Macworld 2012 outside

Macworld 2012 took place this year at Moscone West, a smaller venue than both Moscone North and South (the location of several previous Macworlds), but plenty of people were on hand for big discounts and to see the latest wares.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Moscone North--lobby

Just outside the show floor, people lined up to register, schedule talks with industry leaders, and take a break to talk about what they had seen inside.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Macworld--on the show floor

Though the smaller venue probably exaggerated the crowds, there were plenty of excited vendors and show visitors checking out all the latest gear.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Not as many big names

Gone are the days of giant Apple displays (Apple's last Macworld was in 2009) and there weren't very many of the big-name vendors either, but some companies like HP and the New York Times came to greet potential new customers.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Third-party vendors out in force

Though the big kiosks were not on display, plenty of third-party vendors made the trip to Macworld. Bang and Olufsen--a company that makes unique-looking sound systems and other hardware--showed off a 360-degree sound system. Just dock your iPad and the whole room gets the full sound experience.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

All about audio

AllJack was also in attendance, showing off probably the most interesting sound system at the show. Though I'm not sure I would want these garish speakers in my living room, I'm sure there's an audience for AllJack's wares.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Cases, cases, and more cases

Whether you want to protect your iPad or call attention to your iPhone, just about every case imaginable was on display. These particularly fancy cases from Hub Innovations were "embellished with Swarovski crystals," according to the Web site. I think it's required you carry a toy poodle with you at all times to have a case like this.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Case or wallet?

This particular case from iLid was both thin and sturdy and you could open a door to access your credit cards, an extra key, and other items. The guys who invented the item are currently on Kickstarter trying to raise money, and I think they've got a great chance at success with this concept.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Also? Cases

The folks from SlickWraps had some great-looking cases on display, as well as designer adhesive "wraps" you can attach to your iPhone and other iOS devices for a unique look.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Did I mention cases?

Snaptotes was showing off laptop and iPad bags that had actual photos superimposed on them.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

iPhone app developers, but not too many

In one corner of the show floor, a big circle of kiosks were operated by various iPhone app vendors. I talked to those both new to the app business and seasoned veterans of the iTunes App Store. All were excited about their latest products.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Mac software vendors

In the Mac software vendor aisle were several big names I recognized, and just about everyone had a special discount to tout.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Almost famous

I ran into Paul Levine from Rage Software. After some talking about his products we realized that I had promoted his software at Download.com when he created it at the age of 14 (2002), which led him to pursue a life as a software developer. I take no credit for his success (his products are very good), but it was still good to hear. He even had someone take a picture of us together!
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

What are you selling again?

In the middle of the show floor was a trampoline with scantily clad people showing off their acrobatic skills. Crowds gathered to watch them pull off amazing tricks, but it took me a second to look up and realize it was Polk Audio selling headphones for sports and exercise.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

OmniGroup shows off OmniFocus

The folks at OmniGroup, a small group of developers with well-polished software I have promoted many times on Download.com for its style and functionality, were showing off their latest version of OmniFocus for Mac and iPhone.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

ZeoBit and I sit down

ZeoBit, maker of MacKeeper, an all-in-one maintenance suite to keep your Mac fast and secure was at the show as well. I sat down with Jeremiah Fowler, PR director, and discussed the software at length. Check back for a review in the near future once I get a good look.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:

Pulling out all the stops

The folks from TuneUp Media came to the show with this sweet 1979 Volkswagen van. The company's software helps you clean up dupes, find cover art, and accomplish other useful tasks in iTunes. Last I checked, TuneUp was pretty good as an iTunes add-on, but the manager pointed out that it's even better with the most recent update. I'll have a look, but it was hard to stop looking at that van.
Updated:
Photo by: Jason Parker/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

'Tis the season for a gadget upgrade

Check out these 8 tablets you'll want to bring home for the holidays.

Hot Products