Tag Archive for ‘iLife’

The Demise of iLife ➝

I missed this from a couple of months ago — Ted Landau writing for Macworld:

While Apple could include Photos under the iLife rubric as the replacement for iPhoto, I doubt that the company will do so. Rather, I suspect the new app will be marketed much like iTunes, as a standalone app that’s bundled with the operating system. If so, this would technically mean that only two apps remain as part of iLife: iMovie and GarageBand.

I remember paying $79 for iLife when I bought my first Mac in 2006. It was great then and I continue to believe that the “iLife” suite of software is one of the most compelling reasons for someone to buy a Mac — with iPhoto being the most important among the iLife apps.

This transition from iPhoto to Photos does worry me a bit. iPhoto is always the first piece of software I bring up when I’m trying to convince a friend or family member to switch from Windows to Mac. Everyone takes photos now and iPhoto is the easiest piece of software I’ve found to manage and organize them. Which is why Apple replacing iPhoto with Photos makes me a bit uneasy — I’d rather them not mess with a good thing for fear of them screwing it up in the process. But, I suppose I’ll have to temper my fears until Apple releases Photos (likely) late next month.

New iLife and iWork Icons and Garageband Going Free ➝

The new icons look great. I’d be surprised if Apple didn’t release major updates to their iLife and iWork apps at Tuesday’s keynote.

iPhoto for iOS ➝

Now available in the App Store for $4.99. It’s an amazing piece of software that’s compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, iPad 2, and the new iPad.

I haven’t spent any time with the software, I have a first generation iPad and don’t think I really want to spend too much time editing and organizing photos on my iPhone. But, I was very impressed by Randy Ubillos’ demo on stage at Apple’s event last week. I was especially impressed with the Photo Journals, I can really see myself using it as a way to share photos with my family.

But honestly, they really couldn’t come up with a better icon?

Buy a New Mac, Get iLife for All Your Macs ➝

I didn’t realize this while I was setting up the Mac mini — probably because I still haven’t launched the App Store on it. But, when I setup my MacBook Air last night I launched the App Store and the Purchased tab told me that I had three applications to “accept.” I was prompted for my login credentials and now I have App Store-licensed versions of iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand.

Thoughts on ‘Back to the Mac’

Steve Jobs took stage on Wednesday for Apple’s Back to the Mac event where there were several big, Mac-related announcements. The event felt much larger than I thought it would and confirmed that Apple hasn’t been resting on their laurels when it comes to the Mac side of their business. Mac sales are stronger than ever and will continue to improve as Apple remains at their current pace of improving products.

iLife ’11

Apple released iLife ’11 on Wednesday and with it came updated versions of iPhoto, GarageBand, and iMovie. The suite itself has followed Snow Leopard’s lead and is available for only $49. I can’t say much about iMovie and GarageBand because I really don’t use them. But, they look like great updates to a couple of already fantastic applications.

In regards to iPhoto, Facebook users can now more easily upload photos directly to the site and you can view comments on photos from your friends on Facebook from within iPhoto. The new slideshows look fantastic, I really enjoyed the places slideshow that Phil Schiller demoed on stage. And, the ability to email photos from within iPhoto looks really handy.

One of the big new features that has come to iPhoto is a fullscreen mode that gets rid of distractions and allows you to use every feature of the application without ever leaving fullscreen mode. What I find most interesting is just how much the application feels like an iOS app when in this fullscreen mode. It makes me wonder if Apple was planning (or is planning) to release iPhoto or other iLife applications for the iPad. I can see how easily iPhoto’s fullscreen user interface could translate to a touchscreen device.

FaceTime

Apple is pushing FaceTime into more places and now you can FaceTime on your Mac. I’m a little surprised that FaceTime wasn’t integrated into iChat but I’m starting to get the feeling that Apple is getting ready to end development of iChat. FaceTime will be Apple’s preferred means of video chatting and unless Apple comes up with a brand new instant messaging platform that works across all of their devices, SMS on your iPhone will likely be Apple’s preferred text chatting platform.

