MacWorld 2008

/ 15 January 2008

Well, this morning was Steve Jobs’ MacWorld Keynote. I haven’t yet watched it, but couldn’t stop myself from reading on ARS Technica about what got unveiled.

First of all, as a result of the unveiled products 4 software updates were sent out to all users. Front Row 2.1.2, QuickTime 7.4, iMovie 7.1.1, and iTunes 7.6. The QuickTime and iTunes updates are paired to accompany each other to support the new features that were unveiled for the iTunes Store. As always, the QuickTime update requires a restart. There is not, however, the 10.5.2 update.

Apple unveiled a product called “Time Capsule” that uses the 802.11n wireless protocol and is designed to be a central Time Machine storage location. This is essentially the replacement to the the AEBS solution that Apple took out right before Leopard’s release. The 500 GB version is $299.00 and the 1 TB version is $499.00.

Apple has upgraded the iPod Touch software to contain the extra apps that the iPhone already has (minus the phone). Current iPod Touch users can pay $20.00 and get these extra apps that way.

The iTunes Store now contains movie rentals. These will be HD videos and contain movies provided by Miramax, Touchstone, MGM Lionsgate, New Line Cinema, Fox, Warner Bors, Paramount, Sony, and Universal. They will become available about 30 days after DVD release.It will launch “by the end of February”. We’ll be able to start watching after 30 seconds of download and have 24 hours to watch them. Once downloaded, users will have 30 days to begin watching a movie. The price will be $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases. HD movies will be $1.00 more (and only available for the Apple TV?).

The Apple TV 2.0 was released. This is a $229.00 product and has a whole new UI that supports the iTunes Store downloads as well as the new movie rentals. Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound will be included for the movies and they’ll sync with computers on the local network. .Mac integration will be included for the sake of Web Galleries. Owners of the Apple TV 1.0 will be getting a software update to address the new features.

And saving the best for last…

Apple, today, unveiled the MacBook Air. The 0.76 inch thick Apple notebook that rumors have been floating around about for weeks. The MacBook Air contains 1 USB port, an audio-out port, and a Micro-DVI port. It uses an Intel Core 2 Duo processor that is either 1.6 or 1.8 GHz. It has an 80 GB hard drive with optionally replacing that to 65 GB solid-state memory for $1,000.00 more. You can optionally buy a USB MacBook Air SuperDrive (but the MacBook Air supports a way of attaching to another mac’s SuperDrive for use as well). It contains a built-in iSight and comes with a Micro-DVI to DVI adapter. The keyboard is backlit. A solid-state trackpad that supports two-finger scroll, pinch, rotate, swipe, double-tap, and drag. The battery uses a 45 Watt adapter and will last for 5 hours max.

Ok, so that’s my quick description of what was released today. Enjoy, Alex.