It’s All Over For Apple Last Macworld Keynote Highlights

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Apple boss Steve Jobs has not turned up for Macworld 09 in San Francisco with stand-in Phil Schiller Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing launching this year’s keynote by revealing a new version of iWorks a new thin 17″ MacBook and new iTunes deals. Singer Tony Bennet ended the last Macworld attended by Apple by singing “I Left my heart in San Francisco”.

In a host of new announcements Apple said that it was breaking its low cost per track model and dropping DRM for 8 million songs. The fixed price track gave way to three price tiers: $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29 per song. Apple also expanded the iPhone music store from WiFi only to 3G service. However these prices will differ in Australia.


Click to enlarge
Picture Courtesy of Ars Technica

Apple also announced a new  17″ MacBook Pro. The device has been billed as the “world’s thinnest 17″ notebook”, at only 0.98 inches thick, and also the “world’s lightest”, weighing in at 2.9 kilo. Its LED backlit display supports a 1920×1200 pixel resolution. Other features include a 60% greater colour gamut, a 700:1 contrast ratio, improved viewing angles, and (thankfully) a matte screen option as well as a glossy option.

According to Ars Technica the 17″ Pro, which is due to ship in late January, offers 3 USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, a mini display port, an express card, glass trackpad, and up to a 2.93 GHz dual core processor. The unit supports up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and offers a 320 standard HDD. (A 256 SSD drive is optional.)


Apple considers the updated battery it’s most innovative new feature. It offers the longest battery life ever, according to Schiller, with up to 8 hours of use on a single charge for the 9400M (7 hours on the 9600 GT) and up to 1000 charges in a lifetime. Importantly, Apple managed to include these improvements without changing the size or weight of the laptop. The embedded battery uses lithium polymer technology and lasts “three times longer than the industry standard” in terms of number of charges over that lifetime. An embedded chip in the battery adjusts the power to cells within the battery, through “adaptive charging”. The new battery is also environmentally green.

 

 

ILife ’09
Phil Schiller also launched  iLife which is Apple’s suite of consumer photo, movie, and web applications. iPhoto ’09 gained a suite of new features like “Faces” for organizing photos based on facial recognition, “Places” for integrating Google Maps and viewing photos based on their geo-tags, syncing with Facebook and uploading to Flickr, new slideshow themes that can be saved out to iTunes as movies, and more.


Click to enlarge
Picture Courtesy of Ars Technica


iMovie has also been refreshed  with several new features including a precision editor, dynamic themes and animated travel maps. iMovie chief architect Randy Ubillos demonstrated the updated software, showing how to edit audio with a new advanced drag and drop system. Of particular note is iMovie 09’s video stabilization feature. This automatically corrects for jitters and shakes, enhancing hand-held movie camera footage.

GarageBand 09 debuted a new “Learn to Play” feature that helps users master the guitar or piano with an interactive video instructor. The nine (free) basic lessons get end-users up to speed with instruments and then celebrity artists offer how-to on specific songs. Celebrity lessons cost $4.99 per lesson and can be purchased from the in-application store. This offers an entirely new revenue stream for Apple that will certainly appeal to the new RockBand generation.

 

iWork ’09
Apple’s iWork represents their office suite of tools, including the Keynote presentation tool, the Pages word processor and the Numbers spreadsheet tool. Keynote ’09 introduces updated transitions using Apple’s new “Magic Move” technology, which offers finer control of objects in slide presentations. The updated Keynote also adds new themes and transitions for text and charts. An iPhone application, “Keynote Remote” augments presentations. In vertical mode, the remote app shows your slides and notes together. In horizontal mode, it mimics the photos application on the phone, allowing you to flick from one slide to the next.

The Pages ’09 update introduces full screen viewing, letting you block out other items on your computer and focus on the task on hand. You won’t be interrupted by incoming mail or iChat IMs when using full screen mode. Dynamic outlines are another new feature, providing a way to organize your writing with drag and drop. You can switch back and forth between the standard page view and the outline view, letting you move sections around and then return to editing them. The Pages refresh offers 40 new templates including newsletters, posters, fliers, certificates, and business correspondence.

Numbers ’09 also received a refresh, which focused on expanding features requested by customers. Among other updates, Numbers introduces table categories, easier formula creation, and advanced chart options. The refreshed Numbers now supports mixed chart types, multiple axes, trend lines and error bars. Apple also introduced better Pages/Numbers integration with live updates. When users change a Numbers spreadsheet, it automatically updates in any Pages document it’s crossed linked to. Numbers also introduces presentation templates to enhance the visual appeal of its documents.

 


Mac Box Set bundle
For users who have held off on buying Leopard, Apple introduced a new Mac Box Set. This set bundles Leopard, iLife and iWorks. It’s due to ship in late January, when iLife ’09 ships.
iWork.com
Apple announced a new collaborative site called iWork.com that’s built around iWork. Launching in Beta, iWork.com lets users share documents and collaborate online with each other. Users can and edit documents as well as comment on them. The site supports multiple formats for downloads and sharing and is fully integrated into iWork applications. You can upload documents directly from Pages and other iWork applications by clicking the iWork.com button. The service will become fee-based after leaving beta, but is free for the duration of the beta.

For more go to arstechnica.com

RRP
Macbook Pro $4,999
iWork 09 $129
iLife 09 $129

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