Conference/expo was educational, entertaining
Jan. 30, 2012
by Mark Ollig

Since 1985, this event has brought together in one location all the attractions Apple computer lovers crave the most.

The Macworld | iWorld 2012 Conference and Expo took place last week at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco.

Advertised as “The World’s Ultimate iFanEvent,” the conference/expo covered three days of technical talks, exhibits, films, demonstrations, music, and more.

The Macworld conference portion of the event was Jan. 25-28, while the Expo sessions took place Jan. 26-28.

The conference/expo was designed to educate, as well as entertain, the folks attending.

Part showcase and part learning, the event included numerous vendor displays including exhibit hall, which featured “the largest collection of Apple-related products on the planet.”

Attendees could test (and purchase) these products and software apps (applications) which support the Mac, iPhone, and iPad platforms.

Several exhibit halls displaying pictorial information about Apple technology and software applications were located throughout the convention center.

The Mobile Apps Showcase featured face-to-face demonstrations of the newest iOS (user operating system inside Apple’s mobile devices) applications.

The latest software for the Mac computer was shown at the OS X Zone, located at booth 818.

For all of my fellow Microsoft Windows users out there, OS X is the Mac computer’s Operating System version 10, which was released by Apple in 2001.

The conference/expo goers were able to use the new Apple program apps being displayed. In addition, they could talk directly with the actual programmers who created them.

The conference/expo’s First Looks displayed many of the new-to-market products, which were being shown for the first time.

One new product yours truly liked is from a company called Newer Technology.

Called the GripStand, this smart-looking, durable, and well-designed case, is for carrying and displaying an iPad.

The iPad is encased inside the GripStand’s hard protective plastic shell. The removable swivel stand can be rotated 360 degrees, and be adjusted for any viewing angle comfortable to the user. The swivel stand is also used as a handle for carrying the iPad.

Another product that caught my eye was the Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet.

This new wall outlet provides power for a USB rechargeable device by simply plugging it into one of the two USB ports.

The UL-listed and approved Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet works and looks just like your ordinary flush-mounted, on-the-wall, electrical outlet plate.

A standard four-pin Type-A USB port is located on each side of the two three-prong AC outlet plug-in receptacles.

Using the Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet eliminates the entanglement of USB charging cables connected to one’s computer USB ports. It also does away with the hassle of having to use multiple USB AC adapters.

The Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet adapter will work with all Apple iPads, iPods, Android Tablets, and phones, or any device using a standard USB connection for power re-charging.

The Macworld | iWorld 2012 Conferences midway allowed an interactive user experience of the Apple OS X and iOS products.

The midway showed how Apple technology is used in the creation of digital art.

This art was presented in the Digital Art gallery, and featured the digital art work created by 15 artists.

There was also an iPad Sketch Station. Here, conference attendees watched talented artists draw incredible images and pictures – just using iPads.

Another venue called Art Showings, showcased Apple Illustrations and Photoshop- created art galleries, photography displays, and creative tool training.

The Music Experience location presented live, daily solo, group, and nightly performances.

Some of the musical performers included Atomic Tom, Beats Unique, Eclectic Method, J Boogie, and Hank Shocklee.

I freely admit to not knowing any of these musical artists.

Musician workshops also were offered.

The iPhone Film Festival featured the screening of films made using the iPhone, along with tech-talks with film makers, directors, and general meet ups with other attendees and presenters.

I learned there is a full-length, unaired, “South Park” animated pilot episode which was created using only an iPhone.

User training and learning tips were presented at the conference on Apple’s OS X and iOS during the three-day Tech Talks product training and informational sessions.

Attendees had their choice of more than 75 sessions to participate in.

One of last Thursday’s Tech Talks included a discussion on Apple’s iPhone 4S Siri voice-interaction technology, which this columnist previously likened to the fictional “HAL 9000.”

Another Tech Talks session demonstrated some of Apple’s latest tools, including “iClouds Little Helpers,” iOS Filesharing Unleashed, “Living on 3 Screens — Mac, iPhone, iPad,” and “Appalooza: Discovering the Greatest Apps.”

Shellie Hall, a consultant for Ducktype Digital, talked about the top 25 iPad apps used for enhancing one’s social media profile or business brand.

More than 26,000 people attended last year’s event, and record breaking attendance was expected for this year’s Macworld | iWorld 2012 Conference and Expo.

For more information, check out the Macworld | iWorld website at http://www.Macworldexpo.com.

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