Apple iLife '09

Click on the new i (for 'information') icon at the bottom-right of any photo containing GPS data and you will see a map showing where it was taken. The same thing works for Events too, and you get to see where all the photos in that event were taken on the map.

Click on Places in Library and you'll see a map of the world with pins showing all the locations you've taken shots in. Pan around and zoom into this map with ease and click on the pins to see the photos. It's a great way to find photos from your holidays, and there's also a column view that enables you to narrow your search down by the locations available in your photo library. This is the real use of Places – a great new way for finding your photos.

Faces and Places are the big new features of iPhoto '09, but there's also a few new buttons to be found on the main interface in the form of MobileMe, Facebook, Flickr and Email, which provide you with integrated upload to the various galleries, and quicker access to emailing photos.

These seem to work well, and uploading was simply a case of selecting a few photos and hitting the button. Our pictures were then online in seconds. A really great feature is that the Facebook uploader also retains any Faces information you've already added to your photos, tagging the name on the Facebook page, which cuts down on the amount of work you'd need to do later.

If somebody else then identifies other people in the photos this information is brought back into iPhoto the next time it syncs with Facebook and your Faces are updated – very impressive!

While we're on the subject of being impressed, the new enhanced full-screen Slideshow themes are definitely in the same ballpark, particularly the punchy Shatter effect, which generated a well deserved round of gasps and whoops during Phil's keynote.

There are several themes on offer – Shatter, Classic, Sliding Panels, Snapshots and Scrapbook – and they all offer exciting and vibrant new ways to show off your photos to friends. With these themes at your disposal your slideshows aren't going to put anybody to sleep anymore, especially when combined with a rocking soundtrack.

We particularly liked the ability to use a filmstrip at the bottom of the screen to jump to any photo in the slideshow. Another feature we especially liked was the ability to sync your slideshows with your iPod touch or iPhone complete with Themes, so the next time you want to show people your latest family photos you can do it with a proper slideshow, instead of having to fumble your way through your photo gallery manually.

iPhoto Books

Finally, there's an update to iPhoto's Books. These are the gorgeous bound photo books that you can create in iPhoto and then order from Apple. In the '09 version of iPhoto you can now print onto the hard cover of the book itself, not just the dustflap.

If you use the Autoflow button to automatically populate your book with your photos, then you'll find that iPhoto automatically adds in a map showing where your photos were taken, provided they had location data. Alternatively, in the Layout menu you now have the option of adding a Map – perfect for books of your latest holidays.

You can search for pretty much any location in the world and just drop a pin on it, much as you would on Google Maps. There's also an option to draw lines between locations on your map, indicating where your trip started and where it finishes.