Remote Support

The new Apple Stuff

by justin on January 12, 2006 · 0 comments

So you may have heard by now that Apple announced a bevy of new stuff yesterday.  Here is the rundown and the opinion of the Cognoscenti…


Apple remote for iPod
Very cool that they’re finally responding to users’ needs for an FM tuner and re-introducing the idea of a wired remote (the 2nd generation iPod came with them but they were taken out of the box and then discontinued). It does bother me a bit that they seem to only be compatible with the new iPod Video and iPod Nano. What the heck is that, right?

OS X 10.4.4
This is a minor and free upgrade to your favorite Operating System available today. It includes new widgets and I’m sure some bug fixes and stuff.  Significantly it is the only version so far that runs on Intel Processors. That only matters, of course, if you have one of the new machines just announced… read on

iTunes content
You can now buy SNL and some sports content on the iTunes Music/Video Store. Um, there is some other stuff but, well, go check it out yourself…

iWork ’06
Pages and Keynote have received major upgrades and are still available for $79 (New or Upgraded). Pages is a great alternative to Word as long as you don’t frequently share files with other people using Word, and Keynote is leagues better than PowerPoint if you’re doing presentations. 

iLife ’06
Maybe my favorite announcement, and the most predictable for sure… but I really like iPhoto, iMovie and all of the iLife apps. 
 iPhoto now has full screen editing, which is super cool because before you could only rotate, rate and delete while in full screen. It also supports up to 250,000 photos in one library, but really, who’s going to let their library get that big? I would highly recommend starting a new library ever year or two if you take lots of pics. It’s so much easier to back up a library if it’s less than 4.4 gigs (the size of a DVD) 
 iMovie has some cool new motion templates that let you make your movies look much more professional… though of course they’ll look like a lot of other people’s movies too, but hey.
 iDVD has a magic DVD thing which is cool, but most importantly, it now supports 3rd party burners! That was a huge doink that lots of people in the know got angry about. Now it’s better and I can use my 16x external burner instead of the 4x in my laptop. Even more importantly, someone who doesn’t have a burner built in can now use iDVD. yay, Apple.
 GarageBand has a podcast studio which makes it insanely easy to create a podcast. Now you have no excuse
 iTunes now has a removable bar below your music lists that shows stuff from the Music Store that is like what you’re playing. I, for one, will not be looking at that too much, but like the little arrows they added a few months ago, it’s pretty easy to get rid of, so I’m okay with it.

.Mac
I’m very excited about the .Mac updates. They’re really starting to integrate their online service into iLife even more. The new program, iWeb, promises to be the best way for the average joe to put up a website and is probably even easier than HomePage. I’ll let you know more when I get my hands on it, but keep your eye on this one – all of you with .Mac accounts that is.
 Anyone else wanna do a Blog like this? Well now you can do it even easier than before with .Mac. I might even switch this Blog over to .Mac when I get the new iLife.
 Photocasting. It’s like podcasting but for photos. How much would you love to share your photos with certain loved ones really easily? Email? HA! just photocast it with iPhoto. You’ll wonder what it was like before it got this easy.

intel iMac
No, it wasn’t the MacMini, it was the iMac G5. They’ve simply taken out the G5 and put in the Intel Core Duo. So now it has two processors in there and supposedly gets twice the performance. We’ll see about that. But yeah, it’s very cool… and the same price and all the same specs except for the processor.

intel PowerBook (i.e. MacBook Pro)
Nope, it wasn’t an iBook that got the intel chip first (as all the rumors indicated), and technically, it’s not even the PowerBook, because they’re doing away with that name. They’re now calling it a MacBook and it looks very similar to the PowerBook but is very different inside. It also got the Core Duo chip which is way faster than the G4. It’s thinner than the current 15in PowerBook (but not lighter, go figure), has a much better screen (not related to the processor upgrade by the way) and some other neat bells and whistles like an IR sensor remote control and a built in iSight camera for video conferencing on the go. Wow. The dissapointing things to me are the name (MacBook Pro sounds weird to me right now though I’m sure I’ll get used to it) and this laptop doesn’t have FireWire 800 for some odd reason. WHY, Apple? Thank goodness it still has FireWire 400 (unlike the new iPods). Confusing? a little, yeah. Apple likes to change up their designs a little unexpectedly sometimes and for inexplicable reasons.

What does this intel stuff mean for me and do I need one?
Well, first of all, it doesn’t mean that your user experience will change at all. If you buy one of the new intel Macs you probably won’t really notice any difference.  Not satisfied? read on for a more in depth explanation…

All your old applications will still run on the new machines and new, optimized versions of those apps are probably in heavy development as you read this.  Of course all of Apple’s apps are already optimized and will come that way on the new system. If you have some high end applications like FinalCut Pro you’ll have to use the old version and put up with the performance hit or pony up $49 for the new one. Of course, if the performance claims with these new machines are even close to being true, the new machines will still be faster for these apps even though they’re not running at top possible speed.  
In english? Don’t worry about it. In time, everything will be optimized for intel as well as PowerPC and we won’t even be talking about this.

Got more questions? Send me an email to justin@maccog.com or post it as a comment and I’ll put the answer up here…

justin

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