This was a big week for Apple with the announcement of the new iPad, and though I got to play with it a little bit at the event Wednesday, I really can't wait to put it through its paces when it's finally released March 16.
With that said, the new iPad wasn't the only thing released on Wednesday; Apple also announced the availability of several updates to iOS apps, including the new iPhoto for iOS.
This week's collection of iOS apps is a little different than usual. Instead of a themed collection, I'm going to list the Apple apps released this week so you can have them all in one place. Click the name of the link to head to our download page, or click the link at the end of each one to read our hands-on articles about each of the apps.
iPhoto ($4.99) for iOS was probably the biggest iOS app news because it's brand new to the operating system and sports elegant ways to manage and edit photos. I got the full demo from Apple after the event, and can definitely say I was impressed with the tools offered, the effects you can use, and some of the specialized features offered in the app.
Journals in iPhoto, for example, lets you easily create a collage of your photos, and you can move them around with a touch of your finger, while the app automatically makes all the other images fit. You can have location data from where the shot was taken added automatically, and you can add date and time for shots, making for a great package to send as a URL to your friends and family of vacation pics. From there your family member can click a link and see the same collage, and click on a photo to see it full screen. Read our Hands On for iPhoto.
GarageBand ($4.99) for iOS got several tweaks as well, with a whole new Smart Instrument category that lets you add stringed instruments to your music. I really like how Apple designed the layout here, requiring you to "bow" the instrument (swipe back and forth) for a continuous tone, and the ability to toggle instruments in the strings section on and off. There were other additions as well, with four new instruments you can use in both the Piano and Bass categories of Smart Instrument that can only add to the fun of making music on the touch screen.
The ability to have a live "jam session" with up to three other friends is a pretty neat addition as well, but I wonder how often people will actually get together and use it. Read my Hands On for Garage Band.
iMovie ($4.99) for iOS now has Trailers you can create from your footage. While it might be hard to imagine why that's something you would want, I went through the process and immediately saw how it would an extremely fun way to send out video clips from any event. The templates for just about every movie genre make it so you can come up with some really cool trailers and Apple laid out the Story Board view so well that you simply add your own footage and it works automatically. Read my Hands On for iMovie.
All three iWork apps ($9.99 each) were updated with new features, giving Pages, Numbers, and Keynote new 3D charts and graphs to work with. This addition is made more interesting with the ability to rotate the 3D objects once you place them. There were other minor changes as well (getting the apps ready for the new iPad's Retina Display, for example) that made it into the updates, but it was more about minor enhancements than any full-blown changes. It's worth noting that Keynote received some new animations and transitions that will be useful for those who make presentations on the go. Read my Hands On for the iWork apps.