MacWorld 2008: Updates, Movies, and Macbook Air
Steve Jobs came onto the stage to the cheers and clapping of all the major tech blogs and magazines and attendees at MacWorld today. Among the excitement of the keynote address were four major announcements. I’ll give Steve credit, he’s succinct in his keynotes. The four major announcements are:
1) iPhone Apps on the iPod Touch (or iTouch). Those of you with iPod Touches who know people with iPhones have probably been pretty jealous of the missing apps that were previously available only on the iPhone, unless you used the hack to get them on there already. The bad news: unless you’re buying a new one now, you’ll have to pay $20 for an upgrade to get the new features. WTF, Apple?
2) iTunes Movie Rentals. Apple knows no one wants to rent their music – that’s why they chose a different business model than Napster or Real Rhapsody. But movies – consumers often rent movies, and are doing it in so many ways these days. So Apple has now made movie rentals available via iTunes. $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases. Fox was among the major studios to partner with Apple to bring movie rentals to iTunes. Also, Warner, Universal, Paramount, and others were on board.
3) Free Software Update. With Apple’s new movie rental system on iTunes, you will now be able to (thanks to a free software update coming in about two weeks) watch those movies on your AppleTV, iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch, and your Mac. For new purchases, the software should already be included effective today. Also, the UI for the AppleTV has been completely redone and looks amazing.
4) Macbook Air. As if end users didn’t have enough name and brand-recognition to deal with, the MacBook Air seeks to fill the Apple void in the thin notebook market by being less than an inch thick at either end. It’s so small you can fit it in a manila envelope and weighs less than 3 pounds. It’s touch pad also has multi-touch sensing, and uses patented gesture technology like the iPhone and iPod touch to let you use two fingers to navigate, zoom, and manipulate photos, documents, and more. Main downside: no optical drive, but Apple has new software to let you share optical drives from another Mac for installation. Of course, at the conclusion of the MacWorld Expo 2008 keynote address, tutorials and videos appeared on the Apple website.