If there's been a constant for Macworld/iWorld in recent years, it's been change: Changes to the name of the event (it used to be Macworld Expo), changes to Apple's participation (the company no longer holds a keynote or has a presence on the show floor), and changes to its overall focus, including more "cultural" programming.
But a love of Apple products--and their surrounding ecosystem of accessories, apps, and other cool stuff--remains at the core of the experience. That love is easily seen in the event's 2013 schedule, which Macworld/iWorld unveiled this week.
"The show really stands on its own now as an interesting place to learn how to use Apple products, and for attendees to learn how to take their skills further," said Paul Kent, general manager for Macworld/iWorld.
The event will feature the usual exhibitors--this year, more than 250--and nearly 200 OS X and iOS app developers, Kent said. Additionally, it will feature an intense focus on iPhone photography: There's a full day of training offered, with breakout sessions to show users how to improve their camera skills and which accessories can help them capture even better images. (The event also includes the iPhone Film Festival, which features short movies filmed entirely on the iOS device.)
"Probably the hottest topic of what people are doing with their iOS devices is iPhotography," Kent said. "They say the best quality camera you have is the one you have in your pocket. People are taking their hobbyist skills up to new levels."
And the new emphasis on cultural programming will continue. This year's opening night Macworld/iWorld Blast features legendary rock band Little Feat; the opening band will be the winner of the "Indie Innovation" battle, in which two bands that use Apple technology to make their music will pitch their business plan to the expo crowd.
"We're discovering new artists from all over the country who are using Apple technology in interesting ways," Kent said.
As usual, there will be plenty of Apple-related panels and sessions, including a variety of Main Stage events that will feature everything from a closer look at the Mountain Lion and iOS 6 operating systems to advice for developers on how to pitch their products to the press and public. "We think these main stage sessions will be really informative," Kent said.
Like past years, the Macworld staff will also host Macworld Live segments featuring industry analysis and commentary, which will also be webcast at Macworld.com.
Macworld/iWorld is held January 31 to February 2 in San Francisco. The basic iFan ticket package--which includes three days of access to the Tech Talk sessions, the Expo Hall exhibitions, and the interactive "Live Zone"--starts at $75 (£47) for participants who register before January 1.
Editor's note: Macworld.com, www.macworld.co.uk and Macworld magazine are produced by IDG Consumer & SMB, which shares the same corporate parent, IDG (International Data Group), as IDG World Expo, which runs the Macworld/iWorld trade show.