Upgrade your iLife

Apple iLife '11

Have you decided if you are going to make the jump from your current version of iLife to the latest and greatest iLife '11? Sure you have. With the new iLife you get newer versions of iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. Like it or not, the only way to get new features for iLife products are the upgrades that come every 18 months or so. Now before you run out and buy the new iLife, make sure your Mac meets the minimum system requirements.

  • Mac Computer with Intel Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 5GB of Disk Space
  • DVD Drive for Installation
  • Mac OS 10.6.3 or Later
  • Some Features Require Internet Access And/Or MobileMe

[ad#468x60 Banner] I'm sure a few of these requirements could use some clarification for those of you relatively new to the Apple world. First, your Mac must have an Intel Processor. This means that Macs with the older PowerPC processors (G3s & G4s may still be in some use) won't run iLife '11, nor would they run iLife '09. So if you have iLife '09 on your computer, your Mac is capable of running iLife '11 - with one exception.

To use iLife '11 you must have upgraded to the latest version of the Mac OS, 10.6 "Snow Leopard." If you are still using Leopard, 10.5, you are out of luck. Don't fret, Apple makes this problem an easy one to fix and actually pretty inexpensive. You can upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard for only $29 US. If you don't have Leopard, your system most likely can't run Snow Leopard which means you can't run iLife '11. It's time to visit your local Apple Store and upgrade to a new MacBook or PowerMac.

If you have gotten this far, you are ready to buy iLife '11. You may be wondering, in this very Microsoft world, what version of iLife '11 you need to buy. You are probably asking, "I have iLife '09 is there an upgrade version?" Or maybe you never upgraded to iLife '09 and still have iLife '08, can you upgrade? Again, Apple makes this terribly easy. Every Mac for many years has come with iLife. That means anyone needing the new version is upgrading, so all boxed copies of iLife are technically upgrades. See, that was easy!

That being said, there are two versions of iLife. There is an individual version that costs $49 US. It's meant for the person or family with only one Mac. There is also a Family Pack, intended for the individual or family with more than one Mac. Doesn't matter how many Macs you own either,  they just need to be your Macs. The Family Pack version only costs $79 US, cheaper than if you bought two copies of the individual.

There you go, upgrading your iLife isn't all that difficult. Make sure your system is new enough and if it is, head on down to your local Apple Store, Best Buy or even dial-up Amazon or your favorite on-line Apple retailer.

Let me stop here and make a point to those just joining us from the Windows world. iLife includes five programs, three of them are serious gems. Anyone of those gems (iPhoto, iMovie or Garageband) would easily cost $79 or more on Windows. You can have five programs for $79 and it just gets better.

There is a little secret that every Mac user should know, but many long time users don't and most new users won't. iLife doesn't use any copy protection or licensing. Apple sells two different boxed versions, but the software contained in the boxes is identical. You are on the honor system, if you need iLife for two computers or more you should buy the Family Pack. If you only have one computer, buy the Individual box. In any case, Apple won't make you jump through any licensing hoops when you install the software.

Other Apple software does have some form of licensing, some of it pretty sophisticated, but iLife is an extension of the Mac OS and in truth an essential part of using a Mac. Apple knows this and wants everyone to upgrade to iLife '11. Do the right thing though, a buy the version that truly meets your needs.

Apple iLife '11