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Apple Updates iMac, iLife, .Mac 528

Apple just announced new iMacs. They are aluminum and come in 20" (two models) and 24". There's a new view called "Events" in iPhoto that should make it easier to deal with large photo libraries. Apple's .Mac service is enhanced with .Mac Web Gallery, which integrates with the new iTunes and also the iPhone. It's a Web 2.0 app now. And iMovie is being replaced by a completely new app of the same name. Steve Jobs claimed that with it you can put together a 5-minute movie in 30 minutes, and he demo'ed that from the stage. iWeb, iDVD, and GarageBand get new features too. And .Mac subscribers get 10 GB of storage. Here is Engadget's blow-by-blow coverage, and Wired's.
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Apple Updates iMac, iLife, .Mac

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  • by Rebelgecko ( 893016 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @02:12PM (#20144823)
    They're probably waiting until Steve Jobs is done announcing new products so there are no "spoilers."
  • by radicalskeptic ( 644346 ) <tritone@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @02:13PM (#20144845)
    not yet convinced by that keyboard.

    You know, I was thinking the same thing.

    A lot of people dislike the MacBook keyboards. They look nice, but the keys don't travel far enough for some people, which messes up the tactile feedback. And these new keyboards look very similar to the MacBook keyboards, plus they're extremely thin, which would also suggest a short travel distance for the keys.

    But of course, until I check them out next week at the Apple store, it's all speculation.
  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @02:25PM (#20145019)
    The store went offline just before it started, this is exactly how things are usually handled.
  • by RockoTDF ( 1042780 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @02:26PM (#20145045) Homepage
    I smell a new meme....
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @02:49PM (#20145391)

    It's a Web 2.0 app now

    No it's not, because there's no such thing as a "version" of the Internet OR the World Wide Web.

    Just because O'Reilly and a bunch of bloggers like it, doesn't mean you should use it.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sketchydave ( 924305 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @02:53PM (#20145439)
    This launch is a case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it." Improvements on the iMac with a thinner design and using glass and aluminum. Cool. A few updates to iLife and a new spreadsheet program in iWorks, very cool. The keyboard does bother me. Personally I like a nice heavy keyboard that can withstand blunt force trauma...or inflict it on others. But its a keyboard and easily replaced just as the original mice were when Apple insisted on the one-button approach.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @03:04PM (#20145615)
    50% more expensive? It's higher than that $700 for an additional 2GB of RAM (When I specced out the 24" version)? Maybe they need to use 'special' heatsinks like the Mac Pro. Considering this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8 2E16820145177 [newegg.com] is only $156, I'm guessing it must be something else.
  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @03:14PM (#20145727) Homepage Journal
    People still want to make DVDs? Go figure.

    I've yet to see a better way to get widescreen standard definition video to my family. If there's one I'm missing, I hope Steve Jobs will enlighten us.
  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @03:14PM (#20145737) Homepage
    Yay, now there's enough space to actually put something there!

    They stillmissed it by an order of magnitude. Maybe next year.

  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @03:17PM (#20145779) Homepage Journal

    Yeah. I have a Macbook pro, almost a $3000 computer; and the keyboard is terrible.

    Funny, I love mine, and previously I was a diehard Model M user.

    As is the one-button trackpad.

    Switch on right-click support in the System Preferences or use the Ctrl key.

    Personally, I use Ctrl for right-click even when I'm using Linux on a system with a 4-button trackball.
  • by reidconti ( 219106 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @03:23PM (#20145877)
    Simple. You're assuming Slashdotters are FOSSies, rather than just adamant about not using crappy products.

    I don't like Microsoft because they make shit products and force them down our throats. I use them regularly, as I now have an XP laptop at my current job as a Unix SA. I am willing to pay for Microsoft products when I think they are worthwhile -- I have an XBox 360 Elite -- but usually they are not worth paying for. The XBox is the first Microsoft product I have bought .. well, ever.

    For my own computer, I am happy to pay the extra few bucks for an Apple product that does exactly what it is designed to do, and does it extremely well. It's just not worth hassling with a Linux desktop machine anymore. OS X has the Windows advantages of being "mainstream" and playing all that fancy DVD and audio content with no fuss, no muss, but without the disadvantages of being utter crap. I definitely spent more money on my Mac Pro than I needed to spend on a computer, but mostly that was me buying an overkill machine, and very little of it was the Apple tax. Of course, if they had a mid-range headless system, maybe I would have bought that instead... But the low-end laptops are very competitive with PC offerings, and to some of us it is worth paying money for stuff that works.

    By the way, I register all of the shareware I use and enjoy in OS X, something that is far more true of the Mac community than the Windows community. Why? Because we feel the products are worth paying for, rather than Windows users who feel that they use what they use out of necessity, not choice.

    I like the idea of free software, but I'm not devoting my life to the cause. If it works best, I'll use it. If not, I'll pay to use whatever works best. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it is almost never their product.
  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @03:26PM (#20145913)
    One thing that bothers me is the decision to go with a glass screen. These screens, to me, are nothing more than a fad that help make the display look more impressive on the showroom floor. Once someone has to actually use them day-to-day glass screens are a huge distraction because of all the reflections and glare. This iMac is going to inspire a deluge of crappy glass-covered displays.

