Riding on the coattails of yesterday's MacBook Air and iLife '11 announcements, Apple also updated its high-end Aperture photo editing and management software with bug fixes, performance improvements, and updates to match features in iPhoto '11.
iPhoto is geared for consumers, while Aperture is aimed at photo enthusiasts and professionals who want more sophisticated controls for editing and cataloging. There's a lot of overlap, though, and one is the ability to create themed slideshows. All six of the new iPhoto '11 slideshow themes also arrive in Aperture 3.1
That includes the new Places theme that's specifically … Read more
Apple's iPhone continues to be a big winner for AT&T.
In announcing its third-quarter earnings today, AT&T said that it activated more than 8 million smartphones over the past quarter, and a hefty 5.2 million of those devices were iPhones--"the most iPhone activations ever in a quarter," the carrier said. During the second quarter of 2010, AT&T activated 3.2 million iPhones.
I was advised not to have a heavy Saturday night. Sunday was going to be an intense start to some pretty hard-core training on one of the most demanding roads in the world. So, naturally, I found myself slumped in a seat on a flight to Frankfurt with a hangover that could slay a silverback being stared at by a man in a suit.
Why was he staring at me? Clear look of a man in distress aside, I was concentrating as hard as I could on a PS Vita, and an adult playing video games … Read more
A nice option that now comes tucked away in the MacBook Air's included documentation is a USB key containing a full version of the Mac system software and iLife '11 suite.
When plugged into the computer, holding down the "C" key as you boot up treats the USB stick just like an optical disc, letting you run system diagnostics, or do a clean re-installation of OS X. Apple has long included the same tools on CDs, and later DVDs, but given the Air's reliance on external disc drives, this proves to be a much more user-friendly … Read more
Here's some Apple news that has nothing to do with today's Back to Mac announcements: The Dev Team today released PwnageTool 4.1, a jailbreaking app for OS X that allows users of iDevices--iPod Touches, iPads, iPhones--to load custom firmware on their gadgets.
The tool uses a variety of exploits to maintain carrier unlocks on unlocked devices, and works on any device that can run iOS 4.1 (3.2.2 for iPad users). The only devices it doesn't work on are the original iPhone and the first two generations of the iPod Touch, the Dev Team … Read more
Update: We've updated our hands-on video with additional impressions after our first 24 hours with the new MacBook Air.
The new hardware announced at Apple's Back to the Mac press event was on display immediately after for attendees to poke and prod, including the new 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air models. Beyond that, our review sample of the 11-inch version is now winging its way back to CNET's New York labs for testing and benchmarking.
My initial hands-on impression of the new MacBook Air is largely positive. This is a product that--in its previous life--had a dedicated cult following but never found a real mainstream audience because of its high price and because it didn't do enough to distinguish itself from the rest of Apple's 13-inch laptop lineup. It was thinner and lighter, but still not quite different enough to justify the hefty investment.
By doing more to differentiate the product, and dropping the entry price, the new MacBook Air may succeed in carving out more than an enthusiast niche for itself.
If anything, the addition of an 11-inch size is a nod to the past several years of laptop development, where small, inexpensive Netbooks started as a niche market, with 7- and then 9-inch screens, then moved into the mainstream with 10- and 11-inch versions. Since the start of the MacBook era, Apple had largely ignored the shift in laptop prices and sizes, opting instead to stick to the higher end of the market, and not going below 13 inches (although there are still many fans of Apple's older 12-inch PowerBooks out there). … Read more
Now that Apple's ultrathin MacBook Air has fallen into a price range placing it firmly between the iPad and the MacBook Pro, it occupies an unusual position from both price and functionality standpoints. The Air is more versatile than an iPad, but it's also far from a stand-alone laptop. In the end, could that hurt its adoption?
The long-awaited and rumored 11.6-inch MacBook Air announced at today's Apple keynote joins a landscape of 11.6-inch high-end laptops we've seen appearing throughout 2010. The 2010 11.6-inch Air starts at $999, and while it's more expensive than nearly any other 11.6-incher, it's also extremely thin and boasts an impressive purported battery life. Its specs include a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of flash storage, and Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics, but it only has 2 USB ports and Mini Displayport-out. There is no SD card slot, no Ethernet port, and no HDMI.
