Macworld Expo -- Apple Lives the iLife (UPDATED)|
Mike Pasini, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, January 7, 2003 - 16:52 EST)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The snowball Apple started rolling two years ago with the introduction of the digital hub became an avalanche of new product introductions at Macworld Expo here today.
See our complete report with photos, but here are the highlights of today's coverage:
Fueled by the momentum of 5.2 million active users of OS X version 10.2, aka Jaguar, Apple unveiled a revamped suite of applications that Apple's Steve Jobs dubbed iLife. The suite (http://www.apple.com/ilife) includes the already released iTunes 3, iPhoto 2 with image enhancement tools, iMovie 3 with a Ken Burns Effect and iDVD 3 with chapter support. Contrary to speculation, downloads of the first three are still free but you will be able to buy all four in a box for $49 on Jan. 25.
iPhoto 2 (http://www.apple.com/iphoto) includes:
- A one-click photo enhance tool on the Edit panel that functions much like Auto Levels/Auto Color in Photoshop;
- A retouch tool on the Edit panel for removing minor imperfections which works much like Photoshop's Healing brush;
- Photo archiving to CD or DVD; and
- One-click emailing using Mail, Eudora, Entourage or AOL.
But -- as with any snowball -- the key advantage of iLife is its integration, rather than any particular feature set.
For example, your iTunes library is easily accessible from iPhoto and any tune saved with any album for slide shows. And the addition of a Ken Burns Effect tool to iMovie 3 (http://www.apple.com/imovie) makes it a powerful yet simple-to-use tool for editing and animating still images, which are as accessible in iMovie as they are in iPhoto. And with album support in iDVD 3 (http://www.apple.com/idvd), you can easily burn slide shows to DVD. And with the new iMovie sound effects from Gary Rydstrom, director of creative operations at Skywalker Sound, plus 24 professionally designed themes for iDVD, Apple has brought a new level of polish to amateur DVD production.
The PowerBook line enjoyed some freshing up as well with two new model introductions.
The big news is the new $3,299 17-inch PowerBook G4 (http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index17.htm), which includes the world's largest notebook screen at 1440x900 pixels (but is still just over an inch thick), FireWire 800 (twice as fast as current FireWire/IEEE-1394 implementations), 802.11g wireless networking (at 56-Mbs rather than the 11-Mbs of current 802.11b implementations), built-in Bluetooth -- and a backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors.
The little news is the smallest notebook Apple has ever introduced. The 12-inch PowerBook G4 (http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index12.htm) has 1078x768-pixel resolution, an 867-MHz G4, built-in Bluetooth and a slot to support an 802.11g card. A combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW version will be available later this month for $1,799 while a SuperDrive version is available for $1,999.
Both new PowerBooks have a lightweight aluminum alloy skin and are bundled with QuickBooks Pro. Neither PowerBook will boot into OS 9, although OS 9 applications can still be run under Classic emulation of the OS.
Apple also introduced Safari (http://www.apple.com/safari), their idea of a Web browser. The free 3-MB download features speeds up to three times faster than Explorer and easy-to-use features like built-in Google search, drag-and-drop bookmarks and SnapBack site navigation.
Attendees of the keynote address were rewarded with copies of another new OS X application which, it turns out, Jobs had been beta testing all last year. Keynote (http://www.apple.com/keynote) is a $99 PowerPoint killer, tapping into OS X's Quartz graphics engine to add transitions and effects unknown to slide presentations of the past. It was, Jobs said, "built for me."
Along with 12 professionally-designed themes, Keynote imports and exports PowerPoint, PDF and QuickTime formats using an open file format itself to entice add-on development.
Noting the speculation that this would be one of the least interesting keynotes in recent history, Jobs observed, "You can't believe everything you read." But if seeing is believing (as we like to say around here), it appears Apple's investment in innovative software and hardware engineering is paying big dividends at a time when little else is.
(2003-01-07) Linked to full report.