MWSF Post 3

Keynote Address MWSF 2005

Go to MacNN for more extensive coverage!

I got stuck in a press overflow room, so I’m watching the keynote via video feed. That’s kinda disappointing. I really wanted a full-dose of the RDF. No internet access either. There’s a signal but no internet. They’re taunting me!

Tiger, the next update, to OS X is going to have 200 new features. The one I’m most excited about is Dashboard. You just have to see it to believe it. It’s going to be a very flexible, very useful tool for any power-user and casual user. There was a quite a large kerfuffle in the Mac community because Dashboard seems to completely rip off Arlo Rose’s Konfabulator. Whatever you think of that whole mess, it’s going to be pretty much undeniable that Dashboard is going to blow it out of the water. iChat will support 10-way audio conversations and 4-way video conferencing.

iLife ’05 is going to be a dream come true for digital artists and those serious about preserving family memories. iPhoto has a slew of new features from extensive editing capabilities (saturation, exposure, sharpness, black & white points, etc.) to support for RAW to new books, which are very pretty, to new slideshows to support for MPEG4. iMovie will support HD. iDVD be expanded to support all DVD formats, one step DVD creation, and a bunch of new menus. Garageband also has many new features including 8 track recording, real time music notation (very cool), and creation of your own sound loops. iLife is fully integrated, so that you can seamlessly grab video, stills, and audio from all the apps. Along with the latest version of iTunes. It’s going to be $79 on Jan. 22 (free on new Macs).

iWork is in the works too with Keynote 2 (Apple’s competitor with Powerpoint). I’m not too interested in this product, but I’ll say this: Powerpoint is very ugly compared to what Keynote can do. Pages is Apple’s new WP. It’s “Word processing with style.” It has all the features of a powerful word processor. It comes with 40 templates to make very nice looking newsletters, resumes, menus, brochures, and letters. A nice human touch is that the templates start with content already in place, so the user isn’t faced with the “scary blank white page.” I’m glad that’s there. It gives the user some creative ideas from photo placement, fonts, and other content layout. All the layout is done in real time. So for example if you move a object around, the text wraps around it in real time. The UI is very slim and clutter free. It almost looks like TextEdit but with some extra menu items and one palette. I doubt that Pages will replace MS’s Word for professional users, but it will be more than enough for consumers and prosumers. Like iLife it’s going to be $79 and available Jan. 22nd.

New hardware! The Mac mini! Fantastic! It is SO tiny, but it has pretty much all the features of a full computer. Digital vide out, 1 USB2 slot, 1 firewire port, headphones jack, and ethernet jack. It’s BYODKM (Bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse). It supports any industry standard display, keyboard. It’ll be running on the high-end G4 chips, come with 256 MB RAM, and disc burners. Low end: $499. High end: $599. Available on Jan 22nd. It’s SO small. It can fit in a medium sized purse. If it has a decent GPU it’ll be a great LAN machine, until the G4 is made utterly obsolete.

iTunes have 70% or the market and sells 250,000 songs a day and roughly 1.25 billion a year. It now has an auto fill feature for iPods (selects random songs to put on the iPod).

iPod sales for the holiday quarter ’04 were 4.5 million. Amazing. Same quarter in 03 was “only” 733,000. A total iPod sales are 10 million now (over 8 million in 04).. There are now over 400 iPod accessories now. New car companies are supporting iPods in car: Volvo, Scion, Nissan, and Mercedes. Mercedes has two cars for us to see and play with: CLK and the CLS (which hasn’t been seen before?). Apple is working with Motorola to play iTunes music on their phones. The GUI looks a lot like the iPod. The iPod mini has snapped up half of the flash mp3 player market share, giving the iPod market share of around 65%. To get the rest of the flash market (lower-end stuff). Apple’s answer to the glutted, “zoo-like” nature of the low-end flash players is the iPod shuffle. It looks like a small stick of white plastic, is smaller than a gum pack, and weighs less than an ounce. To compare it’s slightly shorter than the iPod mini and only half as wide. The interface has only 5 buttons and an LED for feedback. Two playmodes: shuffle and regular play. It’s got a USB 2 for song upload and recharging, a 12 hour battery life, and supports both Mac and PC. The USB can clip into a lanyard so that it can be hung around the neck. I wouldn’t use that, but a lot fewer people than me have my keen fashion sense. Two sizes: 512 MB (170 songs) for $99 (super cheap!). 1 GB model (240 songs) for ony $149. Pretty much blows the competition out of the water in size, functionality, and even price. On sale TODAY. The crowd reaction to the iPod shuffle was kinda mediocre until the prices were shown.

Steve Jobs likes John Mayer. I do not., but I’m forced to sit through his muzak.

Not a groundbreaking keynote but still fun. The Tiger demo was the most exciting part for me was the Tiger and iLife demos. I’m off now to take pictures. They’ll be up on MacNN in a bit.

One thought on “MWSF Post 3”

  1. Pingback: The Smoking Room

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