We’ve been attending the winter’s Macworld Conference and Expo for many years – from the show’s heyday when Apple would kick off proceedings with a Steve Jobs-hosted keynote and then take centre stage at the expo itself, to the years following Apple’s decision not to attend the show, when the word on the street was that the event couldn’t survive.

This year’s conference proved the naysayers wrong. First a name change – from Macworld Expo to Macworld | iWorld – breathed new life into the show. And then the focus that accompanied that change – from a show largely centred on vendor booths and training, to one that also devoted space and time to the creative things people do with Apple’s technology. Macworld | iWorld embraced the enthusiasm that everyone has for Apple right now, uniting the old BMUG gang, the new hipster iOS crowd, and everyone in between.

We saw plenty of exciting Mac and iOS products and apps at this year’s event. From the hot new must-haves to the not yet launched, we tracked down the most impressive and innovative, and here we highlight the products that stood out from the crowd.

PrivacyScan

Company: Secure Mac  URL: privacyscan.securemac.com
Price: £2.99, Mac App Store

Whenever you surf the internet little bits of information about you and your browsing habits are collected. If you are worried about just how much information is being gathered, you can address your concerns with PrivacyScan.

When you run the app, it securely shreds files that could compromise your privacy. These may include newly installed apps that could contain privacy threats, or Flash cookies that are not controlled through the cookie privacy controls in a browser, so even if you delete them they will still be there.

There are various levels of shredding available, all the way up to the high-security US State Department of Defense government deletion standards, which means not only is the file disposed of, but it is written over up to 35 times.

MokaFive Mac in Minutes

Company: MokaFive  URL: www.moka5.com
Price: $150 per seat per year (£95)

As Apple’s popularity grows, IT administrators have to accept the influx of Macs entering the business environment, whether it’s company CEOs insisting on a MacBook Air or contractors bringing their own Mac to work. For these IT administrators help is at hand in the form of MokaFive, which makes it easy to secure and update desktops and laptops across an enterprise.

MokaFive wraps up VMware’s Fusion product in the extra layer of security that’s required by many enterprises. It also adds features including automatic updates of virtual machines, streaming and caching of virtual machine images, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics support, and zero-footprint install when running from a USB drive. The company describes its solution as a “Mac in Minutes” since it lets companies securely deploy their corporate Windows desktop to all their Mac users in less time than it takes to watch a movie.

MotionComposer

Company: Aquafadas  URL: www.aquafadas.com
Price: £130.36

Apple launched iBooks Author just days before Macworld | iWorld, and Aquafadas was pleased to show us that its MotionComposer will be fully compatible with Apple’s solution. Its CTO Matthieu Kopp told us that the next version of the application will come with a new export capability that will create widgets that can be integrated in a iBooks Authored book.

The HTML widget in iBooks Author supports Dashboard widgets, which are HTML5 packages with a .wdgt file extension. You can use any Dashboard widget from Lion in iBooks Author, or you can create one of your own using an editor such as MotionComposer.

The application makes it possible to create interactive web animations in HTML5, without writing a single line of code.

Fantastical

Company: Flexibits  URL: www.flexibits.com
Price: £13.99, Mac App Store

Flexibits released version 1.2 of Fantastical just in time for Macworld | iWorld. The app provides a menu-bar-based calendar and a running list of upcoming events, letting you manage your calendars without having to open your calendar program or website. We like the way you can create new events by typing natural-language descriptions. The program supports calendars hosted by iCal, BusyMac’s BusyCal, or Microsoft’s Entourage or Outlook, as well as those hosted by MobileMe, iCloud, Google Calendar or Yahoo Calendar. The new version improves recurring event entry, so you can enter: “Rock choir every Thursday at 8pm” more reliably, it also adds French, German, Italian and Spanish languages.

Sandvox 2.5

Company: Karelia Software  URL: www.karelia.com
Price: £54.99, Mac App Store

Now that Apple has ceased development of iWeb, we were interested to learn that Sandvox, the visual web design and authoring package from Karelia Software, is adding a number of new features. Version 2.5 offers slideshow functionality, support for exclusive Lion features and additional language support. It also provides an easy way to announce your site or its updates via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or by email.

The new slideshow functionality offers eye-catching transitions. Users can now showcase their image collections as a slideshow by dragging and dropping them onto the new Slide Show object. Options for timing, transitions and captions are adjustable in the program’s object inspector. In addition, the photo grid now supports displayed captions derived from page contents.

Sandvox 2.5 takes advantage of some of the features in Mac OS X Lion, such as Resume, Autosave, Versions and Fullscreen mode.
Advancements in under-the-hood engineering, including a publishing engine overhaul, new placeholder displays, improvements to .m4v file compatibility, Quick Look support, and text layout and alignment enhancements, drive many of the new features in this upgrade.