Macworld Expo Report

I’m back from Macworld Expo. I spent about a day and a half there, plenty of time to see all of the exhibits once and many of them twice.

The show was much, MUCH smaller than last year. We knew in advance that Apple wouldn’t be there, but we were all wondering how many others wouldn’t be there. The answer: about half of the vendors from last year stayed home.

Off the top of my head, here’s a list of big companies that WEREN’T at Macworld this year:

  • Canon
  • Epson
  • Adobe
  • Quark
  • FileMaker
  • Intuit
  • Google
  • Logitech

Quite a list of heavy-hitters. Even so, the show was a lot of fun, and there was still plenty to see. I plan on attending next year and I encourage you to do the same. Dates for next year are already set: January 25th through 29th, 2011. Click here to add the dates to your iCal calendar. (Really, please click it. It’s my first click-and-add-it-to-iCal link.)

Here is a short list of things that caught my eye at Macworld. Check ’em out.

iPhone apps

  • businesscardscannerBusiness Card Reader, $1.99 (Macworld Expo special– regularly $5.99). Take a picture of a business card using your iPhone and the program reads the information and adds it to your Contacts on the iPhone. Since you’re surely synching your iPhone with your Mac that means the contact will be on your Mac too. Very neat. I bought it and it works. It’s not always perfect but it’s always good enough to be pretty helpful.
  • grocerypalGrocery Pal, free. Tell it your zip code and it gives you all of the specials for the stores around you. Limit it to just the stores you like if you want to. Add items to your shopping list for each store and do price comparisons across all of your stores. Search for items easily. By the way, blueberries are 2 baskets for $3 at Ralphs this week.
  • SquareSquare— not yet available, but boy oh boy does this look good. It lets you accept credit cards as payment even if you don’t have a merchant account. The Square people will take some small percentage of the transaction, currently estimated at 2.99%. No yearly fee, no per-transaction fee, no muss no fuss. This will be great for when you go out to dinner with friends– you could pay the restaurant with your credit card, and your friends can pay you with theirs. Neat. The app will cost 99 cents and the scanner thingy will be free.

Mac stuff

  • topazlabsTopazLabs Photoshop bundle, $129 (Macworld Expo special– slightly higher now). This amazing set of tools, which also works in iPhoto, lets you do incredible things to your photos. Some of the tools help you to rescue badly exposed or backlit photos, others help you to take the noise out of noisy jpegs, others let you have a great time experimenting. Get a 30-day trial and go to town.

Click here to see a slide show of some pictures I fixed up last night with Topaz in about two seconds. Look for the navigation (next, previous, home) at the top.

I still have a lot of Macworld paperwork and notes to go through so I may be adding to this list.


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