Yesterday was a big day for Apple, lots of product and software announcements. Here’s the skinny:
1. New MacBook Air computers. One is small (11″ diagonal screen, 2.5 lbs) and the other is normal size (13″ diagonal screen). Both have solid state drives instead of traditional hard drives so they run very fast. $1000 and up for the small one, $1300 and up for the bigger one. They’re available now. Read more here: http://www.apple.com/macbookair/
This is the most exciting item that was announced. The Air line hasn’t been updated in years, and it’s nice to see that there is finally a very small and very light laptop for people who carry their Macs around a lot. Yes, it’s still underpowered, but at least it’s very small and has 2 USB ports, plus it’s got the fast solid state drive. And it’s only $1000. So you’re not paying extra and getting less. I’m going to start putting money aside and into my piggy bank right now, to save up for this one.
2. iLife 2011. Updates to iPhoto, Garage Band, and iMovie. $49.00 (or free if you buy a new Air!). More info here: http://www.apple.com/ilife/
The iPhoto update is most meaningful to me, as I use iPhoto all the time. Curious to try out the new letterpress cards; will they look great or strange? Also appreciate that there’s a way to use iPhoto in full screen mode, without having the dock and nav bar in the way all the time.
3. FaceTime for the Mac. New free application so you can make and receive video calls to/from iPhone 4 users, and other Mac users. Download the beta version here: http://www.apple.com/mac/facetime/
Very excited to try this out, as I don’t yet have an iPhone 4. Major drawback is that you can’t type in a phone number in the FaceTime application; it only pulls from your Address Book phone numbers, so if somebody’s not in your Address Book, or you’re not using Address Book (like me–I use Entourage), then it’s a lot of extra work. Can’t they just have an onscreen number pad for dialing?
4. OS X Lion. New update to OS X is called Lion and is coming in summer 2011. More info: http://www.apple.com/macosx/lion/
It feels like a long time to wait for Lion, but summer will be here before we know it.
5. Mac App Store. One of the new features of Lion but deserves its own paragraph. Apple brings the concept of the iPhone/iPad App Store to the Mac. Read more: http://www.apple.com/mac/app-store/
The iPhone App Store has been such a success that the Mac App Store should do well. It should be a time-saver to have one place to look for all the little applications and widgets, instead of having to search around at VersionTracker and download.com and all those other sites.
All in all, an impressive list of new stuff, either available now or coming soon.