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This article was published on October 20, 2010

Apple’s Back to the Mac – All You Need to Know

Apple’s Back to the Mac – All You Need to Know
Brad McCarty
Story by

Brad McCarty

A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty. A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty.

It can certainly be said that Apple knows how to set a stage. Steve Jobs stood up, began telling us about iLife ’11 and then eventually worked his way into two new Macbook Air models. Want the full details of everything from today? Read on.

iLife ’11

Available now. $50 for an upgrade, or free with any new Mac.

We have a full write-up of all of the changes, but the basic deal is that iLife remains the same. You won’t see new software in iLife ’11, but you will see a load of new features:

iPhoto: The most impressive features, from what we saw, were the new slideshow themes and the letterpress cards. The themes look amazing, and are really a step in the right direction for iPhoto. Letterpress cards are certain to be popular, and timely with the holiday season. The ability to create high-class cards from your desktop is a great addition.

iMovie: Big improvements to audio editing, three-click movie trailers and facial recognition all come to the software. There are also new sharing options for Vimeo and Facebook, in addition to the YouTube feature from before.

iMusic: Flex Time and Groove Matching features are added to correct recorded music. How Did I Play added to music lessons to show you how well you’re playing along when using any USB keyboard or guitar input.

Facetime on Mac

Available now. Free beta from Boris loves it!

With more than 19 million users on mobile, Apple is making good on its promise to bring Facetime to the desktop as well. You’ll now be able to download Facetime directly to your laptop or desktop computer, and keep the same feel as if you’re using it on mobile.

See our full write-up for all of the details

Mac OS X Lion

Available Summer 2011

iOS was born from OS X. With Lion, iOS features are coming back to the Mac. Apple focused on multitouch gestures, a better organization of applications and has introduced an App Store for the Mac. Here’s the full run-down of today’s features from Lion:

The App Store: Launching for Snow Leopard within 90 days, the App Store will bring automatic installation and updating of applications to your desktop or laptop. Better yet, anything that you install via the App Store will be licensed for all of your personal computers. Application submissions will be starting in November.

Launchpad: A full-screen grid of your Apps, akin to Dashboard. It will support multitouch gestures, including scrolling through pages of applications. You can click and drag to organize your apps, and use folders just as you can in OS X.

Full-Screen Apps: Gesture control to switch between full-screen app and desktop. Dashboard is accessible via a left flick from the Desktop. Mission control gives an expose view of all windows, apps, desktop and dashboard, with dock along the bottom. Will cluster similar functions akin to Tab Candy.

Mission Control: With four spaces (Expose, Dashboard, Full-screen apps and Spaces) your desktop could end up being a cluttered mess. Mission Control is a new feature of Lion that aims to end that problem. Think of it as a unified viewer for everything running on your Mac. You’re able to swipe around in Mission Control to reach the points that you want, while keeping the rest out of view.

New Macbook Airs

Available today

What would an Apple event be without the “one more thing”? Today’s “thing” is actually two things. Stating how much Apple has learned from the time spent with the iPad, Apple is introducing two new Macbook Air models, both without optical or hard drives, using flash memory only, up to 2.8 GHz CPU.

13.3″ Model: .68 inches thick at the thickest part, 2.9 pounds. It is a unibody design with a 1440×900 resolution screen. Intel Core 2 Duo processor, with Nvidia Geforce 320 M graphics and a Facetime camera. 7 hours of battery on WiFi, 30 days standby. $1299 for 128 GB version, 256 GB for $1599.

11.6″ Model: 1366×768 resolution. 5 hours on WiFi, 30 days standby. Starts at $999 for a 64gb version. 128 GB version is $1199.

So there’s your wrap-up. Anything we’ve missed? Something you wanted to see but didn’t? Let us know in the comments.