Apple’s Back to the Mac Roundup– Everything Else You Need to Know
So we covered the new MacBook Air, but what about everything else Apple introduced? Well, we’ve got that fully covered here. Apple was pretty busy with a whole bunch of other cool stuff, including that new iLife ’11, the next version of OS X called Lion, and even the announcement to bring FaceTime to the Mac. We’ve got the whole thing covered for you after the break, so read on!
This is the first of the new Apple software announcements were gonna cover, and if your into music, movies or photos you’re really gonna like this.
Changing your Facebook profile pic in iPhoto ’11
- iPhoto–iPhoto is Apple’s photo editing software and probably the best if you want powerful but simple photo editing and managing software. iPhoto ’11 brings all the greatness of previous iPhotos to a new level, with a whole bunch of new features like full screen editing of photos (meaning that the whole screen is dominated by iPhoto with no other windows or even the dock to distract you. This is actually something that will be big in OS X Lion), the ability to share your pix directly with your Facebook (including tagging friends and changing your profile pic), the ability to easily send multiple pictures at once in an email (something that for some reason has been pretty hard to do no matter where you tried to do it), and even new slideshows and the ability to create virtual scrap books. All in all, it’s a solid update that should make all your photo management a lot easier. You can see all the new iPhoto features here.
Making movie trailers in iMovie ’11
- iMovie– iMovie in iLife ’11 got a lot more improvements and if you make a lot of YouTube videos or are a budding filmmaker, this is a great way to easily make some really high-end looking stuff. We’re talking the ability to make professional looking trailers, more audio controls, one-stop effects (like creating a slowed done instant replay with one click), sports and news themes (for making your own SportsCenter like highlights with pop ups for stats and player info– expect to see a lot of these and fake movie trailers flood YouTube right… about… now), a people finder for close-ups and other individual focuses, and the ability to easily upload to CNN’s iReport, Vimeo or Facebook in full 1080p HD. Yeah, this new iMovie is loaded. You can see all the new iMovie features here.
Flex Time and Groove Matching in GarageBand ’11
- GarageBand– For you budding music stars, this is like your version of the new iMovie, full of a ton of professional like features in a simple to use way. You’ve got Flex Time to fix any timing mistakes, Groove Matching to bring all the instruments you’ve got into a rhythm, all new guitar amps and stompbox affects, and even more lessons and guides to teach you how to play piano and guitar. Like with iMovie, if you want to dabble in your aspiring music career you’re gonna wanna check this out. You can see all the new GarageBand features here.
That’s iLife ’11 in a nutshell, and as you can see, it really is pretty amazing– especially when you consider the fact that it ships free on all new Macs and only costs $49 if you want to upgrade your current iLife to the new version ($79 if you want a family version to put on up to 5 Macs. And if you bought a new or certified refurbished Mac from the Apple store or online store between October 1st and the 19th it’s only $6.99. See here for more info on that). iLife ’11 is available now from Apple.
Mac OS X Lion Preview
This is probably even more impressive than the new iLife, and that’s saying something. As expected, Apple showed off their next version of OS X, officially called Lion, and wow does it look to have some roar (pun completely intended). As we were hoping prior to the event, Apple brought a lot of cool new features to the table here, including bringing iOS to the Mac. Well, kinda.
Apple didn’t actually bring iOS into OS X, instead think of it as taking some features and bringing them over.
The Mac App Store on the new Air
- Mac App Store– This is probably the first big thing you’ll notice. Apple is taking all the success and general ease of getting apps on the iTunes App Store for iOS and bringing them over to the Mac with a special Mac version of the store. It pretty much just that– you’ve got easy way to find and download apps, automatic updates for apps you’ve already got etc. The Mac App Store will be coming soon (sometime in the next 90 days) for Snow Leopard users and will be included in Lion.
- Launchpad– Clicking on the Launchpad in the dock gives you loads of icons with one touch access to opening apps (and even the ability to group apps into Folders just like you would on an iOS homescreen).
- Full-screen Apps– As seen in the new iLife apps, apps on OS X Lion can finally be viewed full screen– no dock, no other apps, no distractions beyond the app you’re in.
Keeping things organized with Mission Control
- Mission Control– This is probably the biggest new thing for Lion shown off today. This is kinda like a mix of the Mac’s Expose, Spaces and Dashboard to give you easy access and control over everything going on in your Mac. All it takes is one swipe gesture to pull up all your running windows and apps which are grouped by apps. This should make keeping organized while doing some insane multitasking really easy.
Apple also had one other thing we wanna talk about– FaceTime for the Mac.
FaceTime– now also on the Mac
Now get excited, but not too excited as there is still a lot of work to be done before this is truly ready for primetime. Available now in a public beta (meaning it’s just a test version and not final), FaceTime for Mac does pretty much what you’d expect– allowing you to FaceTime from a Mac to any iPhone 4, 4th gen iTouch or even another Mac from your Mac. Now when we say that when there’s a lot of work still to be done we mean it. In our brief tinkering with the new app, it’s nice and works pretty well but not without a few issues. For one, the app is its own app not a new part of iChat, so still no video chatting from your iPhone to your friends on AIM or Google Talk that use iChat. The app also picks up all your contacts in your Mac address book, meaning that it pulls in everyone and not just those who have a FaceTime account. But hey, it’s a nice start and we’ll see what Apple does before they take it out of beta.
Mac OS X Lion will be available next summer, and from what we’ve seen, Apple is clearly not about to give up the Mac to focus on iOS– and that’s a really good thing.