This is Mac360’s Almost Live coverage of Apple VP Phil Schiller’s keynote presentation at Macworld 2009.
From my home base in San Diego, between diaper changes, a never ending feeding schedule, and other mommy mishaps, is my compiled view of what’s happening at Macworld’s biggest (and last) show of shows.
10:31: AM – Phil Shows The Love and Says Goodby. iPhone’s WiFi Store is no more. It’s just the iTunes Store and you can download new music over WiFi and over the cellular networks—same selection, same quality, same one click process.
Macworld 2009’s keynote presentation closes with a musical guest—Tony Bennet.
Half of the crowd goes, ‘Where’s Hannah Montana?’ The other half wants Kanye West (Kanye is Swahili for ‘Kenny’). Both halves mumble, “Tony who?”
I’m wondering where the new Mac mini went. And the updated MacPro. And the new Cinema Displays. And the iPhone nano…
10:26: AM – Time for One More Thing™ from Phil. iTunes Store started in April 2003, over 6-billion songs sold, 75-million credit card bearing iTunes Store accounts, and 10-million songs in inventory… blah, blah, blah. What’s new?
Starting today, 8-million songs will be DRM-free. No more FairPlay. Later in spring all 10-million more will be DRM-free. That’s called iTunes Plus. The first six years songs were 99-cents each. Now pricing is free to be flexible, the way the music companies want it. 69-cents for the low end, 99-cents for the mid-range, and $1.29 for the songs you really want to hear.
10:20: AM – The MacBook Pro 17 has a new custom-shape battery cell. Apparently, the battery is shaped like Phil Schiller so it will last longer than the previous batteries in the MacBook Pro model, which were shaped like Steve Jobs. Makes sense to me. By my count, we’ve seen iLife ‘09, iWork ‘09, and a new MacBook Pro model for the 1 percent of Mac users who can afford such a beast. That’s three things, right? Could there be one more thing? iPhone nano? Mac mini? MacPro? New Apple Cinema Displays? Anything?? Please??
Hmmm. MacBook Pro 17 ships in late January and is priced at $2,799, with 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 4 gigabytes of RAM, a 320 gigabyte hard drive, and a SuperDrive, but this one is even more green than green.
10:13: AM – Finally. The. Mac. Phil introduces the 17-inch MacBook Pro, now with the famous aluminum unibody construction. This one comes with an LED backlit display with 1920×1200 pixel resolution with more video goodies, higher contrast ration, better viewing angle, AND, a glossy and matte version. Why? Because glossy sucks, that’s why.
As you might expect, this is the world’s thinnest and lightest 17-inch notebook from Apple. Less than an inch thick, 6.6 pounds trimmed, a 2.93GHz CPU, up to 8 gigabytes of RAM, and even an option for a 256 gigabyte solid state hard drive. What about the battery? Yes, it has a battery. Yes, it’s integrated. “Integrated” is Apple’s market speak for “you can’t remove it, fool.” However, since the MacBook Pro 17 is big and heavy it can handle a better battery—this one can go up to 8 hours on a single charge, be recharged up to one thousand times (publicly proven to do so by way of a cool 8 hour graphic on the screen).
10:10: AM – iWork.com will be fee-based (it’s that Apple Tax thing; cool stuff costs money, you know). Documents can open in Google Documents, too. Pages online looks like Pages on your Mac.
10:05: AM – Time for Numbers. One hour already and no new Macs. Where’s the demo of the new MacBook Wheel? In the meantime, Numbers gets table categories, more formulas, more chart types, more 3D, and a thing called iWork.com.
Whoa. iWork goes to the web. All those rumors were true. iWork can also be web-based. It looks like a cross between MobileMe galleries and MobileMe Mail and AddressBook. iWork applications have a button that connects to iWork.com so you can share and display documents on the web, but create them from your Mac (or, the web).
9:59: AM – Time for Pages (and, probably, Numbers after that, right?). Full screen view puts Pages all over your Mac’s screen hiding everything else so you can concentrate on what you’re writing. Yeah, right. Like that’ll help your concentration when you have three kids in diapers. Well, usually two of the three at a time.
Every photo I see of Phil reminds of Tyra Banks talking about Muffin Tops. Anyway, Phil shows off a few dozen new templates for Pages, Endnote support, MathType support, mail merge with Numbers, and integration with Address Book.
