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Live Updates: Apple Goes Back to Mac - New Air!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 82 comments

Apple's been all about its iOS devices the past while. Is this the time that Apple gets back behind the original computing product?

10:00 - Steve hits the stage and introduces Tim Cook to start the Back to the Mac event.

10:04 - Tim Cook is talking about how well the Mac still doing. How it's growing faster than the PC and the rest of the industry. 600,000 registered Mac developers per month, with 30,000 new ones per month. One of the recent new ones was Valve Software.

10:06 - Yay, the Mac is getting great games like Half-Life! (But where is our Episode 3?)

10:07 - 318 Apple stores. Lots of new stores selling people to who have never used a Mac before. Half of the Mac buyers are new to the platform.

10:10 - Steve is back on stage talking about iLife. As predicted, it's iLife 11. First one he's talking about is iPhoto. SVP Phil Schiller is called on stage to talk about iPhoto.

10:12 - A big new feature is a full screen view for iPhoto, which appears to be GPU accelerated. It's basically more screen real estate to look at and manage your photos.

10:14 - iPhoto has a new feature that makes a slideshow for you automatically, was demonstrated using Places geotagging feature. All the automatic slideshow templates look very smooth and appealing. It definitely takes control out of the hands of the user, but Apple does doing things for its users.

10:17 - It can even make an email filled with photos for you. I can imagine that people who love showing off their travel pics with a slide projector would love this sort of thing.

10:19 - One nice thing is that the iPhoto has better Flickr and Facebook integration. You can view comments of your photos that were made on Facebook right inside iPhoto.

10:20 - Now there's a demonstration about making photo albums. Once again, there's a lot of automation. Just a few clicks and iPhoto makes an entire photo album for you, which can be printed.

10:25 - Steve is back to introduce iMovie 11. The new features: all new audio editing; one step effects; people finder; news and sports themes; and making movie trailers.

10:26 - Randy Ubilous comes on to stage to show all the control that iMovie 11 users will have to control audio levels. Users can increase or decrease volume though the clip, or introduce effects that change the sound. Shown off is a kid doing a "Luke, I am your father" in a Vader voice.

10:30 - Wow, iMovie 11 will automate movie trailer making. Again, there is this theme of automated functionality. While there are a lot of options, there could be a lot of cookie cutter homemade trailers hitting YouTube.

10:40 - Apple presents three sample trailers. They do look pretty great, but the footage that they start off with is pretty good. Some include shots of the same setting from multiple angles, and we doubt that people at home will have multiple cameras shooting the same thing. Still, very nice feature.

10:41 - Steve is back on stage to introduce GarageBand 11 with new features: Flex Time, Groove Matching, More guitar amp effects, new piano features. Xander Soren is called on stage to show it.

10:42 - Soren shows tracks from a band that's not playing so well. There is a "groove matching" feature that can fix a band's rhythm problem. Seems that GarageBand can make a really bad garage band into one that doesn't suck as much as it really does. Yet another automatic feature. Apple just called it an "automatic spell checker" for bad rhythm.

10:44 - Another new feature is Flex Time, which can stretch (or presumably shorten) the sustain of a note. Essentially, it can fix mistakes. Soren says that musicians will love this feature. There's certainly a lot of very nice tricks to make amateurs sound better though. I wonder what the pros think. Trent Reznor, a die-hard Mac user, probably has far better tools already.

10:47 - GarageBand has music lessons built in. There's a piano playing coach that can analyze how well you're playing a music piece. It works for guitar too. Doesn't seem as fun as Rock Band 3 though.

10:49 - Steve returns back to stage. iLife 11 will ship with every new Mac for free (like the previous iLifes), will be a $49 upgrade for existing users, and will be available today.

10:50 - Steve's talking about FaceTime. 19 million FaceTime devices out there (iPhone + iPod touch). FaceTime is coming to Mac. So this means video chat between Macs, iPhones and iPod Touches. The beta is available today for Mac. I wonder how Skype feels about this? And we're sure that Apple would love to crack into PC users too.

10:54 - The entree today is Mac OS X. Steve shows off all his pet cats, and the next one will be Lion -- the 8th major release of Mac OS X. This one will integrate some of the iOS features of the iPhone and iPad into Mac OS X. This was inevitable, given the success of iOS.

10:56 - Big new points: multi touch gestures; App Store; App Home Screens; Full screen apps (Apple seems to be loving the full screen modes today); Auto saving apps; Auto resuming apps when launched.

10:58 - Touching your laptop screen? Steve says it doesn't work. It's too tiring, ergonomically terrible, makes your arm wants to fall off. Apple says the right way is with horizontal surfaces, like the multitouch trackpads, Magic Trackpad, Magic Trackpad, etc.

10:59 - That's it, there's going to be a Mac App Store. One click downloads, automatic installs, free and paid apps, automatic updates, same 70/30 split with Apple and its devs. Apps will be licensed for use on all your Macs -- buy once, use all over.

11:01 - Spaces, Expose, Dashboard, etc, will all become "Mission Control." Apple and their names.

