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Apple iLife ’11 is Amazing

2011/04/02 Leave a comment

Every new Mac now comes with iLife ’11 which includes iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand amongst others. I remember looking at these apps particularly iPhoto and sort of dismissed them as entry-level app fillers.  In hindsight this was perhaps premature and I suspect it is because of us Windows users being so used to the over-the-top visual noise one is subjected to from Microsoft that unless the screen is filled with absolute nonsense that the app must be somehow sub-standard. This formula arguably shouldn’t be applied to a Mac. I’ve come to realise that Mac apps follow a no-nonsense style to UI design that Alan Cooper would arguably would be proud of.  Incidentally, running Microsoft Word on a Mac is a prime example of Sesame Street’s  “One of these kids is doing his own thing” that makes Word look so out of place just as a donkey would be in the Melbourne Cup.

iLife ’11

The reason for my change of heart was last nights viewing of the Apple Special Event, October 2010 New MacBook Air, Mac OS X Lion and iLife ’11.  In it, the demos of iMovie, GarageBand and iPhoto just blew me away.

Looking back, it’s quite clear that Windows Live Essentials is Microsoft’s very “version 1” attempt at trying to copy Apple.  I’ll leave it to you to determine the winner here.

Professional Productions Made Easy

Regardless of media – whether you are working on images, video or music, iLife can in a few mouse clicks allow you to make wonderful geographically-linked photo slideshows, hard-bound books; video trailers, facial recognition from video; and the brilliant “spell-checker for music” rhythm/groove fixer.

If you have not seen the above mentioned Apple Special Event video on iTunes, I highly recommend you check it out.

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Let the Computer Work for You

2011/04/01 Leave a comment

We’ve all created lengthy documents or at least spent an hour trying to get that e-mail or document sounding just right when the power goes out sending your hard-worked-on composition into the digital ether.  Wouldn’t it be great if all your apps saved your work as you go without you having to hit Save or setup some auto-save interval which is always one second too late when your hamster decided to chew through the power cable?  Sure most e-mail applications have a save-to-draft feature but how many non-cloud-based document editors do an autosave.  For that matter, most e-mail apps are still dumb enough to ask “Shall I save?” when I close the window.  Of course it should. For that matter, why do we need to tell the computer to save at all?  Surely it should be smart enough to know that the thing I’ve been madly whacking glyphs into is smart enough to realise that the document is really important to me what with having spent the last hour on it that it should just save and be done with it? Hmm.

About the only document program I can think of that has no concept of saving is Microsoft OneNote – perhaps the only decent Office product that hasn’t suffered from bloatware of late or had some silly social networking attached to it.

Enter the clever chaps at Apple.  The upcoming version of the next OS for the Mac – Lion – will do two very important things

  • Auto save
  • Auto application hibernation and resume

Not only will this let you focus on what you are actually doing and not have to worry about mundane things such as saving, but also that you can quickly switch between applications freeing up memory as you go as the OS suspends unused apps.  Then when you return there is that document outlining how throwing hamsters into jet engines isn’t a very nice thing to do.

Oh this is the first blog from my Mac using a rather nice app called MarsEdit. Well done!

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