Yesterday, Apple’s Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Product Marketing, Phil Shiller, gave Apple’s final keynote at Macworld Expo. This in my opinion was Apple’s chance to prove they can make major product announcments without Steve Jobs but, instead it was a bit of a let down. Many of the rumors, even the ones from Gdovin.net did not happen and it was a very anti-climactic end to Macworld.
The first announcement was a new version of iLife, iLife 2009 in my opinion had a few neat features but, for someone like me, who just bought a Mac with iLife 08 is not worth buying. The new iphoto added cool new features like Faces and Places which allows you to use face recognition to organize your pictures by their face or by their location. It also allows them to GEOtag their pictures and upload directly to Facebook and Flickr! iMovie added a lot of really neat features including images stabilzation, maps, and many others. Garageband’s only update was that it got musical instrument lessons and users can now buy lesssons on how to play songs from the artist for $4.99. As I said I think that they should maske this update free for iLife 08 users because they it does not add many more features.
The second announcment was iWork 2008 and added a few minor features like full page in Pages, more formulas in Numbers and a lot of powerful animations in Keynote. This was a bit more improved than iLife and I think this made iWork a lot more competivie with Microsoft Office: Mac. Phil also announced iwork.,com which is their cloud solution! However this is basically just emailing to another person except it is read online and can be donloaded and only edited on local machines. Another thing Apple Released was called the Mac Box Set which has iLife 09, iWork 09, and Mac OSX Leopard in one box for $169 which is a major savings for someone with an older Mac.
The third announcment was the much anticipated 17 Inch Macbook Pro. This isutilizing the new unibody enclosure and all the other Macbook Pro regular features. In addition, they have added a matyte screen option which I think is rediculous to have to buy a high-end computer for a matte screen option and still have to pay $15 to get the screen. The other major shock is that the new Macbook Pro has a special non-removable battery but is able to be charge 3 times the number of cycles and lasts longer. This is major innovation but, I still think removable batteries are a better option and I hope they don’t add this to other Macbooks.
The final announcment, was that iTunes is going 100% DRM free! This allows users to put their music on unlimted devices. For users who have already bought their music from iTunes they can unlock their songs for $0.30 per song. Prices have alos changed to three teirs $0.69, $#0.99, and $1.29. This is Apple giving into the Music industry who want more pricing options. I like the DRM free and I think it will help them get even more customers!
Overall, I think Macworld did not live up to the rumors and speculation and sort of affirmed the point that Apple cannot present major products without Steve Jobs. There has already been some fear, uncertainty and doubt floating around the web about Apple’s innocation era ending but, I really believe that it is because there has been so many announcments during the year, that there were not many things left to release. I think there will be sevral more product announcments this year and will release the other products expected like: a new Mac Mini, iMac and Netbook!