6 01 2009

–MacWorld Live Blog–

iLife ’09 was just released at MacWorld! iPhoto ’09 includes Faces, which uses face detection. It highlights the face and asks you to give them a name. Click on it, type in a name; it adds a snapshot. Then it uses face recognition to find the same person across multiple photos.  iPhoto ’09 also includes Places, to organize your photos by place, using geotagging and GPS, as well as your user input.  iMovie ’09 has a new precision editor, expanded timeline view for advanced users, advanced drag & drop: it gives you the option to replace, insert, use audio only. New dynamic themes with titles, transitions, even credits. You can now also use animated travel maps! They have also introduced automatic video stabilization to help take away the caffeine jitters.  Garageband ’09  has one major new feature that stands out: “Learn to Play.” Built in HD videos of instructor, and it shows you the instrument in front of you. The instructor talks just like Bob from the iPhone videos. It includes 9 basic lessons for guitar and piano for free. Download them when you need to use them.  New verions of iWeb and iDVD are available as well, however, they were not covered.

iWork ’09:


Magic Move: you set up your slides and Keynote does all the options for moving objects between your slides. In a more professional tool you’d call Magic Move “tweening” — you set a start and an endpoint and the program figures out the in-between.


Full screen view: It excludes everything else so you can just see your work, like WriteRoom or many other Mac writing apps. Move your mouse up and you still have access to the menus.

Dynamic outlines- type your outline, different levels, different font sizes; reorganize your thoughts; and your page view reflects any changes.

Support for MathType & EndNote: formulas that scientists and engineers want to use. EndNote is for scientists, engineers, people publishing papers. EndNote support is pretty huge in academia; nice to see integration in Pages, since it’s a big Microsoft Word feature. New templates as well: certificates, envelopes and letters, etc.


A new “categorize by this column” choice and it automatically creates a table based on that category. Most advanced feature requested was more powerful formulas.

Over 250 functions; new function view, type in and search for the function you want.

Passing your mouse over a variable in a function gives you a tool-tip and it’s all color coded.

You can link charts into Pages as well; change it in Numbers and it reflects the view in your Pages document.

Lots of new templates in Numbers as well.

Mac Box Set- You can get Leopard, iWork ’09, and iLife ’09 for $169 (that’s a GREAT deal). It’ll ship in late January with iLife ’09. (Not very exciting, I predict it will be discontinued)

17″ MacBook Pro- For the last 8 months running, if you look at the list of laptops sold in US, MacBook has been #1 on the list. So here’s the 17″: 0.98 inches thin. World’s thinnest 17-inch notebook. It’s 6.6 pounds, which also makes it the lightest 17-inch notebook. 1920×1200 LED backlit. 140-degree height/120-degree width viewing angle. 700:1 contrast ratio; 60% greater color gamut than previous notebook display. It’s got a glossy display, so they’ve also got a $50 anti-glare option. Same display properties as last 17″. Ports: FireWire 800. 3 USB ports, ExpressCard 34 slot. Battery life indicator, Ethernet, mini DisplayPort. About what you’d expect. New glass trackpad as on the previous unibody MacBooks. 2.93 GHz, up to 8GB of memory at 1066 MHz DDR3 ram. Built-in both the GeForce 9400M and the GeForce 9600MT. 320GB hard drive standard. Up to 256GB SSD drive option. Plus the usual backlit keyboard, iSight, magnetic latch, etc. Works with the new DisplayPort Cinema Display. The new MacBook Pro (17″) will not have a removable battery, but it’s much greener and environmentally friendly. The 17″ MacBook Pro is free of many toxins. Highly recyclable aluminum and glass. The battery lifespan is supposedly extended to 5 years, meaning fewer batteries in landfills. There’s a shot of the bottom of the 17″, with no access panel, possibly also restricting access to the insides of the machine for RAM and hard drive upgrades. Apple claims discrete graphics gets you 7 hours of battery life; integrated gets you up to 8 hours. Three hours longer than previous 17″ MacBook Pro; 60% increase. Will be interesting to see how the real-life tests bear that out. MBP is PVC- and BFR-free and takeback and recycling programs. One base configuration at $2,799, but you can build-to-order.


6 billion songs sold. Over 10 million songs available, largest library. Over 75 million accounts with credit cards. And, of course, they are the #1 channel for music. First, the price: we’ve had one pricing model for all songs. Starting in April they’re giving them more flexibility: three tiers at $0.99, $0.69, and $1.29. More songs are going to be offered at $0.69 than $1.29 says Phil. The second thing: iTunes Plus which, as you know, is DRM-free. Encoded at 256kbps AAC encoding. One-click upgrades. Starting today 8 million songs will be offered DRM-free. By end of quarter, entire catalog will be DRM-free. In case you missed it: All songs will be DRM-free in iTunes.The third new thing has to do with iPhone. Now the iTunes Music Store is no longer iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store; you can now download and buy on 3G network as well. Same price and same selection on the iPhone as on iTunes. Same quality too. You can preview and purchase and you can buy anytime, anywhere on 3G. This starts today as well.

