After: The ‘Back To The Mac’ event

n.b. It has taken a while for me to write this as I have been trying to recover from what they released.

And not in a good way. Well, before the bulk of my views, what did Apple announce?

  • A new MacBook Air
  • iLife ’11
  • Mac OS 10.7

The MacBook Air.

Available in 11″ and 13″ screen sizes and less than 2cm thin, it is definitely impressive. A screen that’s 11.6″? Suspicious, that’s just over an inch off a good netbook, but I thought Apple didn’t like netbooks?!? For example, the Alienware M11X is considered a gaming netbook, so surely this qualifies as a netbook too? Anyway, it is scarily thin and basically just awesome. It even has a proper keyboard, not a cramped mess! And of course, it is insanely fast for something of this size. If you can to your desktop from off in about 12 seconds or watch 1080p videos seamlessly, I consider that to be pretty powerful.

iLife ’11

iLife is a crucial ‘add on’ to OS X. Basically necessary ‘forgotten’ features that you have to pay for (unless you buy a new Mac or can cope with the old versions (not likely)). I have never been much of a fan of iLife, but the new features in ’11 caught my eye. iPhoto has some pretty nice new/updated features. Not much, but after all, it is a glorified photo viewer with some editing tools and nice social features. For example, the photo album feature has been improved and an email photos feature has been added. On to GarageBand.  I used to use GarageBand to make completely computerised music. Apple seems to be moving further and further away from that, which is a good thing for customers. To be honest, it seems rather like Guitar Hero with the ‘How Did I Play’ feature, but it is a nice touch, a touch that my (piano, not computer) keyboard has had for several years. Tools that improve your rhythm, new amps and new lessons are also added. Anyway, if you have a lot more money lying around, you could buy Logic StudioAnd finally, saving the biggest and best till last, iMovie! Also, not really a big fan of, but there were lots of people who were anticipating nothing but this from the event. Apple delivers several big necessary and unnecessary (but helpful) new features. For example, movie trailers. Seems unnecessary for people compiling clips of their holiday for their relatives to see, but could be handy for budding filmmakers. Also added, and needed by many, is audio editing! Sounds awfully like Windows Movie Maker from 2000/2001… anyway, also added is special effects such as instant replays, slow motion and ‘flash and hold’. News/sports coverage makes your special moments rather creepy, and has a rather long-winded setting up process. Finally, you can upload/export videos to even more places. Overall, iLife ’11 is a pretty big update with some unmissable features.

Mac OS 7 – ‘Lion’

Well, the king of the jungle is finally here and probably won’t be lasting long. If you hear the words ‘app store’ and ‘desktop (/MacBook)’ in the same sentence, you can tell it won’t be good. Yes, Apple is adding an App Store to OS 10.7. As if Apple taking 30% (pre-tax) of your hard earned money on the iDevice App Store, they now want to take some of your your hard earned money when you develop for Mac. (I am guessing that they will take the same cut, make your own judgement). Of course, you can still make Mac software for discs and downloads (so far (also, a guess)). If they had stopped there, I would have thought they still have a chance this could sell. But no, they kept on adding.

The name of the event: ‘Back To The Mac’:

Not quite the meaning of back I or probably anybody else had in mind, it wasn’t ‘returning to the Mac, we haven’t forgotten it despite nearly our last 2 years worth of events having very little to do with the Mac and us no longer being ‘Apple Computer Inc.’ ‘  but more of a ‘back’ as in ‘we are taking these features from iOS and taking them back to Mac OS’

(At time of writing, I have not yet seen the keynote, as many unhappy iDevice owners know, the podcast fails and is ‘unable to play’. I shall watch it as soon as I can, and that may broaden my views on iLife ’11, but my views will probably stay the same for the MacBook Air and Mac OS 10.7)


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