January 10, 2009

Macworld 09 Wrap Up

I just finished up a week in San Francisco at Macworld 09. Despite some gloom and doom predictions, the show went well, was well-attended and offered a look at some cool new technology. It wasn’t the most exciting Macworld ever, but they all can’t be iPhone launch-worthy events.

On the photo side, Nikon and Canon were there with large booths. I saw HP printers, Lensbabies, and other photo-related vendors. I also noted that almost every human being on the show floor had a camera. Adobe was absent.

The big news from Apple was the upcoming update to their iLife Suite; In particular, iPhoto. The addition of facial recognition to iPhoto wowed the crowd at the Keynote. Places which allows photographers to organize their images by location was also applauded. Apple also added more themed slideshows, new editing tools, travel maps and more.

I was impressed with the ability to automatically send images to Flickr and Facebook with the click of a button.

Overall, Apple stole the thunder of Google’s announcement of Picasa for the Mac. Hopefully, the enhancements in iPhoto will make their way to Aperture.

I’ll have a full review of iPhoto 09 as soon as it ships in late January. I have spoken at length with people who had access to the BETA and they say that the new features like Faces/Places work very well, right out of the box.

iPhoto will be free on new Macs, $79 for an individual upgrade license, and $99 for a Family Pack of five licenses.