Oct 10

The lost children of iLife

When Steve Jobs unveiled iLife ’11 last week, iDVD and iWeb suddenly became the unmentionables.

If you hold the box in your hands, it’s obvious just how deep iLife’s mid-life issues have become.

Unlike the design of previous iLife packaging, which glorified each app in words or images, iLife ’11 focuses only on the Big Three. Those are the apps presented on the front of the box, and those are the apps described on the back.

Only beneath the other apps’ descriptions, in almost invisible type, do we see:

iLife 11 also includes iDVD v.7.1 and iWeb v.3.0.2.

For iDVD, that’s a tiny numerical step forward. For iWeb, it’s the identical version that shipped with iLife ’08.

The iLife pages at apple.com are in sync. Only three apps appear in the headline and tabs. Way down at the bottom, we get the “also includes” line, along with a link to otherwise inaccessible pages.

In other words, mere mortals visiting apple.com or the Apple Store will get the impression that iLife is about photos, movies and music creation. Period.

It takes little brainpower to conclude that iDVD and iWeb are on the “do not resuscitate” list.

No use taking iDVD’s case to the Court of Appeals. You’ll be laughed out of the building. Even gramps is watching the family movies on the Internet these days.

But iWeb? Are blogs and websites passé already? Damn, why am I always the last to know.

No, there must be another explanation. It’s possible that Apple simply has software manpower issues. It’s known to divert talent when needed, and this was a big year for iOS. Hell, iLife ’10 was a complete no-show.

What I hope, though, is that Apple simply has bigger plans for blogs and websites. They’ve fallen behind solutions like squarespace.com, which offer up ways to design “real” websites and blogs, easily customized and cloud-based. iWeb was always a little dodgy, and what it needs now isn’t a tweak — it’s a rebirth.

Apple should be blazing the trail in personal websites and blogs, not treading water. Until told otherwise, I will believe that the elves are busy in the workshop. iWeb has stagnated — but our need to have such an app gets bigger every day.

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  • I hope what’s passé is the notion of a client server relationship in web creation. I have a few legacy sites using rapidweaver and while I thought that was quite good at the time I find it hard to go back to the old model of changing stuff locally, uploading, see how it looks in the real world and then go back and try again.

    CMS & CSS has made the dreamweaver / iWeb workflow seem quite cumbersome.

  • iLife for iOS?

  • Mark Lillywhite

    Seems like a savage upgrade all round – the two iLife applications I used most are iWeb and iPhoto. So iWeb is identical, and iPhoto apparently eats photos.

    It’s a disappointing update from Apple. I happen to think that iWeb is the best thing since sliced cheese – I recommend it to many of my friends who want to build websites for their small business, and I don’t know of any other software which is so accessible or easy to use.

    My hope is that Apple is developing some sort of HTML5 “pro” tool, and that iWeb will become something akin to Final Cut Express.

    Of course, I’d probably get the “pro” tool if they ever came out with one.

  • so, who the heck do you think you are, anyway?