Just spotted this on the Apple Start page:
Just spotted this on the Apple Start page:
Well, what with all my MacBook Pro problems, I’ve been out of the loop for a little while, but I have noticed that so far this month, Apple have released a whole range of new and updated products. Let’s take a look at them.
1. New iPods – Standard, Nano and Shuffle ‘Clip and Go’
First of all they have the new iPod Nanos, with a welcome return of a choice a colours other tha White or Black, they now have capacities from 2GB to 8GB, they also have 40% brighter clearer screens, and are boasting a battery life of up to 24 hours. Prices start from £99 for the 2GB model.
Also new is the iPod Shuffle “Clip and Go”, which has been completely redesigned. It now takes on the shape of a clip, which can be easily attached to the belt line, is only 4.1cm long and has up to 12 hours of battery life. The new Shuffle is only available in a 1GB model for £55.
The standard iPod has also received a facelift, and is now 30% thinner, with a 60% brighter 2.5 inch screen. The software for the iPod has also been updated, allowing you to search for songs by names, and from the demo available on Apple’s website, it looks like an excellent improvement to the previous version. Coupled with the release of iTunes 7, you can now download popular games and play them on your iPod, such as Zuma, Tetris and Pac-man at £3.99 each. The new iPod is available in 30GB and 80GB models with 20 hours of battery life and starts at £189.
2. iTunes 7
With the release of the new iPods, Apple have also perfomed a major overhaul on the accompanying iTunes software. It now sports a better user interface which has been streamlined to allow easier navigation of your media library. As well as this, new features have been added which I myself have thought were missing – multiple libraries which can be on seperate disks if desired, a download manager for managing the order content is downloaded, and a built in backup system for backing up your media safely. As well as this, Apple have added new features such as Cover Flow for flipping through media more realistically, Automatic Album Art for when you’re missing the album covers and a few others.
Although I will have to wait for my replacement MacBook Pro until I can try it all out, it does look like a very good release, and I can’t wait to start using it.
3. New iMacs
Although the Intel iMac Core Duos have really only just been released, they have already been significantly updated. They have been updated to use Core 2 Duo chips which have double the L2 cache of the previous from 2MB to 4MB and are now fully 64-bit, running up to 2.33GHz. Since Mac OS X already supports 64-bit, the new iMacs are already much faster than the previous ones, Apple are clocking performance improvements of around 50%.
As well as this power boost, a new huge 24″ iMac joins the line-up with a 40% brighter screen.
So there you have it, Apple have been very busy rolling out these new models, and as you can see, they are more than just minor updates to the previous ones. If you’re interested in any of the details on any of these new products, here are links to the Apple product pages:
iPod Nano: http://www.apple.com/uk/ipodnano/
iPod Shuffle: http://www.apple.com/uk/ipodshuffle/
iTunes 7: http://www.apple.com/uk/itunes/
It is no wonder Apple have such a good reputation when it comes to design. It is clear they think very carefully when it comes to designing their products from the actual product itself, down to the packaging it arrives in.
It is also clear that they spend just as much time designing the user experience at their stores – just take a look at the brand new Apple Store which has opened at Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.
The entrance to the store is via a huge glass cube with the Apple logo suspended in the centre. On the floor of this glass cube is a spiral staircase which leads down to the 20,000 square foot store beneath.
Fifth Avenue is one of the worlds most popular shopping locations, and as such this new Apple Store will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for customers to peruse the large collection of try-before-you-buy models of Mac and iPod, as well as get support from the in-store Genius Bar.
I would love to see it in person, but unfortunately living in the UK makes it a little difficult to get to, so for now I’ll have to be content with my slightly smaller local Apple Store!
The faithful iBook product line, after not being updated in terms of design for quite a while now, with just minor upgrades to the components, has been revamped and renamed to fall in line with the new naming scheme for Apple notebooks – the MacBook.
The new MacBooks are only available in 13″ widescreen glossy displays, for a larger 15″ or 17″ display you will need to go for a MacBook Pro.
Despite their smaller size, the new MacBook comes with a 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo processor and can have up to 2GB of memory, though the default is 512MB.
The standard MacBook also comes with a built in iSight camera, Front Row with the Apple remote, a SuperDrive on the 2GHz model (Combo drive on the 1.83GHz) a 60GB, 100GB or 120GB hard disk drive and 64MB Intel video card. They also have the USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, Airport and audio connections standard on all new Mac’s.
The screen resolution is 1280×800 which is impressive for such a compact notebook measuring only 2.75cm thin.
These new models of course come with all the usual free software, including Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”, the new iLife ’06 suite of applications and many more.
Apple have also made this new model available in both the classic Apple White and a new Black along the lines of the new black iPods, perhaps as a sign of something to come in terms of their desktop machines as well. The Black version of the MacBook is only an option with the 2GHz model.
The starting price is also very good for such a powerful notebook at £749. I haven’t seen many other machines which can match the amount of features and the performance for such a price.
Apple have released an update for Front Row which is available from Software Updates and updates it to version 1.2.2.
It is recommended for bug fixes, in particular the error many people have been seeing when trying to connect to the Movie Trailer server, which claimed it was unavailable.
It has also added some features, the one I spotted and think is very useful is the ability to Shuffle songs inside Front Row – you can pick a Playlist and get it to shuffle it before playing or shuffle your entire library and so on. A little thing technically, but a big thing in terms of usability – I find it extremely useful since I use my Mac as my media centre anyway.
To download it, visit the Apple website, or use Software Update from the Apple menu.