M integrated graphics you get 8 hours on battery. This new model is the same price as the previous model at $2799.00. It’s green report card is as follows: arsenic free, BFR-free, mercury free, PVC-free system, highly recyclable (they have a take-back recycling program if you ever need to exchange it), smaller packaging, longer lasting battery.

iTunes Store: There are 2 new things to note. The first thing is price. Music companies wanted more flexibility for songs than just $0.99, so Apple has now added 2 other price tiers, $0.69 and $1.29. More songs will be $0.69 than $1.29. The second thing is iTunes Plus (DRM-free files). Starting today 8 million DRM-free, and by the end of the quarter 2 million more. In the end, all of the music on the store will be DRM-free.

iTunes Store on iPhone: The store isn’t restricted to WiFi anymore, you can now download over EDGE and 3G as well.

Other fun facts: 3.4 million customers visit Apple Retail Stores each week around the world. Apple sold 9.7 million Macs, which they did by growing more than 2x as fast as the rest of the industry. The iTunes Store has over 10 million songs, over 75 million accounts with credit cards.

Status on Available Software Updates: There are no Software Updates that immediately followed this final Macworld Keynote of Apple’s (this is as of 5:50 pm CT on 1-6-09).