Apple ‘Back to Mac’ unveiled new Macbook Air & updated iLife

Apple ‘Back to Mac’ unveiled new Macbook Air & updated iLife

 

Today in San Francisco, Apple unveiled a new MacBook Air, updated iLife digital media suite and beta of FaceTime for the Mac. The company also previewed Mac OS X 10.7, aka “Lion,” which will bring features found in iOS “Back to the Mac,” playing off the title to today’s media event.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs shared the stage with other executives to demo the new products, delivering the announcements: 11.6-inch MacBook Air, Lion and a shocker — Apple will launch an applications store for Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) within 90 days.

Jobs explained how from Mac OS X Apple created iOS, adding many new features not found in the desktop operating system. Now Apple wants to bring these features “back to the Mac,” Jobs said. “Mac OS X meets the iPad,” he emphasized. Lion will support multitouch gestures, the iOS App Store, full-screen applications, auto-saving applications and auto-resume, among other features. Applications will be “licensed for use on all your personal Macs.”

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Apple will “release Lion summer 2011,” Jobs said. But existing customers won’t have to wait for the big feature. The App Store’s coming to Snow Leopard in 90 days is hugely significant. Apple just raised the bar for all multi-device operating systems.

In another iOS meets Mac OS X announcement, Apple introduced FaceTime for the Mac, which also supports video calling with iPhone 4s and iPod touches with front-facing cameras. “A beta release will be available today,” Jobs said. To date, Apple has sold 19 million FaceTime-capable iOS devices.

Apple updated MacBook Air. The new 11.6-inch Air, starts at 9 with 64GB of flash storage, or ,199 for 128GB; weighs 2.3 pounds with claimed battery life of 5 hours. The 13.3-inch Air: 1440 x 900 resolution display, costs ,299 with 128GB flash storage or double that for ,599; weighs 2.9 pounds with claimed battery life of 7 hours. “Both are available starting today,” Jobs said.

During today’s Apple event, Cook said that the Mac outgrew the industry for “18 quarters in the row.”

 

Apple announced iLife `11. Among the changes is emphasis on presentation. “You can live in full screen in iPhoto,” Jobs asserted.

Sharing features are enhanced, such as slideshows, photo book printing and social sharing connections to services like Facebook.

A new Info Panel shows the services where photos have been shared and even with whom on Facebook.

The new iMovie introduces new audio editing capabilities, an in-video people finder (e.g. face recognition) and the ability to create movie trailers.

New movie sharing options include CNN iReport and Vimeo.

Apple also updated GarageBand. The new digital media suite is available starting today for , and will continue to be free on new Macs.

 


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