Along with new iMacs, Apple introduced a new version of its iLife applications on Tuesday. The updates included improvements to several applications, and was dubbed the most major update to the suite to date.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs stated "This is the biggest jump in iLife since we first introduced it many, many years ago."
The new version of iPhoto adds several new features including the ability to group images by event, hide photos, and improved the editing features. It also added a theme-based home printing option, new Photobooks, and new Photobook options including the ability to print on the inside of covers and inside sleeves.
iPhoto now offers even tighter integration with .Mac thanks to Web Gallery. The new feature lets users publish image albums to their .Mac account complete with a Cover Flow-style interface for "thumbing" through pictures.
Web Gallery also lets viewers add images to the online album by sending them to special email addresses. Once uploaded, the images sync back to the publisheris iPhoto library.
Despite the familiar name, iMovie i08 is a brand new product. After an Apple engineer found that he couldnit create a great looking movie in half an hour after coming home from a trip, he developed a way to make that happen. The results, apparently, were stunning.
"We were blown away," said Mr. Jobs, and that became the foundation for the new version of iMovie.
Like iPhoto i08, iMovie i08 supports .Macis Web Gallery, and it also supports publishing directly to YouTube. Viewers can also download your shared movies to their own hard drive.
Users can also work with HD media and AVCHD media, browse clips in a single library mode, and scrub though clips while viewing them in thumbnail mode. Sections of videos can be selected from thumbnails by clicking and dragging, just like selecting text in a document.
The new version of Appleis Web site design application added support for live widgets that let users embed code that grabs content from Google Maps, YouTube, and other Web sites, and also added support for Google AdSense.
iWeb i08 improved site design features, including adding the ability to build index pages with drag-and-drop which makes it easier to create simple to navigate sites. It also supports changing themes after a site has been published.
Personal domain support has also been added -- one feature users have been clamoring for since the application was first released. Now iWeb users can more easily design and upload sites that are not being hosted through their .Mac account.
The new version of iDVD improved performance, and added several new themes. The new themes, according to TMO editor-in-chief Bryan Chaffin, "look great."
GarageBand sports a slew of new features including multitake recordings, and Magic GarageBand -- a feature that automatically adds instrument tracks to a project based on the musical genre. Rock, latin, country, and reggae categories are available along with several others.
iLife i08 is available now, and is priced at US$79. It will be included on all new Macs starting today.
[This article will be updated as additional information is available.]