Comparatively, the $899 Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T-68U118, a recent Windows 11.6-inch ultraportable we got some hands-on time with, has a 1.46GHz Intel Core i7-680UM CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. The 1830T only has integrated Intel graphics, but it also has three USB ports, HDMI and VGA-out, Ethernet, and an SD card slot, forming a full-fledged feature set that matches most larger mainstream machines.
The devil might be in the details: construction-wise, the Acer TimelineX feels like a plastic Netbook, with a notably small trackpad and palm rest. The MacBook Air's generous multitouch trackpad looks like a much better bet ergonomically, and if the Air's battery and fast boot-up times hold up to the claims made at Apple's keynote, they could be more valuable features than a few extra ports. … Read more
The new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs are not that groundbreaking on the processor front, though an internal revamp has yielded a much thinner design.
Processors: Inside are anything-but-cutting-edge Intel Core 2 Duo processors running at 1.4GHz and 1.86GHz. There are also options for 2.13GHz and 1.6GHz processors. After almost three years, Apple has elected to go with Intel processor designs that have been available for a couple of years. For reasons not yet entirely clear--but likely having to do with heat, cost, and the Nvidia graphics chipset--the new Airs do not use Intel's newest Core i series processors, such as the power-efficient Core i7.
Graphics: The Airs have been upgraded with Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics--the same graphics now used in MacBook Pros. And that is probably the single biggest logic chip departure from the original MacBook Air, which used older Nvida 9400M-based graphics.
Flash: This is what Apple CEO Steve Jobs focused on the most and is in keeping with his MacBook Air theme of "what if a MacBook met an iPad." Like the iPad, there is no hard disk drive per se. "We've gone to complete flash storage," Jobs said. What this means is that the flash memory is built right on the system board and is not in a larger solid-state drive enclosure, creating more space for the battery and other components.
Memory: The Air can now be configured with up to 4GB of memory, exceeding the 2GB limit on the original. But this will add $100 to the price.
Battery: "We're moving toward some more stringent tests that get us much closer to real-world results. Even using these more stringent tests, we're getting seven hours of wireless Web battery life. The previous MacBook Air, using the old, more liberal tests got only five (hours)," Jobs said.
Screen and connectors: The 13.3-inch model uses a high-resolution 1440-by-900 (native) display, higher than the original Air. The 11.6-inch model has a 1366-by-768 resolution screen. The 13.3-inch Air finally has an SD card slot--but not the 11.6 inch model. There are two USB 2.0 connectors and a Mini DisplayPort.
No internal 3G: Yes, Apple stuck with Wi-Fi on the new Airs. In this respect, the MacBook has not met… Read more
CUPERTINO, Calif.--With both an update to its operating system due next summer and new laptops available now, Apple is trying to infuse the Mac with some of the best qualities of the iPhone and iPad.
The new line of MacBook Airs are thinner and lighter than the prior model, while aiming to offer the kind of instant-on and ultra-long battery life found in the iPad. Available in both 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models, the machines range from $999 to $1,599 depending on the combination of screen, processor, and storage. All use flash memory rather than a hard … Read more
Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with questions and commentary from our readers and CNET editors. For those of you who just want the updates, we've included them in regular text here. You can find a brief summary of what was announced in our followup article here.
CUPERTINO, Calif.--Fresh off of crowing about strong iPhone sales, and unloading on Google and Android, Apple is turning its attention to one of its smallest businesses: the Mac.
Join us live as we find out for sure what Apple has in store. Our coverage begins just before 10 a.m. PDT today. You can follow the blow-by-blow account in the Cover It Live module below.
Those of you on Apple devices can watch Apple's own live stream of the event here: http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1010qwoeiuryfg/event/index.html. The stream requires Safari 4 or 5 on Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Safari on iOS 3 or later. It can also be watched on non-Apple products by using a media player called VLC (download here) and inserting the URL into the Open Network Stream option under the media tab.
9:52 a.m. PDT: Hi everyone, thanks for joining us! We're just getting settled inside Town Hall here on the Apple campus. The event should begin in about 10 minutes.
9:56 a.m. (Josh Lowensohn): Hey, Josh here. I'm on photo duty this morning. Ina will be on in a second to corral your comments.
9:59 a.m.: Lights are lowering. Here we go. … Read more