The Return of The Mac

Back To The Mac
Back To The Mac

Today was a very exciting day to all Mac geeks out there. As you probably heard, Apple held a very exciting event today titled Back To The Mac Event. Too many things were happening today, so I thought of writing them down just for a future personal reference, but feel free to keep on reading if you are interested to know.

So the top news of today’s event was mainly the return of the (new) MacBook Air. They added a lot of cool features to this model:

  1. It has all flash storage. Basically, it allows you to access data quickly, and it gives the computer the ability to remain in standby mode for up to 30 days. This means your Mac snaps to in an instant, whether you open it tomorrow, next week, or next month!
  2. Multi Touch Trackpad (MTT). This is a really cool feature that I am not sure I can live without. If you are not familiar with the MTT, it’s basically a trackpad that  lets you pinch, swipe, or rotate to adjust an image, zoom in on text, or advance through a photo album. You can use four-finger swipe, swiping up or down to use Exposé and swiping left or right to switch among active applications. If that’s not enough, you can also perform a three-finger drag to move your windows from one place to another. There is much more you can do with 1 and 2 fingers, but why brag :)
  3. Long lasting battery. Not much to say about this one, beside the fact it has up to 5 hours of battery life on a single charge on the 11-inch model and up to 7 hours on the 13-inch model. Impressive, but we really saw it coming didn’t we?
  4. Display and Camera. There is much to say about this one, but unfortunately I am not tech savvy enough to really explain. What I do know, though, is that it has a high resolution display, a Face-Time camera, and an excellent stereo speakers. Not bad for a device that weighs only 2.3lb

There are other features to cover, but this is not why I wanted to write this post. The main thing, in my opinion, is the launch of a new operating system: The Mac Os X Lion. There is so much to cover on this one, so I suggest you click here to read more on this magnificent operating system.  All I can say is that I will definitely wait for the upgrade (expected to be in stores in Summer 2011).

Another thing I’m really excited about (as if what I just described wasn’t enough) is the newly redesigned iLife 11, specifically iMovie 11 and the iPhoto 11.

Starting with the iMovie: I use this software a lot, and I mean a lot! Over the past year, I had some concerns that I reached the limit of what I can do with my current iMovie and was seriously thinking of purchasing a more advanced software called  Final Cut Studio.  I still think  I will end up purchasing the Final Cut software, but not before I get to play with what the new iMovie 11 has to offer:

  1. Movie Trailers: I copied and paste this statement from the Apple website:  “Choose from 15 movie trailer templates in almost every genre: adventure, drama, romantic comedy, and more. Graphics and titles flash across the big (or small) screen. The legendary London Symphony Orchestra performs an epic original soundtrack. And suddenly your home video goes Hollywood. Movie trailers are easy to create. Just click your clips to drop them into the storyboard. Add character names and personalize the titles. Then iMovie works its magic. It trims your clips to fit and adds transitions, titles, and special effects. The result? A trailer tour de force”. This sounds promising. I use transitions, titles, and special effects a lot, so I am hoping there will be some additions to what is already exists.
  2. All new audio editing: This is big for me, since I use a lot of sounds and sound effects in the videos I edit. I always had complaints about how tedious handling the audio on the iMovie is, and I am hoping that this will fix some of the current issues with this feature. According to the Apple website, this feature will give the user the power to control sound, and sound effects, which is similar to something the Final Cut version has.
  3. One Step-Effects: I think having the skills to master the special effects in the editing stage can make the difference between a good video and a “WOW” video. The former is easy to do, the latter takes some practice and of course the right tools. One of the things I look forward to trying is the ability to add jump cuts and flip effects that are perfectly timed to the music. In the current version of iMovie, this part takes about 80% of the entire editing process. I am hoping this new feature will make my life easier.

The iMovie 11 comes with many more features, and if you’d like to read more just follow this link.

Apple, in addition to all of the above, seriously innovated the iPhoto which I think says something about Apple’s intentions in the near future. The most obvious change is the new iPhoto to Facebook integration. It feels as if they turned the iPhoto into a facebook media platform. What do I mean by that? For Instance, with the new iPhoto 11 you can share your recent vacation by publishing the photos directly to your Wall or to an existing album. That’s not all. If your friends leave comments on your photos, you’ll see them in iPhoto too. AND (!), iPhoto even shows you all of your Facebook photo albums, including the ones you published using another application. How cool is that?

Another thing I really liked about the new iPhoto 11 is the ability to send pictures via email. I know it sounds like a simple task, as it should be, but prior to this changes one had to keep in mind the size of the file, email provider, and what not. Now it is different. Now you can create and send messages without leaving iPhoto. Just choose from eight themes that you customize with your own images and words, then select the photos you want to send, and iPhoto places them in the template. Rearrange photos with a simple drag and drop, adjust the image mask, or change the size and style of your text. Simple enough. What I really liked about the new version of iPhoto is that it optimizes your message so it’s never too big to send.

According to Apple the service works with popular email services like MobileMe, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, and AOL. I will make sure to test this one, so don’t be surprised if you a see an interesting message from me soon ;)

There are many more features that the iPhoto 11 covers, but I found the two above to be the most interesting ones.

All in all, I am very excited about all these new features and cannot wait to test some of them, especially the new operating system.

Before I end, I would like to leave you with an interesting chart which I think shows how good Steve Jobs and his crew are at what they do.

Mac Sales Since 1997
Mac Sales Since 1997

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