Mac OS X Lion

Apple has released seven major Mac OS versions in the past decade, and in Summer 2011 Apple will release their eighth. Apple only previewed three major new features in Lion but already this is looking to be a pretty hefty update. With Lion Apple has decided to take some of the innovations that they’ve made with iOS and bring them back to the Mac. One of those innovations is application home screens which on the Mac will be dubbed “Launchpad.” Launchpad displays all of the applications installed on your Mac in easy to navigate pages with the ability to quickly organize your applications with iOS-style folders.

Just like iPhoto’s fullscreen mode, Apple will be bringing system-wide support for fullscreen applications. Switch between these fullscreen apps and your desktop with just simple swipe gesture on the trackpad or Magic Mouse. I love the idea of fullscreen applications. There are a lot of apps that would benefit from the increased screen real estate and the lack of distractions that comes from viewing them in fullscreen mode.

With Mac OS X Lion, Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and fullscreen applications will be unified into one place that Apple is calling “Mission Control.” Using a swipe gesture pulls you out of your current application and into a bird’s-eye view of everything running on your Mac. Whether your looking for a dashboard widget, a Safari window, or iPhoto in fullscreen mode, you can find it with Mission Control. I don’t use Dashboard or Spaces and rarely use Exposé, I usually use command+tab when trying to find another application. But, I can see myself using Mission Control, especially with the addition of fullscreen apps — I can see how things could get a little hairy trying to find the application your looking for when you have multiple fullscreen apps, multiple spaces, multiple windows, and a few dashboard widgets.

Mac App Store

Another of Apple’s big announcement at the event was the Mac App Store which Steve Jobs said would be coming to the Mac within 90 days. The Mac App Store will work just like the App Store on iOS, there will be a 70/30 split between developers and Apple and applications will need to be submitted and approved by Apple. Applications will automatically install when purchased and users will be able to update their applications with one click from within the Mac App Store. Users will be able to re-download applications to their Mac that they’ve already purchased and the applications will be licensed for use on all of the Macs you own.

The biggest difference between the iOS and Mac App Stores is that the Mac App Store isn’t the only place you’ll be able to purchase and/or download applications from. Developers that choose not to release through the Mac App Store or applications that Apple is unwilling to approve can still be distributed as they are today.

I think the Mac App Store is going to be huge for users switching from the PC. I can see many of my friends and family members feeling significantly less hesitant to make the switch knowing that they have one place to go if they need to find an application for their new Mac. No need to do any Google searching, just fire up the Mac App Store and they’ll likely find what their looking for in just a few minutes. And, because Apple has approved all of the applications they don’t need to worry about whether or not the application is doing anything nefarious.

The only real worry I have with the Mac App Store is for developers whose applications aren’t able to be approved by Apple. There will always be Mac applications that Apple will never approve for their App Store (Handbrake, Transmission, etc.) and there will also be applications that get rejected for silly reasons, it’ll be even more difficult than it already is for those developers’ applications to get noticed by users if they’re not in the Mac App Store.

MacBook Air

Apple’s final announcement came as no surprise to anyone, a brand new 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch MacBook Air. The new MacBook Air starts at a jaw-dropping $999 for the 11.6-inch model with the 13.3-inch starting at $1,299. All models come with a solid-state disk (SSD), MacBook Pro-style glass trackpad, two USB ports, and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics and are available today. These new MacBook Airs have a boot time of less than 15 seconds thanks to their SSD and have 5 and 7 hours of battery life for the 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models respectively. They both feature LED-backlit displays with a resolution of 1366×768 for the 11.6-inch model and 1440×900 for the 13.3-inch model.

Apple has raised the bar even higher for notebook computers and are really giving PC manufacturers a run for their money. $999 for a notebook with a build quality of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air is an unbelievable deal and makes the decision between the MacBook Air and MacBook even more difficult for most. The release of the iPad pushed my planned purchase of a new notebook back 6-12 months and I’m glad it did. When I finally purchase a new notebook the MacBook Air is going to be the perfect choice. I already have an iMac at home and don’t need a notebook to act as my full time computer. I just need it for when I want to do some writing in the living room or when I am going on a trip and want something a little more powerful than my iPad.

