What a day for Apple! Today, apple pulled the veil off of iLife ’11, OSX Lion, FaceTime for Macs, and the new MacBook Air.
So, let’s start with the new version of iLife. All the apps will have better fullscreen modes. In iPhoto, face recognition has been improved, FaceBook integration has been improved, and new slideshows and themes have been added. The app also has better support for geolocation. You can even create photo albums that look better than ever (with less effort than ever).
When Apple released iMovie ’09, many of us went and re-downloaded iMovie ’06, and never touched iMovie ’09 again. In my opinion, it’s the worst piece of unusable software Apple has ever called an “upgrade”. My hatred for iMovie ’09 aside, the new iMovie ’11 seems to improve in some of the areas the ’09 version was lacking in. Now you can edit audio right from iMovie, add effects with a single click, change the framerate, add new themes, and even create movie trailers. Although, they still haven’t changed the UI very much, which I wasn’t a fan of. They brought back single row view, which was just one of the beefs with ’09. The new iMovie looks a lot more useful. I think I may just give it a shot.
Apple sure does like music. And what’s not to like? The upgrades to GarageBand make it even easier to use the software to become a musician. The lessons have improved, and GarageBand will even use a new feature, called grove matching, which helps make sure all the tracks play in sync, even if the musicians were a bit off. Lessons can now give you feedback as to how well you did. Great, just another voice telling me I’m horrible with a guitar.
Speaking of guitar, the new GB ’11 will let you select different ‘amps’. Each one has it’s own unique sound.
And that’s it for iLife upgrades. Notice that iWeb wasn’t mentioned, and iDVD wasn’t either. It’s a shame, I love using both. iWeb gives me a nice springboard for websites, and iDVD is great for making my own DVDs.
Next up is OSX Lion. For Lion, Apple looked to the success of iOS, and brought some of those features back to the Mac. This includes multitouch gestures, and a couple of new, fresh interfaces. Much like the springboard on iOS (home screen, where all those apps sit) Mac OS will now have a LaunchPad, where you can keep your apps quickly accessible with a gesture or keystroke. You can page through the apps, as well as organize them into folders, just like on iOS.
Lion also has some new features to replace/augment the features of Exposé and Spaces. Windows are organized in a new way, They lump these new features into one package, called “Mission Control”.
Finally, Apple has announced a Mac App Store. It’s just like the app store for iOS, but for the Mac! Free/Paid apps are at a 70/30 split. Apple’s planning on taking new apps in November, and will be releasing OSX Lion this summer.