Apple bans Jobs flyers
The man behind "Bring Back Steve Jobs" flyers at last week's Macworld Expo says the stunt was not meant as a slam against Apple. Gleb Budman and his colleagues were told by Apple representatives to stop handing out flyers to Expo attendees lined up for Apple's keynote on Tuesday morning. Budman says the message was meant as a "compliment" to Steve Jobs -- and a plea for Apple to reverse its decision to abandon the Expo after this year.
Apple iLife upgrade
Apple has announced a discount upgrade program for iLife '09 that is available to certain Mac purchasers. The promotion is designed to satisfy owners that receive computers bundled with the older version of iLife. The company will allow any customer that purchases a Mac between January 6th, 2009 to March 28 to upgrade to the latest software for $10. The systems must have been obtained from an Apple Store or an authorized reseller, and the program is still valid with certified refurbished products.
REAL Server 2009 in Feb.
REAL Software, the producer of the REALbasic development platform, has announced plans to release updated server software in February. REAL Server 2009 is said to have been overhauled with an event-based asynchronous architecture, and now uses Multi-Version Concurrency Control, which is said to improve both concurrency and scalability. The latter aspect has been improved throughout the program, in theory allowing over 10,000 concurrent connections.
Analysts on MW09
Only one real story came out of yesterday's keynote speech by Phil Schiller, write analysts with Needham & Co. Despite the announcement of new versions of iLife and iWork, as well as a 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro, the most important revelation is said to be the switch to DRM-free music and variable pricing at iTunes. Even this may have minimal impact, Needham suggests.
MS at Macworld 2009
Using Macworld as a jumping point, Microsoft has announced two new pieces of Mac software. The first is the Document Collaboration Companion, a Cocoa-based tool which should simplify uploading and downloading to Office Live Workspaces as well as SharePoint-based collaboration utilities. Users will be able to check documents in and out, cache them offline, and access services such as a Document Library plus the SharePoint and Office Live Workspaces. A private beta is expected to become available in February, followed by a final release later this year.
iTunes at MW09
In concluding its Macworld 2009 keynote, Apple has confirmed a switch to a variable pricing model for iTunes music, where previously the company charged a flat 99 cents per track. Beginning in April the company will offer three tiers of pricing: 69 cents, 99 cents and finally $1.29, with a greater proportion of tracks falling under the bottom tier than the top; all tracks aged less than six years should remain at 99 cents. The scheme is said to be attributable to flexibility demands from record companies.
iWork '09 at MW09
Complementing its iLife '09 debut, Apple has announced iWork '09, an upgraded productivity suite. The suite's presentation app, Keynote '09, has been enhanced with a new Magic Move feature, which lets users pick the start- and endpoints of objects, and in turn generate transitions automatically; some new transitions include text types such as swings and shimmering, and chart types like slides and rotations. New themes have been added, and users can now manage Keynote presentations from an iPhone or iPod touch. The Keynote Remote app is selling for 99 cents at the App Store.
iLife '09 shown at MW09
In opening up its Macworld 2009 keynote, Apple today revealed iLife '09, an update to its core application package for Macs. Changes to the suite begin with iPhoto '09, whose new Faces feature lets users sort images by the people. After running face detection, the app lets users assign names to each of the people involved, and sort photo collections accordingly. Places, meanwhile, now lets users filter photos through geotagging, and can pull information directly from cameras such as Nikon's Coolpix series or that of the iPhone. Smart albums can be generated to include particular people and locations.
WD Mac drives at MW09
Western Digital has launched two new external hard drives, oriented specifically at Mac users: the My Passport for Mac and My Book Mac Edition. Though only supporting USB 2.0 and not FireWire, the drives are pre-formatted for Macs and advertised as supporting Time Machine as well as other Mac backup software. The My Passport is a general-purpose portable drive, set inside a shock-resistant enclosure; 320 and 500GB versions are available.
Software dev outs Mac mini
A software developer has, intentionally or not, fueled speculation that Tuesday's Apple keynote speech will see the announcement of an updated Mac mini. In promoting v4.6 of its namesake digital asset management (DAM) system, it describes "new Mac mini hardware" as being supported, with the option of bundling the two products together in a server bundle. In operating as a server, the otherwise unidentified Mini would be equipped with 1TB of storage.
Jobs admits to illness
Responding to recent rumors, as well as long-standing concerns, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has admitted in an open letter that his pullout from the annual Macworld keynote can be partially attributed to health matters. "Unfortunately," writes Jobs, "my decision to have Phil [Schiller] deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed. I've decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow."
In brief: A new e-book has been released, showing iPhone users how to perform various mind tricks. Macworld goers may want to check The Hess Memorial Macworld Events List before heading out; the list includes information about otherwise unannounced gatherings. MacMod, meanwhile, is looking to reposition itself as a network for Mac users looking to socialize and learn from their peers.
Wozniak to appear at MW09
Steve Wozniak will be making an appearance at next week's Macworld Expo, an announcement has revealed. The Apple co-founder will not be appearing on behalf of his former company, however, but rather as a member of the board of advisors for Axiotron, builder of the Modbook MacBook conversion. Together with other people in Axiotron, Wozniak will help to unveil new technology at Axiotron's booth, 502, starting at 12PM on January 6th.
Kaufman on MW09 gear
People may be able to see a variety of new Apple products at this year's Macworld Expo, despite the company's diminishing emphasis on tradeshows, says Kaufman's Shaw Wu. The analyst notes that while the focus of Apple's keynote will likely be on new Macs -- and a preview of Mac OS X Snow Leopard -- sources indicate the possibility of a new "consumer device" being announced, even if its exact identity is unclear.
Quickscript for Modbooks
Axiotron, developer of the Modbook tablet conversion, has announced plans to debut new software at January's Macworld Expo. The company will be showing off Quickscript, special handwriting recognition code developed with the help of Vision Objects. Whereas the Modbook's touch functions have traditionally been aimed at illustrators, photographers and graphic designers, Quickscript should enable more general functions by substituting for typing.
iStudio Publisher at MW09
c:four has announced a Macworld 2009 launch of iStudio Publisher, a page layout application aimed at home and small business users. The software is intended for users who may be starting with limited design skills, and as a result all tools and features are available on-screen. Options include drawing shapes, running text around shapes or patterns, and placing photos in the middle of text with dynamic text wrapping; also present is a shape library for commonly-used items.
Analysts on MW10 pullout
Investors have no reason to panic over Apple's decision to substitute Phil Schiller for Steve Jobs at Macworld 2009, and abandon the expo entirely in 2010, say analysts with Needham & Co. and Kaufman Bros.. The former notes that the substitution is bound to raise questions over Jobs' health, given a gaunt appearance in recent months, and largely discredited rumors of cancer recurrence. Needham claims, however, that its sources suggest Jobs is cancer-free, and that the real reasons for its Macworld policies are strictly business-related.
Belkin pulls out of MW09
Yet more companies are planning to withdraw or scale back their efforts for Macworld 2009, reports say. Accessory maker Belkin has already confirmed plans to pull out of the expo, joining Adobe, the creator of Mac-centric programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Belkin explains its move as unrelated to financial worries or the economy, and instead a decision to shift presentation money towards private product announcements.
Macworld 2009 seminars
The organizers of the 2009 Macworld Cconference and Expo have announced details on some of the educational seminars scheduled for the event, which will run from January 5th to the 9th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A number of influential presenters are expected to speak, including David Pogue, Chris Breen, Andy Ihnatko and others. Seminars should also be divided into six main programs: the Users Conference, MacIT Conferences, Power Tools, Hands-On MacLabs, Market Symposiums and the Creative Safari.