20.10.2010 Apple announcements (Back To The Mac) – My views

Well hello everybody!

We’ve just seen the new announcements from Apple, the keynote was streamed live (good changes) and we’ve got some exciting news, and some that may actually worry people.


So the new iLife 11 suite is out, it’s got a weird logo as you can see. It’s got major changes to iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband. No changes were mentioned during the Keynote for the iWeb or iDVD.

The changes are not too dramatic with the iPhoto, Apple seems to have concentrated on the new slideshows and prints a lot. Now you can do more books for print, and actually store them really nicely locally on the machine as well. You also get a full screen view, which seems nice, not a big deal, but can make people concentrated more when dealing with photos. I wish there was more effort put into the editing really…

iMovie seems to be big. You can now see the waveforms of the audio right in the editing are, plus in the clips pane. You can make automation for the volume, you can fade it really easily, and you can boost the sound quite nicely. It seems like a big deal to me because it has always been a problem there, I think. Now the big part of the demo during the keynote was spent on creating trailers of your home movies. It’s not like I’ve done that many home movies, but… Who needs trailers for home movies? I mean… Maybe it’s just me though. The technology they use to find clips using tagging seems to be extremely helpful and powerful. Seems something like Faces for iMovie really. It also detects all sorts of differences in the video, like how many people are there etc. Seems amazing.

Garageband has a minor update and includes a couple of features that seem to be handy, but in my opinion they need to work on the whole interface as it is horrible. I am obviously more used to the Pro apps like Logic or Cubase, so maybe I’m misjudging. So now you’ve got Flex and Groove Matching. Flex can help editing the timing of the recordings, quite a good way to fix simple mistakes actually, I’ve used it in Logic for back vocals. Groove Matching seems quite interesting. You set one track that seems to have been played right to the rhythm, and all the others get automatically scanned and matched to the ‘master’. You can obviously select the ones that are affected and disable the change. Quite handy, and looks good, will have to check how good of a job it actually does though… There is also a new feature for lessons. It now can analyse the way you learn and tell you where you make mistakes. You can record and listen how you’ve played after and get marked down on various things. A couple new lessons are included.

Mac OSX Lion.

Now the big thing that was previewed was the next MACOSX version 10.7 Lion. That seems great, but they have not showed off much, because of lack of time as Steve said. The main thing is that we will get some features that are great on iOS on the MACOSX desktop version. We will be getting the App Store for the Mac as well, which I think can cause quite a bit of noise in the press and podcasts space now. The apps that will be published on to the App Store on the Mac, will work the same way as the iPhone does, you get the updates for them, you install them exactly the same way as you would on the iPhone. There’s no difference. Now there’s no difference to the publishing process neither… Huh? You might ask? Well Apple gets 30% of your stuff that you put there. They will host the app and everything, but 30%? Really? I’m not sold that developers will be too happy. Too many unanswered questions about this so far. The App Store for the Mac will launch in 30 days.

First thing is the launchpad. Which is basically and iPhone home screen, contents of which is you application folder. You can organise things the same way you can on the iPhone. Folders, home screens etc. So basically a stack that is better made. Looks great, but isn’t anything special. It adds some simplicity, but that’s about it. I prefer Launchbar.

So we’ve got a couple of changes to the expose and dashboard (now called Mission Control), which gives you a view of all things open with previews for everything that is going on and launched on the machine.

We’ve also now got a cheap Macbook Air that has been improved. It’s now got integrated Flash storage like the iPad, it is available in 11.6 and 13.3 screen sizes. Is extremely thin as it used to be. Has 30 day standby time, 7hrs of wifi browsing on the 13.3″ model and 5hrs on the 11.6″. It has not obtained the optical drive, and there’s no way you can use a hard drive with the thing. It’s got 2 USB ports, SD card reader, a mini display port, a headphone jack, a microphone, and a facetime camera. Now is the facetime camera the horrible VGA? Hopefully not. It’s got a full size magic trackpad as on the other macbooks. The display resolution on the 13.3″ is a whopping 1440 by 900, which is more pixels that a 13″ mac has ever seen before, and 11.6″ gets 1366 by 768 which is stunning also. The flash storage on the 11.6″ is limited to 64GB or 128GB, and 13″ gets 128GB and 256GB. WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR are included. 13.3″ model has choices of 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB on-chip shared L2 cache; or optional 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache. 11.6″ 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache; or optional 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache. Both have NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory.

So the machines are underpowered due to the size, but seem compelling. The prices start at $999 for the 11.6″ and $1,299.00 for the 13.3″.

So that’s all the exciting news that we’ve got.

/me says thank you all!


About acritic
Passionate about technology and music. I like to review and criticise work of other people, while staying gentle and intelligent.

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