Thanks-you, that’s it!


Apple Releses EFI and SMC Updates for New MacBook Line

10 12 2008

Tonight Apple released equal pairs of EFI and SMC firmware fixes for all of the new, late 2008 MacBooks and MacBook Pros to tackle problems with their reliability and power indicators.

The updates for the regular 13-inch MacBook (EFI, SMC), MacBook Air (EFI, SMC) and 15-inch MacBook Pro (EFI, SMC) all share virtually identical release notes, indicating solutions common to their platform rather than model-specific glitches.

New iMacs

19 10 2008

New iMacs? Yes indeed, and they’re expected to reach us in time for this holiday season!

Possibilities include a move to Intel’s Centrino 2 line of processors, and Nvidia chips, like the new Apple notebooks.

MacBook Event

9 10 2008

Apple will hold a special event next Tuesday to introduce new Mac notebooks at its Cupertino-based campus after all.

Invites sent to members of the media Thursday included an image of an aluminum Mac notebook with the tagline: “The spotlight turns to notebooks.”
MacBook Pro?
The event is set to take place at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, October 14th at the Apple Town Hall on the company’s Cupertino, Calif.-based campus.

MacBook Pricing

9 10 2008

A report published Thursday by the Inquisitr claims that some Apple retail stores have been provided with pricing sheets for new MacBook and MacBook Pro models, with prices ranging from $800 to $3100.

The author cited a source who says that the shops “usually” receive these pricing lists 10 days before products hit the market — a claim that is not necessarily true. Should the price points prove accurate, however, they would imply that Apple is prepared to slash the price of its entry-level MacBook by more than 27 percent.

The current MacBook line is priced between $1099 and $1499, while the MacBook Pro family ranges in cost from $1999 to $2799.

The Apple Brick

5 10 2008

9to5 Mac has gone on record as saying that the rumored Apple Brick isn’t a product, but a manufacturing process that can make high quality aluminum shells. The “brick” part comes in because the supposed technique carves these MacBook casings with lasers and high pressure water jets out of bricks of aluminum, making for a seamless and screwless design. Whether or not it’s true is still left to be seen, but one benefit would mean that there would be no need to bend metal (which creates weak spots). Again, no idea if this is legit, but 9 to 5 Mac has a fairly decent track record, which they conveniently point out at the end of their post.

Seth Weintraub of 9to5Mac, a blogger with good sources within the Macintosh community, is reporting that Apple has invented a new manufacturing process for MacBooks.

“It is totally revolutionary, a game changer. One of the biggest Apple innovations in a decade. The MacBook manufacturing process up to this point has been outsourced to Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers like Foxconn. Now Apple is in charge. The company has spent the last few years building an entirely new manufacturing process that uses lasers and jets of water to carve the MacBooks out of a brick of aluminum. (Yes, this sounded a bit crazy to us as well. But our source is adamant so bear with us. He says Apple has built a manufacturing process that would make Henry Ford proud.

Next-Gen MB +MBP

25 09 2008

Production ready versions of Apple’s next-generation MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks have surfaced stateside in matching attire, according to reports.

In its attempt to provide the most accurate picture of Apple’s future product plans, AppleInsider is publishing these tidbits only as a rumor to supplement earlier reports of higher conviction.

According to the latest reports, both the new 13-inch MacBooks and 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros will share similarities not only in their employment of aluminum enclosures, but in their overall aesthetic as well, with the new 13-inch MacBooks for the first time matching their higher-priced cousins as if they were members of the same product family.

Again, the new designs were described as a cross between the 13-inch MacBook Air introduced this January and the aluminum iMacs that made their debut during the summer of 2007. In April, AppleInsider reported this would include a trimming (or tapering) around the edges and instances of black material to contrast the largely aluminum motif of the new notebooks.

New, however, are rumors that Apple has done away with some traditional I/O ports and altered others as it strives to marginally reduce the overall footprint of its next-gen notebooks. In particular, the FireWire 400 port appears to have been removed from the new MacBook Pro, leaving a backwards compatible FireWire 800 port.

(Note: a hybrid 9-pin FireWire 800/3200 port looks identical to a FireWire 800 port, though there is no information either way on whether the new 3200 technology will be supported.)

MacBook Pro port mockup

In addition, the new MacBook Pro is also reported to be missing its traditional and bulky 28-pin DVI-I (Dual Link) port, which has instead been replaced with what appears to be a mini-DVI port like the one found on the existing 13-inch MacBook line and iMac line.