Macworld 2008 Review

By Dan Hinckley

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Like many of the previous Macworlds, 2008 was filled with anticipation, excitement, and rumors. But after everything was said and done Apple and Mr. Steve Jobs delivered again on many of our expectations.

Apple announced essentially 2 new products with significant updates to their other product offerings.

THE NEW PRODUCTS

Time Capsule is apples latest addition to Time Machine, the backup software included in OS X 10.5 Leopard. It is a wireless approach to allow multiple computers in a home to backup their data to one location using Time Machine. Time Capsule comes in either 500 gb or 1tb sizes and includes wireless access. The drive is a great compliment to their other new product, the Macbook Air.

Macbook Air is the thinnest notebook ever. It literally fits into the size of a business envelope and supports a 13.3 inch monitor. Its thickness ranges from .16 to .76 inches. Apple requested a custom chip form intel for the notebook and they delivered a 1.6ghz and 1.8ghz Core 2 duo chip that is a bit slower than the Macbook and Macbook Pro notebook lines. Intel integrated graphics provides the video capabilities and with micro-DVI you can connect the notebook to external monitors.

Some things to consider before picking up the Macbook Air for yourself is some of the features it lacks:

  1. No optical Drive (But with the Included Remote Disk Software you can access your desktop CD/DVD drive). This may not be the best bet if you’re constantly swapping dvds on your notebook.
  2. 1 USB port and No Firewire port. The Macbook Air does include Bluetooth for peripherals devices but don’t plan on connecting a number of USB devices without first picking up a USB hub.
  3. Lack of Swappable Battery. Like the iPod and iPhone the Battery is built into the notebook itself. If you feel like you’ll need to use more than 5 hours of battery at a time, this new ultra mobile computer may not be for you.

Despite some of the things the notebook lacks, its seems to be a very impressive mobile computer. I also noticed that it comes with 2gb of RAM standard. Looks like Apple learned from the lack of performance on the standard Macbook line. Great for business travelers or students who plan on using them in their class studies. Priced at $1799. Complete System Specs can be found at the Macbook Air specification site.

PRODUCT UPDATES

Although these products have been part of the Apple line the updates make them feel new again.

iPhone received an update to version 1.1.3. This update includes some added Google Map features, the ability to send one sms messages to multiple people, adjustment of the home page, and clips of webpages you visit. These updates will quickly be used by all individuals already sporting an iPhone

iPod Touch is now literally an iPhone without the phone. Current Touch owners can upgrade to the latest software for $20 while new purchasers will find the software already part of the touch. The $20 to upgrade is pretty weak considering new purchasers won’t have to pay anything extra for the added features. Mail, Maps, and additional widgets will be great compliments to the mobile media player. Additionally it will make each iPod Touch owner that much more comfortable with upgrading their phone to iPhone the next time they plan on picking up a new product.

Apple TV now supports rentals from all major motion picture studios! This is wonderful news for us end users. Not only can you now rent movies through iTunes but you can do it with Apple TV and without the need of downloading it to your computer. I imagined that such an update would be included after the mobile iTunes purchase was so successful for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Additionally, the Apple TV will support HD content, including the new Rental services. Renting a movie will cost between $2.99 and $4.99 depending on how new the movie is and what quality of video and sound you select. It will be interesting to see how Netflix and Blockbuster rental services respond to the new product offering. Movies will be available for 30 days from purchase or 24 hours after you start watching the rental. And like other video content you can take the movies with you on your iPhone or iPod. All these features will be available via a software update to the Apple TV

Overall the Macworld Keynote event was great. It included some great new products and some wonderful updates to the current line of products that we already love. Additionally its positioned the Apple TV to really compete in the living room this year. Check back here at maciverse.com for new tutorials and reviews about these new products.

About Dan Hinckley
Dan Hinckley is an experienced Mac user who converted to Apple products when they introduced them on Intel Processors. He loves helping others get more out of their devices! Subscribe to Maciverse.com to get the latest from Dan and the Maciverse Team!! Find out more about Dan:

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