9:52: AM – Next. Come on, Phil. Let’s move it along. I have a bladder, you know!! Oh, time for iWork ‘09 (sound of Alex crossing her legs and looking around for an empty Big Gulp cup within reaching distance). Keynote gets a Magic Move feature for moving objects in presentation from one point to another, including transitions. Lots of new animation features built in to new Keynote. Could this be the beginning of Apple’s version of Flash (Core Animation, anyone?)? Am I the only one who noticed that we’re almost one hour into Phil’s Show ‘n Tell and we’re not done with iLife yet? Oh, One More Thing #1—Keynote Remote lets Keynote presentations run on your iPod touch or iPhone.
9:44: AM – Garageband!!! Phil’s back on stage. Garageband has a new guitar effects feature, a new user interface, and ability to learn to play guitar or keyboard with an instructor using the Learn to Play feature. Cool. John Fogerty, Sting, Sarah McLachlan, and Norah Jones videos will show you how to play. I just want to sing like Sarah. Uh oh. The new and improved Garageband comes with some free bundled lessons and Apple will sell you more lessons for $4.99 each. That damned Apple Tax. But it’s still only $79, $99 for the family license, and ready to ship, uh, late January. I suppose that’s January 2009. With Apple you can’t be too careful.
9:40: AM – Somebody hacked MacRumorsLive.com’s web site with all kinds of gibberish. Film at 11:00. Back to iMovie: Phil shows an Indiana Jones style travel map, a bunch of video effects like x-ray, old film, cartoons. Let’s move on to Garageband already.
9:28: AM – Enough with the photos already. Let’s go to iMovie ‘09. It’ll be web-based, right? After all, everyone wants to upload their movies for an hour, then edit them online. Not. iMovie ‘09 gets a more precise editor, better drag and drop capability, video stabilization, and more. Movie technology is tricky and high tech, so, while Phil heads off stage for a doughnut, Andy Ubillos gives the iMove ‘09 demo which features advanced audio and video clip editing with overlays. I think this is the same guy who developed the last version of iMovie which replaced the previous version of iMovie which actually worked well. Regardless, movie demos are always cool. There’s bright colors. Things move. I like the way iMovie ‘09 movies audio clips over the top of other video clips. This will look much cooler when Apple puts the whole presentation online in HD.
9:25: AM – Demo of places is rather boring since you can tell from the photo where the place is, right? Photos without geotagging need help from you and the keyboard, but iPhoto also assists with typing. BTW – MacRumorsLive.com just reported that ‘Steve Jobs Died.’ I didn’t think so, either. He’s so thin that maybe he turned sideways and everyone thought he disappeared.
9:22: AM – Yeeesh. 20 minutes into the show already and just iPhoto. Phil is much slower than Steve. The face recognition thing is cool, though.
9:19: AM – Phil shows this really cool slideshow ballet class demo. I have two girls and can’t wait to get them into ballet class. Cool—face detection zooms in and centers on the photos in the slideshow, which can be saved in iTunes, then synced to your iPhone or iPod touch. I like what I see of the SlideShow Themes.
9:15: AM – iPhoto ‘09 also has Slideshow Things, Flickr integration, Facebook integration (don’t know if Apple invested in Facebook, but probably not).
9:12: AM – Phil is in a rhyming mode today, and introduces Faces, the Places. iPhoto ‘09 lets you organize your photos by Geotagging via GPS, the latitude and longitude of your photos. Uh, Phil. My camera doesn’t have GPS but my iPhone does, but my iPhone takes sucky pictures. However, it’s cool, no one else does it, it’s integrated with Google Maps, and you can always type in where you went on each photo. Whew! I’m tired just thinking of that one.
9:10: AM – Faces uses face detection. Highlight a face, give it a name, and Faces adds a snapshot. Then Faces uses sophisticated face recognition to find other faces in your iPhoto collection. How will this work with kids whose faces change year after year? Or pets? Phil is silent on the issue.
9:08: AM – Introducing iLife ‘09 (are my predictions right on the money, or what?) First, iPhoto ‘09. Last year it was Events. This year it’s Faces; a corkboard snapshot of your favorite people in iPhoto.
9:06: AM – As expected, Phil calls 2008 the biggest year in the history of Apple for Mac sales. Over 3-million customer visit an Apple Store each week. This Macworld is about the Mac. 9.7-million Macs were sold, growing twice as fast as the rest of the industry. Phil says he has three new things for us.
9:04: AM – Phil walks across the stage to a hefty round of applause, because, well, hefty people need hefty applause. Schiller looks stunning in his jeans and blue shirt.
9:00 AM – PST: No more cell phones, quiet please, cue Phil. Phil? Phil? Lights are dimmed, Phil strolls out on stage after an obviously double Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s.