Apple unveils iLife 08
iPhoto brought us a whole new set of consumer-friendly tricks, such as 'events' where instead of simply going by date you can effectively stack a number of images into one group, set a 'poster' image which represents the event, and easily 'skim' through the contents of an event, without having to expand the event's pictures within the user interface. Whilst some sites' initial reaction seemed to simply claim these as glorified albums, the implementation of events seems similar to 'stacks', a feature from Apple's professional photography application Aperture, allowing you to group photos in expandable stacks based on periods of time between shots. On top of Events, there's a far more complete set of editing tools, and the ability to easily apply a set of adjustments from one photo to another. One final, rather important feature to note was the integration with an enhanced .Mac service, allowing you to upload photos from your Mac, iPhone and even you PC to the service. Photos are then added to the online Gallery, and even sync back to the original iPhoto library the gallery came from. Apple have even provided a demo of the new gallery, which can be found here.
According to Apple chief Steve Jobs, iMovie was significantly re-written following an Apple engineer's inability to make a movie of footage within 30 minutes and the result is a significantly changed application, which not only offers enhanced editing, but also a neat media cataloguing ability, similar to the third-party iDive application. The new version is seemingly designed with quick, polished results in mind with more ways to "add polish quickly" throughout. There's even a super-handy 'Export to YouTube' option, thanks to the Google - Apple partnership.
GarageBand '08 also offers you yet more tools in the digital armoury, with Magic GarageBand creating bands for you (!) by choosing a style, instruments in the band, and then allowing you to plug in your guitar or keyboard and get recording. Other tools such as the Arrangements tool (where you specify a section of a song as a chorus or verse etc) and Automation of tempo effects will undoubtbly help new users organise their next hit song better.
The $79 upgrade fee for current iLife owners seems, perhaps unusually, a very fair price for a compelling upgrade. The new version is available today, although there's a few days wait via Apple's online store.