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"Hidden" features of Apple iLife 09


Apple recently released upgraded its suite of iLife applications. Apple iLife `09 packs updates to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. The package also includes iWeb '09 for creating Web sites and iDVD '09 for creating DVDs.

Apple unveiled the iLife upgrade at the Macworld conference in San Francisco last month.

Here's a look into some of the most interesting and not-so-known features of Apple iLife `09.

iPhoto: Not for animals

One of the most innovative feature in the upgrade is in the iPhoto application. Apple has added face-recognition technology to enable users to organise and find photos based on the faces of subjects.

However, this face tech is for humans still to `match up' animals. iPhoto's facial recognition abilities are not designed for use on animals. Though if your furry friend is distinctively different, it may work too!

Go Facebooking

iPhoto app will also automatically tag all the photos in Facebook. All you need to do is hit the new 'send album to Facebook' button. Also, make sure that when you've indentified the faces, you add in their Facebook names.

In addition, the software is able to read the geo tags placed in photos by the global positioning systems in the latest digital cameras and Apple's iPhone 3G. By reading the data, the software can organize and locate photos based on where they were taken.

Offers tuition

Here's your new teacher. GarageBand ’09 offers the easiest way to learn piano and guitar, right on your Mac. Follow along at your own pace with interactive lessons that teach you the fundamentals through HD video instruction, synchronized notation, and animated onscreen instruments.

You can learn to play either the guitar or the piano, taking lessons from the likes of Sting, Norah Jones and Fallout Boy. Users can also adjust which bits of the song they hear, from their instrument to the backing track and even their vocals.

No longer just MobileMe

With upgraded iWeb, users can create their site using themes. Customise it with photos, movies, text, and widgets. Plus, now you can also publish it on not just MobileMe but on any hosting service.

iWeb even notifies Facebook when your site changes and adds a link to your profile so your friends stay up to date.

Simple cut to music

According to reviews, editing the music has become easier. Users can pick a song, pick their clips, and iMovie will automatically make the transition in time with the beat. They can also do this with still images, since these are accessible in iMovie as well.

iMovie now also identifies jittery motion and reduces it by comparing frames of video to subsequent and previous frames.

Keynote remote

Another addition is Keynote Remote application. This works the same way as the existing iTunes Remote. On iPod Touch/iPhone screen the top half has a miniature of the current slide, whilst underneath users can get their speaker notes.

There's now also the option to have the document appear as a full page. This means that everything else on your desktop will disappear. If the user hovers his mouse at the top, the formatting tools will appear.

Also available from Apple is the all new iWork.com public beta. This allows users to put their documents online using their Apple ID and by simply clicking the iWork.com icon in the Keynote, Pages or Number toolbar. Comments and notes too can be posted plus a copy of the document is also downloadable.

This basically means that anyone with iWork `09 can send a link to anyone, who can then be able to see a copy of the document, spreadsheet or presentation online. There is also the option to make comments, engage in a chat in a sidebar or download it themselves.

As a collaboration service, iWork.com is an Apple-centric version of similar services available from Google and other technology companies. However, while most of such services are largely free, Apple plans to eventually charge for the use of iWork.com. The beta version, however, is available free.

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