By >Akihabara News Team
Back to the Mac Announcements
Yesterday, Apple held their “Back to the Mac” media event at their Cupertino, California headquarters. There was a lot of exciting news to be shared as developments had been building up since their last such media event back in June ’09. Here is the low down on the most exciting news, and information about when you can get what, and what kinds of changes to expect in mac products.
Possibly the announcement that was the least surprising was the introduction of the next Mac operating system, OS X Lion. Heck, everyone’s been talking about it for ages, and besides, there’s a lion’s face peeking out through the Apple logo on the event’s promotional materials. OS X Lion brings iOS features to Mac OS in a few different ways; firstly, there is multi touch. While Apple does not intend to release touchscreen computers, the touch feature will work with the trackpad of macbooks, as well as with the magic mouse, and the new magic trackpad, which will can be hooked up to desktop computers. The main touch-based features that will be included in Lion are the utilities Launchpad and Mission Control. Launchpad is basically the new home for your apps. It resembles the iOS interface. It rests in the dock, and once you have clicked on it, all of your apps are displayed in a grid on your desktop as they are in the iOS, and can then be scrolled through as you would on an iPhone. Apps can also be grouped into folders as they are in iOS. Mission Control replaces OSX’s Expose feature. As in Expose, Mission Control scales down all of your windows so that you see them all at once, then you can select the one you want. The difference is that it groups windows from the same app in order to keep them organized, and it also allows easy access to your dock and dashboard. Lion brings big change, but you won’t have to adapt your working style yet, the next version of OS X is coming out summer 2011.
II. FaceTime for Mac
It’s on the newest iPhone and iPod Touch, and now it’s available for the Mac. A beta version of FaceTime for Mac, Apple’s new video conferencing application, is available for all Mac OS X 10.6.4 users immediately. You can download the beta version of FaceTime for Mac from Apple’s site. There has been speculation as to whether this development will lead to the disappearance of iChat.
III. iLife ‘11
The newest version of iLife introduces some interesting improvements. iPhoto has some easy to use slideshow themes, and email and Facebook integration. Users can create projects like photo albums and letter press cards. iMovie has a new trailer creation feature that makes dynamic video editing easier with face recognition for close up shots and comes with a collection of templates. This version also allows users to adjust FPS. GarageBand also serves up some new features; Flex Time and Groove Matching, which basically help take the trouble of practicing for hours and help users create polished musical pieces.
IV. Mac App Store
It’s been a hit on iPhone and iPad, and now Apple has created an App Store for Mac. This App store will run as a stand-alone application, separate from iTunes. Installation is automatic after download, and all updates take place through the App Store. Developers can start submitting applications next month, and the store will go online in January on Snow Leopard.
There’s always an exciting surprise as these events, so here we go.
V. New mac book airs, yes airs
Apple revealed their new MacBook Air design which features an updated wedge shape. The new design applies to both the 13.3inch model and the new 11.6incher. Technically a netbook, the 11.6inch MacBook Air is a welcome introduction by many waiting a Mac fans who want something ultra-portable but are not into tablets. The wedge-shaped design is sleek and has gotten many people all worked up, but we’re not seeing this as something entire new. In fact, have a look at Sony Viao PCG-X505 from 2005. The shape bears a striking resemblance to this “new” design, no?
Anyways, they still look great, here are the specs:
11.6inch has 1366×768 resolution and is available with a 64GB or 128GB harddrive. Starts at $999.
13.3inch has 1440×900 resolution and is available with a 128GB or 256GB harddrive. Starts at $1299.
Both models feature an LED backlit display, Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor, full-size keyboard, Multi-Touch trackpad , SD card slot, 2 USB 2.0 ports, mini DisplayPort, headphone jack, microphone, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a FaceTime camera.
The other major news concerning the MacBook Airs, other than the shape, is that both rely on flash memory and neither has an optical drive or a hard drive. The purpose is to replicate the iOS experience, with instant on capability, like the iphone. There will be no more waiting to boot-up, faster response time and more reliable hardware and longer battery life. And they’re much smaller and lighter, which everyone will love.