Live Updates: Apple Goes Back to Mac - New Air!
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
Core 2 Duo CPU (boo!)
Full sized keyboard
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.