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Macworld 2009 Highlights
By Vijay Anand
Category : Events
Published by Vijay Anand on Wednesday, 7th January, 2009

iLife '09

The iLife '09 presentation was filled with demos revolving around the significant changes to each component in the iLife suite. iPhoto for example had facial recognition and geotagging, along with automated exporting to both Flickr and Facebook. iMovie had some seriously slick features, which is a relief considering that iMovie '08 was widely regarded as being less than useful in many ways. GarageBand also now features tutorials on teaching users how to learn to play various musical instruments, and if you're willing to shell out some cash, have some celebrities do the 'teaching'. Chances are, there's more than one person out there willing to pay to learn to play the guitar from Sting.

iPhoto '09 can be trained to automatically recognise and categorize faces for you. For example, you can attach a name to a particular face, and future photos added to your library would be automatically categorised according to the name specified.

Geotagging finally makes its appearance, albeit rather late to the party. Flickr, for example, already had geotagging functionality for quite some time. Apple does take things one step further by automatically recognising the name of the location, if any. For example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Finally recognizing the potential of the social media scene, iPhoto also now features integration with Facebook, combining with the facial recognition feature, for example, to automatically sync your library's image tags when your friends tag their photos that you've uploaded.

Flickr integration is provided as well, with a button to automatically upload selected photos to your Flickr library.

The idea of a travel book is interesting, but not exactly new. After all, companies like and have already been doing similar things.

Phil Schiller giving attendees a hands-on demo of the new features in iPhoto '09.

iMovie '09 features an amazing array of new features, putting a great deal more power into the hands of the home user. Video stabilisation alone got our jaw hanging. On the other hand though, all the new additions here seem pretty CPU-intensive. If youÂ’re stuck with an older Mac, things might not be as smooth as they seem.

Randy Ubillos, Chief Architect for Video Applications at Apple, handling the demo for the more interesting bits in iMovie '09.

GarageBand '09 also features celebrity tutorials. Not only will Sting teach you how to play the guitar, for example, but you'll also get to listen to some trivia behind the inspiration of the song you're being taught. All this for just US$4.99 from the iTunes store.

iLife '09 will come free on all new Macs, but cost US$79 to upgrade to if you're running an older version. Apple will also offer a family pack for US$99. Availability of iLife '09 will be in late January.

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