Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mac-a-tize Me MacWorld

I'm a little behind on my coverage of MacWorld.  Been busy running around and doing errands that I did not have the time to set down, and enjoy the new offerings.

As I write this, I'm sitting down, intently watching Steve Jobs on stage as if he was some kind of super star. There is something about him that gets people exited, something Bill Gates can never do. His presentations have so much excitement. Like they were saying on Twit last week, Steve can make anything sound interesting, unlike Bill Gates. This obvious, watch Bill Gates Keynote at CES then watch Steve Jobs at MacWorld. In MacWorld you will here hoots and hollers as the camera zoom outs and shows the audience, all  on their PDAs and iPhones, blogging away.


Leopard: 5million copes of leopard in 90 days. That's great, considering this was not a super major update. Leopard is 10.5, Tiger was 10.4.  It not like the jump from OS 9 to OS 10. I would consider the upgrade from Windows Xp to Vista as a huge upgrade. Apple has a much better business and development model, unlike Microsoft that releases upgrades every 3 to 4 years, at price of $200 or more.  Apple releases an upgrade about every year for $120. It gets better if you have more then one Mac, since Apple offers a family pack for up to 5 computers for $200.


Time Machine appliance aka Time Capsule: I think the whole time machine thing is great. It is nothing new but like always Apple made it user friendly with its' clean interface. Backing up used to be hassle, now with the Time Capsule, it is worry free and automatic. Using the program is almost fun, how you can just craw backwards in time to grab a file. The devices is like NAS unit built into the Airport Extreme. It becomes a great bargain since it is a two in one unit. It has all the router features of the Airport Extreme, which by it self goes for $179. Then apple throughs in either a 500Gb or 1Tb (1000GB) server grade hard drive for $299 or $499. If it was PC capable I would almost buy one.


iPhone mark share. If you have not watch the keynote, you will notice that he had a small case of dyslexia, he said 1.3 when it was 3.1. No big deal. The Big news still is what every iPhone user and programmer has been waiting for, it is the API for the iPhone, so we don't have to hack up our iPhone to get cool aps. Then there is those new updates for the iPhone, with Movies now having subtitles, and SMS more then one person at the same time. Most importantly the map upgrade with cell phone tower and WiFi triangulation. All free, Steve said. This scared me, why would a software/firmware update cost any thing. Specially to the one who just shelled out $2000 over a 2 year contract?

Reason why, iPod Touch users have to pay 20 dollars to get the same upgrades. That's messed up. If I ever had to pay for a firmware upgrade for my iPod 5th Gen, I would be flipping down at Apple store. Keep in mind firmware updates, normally removes bugs, and other issues. It is like paying the hardware manufacture of your motherboard to get a new and more stable BIOS to support newer hardware. I'm hoping iPod Touches still get these updates. I have a feeling they're branching the software development between the iPhone and iPod Touch. I also have the feeling that the development API will not be for both iPod Touch and iPhone.  Reason being iPhone is very easy to crack and to add third party programs, therefore they cant charge since there is already an open source program that does the exact same thing. To apple a cracked and unlocked iPhone is a bad thing. Since it increases the chance the user will switch providers. That up sets Apple because they get paid by AT&T for each contract they have with the iPhone.

iTunes: 4 billion song to date, 20 million songs on Christmas day, 125 million TV show, 7 million movies to date. According to to Steve, movies sales was lower then expected, his reason is that no one want to own a movie on there computer since they only watch it a few times and it takes up space. Therefore starting now there will be movie rentals, from every major movie producer. The prices are 2.99 for library title and 3.99 for new releases. A dollar more allows you to upgrade the content to HD. The rule is that you have 30 days to start the movie after purchase, then have 24 hours to finish the movie.


Apple Tv: Got an update that allows you to Rent DVDs in HD Dolby Digital 5.1, get the latest podcast, or show photos from flicker or .Mac. Don't forget you can also show Youtube videos, all from your living room seat on that 42 in plasma screen. No longer the need to have a computer to sync content to  the Apple TV. While showing the power of Apple TV with flicker, there was a hick-up in the system with Flicker not "delivering" according to Steve. I'm surprise the update is only software base. The reason why this is a free upgrade, because Apple is making money, because your more willing to order TV shows and rent Movies with this update. For the 40gb modal it will coast you $229, while the 160gb coast $329.The best news so far, is how Fox's DVDs includes a digital copy for iPhones and other digital devices and players.

"Opening the lid, the screen seems brighter. Touching the keys, they seem firmer, but it's the touchpad that captures your attention. Sure, the iPhone does multi-touch, and Microsoft has that table thing, but this is different. Rotating a photograph is no longer (1) selecting the photo, (2) moving the cursor, (3) pressing a button, but simply turning the photo. It's pinching, swiping, zooming your way by hand into the computer, and, in doing so, uncramping 25 years of muscle memory with the mouse. Everything is new again." By  Charles Jade in Macworld.Ars: MacBook Air spec shootout

THE MAC BOOK AIR: Some will say this was the best news during the MacWorld. I disagree, I was not so thrilled about this product. Yes it is the thinnest laptop, but... I was not impress. No cd drive for one. Steve made a good point there is no need for cd drives anyhmore, only to install software. The solution is remote disk. Simply it is like network mapping a local drive or remote desktop with hardware support sharing. There is an external drive you can buy for $99, but it only works with the mac book air. Some of the good news, 5hr battery and mercury free screen. Also the bonds between Apple and Intel seem strong, since they are using a 60% smaller chip designed for this computer.

images by wikipedia and or apple.com


ctskier said...

If the macbook air was definitly the biggest thing of this years macworld! Its the only real devise that is changing the game, and will able to bring in the dough for apple. The other products were good, but arent going to be nearly as huge as the super thin laptop will be. Go ahead and disagree but compare revenues in a few months and you will see.

Brian said...

You bet I'm going to disagree with you. Don't get me wrong, computer sales are huge to Apple. And this year is the biggest and best year for Apple. With 44% increases of computer sales.
Lets examen that; last year they they updated both Operating System, causing people that don't have a mac, or have an out dated mac to buy a new one. They also updated the iMac and Mac Books. What also encourage the growth is good advertisement and the disaster with Vista.
So why do i think the MacBook Air will do so well? The Mac market is saturated. Those who bought a mac in the last two years will not buy another. Those who will buy a mac in the next year, most likely wont choose a the MacBook air, because the price point. Mac are generally in a higher bracket, and thats fine but with the are current slope into a "recession" money may be tighter. Therefore they will more likely buy a plain MacBook because it is cheaper, and has more power.

Of course what i thought was the coolest gadget, Time Capsule will not bring in the big dollar. But the deals with the entertainment industry might. But i don't know, from what i read, Apple only gets ten cents for each song sold.

I have no problem with the MacBook Air, it is defiantly innovated, thin and portable. But I'm a power user, give me the 5.5 pound MacBook pro any time over 3 pound MacBook Air.

ctskier said...

Mac sales are huge, and that where most of the money came from. Apple got the iphone last year, stepped up the playing field and everyone comes trying to copy them. The same will go for the ultra thin laptop. people have money brian, and as far as I am concerned we have been in a recession for the past 5 months.

The time capsule was nice but in no way is it even going to compare with the magnitude of the macbook air.

Save the best for last, and thats what Jobs did at Macworld with the laptop.If there was no new laptop, then I dont even want to know how much the stock would be down. This years macworld was crappy compared to the following 2 years, but this was the only device that semi saved apple from being beaten like a red headed step child.