What goes around comes around. Apple is not just about computers, hence the iPod and iPhone.
The Mac gets remembered by Apple with a hot new update for the iMac, and substantial changes in iLife, iWork, even .Mac.
Here’s the Mac360 Southern California Quick Look™ at what Apple has done to part of the Mac lineup—hardware, and specifically, software.
I’ll give you an overview and perspective, then run out to the Apple Store to pick up a copy of the new iLife and iWork packages. Kate will do the same in New York and we’ll offer up First Looks as soon as possible.
The few rumor sites that still exist for the Mac got it right. The iMac gets faster, thinner, with more features, and a hot new keyboard.
Gone is the 17-inch entry level iMac. The 20-inch and 24-inch models get a thinner enclosure that’s aluminum and glass. The often derided “chin” below the iMac’s screen is reduced significantly.
The iMac can be ordered with up to a 2.8ghz Intel dual core processor. The screens are now the glossy type, similar to those in the Mac notebook line.
The Apple site has all the gory details. Both Ron and Kate have been holding out for new iMacs, so maybe we’ll get a first hand first look soon.
Hardware wise, this iMac is not a refurb of the previous model, but a steady evolution of the form factor. There’s still the SuperDrive, the built-in iSight camera, built-in WiFi, better graphics card options, larger hard drives, and a Firewire 800 port (which I plan to match with the latest SATA external Firewire drives from NewerTech).
Pricing has been adjust at the low end and the high end. The entry level model is $200 more at $1,199, and the high end 24-inch iMac is $200 less at $1,799.
iLife gets a revamp, too. For $79 you get evolutionary changes in iPhoto, iDVD, and GarageBand, but substantial changes in iMovie and iWeb. We’ll do more in depth product reviews once we have products to review.
Even .Mac gets some much needed additional storage space and download bandwidth, 10 gigabytes, and 100 gigabytes respectively.
Missing from Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ presentation was any mention of the Mac mini, still stuck with pokey slow Core Duo chips from Intel, and no changes to the Mac Pro line. Also missing was the desired-if-not-expected introduction of an ultra lite MacBook Pro model.
UPDATE – Mac mini quietly upgrade to a Core 2 Duo.
A few years ago, Mac360’s founder, Tera Jean Patricks, said iWork would get a spreadsheet called Numbers. iWork ‘08 features a spreadsheet called Numbers, and a notably updated Pages word processor with more compatibility with Microsoft’s Word.
Apple’s web site is touting iWork ‘08 as “Works with Office™” and shares documents, slides, and spreadsheets.
Consider today’s product announcements from Apple as a little Christmas in the dog days of August. More to come as we open our packages and highlight the good, the bad, the ugly, and the insanely great of the holiday offerings.
The questions for the day are straightforward enough: will you upgrade to an iMac? Will you upgrade to iLife ‘08 and why? Will you upgrade to iWork ‘08 and why?
UPDATE – Here’s the First Look at iWork ‘08.