    Seeing these new Macs, however, I can't help but wonder why in the hell PC makers don't actually start putting some damn effort into the manufacture and design of their machines. Instead they go for quick, cheap gimmicks like Dell and the goofy interchangeable color covers for their laptops. Even worse are the third party case manufacturers.

    There are a million ideas out there for very elegant designs that could be just as impressive, if not more so, than anything Apple has designed. But instead what are we going to see? Dozens of crappy clones of the Apple design. Either that or half-hearted attempts that scream of cost-cutting over thoughtful design. Even Nintendo couldn't help but cloning the MacBook design with the DS and to a lesser extent the Wii.

    Apple has nice design, but they are far from being the pinnacle of high design. If only other companies weren't cheap and unimaginative.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BlackSnake112 ( 912158 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @03:53PM (#20146295)
    Then explain why I just upgraded 25 macbook pros to 2GB ram. The upgrade stopped all the complaints about the laptop being slow. These were the 2.1 gig core 2 duo machines. 1 gig of RAM should be enough, but people like having 2 GB.
  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @04:03PM (#20146459) Homepage
    The best part, of course, is that the only time Jobs uses these crappy styles in his Keynote presentations is when the shows them off. Apple knows perfectly well about Tufte, but some of their customers are used to WordArt and might think Apple's stuff is inferior if they can't do the same ugly crap in the iWorks apps.
  • by Penguin's Advocate ( 126803 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @04:25PM (#20146805)
    I hope they don't listen to all the people bashing the MacBook Pro keyboard. I *love* mine, and don't want it to change. It's significantly better than any of the last 3 laptops I've had, and better than any other laptop keyboard I've ever used (at least if you only count reasonably sized laptops and not those DTR monstrosities). That goes for the trackpad too. The trackpad on the MBP is spectacular, and the one button issue becomes a non-issue very quickly. I'm not a fan of trackpads or single-button input devices in general, but I have grown to love the MBP trackpad over the last year.

    As a point of reference, at home and at work I use a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard and a trackball (logitech marble mouse at work, Kensington Expert mouse at home).
  • by Frumious Wombat ( 845680 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @05:04PM (#20147355)
    Because the market basically has three segments:

    (1) I need this to get work done and it has to run forever: Lenovo (formerly IBM) and high-end HP. Ugly is fine, as long as it's bullet-proof ugly

    (2) I'm cheap and have no taste: Dell. Absolutely rock-bottom prices, and it has to match my velvet Elvis or corporate posters from Inspiration.com.

    (3) It's a lifestyle choice, and I'm willing to pay for polish: Apple. They're not that much more expensive (especially the laptops), but getting people to overlook the price on the quad-core monsters is going to take better marketing. Tasteful, unobtrusive, and just let you get whatever it is you do done. Should be offered in Latte.

    Besides, 94%, give or take a Linux box or two run Windows of some flavor. Why shouldn't the look of the machine remind you of the experience you're about to have?
  • by Ohreally_factor ( 593551 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @05:08PM (#20147411) Journal
    This isn't going to help much when Apple enters the Sex biz, but there's this $5 utility, Keyclick [sustworks.com], that makes typing sounds when you type. I've never used it, but it's interesting.

    There's also the Slow Keys setting in the Universal Access pref pane. I just turned it on now for the first time, and it's friggin' annoying. If you try this, be sure to set acceptance delay to short. Yeah, this is really annoying.

    Yeah, typing that last paragraph pretty much sucked.

    There was also a drop in keyboard replacement for the Ti books that was just like a touch sensitive pad. There was a keyboard printed on it I think. Oh, here it is. The TouchStream MacNTouch. Never used one, but it seems interesting because of some of the other input possibilities (chording, gestures, etc.). [fingerworks.com]

    Ah, well. You were making a joke and I got all esoteric on you. Sorry. =)
  • by kigrwik ( 462930 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @05:12PM (#20147457)
    Translation for the impaired:

    "Because we want our computers to look classy and not like a cheap whore".
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @06:11PM (#20148615)

    You tout form factors and you tout using a USB/Firewire drive. I think that if you care about both, having your iMac thin and sexy and having greater than 1 drive worth of storage, that you too would want an extra HD bay in your iMac. Who wants an ugly, external firewire drive sitting next to your computer with wires and power supplies dangling around? Not to mention FW800 enclosures being $$$.

    I was arguing from Apple's point of view. Apple doesn't care what you add to the iMac after you buy it. Their form factor concerns are with only what they sold to you. They designed a very minimalist product. If you want to clutter it, that's your business. A USB HD drive costs you about $100. A FireWire400/FireWire800 version costs you about twice as much. So I take it $200 is too much for you? And with an external HD, I count 1 power supply wire and 1 data transfer cable (USB or Firewire). That's 2 more wires.

