Macworld 2008

In years past, usually Apple really only introduced new products at WWDC and the Macworld conference (if they even really announced it). Of course I remember Apple when Macworld was really focused around the publication more, and even held here on the East Coast! In recent years though, Apple has been known to not only display at these events, but also call at least 2 events each year introducing a new product.

With the Mac user base growing day to day by leaps and bounds, Apple announcements are a big day for a lot of people. The blogosphere (first time I have ever used that word on this blog) lights up with excitement, even in DAYS leading up to the all important Stevenote. There are tons of rumors, hypes, leaks, and more whirling around the web with what this company can come up with next. Last year, Macworld 2007 brought us the iPhone. In previous years we also got the iMac (I am typing this on our new beautiful 24″ 5th generation Aluminum Core 2 Duo), iBook, and more. While my excitement has died down over the years (I have really seen EVERY ONE of these for the last 4 years), every keynote still feels like Christmas morning in some weird way.

And of course, this year’s keynote has come and gone, and we did really get some surprises!

  • Mac Book Air – Stupid name. Cool, but to me, really not all that important. It’s almost the iPhone of laptops. Many new features, but may not be needed mainstream. Debs and I are looking at picking up an Apple portable this year probably, and this will not be it. While I would love to have a multitouch trackpad, a beautiful small machine, and brand new features, $1700 for a base model is just to much. To get the 64GB Solid State Drive and 1.8 GHz processor – its actually $3100. Talk about sticker shock.
  • iPhone updates – the iPhone is getting more and more customizable, with Apple releasing new ways to customize your phone that they have noticed from the community. Also, the SDK to create real apps for the device comes next month.
  • Time Capsule – Take your Airport Extreme, and add a hard drive. You have Time Capsule. Though the harddrive inside the Time Capsule is a ‘Server Grade’ drive. That, and Apple will now allow you to use Time Machine with it (originally, you were supposed to be able to do this anyways). Little do most people know that most all Apple hard drives are a ‘step above’ in QA in all machines (desktops, laptops, and servers). Great idea, but LaCie is making a NAS like this, at 1 TB, for $200 less.
  • iPod Touch software – One of the reasons I didn’t get a Touch was because was the lack of some of the cooler applications. Now you can get Stocks, Notes, Weather, Maps, and Mail. Mail would be one of the biggest things for me, but I am very happy with my 80GB iPod Classic.
  • Apple TV Take 2 – Same AppleTV, but lower price, and more features. Better support for HD content. And now you no longer have to actually have a computer to use one, you can purchase and sync iTunes Store content on the device. They also dropped $70 off the price, which is great! Debs and I were looking at getting one of these, and if I still needed it, I would buy one tonight. But with the XBOX 360 and Connect360, my media center is taken care of.
  • iTunes Store Movie Rentals – you can now rent and purchase HD content from iTunes Store. Standard movies are 2.99 to rent, 3.99 for HD. New releases are 3.99 and 4.99, respectively. No sure how much I will use this, but a great new feature to have.

With all the updates today, of course I came home and noticed numerous updates for the Mac. If your running Leopard, they include iTunes 7.6, QuickTime 7.4, iMovie 7.1.1 update, and Front Row 2.1.2. For the most part, these updates include the standard ‘Bug Fixes and Security Improvements’, but of course with iTunes, you now have support for the new rental features in the Store, etc.

Im still looking forward to hearing more reviews around the internet on today’s releases. The first day or two usually is chatter about specs, features, etc. I really want to know what some users actually using the MacBook Air for!

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