Macworld Expo highlights: iLife ‘09, iWork ‘09, DRM-free iTunes Store, and new 17-inch MacBook Pro

Apple Store“Phil Schiller gave this year’s keynote, (hence ‘Philnote’) and while he’s not as good as Steve Jobs, he did a good job. And while he wasn’t announcing anything earth-shattering, the content was not bad at all,” John C. Welch reports for InformationWeek.

“Schiller skipped the usual financial slides, (with the state of the stock market and economy, this was no surprise), and even though he was visibly nervous at the start, (who wouldn’t have been), he eventually found his groove, and showed off the three new products,” Welch reports.

• iLife ’09
– iPhoto ’09: The major changes in iPhoto wrap around two words: Faces and Places.
– iMovie ’09: Advanced drag and drop, Video Stabilization, Precision Editor, Animated Travel Maps, and more.
– GarageBand ’09: GarageBand ’09 adds the next logical feature: lessons.

• iWork ’09
– Keynote ’09: Magic Move (tweener), better text- and object-level transitions, and Keynote Remote, which allows you to use your iPhone or iPod Touch as a remote for presentations.
– Pages ’09: Full-screen view, an outliner, mail merge with Numbers, a new Template Chooser, and more.
– Numbers ’09: Formula improvements, table improvements, better charts, better template chooser, AppleScript dictionary, and more.
– Online/shared commenting workflow. I can easily see a lot of benefit to it.

• 17-inch MacBook Pro
New unibody construction, a better screen with higher resolution (1920×1200), better color gamut, the new trackpad, an antiglare option, maximum RAM has been doubled to 8GB, an option for a 256GB SSD drive, longer-lasting battery (up to 8 hours) and more.

iTunes Store
Tiered music pricing, with songs now going for $.69, $.99, and $1.29 with all tracks on iTunes Store going DRM-free by the end of the first quarter of 2009.
Now accessible via 3G, not just WiFi, on iPhone 3G.

Welch reports, “As far as content goes, it was no worse than your average Jobs keynote, most of which have been fairly mundane. Face it, not every Steve Jobs keynote was the iPhone, or an entirely new product line. Schiller did a solid job, and I have to admit, closing out the keynote with Tony Bennett? Live? No complaints from anyone there.”

Full article here.

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