used this past week’s Macworld Conference & Expo 2004 in Boston, Mass. to give show attendees a preview of what its latest iteration of the World Book multimedia encyclopedia will look like when the software debuts this fall. Expected in stores by Thanksgiving, the new version sports more than one hundred new and improved features, according to the developers.
The new 2005 edition adds real-time simulations of swimming fish to its “Waterstream” home screen, where users roll their cursors and can click on sea life to find out names and more information. One of the most eye-catching features, however, is the new 3D Atlas and Almanac. Displaying a rotating globe, the 3D Atlas and Almanac now shows not just day and night in real-time, but cloud cover as well, culled from satellite data posted periodically to the Internet.
The main encyclopedia can now open multiple articles at once — the previous release was fixed at full-screen and could only show one article at a time. And Rendezvous notecard support has been enhanced to allow users to select which notecards will be shared and with whom. What’s more, the World Book dictionary can now be launched independently without launching the encyclopedia first. Words can be read aloud automatically when they’re looked up, and multiple windows can be opened simultaneously so you can compare definitions.
Look for World Book 2005 to be available in Apple Stores and the Apple Store online by Thanksgiving. Pricing remains to be set. Information about the 2005 edition has yet to be posted on Software MacKiev’s Web site, but you can
get more info
about the current edition online.