MACWORLD SF KEYNOTE HEADLINES
Apple Delivers Intel iMac, Enhances iLifeBy MIKE PASINI
The Imaging Resource Digital Photography Newsletter
SAN FRANCISCO -- The "one more thing" introduced at this year's Macworld keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the MacBook Pro (http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/), an Intel Core Duo laptop with 4-5x the performance of the current G4 Powerbooks, scheduled to ship in February. But the keynote in this 30th anniversary year for Apple had a lot of of new gear and software to introduce before that long-awaited announcement.
In fact, the currently shipping iMac (http://www.apple.com/imac/) now features the same Intel Core Duo chip, which includes two processors, each of which is faster than a G5. With 3-MB L2 cache, the new iMac is 2-3x faster than the G5 version.
|Changing of the Kiosks
With the same iMac design case that hides the computer in the monitor, the new iMac includes a built-in iSight video camera, Apple Remote with Front Row software, and iLife '06.
The $1,299 iMac has a 17-inch monitor, 1.83-GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 512-MB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 2-GB, an 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support, built-in Airport and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, min-DVi out, built-in stereo speakers/microphone, infred Apple Remote and a 160-GB ATA drive running at 7200 RPM.
The $1,699 iMac adds a 20-inch monitor, 2.0-GHz Intel Core Duo, 512-MB RAM and a 250-GB 7200 RPM drive.
In comparison to the G4 Powerbook, the new MacBook Pro runs four to five times faster. In a slightly thinner 1.0-inch case, weighing 5.6 lbs., it includes an iSight video camera and Apple Remote with Front Row software. The screen is a 67 percent brighter 15-inch display, as bright as the Cinema Display. It will ship in February.
Addressing one of the biggest problems PowerBook owners have, the new laptop will have a magnetic connection between the power adapter plug and the case. The MagSafe connector will simply break free if someone snaps the power cord, leaving the laptop undisturbed.
|The Intel iMac
|The MacBook Pro
Note the magnetic adapter connection
Two models will be available. The $1,999 version has a 1.67-GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 512-MB RAM expandable to 2-GB, an 80-GB 5400 RPM drive and a slot-loading SuperDrive plus Gigabit Ethernet, DVI-out, Dual Link support for the Cinema Dispaly, built-in Airport Extreme, built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, two USB ports, one FireWire 400 port, infrared Apple Remote and a 60-watt hour lithium polymer battery.
The $2,499 version uses a 1.83-GHz processor with 1-GB RAM, twice as much video RAM (256-MB) and a 100-GB drive.
Jobs amused the crowd with a new commercial, showing Intel chips finally being "set free" from the "mudane tasks" inside a PC and able to live life in a Mac.
On the software side, Apple will ship all its products as universal binaries, able to run on either PowerPC or Intel chips. In fact, Jobs ran the demo of new software -- including iLife '06 -- on an Intel iMac. Pro applications like Aperture will ship as universal binaries in March with a crossgrade $49 tag for owners of the current version.
Jobs admitted that third-party developers may be caught a little off-guard by the rapidity at which the Intel shift has occurred (earlier he'd targeted June 2006 for the first models). But Quark will be demonstrating a universal binary version of XPress at the show.
PowerPC binaries will run under the Rosetta emulator. Jobs demonstrated Microsoft Office (which will be available at a 15 percent discount to purchasers of Intel-based Macs), which scrolled acceptably fast under Rosetta. He also showed Photoshop CS2, admitting it wasn't running fast enough under emulation for professional use but was more than adequate for occasional use.
iLife (http://www.apple.com/ilife/) has gotten a serious rewrite, adding podcasting features (which require a .Mac account) to several of the applications and introducing a sixth program to the suite to build Web pages that incorporate slide shows, podcasts and blogs. It will ship free with new Macs and remain $79 with a $99 family pack for installation on up to five computers, requiring Mc OS X version 10.3.9 or 10.4.3 or later.
But some of the most impressive features were those added to iPhoto (http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/). Among the improvements:
- Improved speed ("incredibly fast," in Jobspeak)
- Photo collection size increased form 25,000 images to 250,000
- Scrolls "like butter"
- Full screen editing
- Compare up to eight photos
- One-click editing effects (including B&W, Sepia, Antique, Fade Color, Current, Boost Color, Matte, Vingette and Edge Blue)
- New output options including cards, calendars and nicer books with higher quality reproduction.
- Photocasting, podcasting for photos
|Full screen editing
Jobs is in the lower left corner
Jobs took a minute to demonstrate photocasting during the keynote. In iPhoto, he selected an album to photocast. iPhoto uploaded the images to his .Mac account in the background after offering to password protect it. When the upload was done, he was asked if he wanted to announce it, sending an email with a link to the images.
The email, of course, can be sent to friends on PCs or Macs. A .Mac account isn't required to subscribe to the photocast, either, since it's all handled as an RSS feed.
But if you have iPhoto and click on the link, iPhoto opens and you see a special Subscribe Album that is updated whenever the contents are changed on the original. Moreover, you can use those images just as you would any others, making cards, calendars or books.
The new application in the iLife suite is iWeb (http://www.apple.com/ilife/iweb/). The new application addresses the need to easily build attractive sites that can share the various kinds of media that you can create with iLife.
iWeb offers Apple-designed templates, the iLife media browser, online slide shows, blogging, podcasts (particularly well integrated with GarageBand) and one-click publishing to the Web.
iDVD (http://www.apple.com/ilife/idvd/) also got some attention, adding a wide-screen DVD format, new themes, improved slide shows, enhanced editing and third-party burner support.
But the biggest new feature is Magic iDVD, which lets you choose a theme, pick some images in the iLife Browser and click just a Create and a Burn button to make a DVD.
We took a quick trip around the Expo floor to visit some of the digital photo booths. We'll report more on them tomorrow. Here are candids from just a few booths.
We'll have more to report through the afternoon, but those are the early headlines. Stay tuned!