We’re particularly keen on the new “How Did I Play?” option available on lessons. As the name alludes, this mode enables you to have your attempt at replicating the lesson recorded, and provides feedback as to how well you did. The game-like, competitive element this adds to learning won’t necessarily force you into practising more often, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
We’re almost impressed that Apple feels the addition of a Full Screen mode to iPhoto can be considered anything other than a nicety. While we take the point that displaying more photo is, indeed, an advantage in an image editing application, we’re not sure the extra 20 pixels or so that moving part of the UI out of the way affords is going to make that much difference to anyone’s productivity.
We can see the improved web-integration being of much greater use and appeal to the majority of iPhoto users, letting you push photos from iPhoto to the likes of Facebook and Flickr. Facebook integration is particularly tight. Not only can images be uploaded, but also albums created and rearranged. What’s particularly net is that changes made at both Facebook’s end and in iPhoto will reflect in the other – and of course iPhoto’s Faces tagging ties in nicely with Facebook’s own tagging system; you can even see comments on your images fro within iPhoto.
Apple’s print service has been revamped for this release of iPhoto. The range of products Apple offers is impressive, from hardcover, bound books to letterpress cards, and the creating these is almost insultingly easy. However, the pricing is high enough that you won’t be making use of this feature very often, if at all. Likely to be used somewhat more frequently is iPhoto’s slideshow feature. Not only are the new animations are pretty cool – we particularly like the hanging mobile effect – but we have enough elderly relatives to know that if there’s one thing that folks like doing more than taking photos, it’s showing them off.
As with iMovie and GarageBand, the additions to iPhoto aren’t going to set your world on fire, but they add additional polish to an applications suite that already shone.
The changes in iLife ’11 are far from ground-breaking enough that you need to upgrade from iLife ’09, if you have that on your Mac. That isn’t to say, however, that iLife ’11 isn’t a decent product. The upgrades are minor, but they’re minor upgrades to what was already a slick applications suite. Pros will need more powerful tools, but for the average Mac user, iLife will prove more than comprehensive enough.