Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My work, My life; iWork, iLife

Amazingly Incredible, or Incredibly Amazing. No other description for the new iLife and iWork.

Let's talk about the older dog first; that's iLife 05, the new version of iLife suite, dubed "Microsoft Office for the rest of your life" last year by Apple.

iLife 05 includes

  • iPhoto 5, a major update to iPhoto. Tons of new features, like a new photo editing tool set, ability to organize photos in folders, new way to look for pictures, better performance. RAW format is now supported, too.
  • iMovie HD, a major update to iMovie. Now supporting HD editing, supporting Steve Jobs' 2005: Year of HD Video Editing announcement. Supporting more formats. The killer should be automated process for movies-creation. Of course, better performance.
  • iDVD 5. More themes. New Live-Drop-Zones feature. Integration with iPhoto. OneStep DVD.
  • GarageBand, a major update to GarageBand. Supporting eight-tracks recording, musical notation and chord manipulation. Also the companion product line Jam Packs got a new release, too. This one is pretty special, compared to the previous three. It's Jam Pack 4: Symphony Orchestra.
  • iTunes. iTunes as we know and love. Still available, of course, as free download. As I'm typing this, iTunes update 4.7.1 is showing in my Software Update now. This update adds support to iPod shuffle and some performance improving.

Ok, that's for iLife 05. Now see what I think of it ....

Hmmm, with the price tag of $79, I have to think twice to buy it. The two apps I'm using mostly from iLife suite are iTunes and iPhoto. I used iMovie only once in a long while, never touched iDVD, and played with GarageBand a few times (because it lacks Orchrestra instruments like Violin, so it's quite out of my interest. Jam Pack 4 might change this though). I will have to play with these new iLife apps in Tokyo Apple Store (Ginza) first to see the new iPhoto and then make decision.

Now, let's move to something new: iWork.

iWork is basically an *official* successor to AppleWorks suite. But this doesn't mean they used or extended AppleWorks' codes. AppleWorks, after all, was an old application written prior to Mac OS X and therefore did not take any advantage of anything Mac OS X offers. Days after days, AppleWorks had shown its age.

iWork consists of 2 applications: Keynote, a presentation-creation application, and a whole new word processor with sense of style Pages.

First, I will comment on the Keynote; the application I really love. I have to make presentation quite often, be it at seminar or conferences, and will be more often next year as I will be a full-time lecturer at a university in Thailand. Keynote had been a great helping hand in helping me to create good presentation (great, professional-looking) with ease and in no-time, no-brainer, no-effort manner.

Keynote 2 will just rocks. With all new Apple-designed themes, new effects on text and graphics, new transitions, integration with iLife (being able to browse media library), advanced animation. A real killer should be one of the most asked features: Presenter Tools. Also, Keynote now exports Macromedia Flash format, too.

Next, my comment on Pages.

First off, the name. Basically, it's the same as Keynote. You use Keynote to create keynote presentation, so you use Pages to write pages ;-)

Second, this application blows my mind. If Keynote 2 will just rocks, Pages is a bomb.

I didn't expect it to be *this* good and incredible. Good bye Microsoft Word! (well, I don't really use Microsoft Word anyway, can't remember when was the last time I used it). It's really Keynote for creating pages of written contents (with/without pictures)!

Basically, you pick the style from design templates, you can customize it of course, then type/drag text, pictures, add charts, etc, anything you can do with Keynote ... then Pages takes care of the rest for you. No more manual formatting. Good/professional looking quality content, in no-time, no-brainer, no-effort manner.

And, of course, Pages is compatible with MS Word Document format, both important and exporting. It also export HTML for your website.

iWork, pricing at $79, I ordered my copy.

So, this entry, along with one below, summarized my thought on Apple's new annoucement at MacWorld Expo in two of the major aspects: consumer Hardware and consumer Software.