Back to the Mac Event – October 2010

Today Apple held there “Back to the Mac” event showing off there latest in software and hardware. Next year is going to be a great year for Apple with the release of Mac OS 10.7 Lion. So if you missed any part of the Apple event or didn’t have a chance to watch it live, below are some of the highlights announced during the event.
MacBook Air

Apple announced two new flavors of the MacBook Air today, starting at $999 for a 64GB Air that has no hard drive or optical drive. The $999 MacBook Air has an 11.6-inch screen while a 13.3-inch Air, starting at $1299, will start at 128GB flash storage.
Both MacBook Airs have unibody construction with the SSD chips placed directly on the logic board. The 11-inch MacBook Air will have up to 5 hours of battery life, the 13-inch will have 7 hours. Both will last up to 30 days in standby mode.
The 13-inch MacBook Air has a 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo processor (upgradeable to 2.13 GHz), 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM (upgradeable to 4GB) and a NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics card with 1440×900 screen resolution and up to 256GB flash storage.
The 11-inch MacBook Air has a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (can upgrade to 1.6 GHz processor), 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM (upgradeable to 4GB) and NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics card with 1366×768 screen resolution and up to 128GB flash storage
The new MacBook Air is available today.
Mac App Store

Apple today has announced a Mac App Store based upon their popular iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad App Stores. The Mac App Store will offer one-click download of Mac apps, auto-installation, auto-updates, a 70/30 split for developers, and all the apps you buy are licensed for use on all your personal Macs.
A Mac App Store is something that has been suggested in the past by press and readers alike, but few thought one would ever materialize. It will be interesting to see how Mac developers respond to this and if any major developers (like Adobe, Microsoft, etc.) join in. The Mac App Store will be a stand alone app available for Snow Leopard and Lion. Application submissions start in November and the store opens 90 days from today.
FaceTime For Mac

Apple just announced FaceTime for Mac, allowing people to video chat with iPhone 4 and iPod Touch users right from their computer. You can download a beta version today.
People always wanted the ability to FaceTime with other people by using a Mac. Well now you can video chat with people with any of your contacts even if they are on a Mac, iPhone 4s or iPod Touch like you would expect.
There’s not much to it even Steve himself said the demo was a short one. One interesting bit to note is that FaceTime isn’t integrated into iChat, it’s its own app. Typing is a hassle and video chatting makes it more easier.
Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”

Steve Jobs has just announced the eighth iteration of OS X, dubbed Lion, complete with a monumental new feature, the Mac App Store. Other changes are still pouring in, such as improvements to syncing, full screen app displays, auto-updates, Mission Control (a combination of Spaces and Expose), gestures and more.
Read more about OS X Lion on Apple’s site here.
Updates: Lion will be available summer 2011. The Mac App Store will be available in 90 days.

iLife ’11

Apple announced iLife ’11 today, available immediately for $49 for those wanting to upgrade an existing iLife suite, or free with the purchase of a new Mac.
iLife features overhauls of iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. Missing from any mention at the “Back to the Mac” event is the fate of iWeb and iDVD. They appeared in the row of icons, but no new features were announced. Apple’s iLife site has not updated yet, and the Apple Store is still down, but as soon as we get more information we’ll let you know!
iMovie

Steve Jobs said that the top feature request for iMovie was an overhaul of the audio editing. This is the highlight of the just-announced iMovie as part of iLife ’11, with a new audio editing panel with the ability to add effects. Other features include:
? One-step effects with the ability to add several complex effects in one step.
? A people finder to isolate clips with certain people in it. This uses the face-detecting technology currently found in iPhoto.
?News and sports themes
? The ability to construct movie trailers which has some fantastic effects, logo and the ability to showcase your family and friends in your latest action-packed flick.

iPhoto

Apple has announced a new version of iPhoto in iLife ’11, and it brings a boatload of new features to the table, including:
? Full screen browsing of all Events, Albums, Maps, and pretty much everything else.
? “Smart” slideshows that use your location information from Places to create dynamic shows that use maps from places you’ve been.
? Floating menus that allow for operation of the entire app from the full screen mode.
? Deep Facebook and Flickr integration that syncs all of your photos both ways, regardless of whether or not they were added by iPhoto.
? A new email template feature that creates some stunning HTML email galleries of your photos.
GarageBand

Xander Soren with Apple’s product marketing showcased several new features in iLife ’11?s Garageband including:
? Groove matching, termed an automatic “spell checker” for bad rhythm
? Flextime to make an audio clip longer or shorter
? Piano and guitar lessons built into the software that includes music recorded by an Indiana chamber group. You get scored on lessons and can see exactly where you missed

Written by Mark Kwan of Sonicorp – http://www.Sonicorp.ca/

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