Apple keynote live: It’s all about the Macs
Apple’s Phil Schiller has kicked off his MacWorld keynote and declared this year’s announcements are “all about Macs”.
The Apple marketing chief – standing in for the ill Steve Jobs – says the company will have three new announcements today.
The first is iLife 09, a revamp of Apple’s suite of desktop apps. iPhoto 09 will include face detection and geotagging with Google Maps – two features already in Google’s free rival, Picasa. iPhoto will also offer Facebook and Flickr sychronisation.
Meanwhile, the new iVideo includes dynamic themes, auto-stabilisation and animated 3D maps of your camcorder travels.
GarageBand 09 includes a new feature that teaches you how to play a musical instrument. The demo showed a video tutorial with graphics showing where to place your fingers on the fretboard. Stars such as Sting and John Fogerty provide downloadable video lessons – for $4.99 a pop.
iLife 09 will cost $79.99 on upgrade or $99.99 for the Family Pack.
In what’s starting to look like a very low-key event, the second new product is a revamped version of iWork.
Keynote 09 includes some swish new transitions and themes. The iPhone and iPod touch can now be used as a remote control for Keynote slideshows, which should impress marketing gurus and estate agents.
Pages and Numbers are naturally revamped with a smattering of new features, including the ability to update spreadsheets and charts and have them automatically update in Pages.
In an echo of what’s coming in Office 2009, iWork will also allow you to share documents online and collaborate on them.
iWork will cost $79 for single user, $99 for the Family Pack, and $49 with a new Mac.
New MacBook Pro
Finally, there’s some new hardware – a 17in MacBook Pro.
The new MacBook will is less than an inch thick. The screen offers a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution with a 700:1 contrast ratio, and there’s an option to have a matte display for $50. It boasts the same glass trackpad as launched with the MacBooks last year.
Apple has a new battery design that it claims will last up to eight hours – the snag being that it’s not user-removable.
The 17in MacBook Pro will cost $2,799 for a model with a 2.66GHz, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB drive.
iTunes opens up
Last but not least, is the heavily-trailed iTunes announcement we ran this morning.
Eight million tracks will now be DRM-free, with different pricing tiers for the latest and back-catalogue music. Prices will range from $0.69 to $1.29. The new tracks will be 256k AAC files.
iPhone owners will also be able to download music direct to their phone, without hooking up to Wi-Fi.
More to follow…