iLife was a software suite for Mac OS X (and also iOS later) that was marketed by Apple to create, organize, and view personal digital content. Its apps have been included with every new Mac purchased since January 2004. iLife consisted of up to six component apps at one point. iLife ceased to be marketed as a suite as the apps became individually available with the launch of the Mac App Store.
The individual iLife applications are designed to work together as a suite. Each program automatically connects to the libraries of the others to make use of their files. Each program interacts with each other in the following ways:
- GarageBand: export songs to iTunes with one click.
- iDVD: add music from iTunes (including GarageBand) for menu music or slideshow music; add photos from iPhoto for a DVD slideshow; add movies from iMovie
- iMovie: add music from iTunes (including GarageBand music) for background music; add photos from iPhoto, "Ken Burns Effect" can be applied for panning the image; add chapters to movie, 1-click export to iDVD preserves chapters and creates a Scene Selection menu
- iPhoto: use iTunes (including GarageBand) music in slideshows; 1-click export to iDVD, makes a slideshow in iDVD
- iTunes: import music from GarageBand. (later removed from iLife)
- iWeb: a website builder that can incorporate content from the above. (later removed from iLife)
For true compatibility, the libraries created by the applications are included inside the other programs. The iTunes library, for example, actually appears inside the applications that can use it, thus eliminating the need for the user to go and find the music. The same applies for photos. iDVD, in addition to accessing these libraries, can find movies created by iMovie on the hard disk by looking in the user's Movies folder. Any music purchased from the iTunes Music Store will be found and can be used by the other applications (with the exception of GarageBand).
All of the applications run in Mac OS X. Early versions of iTunes ran classic Mac OS. Only iTunes 4.1 and later runs in Microsoft Windows. (The purpose of Apple's decision to allow Windows users to use iTunes may have been to allow them to take advantage of Apple's iTunes Music Store.)
Versions of iDVD before 3.0.1 operated only on Macs with Apple internal DVD-R drives (i.e., SuperDrives). Versions 3.0.1 and later can be installed and used on any Mac that meets the CPU requirements for the software, but DVDs can only be burned on Macs with SuperDrives from Apple.
iLife is the latest in a line of both hardware and software products which are part of a "digital lifestyle." After his re-arrival as CEO at Apple, Steve Jobs began speaking of a person's Macintosh being the center, or hub, of their digital lifestyle. The original iMac was the first step in developing this lifestyle. It put a new face on not only the Mac, but computing in general, as PC companies began to change their form factor designs as well.
Apple originally made iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie available for free via the Internet, while iDVD was available only with computers that included SuperDrives. A while after the release of iDVD, Apple coined the name "iLife" for the whole suite, offering it on CD for US$49.95, while continuing to provide everything but iDVD for free download. In January 2004, Apple released GarageBand, introduced new versions of iDVD, iPhoto, and iMovie, renamed the package iLife '04, and changed the availability. iTunes is separately available for free download through Apple's web site. Although previous editions can still be downloaded for free, the latest versions of iMovie and iPhoto are only available through iLife, which is now bundled with all new Macintosh computers.
iLife continued with updates in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. (namely, iLife '04, iLife '05, iLife '06, iLife '08, iLife '09, iLife '11, and iLife '13). iLife '11 and '13 made the apps available individually through the App Store (for iOS) and the Mac App Store (for OS X), effectively retiring the suite.
|iLife||Macworld Expo on January 7, 2003||$49||10.1.5||PowerPC||2||3||3||3||–||–|
|iLife '04||Macworld Expo on January 6, 2004||$49||10.2.6||PowerPC||4||4.2||4||4||1||–|
|iLife '05||Macworld Expo on January 11, 2005||$79||10.3.4||PowerPC||5||4.7.1||HD 5||5||2||–|
|iLife '06||Macworld Expo on January 10, 2006||$79||10.4.3||Universal||6||6.0.2||HD 6||6||3||1|
|iLife '08||Special Summer event on August 7, 2007 ||$79||10.4.9||Universal||7.0||–||7.0||7.0||4.0||2.0|
|iLife '09||Macworld Expo on January 6, 2009 ||$79||10.5.6||Universal||8.0||–||8.0||7.0.3||5.0||3.0|
|Apple Special Event on October 20, 2010 ||$49||10.6.3||Intel||9.4.3||–||9.0.9||7.1.2||6.0.5||3.0.4|
(Mac App Store)
|Mac App Store launch on January 6, 2011 ||$15 per app||10.6.6||Intel||9.4.3||–||9.0.9||–||6.0.5||–|
|iLife '13||Apple Special Event on October 22, 2013||Free upgrade, or $15 per app||10.9||Intel||9.5||–||10.0||–||10.0||–|
Notes about specific releases:
- iLife '06: This was the last release to include iTunes. It now comes with every Mac computer and account, as well as every Apple device (i.e. iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple TV).
- iLife '08: This release included a completely updated iMovie with a new user interface which omitted some of the features of the previous version. In response to criticism, Apple released iMovie HD 6 as a free download to anyone who purchased this version of iLife.
- iLife '09: With this release of iLife the free download of iMovie HD 6 was discontinued.
- iLife '11: PowerPC Macs are not compatible with iLife '11. Although iLife '11 originally supported Snow Leopard, the latest updates to iPhoto and iMovie require Lion.
- iLife '13: Existing iLife ’11 or iWork ’09 users or Macs purchased from Oct 1, 2013 would receive a free upgrade. Users without iLife ’11 or iWork ’09 would need to buy iMovie and iPhoto at full price.
- Apple Introduces Next Generation iWork and iLife Apps for OS X and iOS, Apple Inc. 2013-10-22.
- Apple Mac Event – Live Update, Macworld. 2007-08-07.
- iLife '09 Press Release, Apple Inc. 2009-01-26.
- iLife '11 Press Release, Apple Inc. 2010-10-20.
- Mac App Store Press Release, Apple Inc. 2011-01-06.
- iWork, a software suite focused on productivity and work.
- iLife at Apple (archived 2003-01-08)
- iLife at Wikipedia