    Somehow I think they would have plenty of space, at least on the 24" model, to support an extra drive bay, without a great increase in iMac thickness, or cost. Plus, do you really care that much if your desktop is 0.5 inches thicker?

    Considering that the iMac is now .33 inches, adding .5 inches would really make it bigger considering it is now thinner than some LCD monitors. It's not just adding thickness. You also have to engineer it to be user accessible. That adds complexity. I suspect that the 20" and the 24" model do not differ much when it comes to the internals other than the screen components and chips (faster CPU or faster GPU). So Apple would at least have to design the MB of the 24" model differently than the 20" model if they were to add an extra drive bay. That adds complexity.

    Also, I see the preservation of all your digital stuff: photos, videos, music, documents, as being critical. You'll need redundant copies in order to rebuild corrupted data (a la ZFS), which requires 2 drives. Not to mention a backup system as well.

    How are backups handled today?

    1. Backup to CD-R/DVD-R. The iMac has that covered without the need for another HD.
    2. Tape backup. You can't add one internally to an iMac but you could attach one as an external drive using USB/Firewire. But tape is much more expensive than the external HD option.
    3. External HD via USB/Firewire. Probably the most common option.
    4. Internal HD addition. Doesn't a non-removable HD defeat the purpose of having a backup system?
    5. Network backup. Not affected whether Apple offers a second HD or not.
  • by MorpheousMarty ( 1094907 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @06:44PM (#20149123)
    Looks like to me it only supports old creative players (the Rio brand has been discontinued). So iTunes does sync with some mp3 players but if you were to buy a new MP3 player today it shouldn't work (according to the list)
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @06:58PM (#20149327)
    I have upgraded my old G3 iMac a few times, and that was complicated...

    Complicated as in disassembling the shell, depending on the model, but not complicated as in having to use special equipment, as all you need are a screwdriver (preferably magnetic), maybe a Leatherman toolkit (specifically the pincers), precautions to avoid static electricity, as well as a visual guide: http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/ [xlr8yourmac.com].

    Going one notch further, when I upgraded the hard disk on my Indigo G3 http://www.faqintosh.com/risorse/en/guides/hw/imac /imacg3dvhd/ [faqintosh.com], it was a nerve-wracking thought to take apart an additional level of parts, but after the job was done, I was amazed at how simple a procedure it actually was, as well as the fact that it took less than an hour. A month later, a friend asked me to help him upgrade the hard disk on his G3. He was very nervous about it, yet I actually did it in half the time and it was even, you know, fun. As a bonus, for my troubles, I was treated to several mugs of draft beer at a local tavern.

    As for RAM chips and the new Macs? I'd guess it takes less than five minutes to do it, just open a little hatch, fit the chip in the slot and you're good to go!
  • by mrbooze ( 49713 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:30AM (#20152705)
    How would enabling a true right-button support make the experience worse for anyone? Make the trackpad support two buttons the same way the Mighty Mouse does. If you enable right-click as a preference, then the right side of the button is a right-click, if you don't then the whole button acts as one button.

    Tada, you've made life better for people who like 2-button mice and you have not hurt the 1-button mouse people in the slightest!

  • by o'davy ( 606052 ) * <dave AT vanderwall DOT org> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:03AM (#20152893)
    It hurts the one-button people because we like having one big button. No matter where my finger is on the trackpad, click with my thumb, and it's a left-click. I hate using two-button trackpads. If I want a second, third, fourth, etc., button then I use an external mouse.
  • by Hes Nikke ( 237581 ) <slashdot&gotnate,com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:15AM (#20152939) Journal

    One of these days, they may even make a human interface device made to work with human hands instead of impressing human eyes, not that I'm holding my breath.
    yeah, i'm hot holding my breath eather - they just shipped one [iphone.org] a couple of months ago....
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter&slashdot,2006,taronga,com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @07:01AM (#20154319) Homepage Journal
    Why? Not every machine needs to be equipped for higher end gaming.

    The GMA950 hurts any 3d application, and any application that pushes the limits on RAM - and not only because it eats 64M of real memory. It's not just third-party software (let alone games) that exceed the limits of what the GMA950 can do, Apple's own software uses 3d effects all over the place, so it's got to load their software OpenGL to cover for the shortcomings of the GPU regardless. And it's going to be using more and more of them over time.

    I mean the original Mini's GPU was marginal, and Tiger required more than it could handle mere months after it was released... and *it* was more capable than the GMA950. It's only because they could afford to waste CPU power to inefficiently cover for the Intel GPU that they got away with it in the first place.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @06:05PM (#20163049)

    Then again, MS Office is not (yet) a universal binary, so it's still running under Rosetta on new Macs, so the comparison isn't fair.

    Fair?!? It is a comparison of the available options. I don't care if one company is slow to release new version, I just care about what is available. Currently, Word is slow, unresponsive, and resource intensive. I'd rather use something that is the opposite of that. I don't care if it is a new version of MS Office or iWork, although I also care about usability and feature set.

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