mw09041Hey there. I’ll be sharing some Mac related news through the morning, as reported by Endgadget.com, who are live at Macworld 2009. The keynote is starting at 9:00am PST. I’ll give you updates as I get them. Or, if you, prefer, just head over to Endgadget.com.

Okay, Phil Schiller has said he’s got three new things for us this year. The first is iLife 09. iPhoto has a couple of new features. One called “Faces”, which recognizes faces in your photos and can group them acordingly.Ā  The other is “Places”. Basically, it is GPS Geo-tagging for your photos.

iMovie has some new features, as well: “Context sensitive menus for clips, you can make new movies with dynamic themes: titles, transitions, effects…” “Animated travel maps — you can create 2D and 3D maps to show where you’ve traveled… and now we have auto stabilization for shaky video.”. Randy Ubillos demonstrated new ways to edit clips together; overlapping audio, among them. Also, some nice new themes and effects.

Next up is GarageBand 09. One of the new features is “Learn to Play’, which actually teaches you how to play an instrument. The interface is an instructional video on top with a fretboard or keyboard along the bottom. You can get a guitar lesson from Patrick Stump, or a bass lesson from Sting! Lessons will be $4.99 a piece, (that you can purchase right in GarageBand 09), and they will be continually adding more and more.

iLife 09 will be availble later this month. $79 for the upgrade, $99 for the family pack, and included on all new Macs, iMacs, and MacBooks.

The second new thing is a new version of iWork, but let’s be honest, does anyone really care about this? I don’t, so moving on!! No seriously, though, there does seem to be some nice new updates to “Keynote”. If you do a lot of presentation in your job, you need this. Some new transitions, effects, and graphics. A nice new remote feature for the iPhone. “Pages” gets some new templates. “Numbers” got some new features….*yawn*….quickly fading now…iWork 09 is shipping now. They also announced a “Mac Box Set”, you get Leopard, iLife 09, and iWork ’09 for $169. Not bad. Oh boy, here’s the “one more thing”…iWork.com. It’s basically Google Docs.

macworld08-319So the third thing they are talking about is the new 17″ MacBook Pro. We knew this was coming, eventually, but now it’s official. They started by bragging about how they are #1 in notebooks, quoting many positive reviews. Rightfully so. The new MacBooks are gorgeous. This new MacBook pro will be the lightest 17″ notebook, ever. There are some familiar features, but we’re going to get a new CPU. Up to 8GBs of RAM. Upgradable to a 256GB SSD. Optional matte display. They have created a 40% larger battery, at the same weight as the old batteries, boasting a life of 8 hours per charge and 1000 charges. Longest lasting battery ever; 60% longer than before. One configuration: $2799, 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive.

Oh, and one more thing: we’re getting new pricing in iTunes. Songs that are now $.99 will go down to $.69, and a new premium tier is being introduced for $1.29. These songs will be a much higher quality, and be DRM free! Yes, DRM free! Also, iTunes on the iPhone now works on the 3G network, as well as on WiFi. Nice. iTunes where ever you are.

That’s it. I was hoping for more hardware updates. We need a capacity upgrade for the iPhone. 16GB’s just isn’t enough! Big thanks to Endgadget.com for the live updates.

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