What’s Next In The iLife Suite?

by James R. Stoup Aug 01, 2005

Once upon a time there was a little bundle of software called the iLife suite. It contained iTunes, iMovie and iPhoto. Each application was unrefined, buggy and fairly basic, but they all showed quite a bit of promise. Further down the road iDVD was added making the suite even better and yet Apple still wasn’t done. Foregoing the “i” moniker they created GarageBand grafting it onto the iLife package and, amazingly enough, making an awesome product even better. That is where we are today but what does the future hold?

If Apple were to improve this product line (and there is no reason to think they won’t) what will they add next? After some consideration I have come up with several likely applications that could one day make into mix. Here is my list:

Animator ~ A very simple program that allows the user to create basic animation in the style of say Pixar. Now everyone will be able to create their own talking fish or courageous toys. This would be a very cool piece of software to add to their stable. Additionally it could be billed as a low cost way to make your own animated films (in conjunction with iMovie and iDVD).

iBrush ~ Think of this application as a cross between Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. This application would allow one to retouch photos with more features than iPhoto currently offers while lacking the complexity of Adobe’s offerings. Additionally one could use it to create simple web graphics or enhance a digital image. This would be a good application to include if Apple decided to go after Photoshop and the rest of the high end digital image crowd.

Site Builder ~ This is the one I think is most likely to make it to market. An easy to use website creator that would fill the void between free stripped down site creators and programs like Dreamweaver. I am sure that lots of people would like to make their own sites but have no idea how. If they use a free site builder from one hosting site they might be unaware of how to move those pages to a new site. Likewise Dreamweaver and Indesign might be out of their budget. So, Apple enters with an easy to use website design program that seamlessly integrates photos from iPhoto, movies from iMovie and sounds from GarageBand, sounds like we might have a winner.

As the switch to Intel draws closer I am sure that Mr. Jobs is going to want to have something new to show to the crowd before the main event so why not make it a new iLife app? I for one would welcome any addition for the simple reason that it would make the package more attractive thus making an Apple computer more attractive. And isn’t selling more computers what this is all about?


  • Have you tried rapidweaver? It really couldn’t be easier to make a website, and they look nice:


    beathyate had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 1
  • True, Rapidweaver is excellent…  It would fit perfectly among the rest of the iLife suite and perhaps add just a little more value to .Mac as well. 

    I think you’ll see the mentioned paintbrush applications introduced into iPhoto personally, though I would rather see them as a seperate application.  I find it kind of odd that one of the great Mac apps of yesteryear, MacPaint, hasn’t found it’s way into iLife yet.

    dickrichards2000 had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 112
  • I love the idea of having an application like the “Animator” app you described added to the iLife suite.  Something that allows novices such as myself to experiment with creating short animations, but is as easy to use as Garage Band would be great.  If anyone knows of something similar out there floating around in the Ether now (either open source or low cost) please let me know—I would love to experiment a bit.


    Chris had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 5
  • Speaking of MacPaint, didn’t Appleworks have a paint capability? Are they still including Appleworks in consumer Macs?

    cloudwall had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 21
  • Is anyone else getting all the comments turned into links to
    I do, still :(

    Rapidweaver looks very nice, in fact I just fooled around with it a bit - excellent!

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 371
  • Rapidweaver absolutely fits the bill as an iApp!  It’s the best website app out there right now!

    I too would love to see an iAnimator app.  2D preferably but 3D would be great also.  I really like Animo from Cambridge Animation.  http://www.cambridgeanimation.com

    skellener had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 4
  • You might want to take a look at ICanAnimate from Kudlian Software.


    It’s $49.95 bought online via Kagi.  Not “low cost” I know, (sorry Chris) but it really is easy to use - very iMovie like.  Also you can add blue-screened backgrounds and other cool stuff.  I have used it with several groups of High School kids - and their tutors.  They all loved it, and the results were great.

    ajcarr had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 1
  • I would like to see nested folders in iPhoto. I don’t like how big my list gets. I’d like to have a folder called “Family Events” and then a sub-folder of the specific event.

    Just a thought…

    iShane had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 1
  • This is quite a “Top Story”. Some hacks’ half-baked, poorly-researched opinion?

    Apple can’t even get iPhoto working properly.

    “Likewise Dreamweaver and Indesign…”
    So Indesign (sic) is a web-building app?

    “Illistrator”? Don’t you spell-check this thing?

    I have no idea why macrumors keeps linking to this site.

    wilco had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 1
  • Some hacks’ half-baked, poorly-researched opinion?

    I see you’ve met James.  smile

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • wilco,

    Hi, I am the “hack” who wrote this article and I was hoping you could help me understand your position.

    1. Could you explain to me why you felt it was “half-baked”?

    2. What about iPhoto doesn’t work properly? And if it is buggy is that my fault?

    3. Um, Indesign is spelled correctly, at least according to Adobe.

    4. And I hate to break it to you but YOU mispelled Illistrator, I did not. Look back in the article and you will find that missing “u”.

    So, you didn’t like the piece because iPhoto is buggy and you can’t spell. . . well, thanks for the comment all the same.

    James R. Stoup had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 122
  • And thank you for your 2¢ Beeb. You know, sometimes I feel like a guy on stage desperately trying to get through his routine despite the loud heckler in the front row. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

    James R. Stoup had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 122
  • Excellent article.

    As beathyate mentioned, RapidWeaver—with its iPhoto integration—is the way to go for a web builder. I thought Apple might want to buy it, but Apple is probably more interested in tying users to .Mac, so a general purpose web builder is not on their radar.

    A PhotoshopElements competitor would be a good thing. Imagine Apple’s ease of use with Adobe’s technical expertise!

    matters had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 21
  • I’ll add my vote for RapidWeaver - bought it over the weekend and have been busily getting a new site together with it since. Nice program.

    But other suite elements that would be nice:

    iSale, the wonderful eBay auction tool, from http://www.equinux.com. Maybe it could be modified so it would integrate with more auction sites.

    iMoney - a simple, efficient checkbook program. Quicken is more bloated than many people really need. Yeah, it’s not a media-heavy program, but it’d be nice to integrate purchase data with iPhoto for insurance records and such.

    iPublish - a program to create e-cards, greeting cards, CD inserts, etc.

    xnedwriter had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 3
  • how about iFreakingrule, a program to make folks like me feel good about all the really bad iMovies and Garageband songs we make?

    Chris Seibold had this to say on Aug 01, 2005 Posts: 354
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