MacWorld: Air Is The New Black

Today saw another year when Apple’s head honcho Steve Jobs announced some of the things that would grace the Apple line-up. There’s a new computer, an update to the iPod Touch that we were all pretty much hoping for, and some new stuff all around the board. So what’s new?

Today saw another year when Apple’s head honcho Steve Jobs announced some of the things that would grace the Apple line-up.

There’s a new computer, an update to the iPod Touch that we were all pretty much hoping for, and some new stuff all around the board.

So what’s new?
(And I mean brand new as in “I can’t even get it till two weeks time…)

MacBook Air
The time feels right for Apple to announce and ultra-portable and… well they did.

The MacBook Air is the ultra-portable PC for people who need ultra-portability. At a 0.4 centimetres at the thinnest point and with a maximum height of 1.9 centimetres, it really does redefine the word “portable”.

It also looks damn sexy. I mean look at that thing. Does that not ooze “Oh my gawd I must have one now”? Seriously, Air might just be the new black.

Spec-wise, we’re talking a 1.6 or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with the MacBook Air sporting 2 gigs of memory, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and the all new trackpad with the multi-touch gesture controls that helped make the iPod Touch and iPhone so easy to control. A 13.3 inch glossy reflective screen with an LED backlight makes this look even better and won’t have your eyes straining nor will the backlit keyboard that uses an Ambilight sensor to detect when to light those keys up and how bright they should be.

“We’ve built the world’s thinnest notebook—without sacrificing a full-size keyboard or a full-size 13-inch display,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “When you first see MacBook Air, it’s hard to believe it’s a high-performance notebook with a full-size keyboard and display. But it is.”

Oh sure, it’s sexy. I’ve got some reservations though.

I’m not too sure about the lack of a Firewire port, the battery that can’t be replaced except by Apple technicians, and the Australian price of the unit compared to our American counterparts among other things.

But truthfully, I really can’t wait to take this thing for a spin so expect a review of this within the next few weeks.

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Time Capsule
Who doesn’t love the name Time Capsule? The idea being Apple’s Time Capsule isn’t actually anything all that new but it is the first time someone has pulled it off with that Apple style people have come to expect as well as the use of Apple’s wireless Airport technology so Apple users will be happier with this than a product by a PC counterpart.

The Time Capsule is an Airport base station running on the 802.11n WiFi protocol as well as a backup device featuring configurations of 500gb or 1 terabyte. To give you an idea of what this does, say you’re someone who wants to backup your documents and you’re lying in bed. You don’t exactly have a hard drive lying around to plug into your lappy… no worries. You can either set up an automated backup over your wireless network or click a button and Mac OS X will back up your designated files and folders to the hard drive inside the Time Capsule.

Easy, right?

So now you have an idea of what is brand new. Brand spankin’ physically new that I can touch and play with new. That sort of new.

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What’s changed?

iPod Touch
Do you have an iPod Touch and were hoping for a little more in the way of options for what it could do? Maybe you played with one and the lack of a feature like Mail to go with the Touch’s WiFi stopped you from enjoying it a little more… well, prepare to be made happy.

With a firmware upgrade, you too will be able to work with a customisable home screen as well as grab applications for your iPod Touch.

So now you can be glad that you can now read your mail, write notes, and look at stocks, the weather, maps, and so on. Really whatever app suits your fancy. Even games.

It’s kind of like the iPhone without the phone part which is useful because we don’t officially have the iPhone here.

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Apple TV
The guy I sit near at work would probably fire a few foam missiles at my head the next time I suggest that the last iteration of Apple TV was a failure and he’s right for doing so. Apple TV wasn’t a failure it just didn’t go down as well as Apple had thought it would.

Well now… Apple TV is back.

Actually, the truth of the matter is that Apple TV never really went anywhere. It’s not getting better hardware but it is getting brand new software.

Yes, soon you’ll be able to download right from iTunes as well as rent movies from the service itself. It won’t be an issue if it’s raining cats, dogs, and huge hail stones while you’re hankering a new release because you don’t even need that DVD. Grab a new release right off of the iTunes network for 3.99 US Dollars in Standard Definition of 4.99 for High Definition. Once grabbed, you’ve got 30 days to start watching it and once you’ve hit play, you’ve got a 24 hour time period to watch it before it disappears.

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The problem with this announcement is that it’s really a US only applicable thing. You can’t use it in Australia and until Apple works out how this is going to work with the Australian companies, distributors, divisions and so on, Apple TV is still the same as it ever was.

But when it starts down here… yeah, then it’ll be interesting.

Source: Apple



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