Apple press conference: What was announced?

Apple's Back to the Mac press conference is now over, and there were plenty of new products and software touted. No 7-inch iPad (which was always unlikely), but what exactly did Steve Jobs and his team have to launch?

iLife 11

2 years in the making, Apple has updated its iLife offering and demonstrated improvements to iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand.

The new version gets a number of other enhancements too, all at the rather cheap price of around £30.

New features include:

- iPhoto: You can now send images via email directly from the application, create slideshows from your locations and opt for full screen mode, so your desktop isn't cluttered with anything else other than the photos you are viewing.

- iMovie: You get an instant replay button that allows you to quickly edit video, and a trailer option so you can make a movie trailer of your home vids. Apple has also improved sound editing options.

- GarageBand: There's a new groove matching feature, which is "like an automatic spell checker for bad rhythm". It analyses notes of the separate instruments and ties them together. Plus, there's a greater emphasis on the guitar and keyboard lessons as well as a "How Did I Play?" feature.

Mac OS X Lion

A new version of Apple's operating system due out in summer 2011, which attempts to merge the iPad with the Mac.

That equates to full screen viewing of apps, a greater emphasis on touch - via a touchpad rather than the laptop screen - and Mission Control, a sort of expose, dashboard and spaces all rolled into one.

Mac App Store

With over 7 billion downloads on the iPhone, iPod and iPad, Apple is keen to get people spending their dollars on applications from them directly. Launching in 90 days time, the Apple Mac App Store will be available to all Snow Leopard customers. Developers can get a handle on the information from today and start submitting apps in the very near future (November).

FaceTime for Mac

Yep, the iPhone and iPod touch video calling feature is coming to the Mac, allowing you to talk to other Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners. When the person on the other end of the line turns their device landscape, the video on the desktop follows suit.

MacBook Air

Two new laptops have been launched within the company's MacBook Air range. Each ditches hard and optical drives for a solid state flash drive instead (at 64GB, 128GB. or 256GB).

The models come in two sizes, 11.6- and 13.3-inches, feature LED-backlit screens, and are available from today.

As mentioned, they both pack SSD storage, rather than HDDs, and are powered by Core 2 Duo processors, 2GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce 320m GPUs.

Despite their compact size they pack full-sized keyboards, full-sized glass trackpads, stereo speakers and FaceTime cameras.

What do you think? Good enough for a fanboi? Let us know in the comments below...

MacBook Air: New versions now official and on sale

Apple to bring App Store to the Mac



>