iReview iLife, iWork
That's partially because I spend a lot more time in iLife -- in iPhoto in particular -- than I do in any of iWork's constituent apps. But the new iLife also represents a much bigger advance over the '08 version, even if some of its features don't work nearly as well as advertised.
I'm speaking in particular of iPhoto's face-recognition technology, which I find both fascinating and frustrating. This is an exceptionally tricky thing to pull off, and I'm amazed that it works at all. Some of its mistakes are understandable (like, say, mistaking one sibling for another -- how many of you got into bars underage by using an older brother or sister's ID?). But when iPhoto thinks it sees faces in what are obviously inanimate objects (see this Flickr set of screen shots), it's obvious that we're dealing with a version-1.0 attempt.
The rest of iLife '09 features enough improvements, large and small, over iLife '08 -- including fixes to many things I criticized in my review of that older release -- that it's easy to justify the cost of this upgrade. (For a somewhat contrarian view, see Macintouch's longer, more detailed assessment of this release.)
With iWork '09, I just don't see the same advance. This update does suffer a bit when compared against its predecessor, a groundbreaking release I liked enough to buy a copy for my own use. But many of iWork '09's new features either don't work -- the buggy iWork.com has to top that list -- or involve tasks that many home users are unlikely to spend much time doing.
I am a little tempted by the upgrades in Pages -- the full-screen feature could be a serious help to somebody as prone to distraction as me. But I do most of my writing in other programs -- like the Post's networked editing software and our Web-based blogging application. So unless iWork.com sees a major bug-fix update, I'll save my money for iWork '10, whenever that may come around.
How about you? If you picked up a copy of the '08 version of iWork or iLife, will you upgrade either, both or neither? The comments are yours...
February 5, 2009; 12:01 PM ET
Categories: Mac , Music , Pictures , Productivity , The Web , Video
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