11:02 - Craig Federighi here to show the Mac App Store. It looks a lot like the one in iTunes. Thank goodness the Mac App Store doesn't use iTunes, which is getting bloated enough as it is.

11:03 - LaunchPad makes a home screen like on iOS. It's big grid of icons that looks like a big iPhone screen. Or maybe a really densely populated Windows Desktop.

11:06 - Federighi says he loves working with windows... but not Windows.

11:07 - There's a new expose feature. It's an evolution of the current implementation, if you like it.

11:10 - Mac OS X Lion is coming summer 2011, but the new Mac App Store is coming for Snow Leopard machines within 90 days. Developer applications start in November.

11:11 - Steve is wrapping up saying that Mac is still 33% of the company's revenue. He's summarizing everything today so far. We're waiting for "one more thing"... new super slim MacBook Air?

11:13 - Ah here it comes. One more thing...

11:14 - Steve says "What happened if an iPad met a notebook?" - Instant on, great battery life, amazing standby time, SSDs, all other things that are nice, etc..

11:15 - The new MacBook Air - Apple thinks it's the future. It looks quite angular, and thin. At the thickest point it's 0.68 inches thing, and tapers to 0.11 inches. Weighs 2.9 pounds. Complete unibody, even the display housing.

13.3 inch LED backlit display

1440x900 resolution

Core 2 Duo CPU (boo!)

GeForce 320M

Full sized keyboard

multitouch pad

No optical drive

No hard drive, all SSD

11:17 - Steve is now talking about how great SSDs are. He says Apple knows a lot about Flash... memory, that is.

Battery life 7 hours wireless web browsing

Standby time 30 days

Apple says that it is using more stringent standards to test battery life. This means closer to real-world numbers, we hope.

11:19 - SSD will be bare, not inside a drive. Might not be as easy to swap in and out your own drives. The computer itself is small, but the batteries inside are HUGE.

11:20 - 13.3 inch has a younger brother at 11.6 inches. 2.3 lbs. Same features as the 13.3 inch model, but 1366x768 resolution. 5 hours wireless web browsing and 30 day standby time.

11:21 - Pricing:

$999 - $1199 for the 11.6-inch

$1299 - $1599 for the 13.3-inch

11:23 - Steve says that are very environmentally friendly, despite Newsweek ratings. New machines available today.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    cruiseoveride , October 20, 2010 6:10 PM
    Quote:
    A big new feature is a full screen view for iPhoto


    /face palm.
  • 13 Hide
    ashburner , October 20, 2010 6:45 PM
    What is this 2.5 year old Core 2 Duo processor?
  • 12 Hide
    darkchazz , October 20, 2010 6:35 PM
    meh , low specs and overpriced :( 
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    The Greater Good , October 20, 2010 5:36 PM
    "Tim Cook is talking about how well the Mac still doing. How it's growing faster than the PC and the rest of the industry. 600,000 registered Mac developers per month, with 30,000 new ones per month."

    Funny how they mention that... and Android is doing the same in the mobile phone space. Hey Steve, how about that? So by Apple's own definition... Android is better than the iPhone.
  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , October 20, 2010 5:42 PM
    Quote:
    10:30 - Wow, iMovie 11 will automate movie trailer making. Again, there is this theme of automated functionality. While there are a lot of options, there could be a lot of cookie cutter homemade trailers hitting YouTube.


    So the software will watch your movie, and pick-out about 30-seconds worth of clips that illustrate certain key-points of your movie. Then the software will what, record its own voiceover? "In a world that time forgot..."

    I really hate the abuse of the word automate in this day and age. Everything your computer does for you is automation to some extent. When you hit the power button, that automates sending a signal to the PSU to power on, which then indicates to your BIOS to start the boot-up sequence, which then searches your harddrive for the boot sector, which then launches your OS bootloader, which then blah blah blah.

    I'm not there to watch the presentation, but I highly doubt it automates trailer production any more than it automates movie editing in general.
  • 24 Hide
    cruiseoveride , October 20, 2010 6:10 PM
    Quote:
    A big new feature is a full screen view for iPhoto


    /face palm.
  • 11 Hide
    Yoder54 , October 20, 2010 6:13 PM
    The Greater Good"Tim Cook is talking about how well the Mac still doing. How it's growing faster than the PC and the rest of the industry. 600,000 registered Mac developers per month, with 30,000 new ones per month."Funny how they mention that... and Android is doing the same in the mobile phone space. Hey Steve, how about that? So by Apple's own definition... Android is better than the iPhone.


    You must not have read the issues with the Android and it's "open" concept according to Jobs and MS (by implication since they jumped ship.)

    Those who think Apple is too large must not be familiar with American capitalism. There have been some huge companies in the past like Ma Bell, that were so large that they were forced to break-up by the Feds. This is the only threat that Apple faces. Even those at MS applaud the Apple marketing model, and Wall Street is keeps increasing the share target price of Apple which is now around $450 a share. In the past Apple has targeted the home consumer and education, but now industry and the medical professions are beginning to implement Apple devices.

