I've heard from reliable sources that Apple will offer a significant update to iMovie at next week's Macworld. It will largely focus on Internet video in the Cloud for the YouTube generation.
I've heard that iMovie will largely (if not entirely) be a Web Application and Apple would offer its users the ability to "upload your movies to us and edit them there."
There are currently a few online applications that let you do video editing, and Google's Youtube is also adding rudimentary editing features.
I am not certain if this means that iMovie is now entirely a Web Application or if Apple is offering a "Cloud" component to its iMovie application.
iMovie in the Cloud would also offer users the ability to easily view their movies on iPod Touches or iPhones. If the application is entirely Web based, it means that potential customers include the "other 90%" of users who use Windows.
Apple received a lot of negative reviews of its last update to iMovie; many people thought it was a step backward. As part of the installation process, Apple even kept the old version of iMovie as a transition mechanism. I can't think of another time when Apple did this for an application.
Apple is largely believed (by me at least) to be moving its iWork applications to the Cloud as well. This would tie in nicely with the new iMovie's Web Applications. Imagine editing a movie in iMovie online then importing it into a Keynote presentation online. This would be a great feature.
While the YouTube generation has largely embraced Web apps, more "seasoned" users have largely been critical of the format, decrying the inability to use them while in a plane, or anywhere else that there is not Internet. Apple's MobileMe rollout (blackout?) fiasco has also caused some jitters in the Apple community to the Cloud platform.
Steve Jobs issued a company-wide email after the failed release in which he said:
The MobileMe launch clearly demonstrates that we have more to learn about Internet services. And learn we will. The vision of MobileMe is both exciting and ambitious, and we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year.
Thankfully a lot of new technologies have sprouted up that will facilitate offline access as well. Apple's Sproutcore is in its infancy but seems to indicate that it will allow to move its core applications into the Cloud.
Also, Safari 4 will allow you to save web pages as applications (like the iPhone platform does now). This might also help the transition from traditional apps to Web Applications - at least in the minds of traditional users.
I, for one, use Google Gears religiously to keep my Google Docs for offline editing. I believe this is the future and apparently, so does Apple.
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