Steve Jobs Keynote, From Macworld (New Laptop, Software)

We've been following this years Macworld keynote from Apple chief, Steve Jobs. Read up for our summary of what's new, what's been updated. Jobs started giving some information on the current state of Apple products. Apple have sold 42m iPods since launch (32m last year) and claim it to be the 'best music player in the world'. The company also claims to have sold 850m songs on iTunes (3m / day), and have 80+% of the market.

New for the

iTunes store is SNL content. Comedy sketches from the show will be available for purchase from iTunes for the normal price. Also of note is new sports content for iTunes. Jobs commented that "

for the first time last week we added some sports. For the first time with ABC and ESPN we put up some Bowl games." Apple have confirmed a

FM tuner / remote for the Nano, and 5th generation iPod videos, costing $49.99 (image at engadget). Users will be able to tune the radio via the standard iPod interface. The FM feature announced today fills a hole that has long needed plugging, and marks a significant feature improvement for the product.

Jobs left arguably the best bits till the end of the keynote, so we've brought them forwards. Apple discussed their work with

Intel, and said that thanks to Intel's hard work, the company had stayed on track with their goal of shipping Intel chip powered products. The first device to be powered by Intel will be the

iMac. All other devices currently on the PPC platform will be converted to Intel by the end of the year. The new iMac comes with a built in iSight, as well as front row. However, it keeps the same design as well as the same size (17", 20" screen). Powered by

dual core Intel chips, Jobs claims the iMac will be 2-3 times faster than existing models. Existing software is being transferred across (see below), with programs such as

Office running well under Rosetta (universal binaries coming soon, free update), and programs such as Quark running as universal binaries. Microsoft, incidentally, have committed to supply Office for Mac users for the next five years at least.

Apple are launching today the

Macbook Pro, a brand new laptop powered by a dual-core Intel chip. The Macbok Pro solves the heat issue that Apple had trying to get a G5 chip into a Powerbook. Slightly thinner than an existing Powerbook, the Macbook Pro will feature 15.4" screen ("as bright as the Cinema Display units), an iSight camera, and will run 4-5x faster than the Powerbook. It also features a IR sensor for the recently released remote control units. A rather novel magnetic power cord (in terms of the attachment mechanism) called MagSafe is also included, perhaps meaning an end to yanking laptops off tables. The Macbook Pro will ship in February, but Apple will be taking orders from today. Priced at $1999 and $2499 for 1.67GHz and 1.83GHz respectivly, they come with an ATi Radeon X1600, Airport Extreme and Bluetooth, 4x Superdrive, 512MB/ 1Gb RAM and 80Gb / 100Gb Harddrives. It weighs 5.6 pounds and comes with features previously seen on the Powerbook, like the backlight sensor, and DVI out for 30" displays.

Click here, for more information on the new Apple products.

All in all, a lot of new and updated products from Apple. The fact that so little time was spent on the iPod and iTunes puts to bed any sense that Apple might be drifting towards only that market, and proves the company has a lot more to offer. Interestingly, we didn't see either a cheap iBook release (see comments on new Intel chip based products later in the year) or the Mac Mini media center that so many had predicted. Neowin, sadly, wasn't at Macworld - we'd like to thank worldofapple.com, macrumors.com, and the ever reliable, engadget.com, for doing what Apple should do themselves.

Update Apple's store seems to be having some serious problems; the message saying 'back within the hour' has been up for the last hour or so; if you can't get through, we suggest you try again in a few hours.


View: Apple (currently getting badly hammered - expect long load times)


Link: Steve Jobs at Macworld | Intel & Apple


View: Macbook Pro Homepage


Jobs showed off their new imaging program,

Aperture. The software is described as being to "

the camera as Final Cut Pro is to Video". Also on show were

Widgets,
pieces of software sitting on the desktop performing unique functions
(e.g. showing the weather). Apple now host 1500 widgets.

Mac OSX 10.4.4,
a minor update now available for download, has been released today,
with new Widgets included. It will also run natively on the new Intel
products (iLife and iWorks also work on the Intel chips, with the other
Pro software coming in March - $49 trade in available).

iLife has also been updated (making it

iLife '06), with an improved version of

iPhoto (claiming to be faster, and containing more editing features).

Photocasting has
been formally announced today, allowing users to share photos in a
similar fashion to podcasts. However, the service does appear to
require .mac membership to use, or at least, to publish. Users will be
able to subscribe to the RSS feed, making viewing platform independent.
New versions of

iMovie and

iDVD were
also demoed, with a host of new features in both products. iWork has
also been updated, again, with a number of new features, like image
editing. Apple will be offering the software for free for 30 days with
all new Macs sold.

The '06 version of

Garageband has new features to help podcasters, and includes an extended library of sound effects. New to the iLife package this year is

iWeb (bad news for Dan Wood
then?). iWeb lets .mac users publish (with one click, no less) photos,
movies and music to weblogs via a simple Mac program. The program will
include themes for easy publishing, and will also offer users the
option of RSS feeds from their content. It will also allow users to
take advantage of modern web

gimmicks features like AJAX. iLife '06 is available today, for $69.99.

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