When I make the purchase I believe I’ll be getting the 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD, 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and 4GB of RAM. That’ll bring my purchase price up to $1,399 but I think I’ll be much happier with the larger drive, faster processor, and you can never have too much RAM. It’s a small price to pay that will increase the life of the computer another year or two.

Back to the Mac ➝

Andrew Munchbach reporting for Boy Genius Report:

Apple will be holding a media event titled “Back to the Mac” on October 20. The invitation seems to indicate that the focus of the meeting will be on/around Mac OS X 10.7 — maybe to be called “Lion”? — and the Mac.

Apple’s media event will begin in a couple of hours and I thought I would publish my two cents.

The event will bring the introduction of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, iLife ’11, and a new MacBook Air. 10.7 is practically a lock, just look at the Lion peering through the invitation, if that’s not 10.7 I don’t know what it is. iLife ’11 will also likely be introduced and will follow Snow Leopard’s lead with a new, lower price point.

And finally, the new MacBook Air which Engadget managed to obtain details of and that Thomas Ricker published about early this morning. 11.6-inch display, two USB ports, SD card reader, new-style trackpad, and a repositioned power button that lends credence to John Gruber’s rumor from a recent Talk Show episode that stated that 10.7’s big feature will be instant-on wake from sleep.

This is poised to be a pretty good event for those of you who have noticed Apple’s Mac offerings getting a little stale. I’m incredibly excited for 10.7 and iLife ’11, I spend a lot of time on my Macs and would love to see a few new features show up in the OS and some of my most used apps like iPhoto or Mail.

Apple will be streaming the event live on their website as they did with their most recent event in September. However, I won’t be able to watch the event live today nor will I be able to really process the announcements until tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully I’ll having something insightful to say by then.

Apple Holding Media Event September 1

Jim Dalrymple reports for The Loop that Apple will be holding a special media event on September 1 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California.

Historically Apple has held events in September to announce new iPods and other music-related products. And make no mistake, there has been no lack of rumors since invitations went out just a few days ago.

Although the guitar image in the invitation implies that music will be the focus of the event, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a “one more thing” announcement at the end of the event unveiling a new Apple TV. This seems even more likely when you consider the numerous reports of a new $1-per-episode price point in iTunes for TV shows.

Cult of Mac’s Leander Kahney claims that someone with connections inside Apple has told them that Apple will be announcing $1 TV shows soon, likely at this upcoming event. But instead of $1 per episode, that fee would give you access to the entire catalog of a given TV show. E.g. pay $1 per month for the Office and have access to all of the shows episodes as long as you continue to pay the fee.

Cult of Mac’s information doesn’t jibe with Bloomberg’s reports of $0.99 TV show rentals with 48 hour viewing windows. I suppose we’ll have to wait until Wednesday for more information, unless somebody leaks it early.

Apple’s iPod announcements haven’t been left out of the rumor mill, though. Jeremy Horowitz reports in iLounge that The fourth-generation iPod touch will lose the dome shaped back and go back to one that looks more like the first-generation iPod touch’s back. He has heard that the rear-facing camera will be there and that the iPod touch will likely have a microphone and not a camera flash.

There have also been rumors of a much smaller iPod nano that would use that 1.7-inch touchscreen that was floating around last month. iLounge has published images of, what are claimed to be, cases for the next-generation iPod touch and iPod nano. Adding more credence to the rumor, Neil Hughes and Kasper Jade report on AppleInsider that the iPod nano will be shrunken to a size more similar to the iPod shuffle’s size but will retain its 30-pin dock connector.

In the aforementioned AppleInsider piece they also mention the possibility of a new iLife suite the the potential for a 3G-capable iPod touch. Like I said, there is no lack of rumors. There’s even rumors of an iTunes update that will add more social features.

But just like most other Apple events, it is highly unlikely that all of the rumors will be incorporated at this event. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on an iPod touch with FaceTime, a new iPod nano that will use that 1.7-inch touchscreen, some sort of $1 price point for TV shows, a new iOS based Apple TV, and iOS 4.1 for iPhone and iPod touch (not iPad).

Unfortunately, I have to work on the day of the event so I won’t be able to follow along at home as I usually do. But if a $99 Apple TV is announced, I’ll come home with credit card in-hand to place my order.