    Granted, Apple is proprietary and does not bode well with those of us who like to DIY our computers, but at least they are an American firm. Apple is employing thousands of American's and have hundreds of jobs open on their site. They are also beginning a program where they will pull 2011 college grads into a 24-month training program and us them to run their stores. The beauty of this program is that they are not looking only at computer/engineering majors, but at anyone who loves technology and is willing to commit. Sure, they get a lot of their components from Asia, but they also employ a hell of a lot of American's, much like Dell and HP. Can the same be said for firms like Asus, Sony, and others whose CEO's are quick to trash the Apple marketing model?

    Personally, I am just glad to see the tech sector as a whole coming back. The few shiny stars like Apple only emphasize that American technology is second to none.

  • 9 Hide
    haunted one , October 20, 2010 6:19 PM
    "600 000 developers with 30,000 new ones per month"

    I just learned in Stats today: "Don't extrapolate the graph beyond the given data!"
  • -8 Hide
    smeker , October 20, 2010 6:27 PM
    The Greater Good"Tim Cook is talking about how well the Mac still doing. How it's growing faster than the PC and the rest of the industry. 600,000 registered Mac developers per month, with 30,000 new ones per month."Funny how they mention that... and Android is doing the same in the mobile phone space. Hey Steve, how about that? So by Apple's own definition... Android is better than the iPhone.


    Hello troll! =) your comment has nothing to do with the Apple Media Event.
    Maybe you can open a troll topic in Tom's forum where you can feed your trolls with other unrelated information.
  • 0 Hide
    stm1185 , October 20, 2010 6:30 PM
    So lets see, Automated software features in iLife. Making OSX more like iOS. And a "new" notebook with terrible hardware inside. Nothing to get excited about.
  • 4 Hide
    smeker , October 20, 2010 6:31 PM
    About the event, it's ok but nothing stunning.... I am not sure if I would like to purchase a new macbook air if I already have a macbook pro with better performing cpu and same battery life.
    The only good thing I see is the weight advantage.

    MacStore App might be a good way to bring more apps to the mac users and increase sales.

    I might be waiting for the 2nd gen iPad, hopefully coming early spring 2011.

  • -2 Hide
    tommysch , October 20, 2010 6:33 PM
    smekerHello troll! =) your comment has nothing to do with the Apple Media Event. Maybe you can open a troll topic in Tom's forum where you can feed your trolls with other unrelated information.


    Would you kindly stop with the copypasta, take your fail and gtfo?
  • 12 Hide
    darkchazz , October 20, 2010 6:35 PM
    meh , low specs and overpriced :( 
  • 8 Hide
    jazn1337 , October 20, 2010 6:36 PM
    The macbook air, keeping sure that your wallet has nothing but.
  • -2 Hide
    parellel , October 20, 2010 6:37 PM
    Another service pack announced? You have to pay for this one as well? Gotta love Apple milking their customers like that
  • -4 Hide
    smeker , October 20, 2010 6:37 PM
    darkchazzmeh , low specs and overpriced


    Yeah, I agree.
  • 3 Hide
    hellwig , October 20, 2010 6:41 PM
    The only problem with the App Store... How long before you can't install any programs to your Mac that aren't bought from the App Store? Yeah, there are development Macs (they still make Mac Pros?), but I wouldn't put it past Apple to restrict the iMacs and MacBooks in this way (as they already have all the iOS devices).

    The concept of the App Store is good (downloadable, distributable, relocatable), but I don't trust it in the hands of Apple. I mean, you still can't get songs to your iPod unless you use iTunes, right?
  • 0 Hide
    tommysch , October 20, 2010 6:45 PM
    stm1185So lets see, Automated software features in iLife. Making OSX more like iOS. And a "new" notebook with terrible hardware inside. Nothing to get excited about.


    Their business model is to take outdated PC hardware and claim its magically cutting edge because it has a unibody frame. Everyone knows that brushed aluminum raise the price of a product by over 9000%.

    A world where Apple has too much market share would look like the current corporate PC park. Millions upon millions of P4 with 512MB of RAM with no hope of being phased out. Why would anyone need to push innovation? it just works!
  • 13 Hide
    ashburner , October 20, 2010 6:45 PM
    What is this 2.5 year old Core 2 Duo processor?
  • 2 Hide
    molo9000 , October 20, 2010 6:47 PM
    The only thing missing in the MB Air is a UMTS module.
    An ultra portable should really have internet anywhere without having to plug a USB modem into the only available USB port.

    Otherwise it's pretty awesome.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 20, 2010 6:48 PM
    so the macbook air ia an iPad minus touch plus keyboard...... that just scream dont buy me
  • 10 Hide
    molo9000 , October 20, 2010 6:48 PM
    ashburnerWhat is this 2.5 year old Core 2 Duo processor?


    If they used core i3s or core i5s they would have to use intel graphics. At least for gaming the core2duo/320m is better than a corei5/intel graphics solution.
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