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Tom Briant

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Four Ways MacWorld–iWorld Got Better This Year.

1. There were 243 exhibitors showing off (and selling) their products at MacWorld this year, vs. 220 last year and 210 the year before.  Let's hope this trend continues.

2. More of the exhibitors had really neat and interesting stuff to show off.

3. The "iFan" pass ($75) replaced last year's "User Conference" pass (about $150).  This price cut proved to be a smart move by IDG, the company that produces the MacWorld expo.  This year, the iFan presentations had lots of people attending, whereas last year's user conference presentations were attended by only a few people. Kudos to IDG for figuring out that – at $150 – the "User Conference" was over-priced without the Steve Jobs keynote.

4. Attendance looked strong to me.  On the last day of MacWorld - January 28 (Saturday afternoon) - hundreds of people were still in line for tickets to the exhibit hall. I was really surprised to see that so close to MacWorld closing time. Note: An article published January 27 (Friday) said that attendance had declined. Based on how many people I saw, I doubt that claim.

So what were the neat and interesting products at MacWorld? Lets start with the ollo-clip™. It's a lens that clips onto the corner of an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s. The ollo-clip™ can work as a wide field lens, a fish-eye lens or a "macro" lens that lets you photograph tiny objects only 1/2 inch away from your iPhone. You can find out more at

Another really neat product is called iBallz™.  iBallz™ are used to protect your iPad™ from damage if you drop it.  You need four iBallz™ – one on each corner of your iPad™ to cushion the impact when your iPad™ falls to the floor. You can find out more at

A humorous product is Intoxicase™. It's an iPhone case with a built-in bottle opener - perfect for opening beer bottles. Intoxicase™ comes with an app that lets your iPhone keep track of how many bottles of beer you've opened, and will help you call a taxi if you've had one too many. Their booth at MacWorld had a sign that said "Dude, your bottle opener is ringing." You can learn more at these two web sites:

A unique stand for iPads  is called the Tablet Tail™. It has suction at one end to stick to the back surface of your iPad, and is has a tail that resembles a whale's tail fin at the other. The tail is flexible, allowing you to tilt your iPad at just about any angle.  You can learn more at

Those are just a few of the many neat products I saw at MacWorld.

There were also many learning opportunities at MacWorld, even if you purchased "Expo Only" pass (the cheapest).  One learning place was called "MacWorld Live", where Mac experts gave presentations on subjects like "E-publishing your book" and "Fixing Your Mac Yourself".  The other learning place was called "MacWorld / iWorld Music Studio", where you could learn about things like "Creating Drum Beats with Your Mac", "Mac for the Guitarist" and "Building Your Own Project Studio".

If you purchased the iFan pass ($75), many more learning opportunities were available, such as "40 OS-X Tips in 40 Minutes", "Backing Up Your Mac", "The Magic of Keynote" (Keynote is Apple's software for creating slide-show presentations), "Getting to Know Siri" and "The Fine Art of iPhone Photography".

Well, this is what I had time to write before the MacValley Users Group meeting on Wednesday February 1.  Come to the meeting so see some more really neat stuff about MacWorld. And I will be writing more about MacWorld because there is lots more to write about.

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