Article: Aren’t We Due for an iLife Update?

by on April 1, 2010

It’s been over a year and a handful of weeks since Apple released iLife ’09. This update came about a year and a half after iLife ’08 was introduced, which broke from the mold of updates to iLife every January. Should we be expecting a new version of iLife soon?

Clearly the iPad has gotten the spotlight from the tech press over the last few months, and Apple has had its hands full with Snow Leopard, iPhone OS 3, and quite a bit more. The prior pattern for iLife updates is as follows:

  • iLife: January 3, 2003
  • iLife ’04: January 6, 2004
  • iLife ’05: January 11, 2005
  • iLife ’06: January 10, 2006
  • iLife ’08: August 7, 2007
  • iLife ’09: January 6, 2009

Notice anything? Most updates have come in January (coinciding with the Macworld Conference & Expo) and every year. The oddball is iLife ’08, which was released the year before which it was named and could be either considered late (if it was really the unreleased iLife ’07) or early (if it was intended to be iLife ’08). Because of this, are we due for iLife ’10 or iLife ’11? It all depends when Apple thinks users need new features.

Running Out of New Features?

Additionally, there isn’t much that cannot be done with iLife ’09. I would argue that some features, such as Faces or geotagging on iPhoto are only completely utilized by a smaller portion of the populations. Furthermore, GarageBand’s feature set does quite a bit for anyone wanting to compose, edit, or enhance music and podcasts. The only real weak links are iWeb (which always feels like it does not fit) and iDVD. iDVD has worked about the same since its introduction, but then again, how exciting can a DVD video authoring application be?

I would argue that we will see an update to iLife, but probably not until January, or maybe this summer at the earliest. There was a time when Apple was cranking out iLife, iWork, and Mac OS X versions to build feature sets and polish interfaces. Now, iWork and Mac OS X development has slowed, as both products have matured. Why waste time and resources fragmenting your user base by releasing a new, paid update every year?

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