10/20/10
2:28 pm

MacMost Now 466: iLife 11, Lion and the New MacBook Air

Apple has three major Mac announcements today in a special event. iLife 11 brings updates to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. The new Mac OS X 10.7 will be called Lion and will be released in summer of 2011. Some features, like FaceTime and a new Mac App Store will be available sooner. A new, lighter, smaller and cheaper MacBook Air hits stores today.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi. This is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's talk about iLife 11, the new MacBook Air, and Mac OS X 10 Lion.
So today in Cupertino, the top brass of Apple, introduced three major new products. The first is iLife 11. We're going to have an entire new suite of iLife products and there are major new features for some of them, like iMovie, iPhoto, and GarageBand.
In iPhoto 11, we've got enhancements of a lot of existing features. For instance, there are a lot of new slideshow themes, including a very impressive one that brings in maps into your slideshows. Also, you'll be able to create new types of books, and there's an entire new interface for creating books that uses some of the intelligent data in your photos, like which ones were taken about the same time and which ones that you've marked as your favorites, to decide where those photos go in the books. There's also going to be these letter-press cards that you can order now from your photos.
In addition, there's some sharing features such as the ability to email directly inside of iPhoto and also you'll be able to see how you've shared your photos. So you can see for instance, if you've shared a photo on Facebook or Flickr, or email or even be able to read comments that people have left about that photo at some of those sites. iPhoto will also include a full-screen mode, and it appears that a lot of applications are going to be getting full-screen mode when Lion comes out next year.
So iMovie 11 is going to feature a lot of improvements in audio. You'll be able to see the waveform under the video and adjust it, and also add audio effects. There'll also be some new video effects as well. There will be things like instant replay and flash frames that you can do just by applying things in one step. And it looks like the faces feature of iPhoto is going to be in iMovie as well. And iMovie will be able to know not only who's in the video clips but how many people there are and whether it's a close or far shot.
In addition, to some new themes, there's also an entire new section that allows you to create these movie trailers by simply filling in the blanks, adding different clips into different sections of a movie trailer template, and then generating the movie trailer on the fly.
GarageBand 11 is going to include a lot of things that will help you clean up the timing in your tracks. So there's something called Groove Matching and Flex Timing that will allow you to adjust the rhythm of tracks to match other tracks. There's also been several major improvements to the lessons feature, new lessons and also the ability to track how you're playing, kind of like playing Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but in GarageBand.
So, iLife 11 is available today, and it's 49 bucks to upgrade; of course, it comes free with any new Mac.
So, independent of Lion and of iLife, there's going to be a new application called FaceTime. And of course, this matches the FaceTime ability of the iPhone and iPad Touch. So we're able to do FaceTime video chat between Macs but also between the Mac and the iPhone. FaceTime is going to start off as a beta, and it should be available today, from apple.com.
Another somewhat independent feature from Lion is going to be the new Mac App Store. So, this is going to be just like the App Store on the iPhone and the iPad, except it's going to be for the Mac. You'll be able to browse through the App Store and be able to download and install software really with just one click. The app literally jumps out of the App Store and into your dock.
Now, it's going to be available within 90 days. So, it's a feature of Lion, but a feature we'll also have available in SnowLeopard well in advance.
So looks like the App Store will be just like the App Store in the iPhone, with Apple controlling completely, and developers submitting applications, and then giving 70 percent of the revenue to the developers. So it'll be just this one place where you can find Mac software, and one place the developers can't sell it. Now, there's no indication that the standard way to get apps by downloading them from just about anywhere or buying them in stores will be gone, it looks like the App Store and the traditional software distribution models will exist side-by-side.
So to compliment the App Store, Lion will have something in it called LaunchPad, which is basically screens full of icons, similar to how we're looking at them on the iPhone 4 and the iPad. We'll be able to zip through the different app icons and select one to run, and you can even create subfolders of apps. It's not clear whether that's only going to be on Lion or if we'll also get that in SnowLeopard when the App Store launches.
Now Lion, or Mac OS X 10.7, will be available in summer of 2011. And some of the new features are going to include use of more gesturing using the track pads, and also some really cool improvements to Expose. Instead of Expose as we know it now, there's going to be something called Mission Control, which will basically bring in the dock and features of Expose and some of the full-time functionality of applications all into one screen, basically allowing you to quickly figure out what's going on in your Mac and jump to it.
Now in the hardware side of things, Apple also had big news. There's going to be an entire new MacBook Air. As a matter of fact, it's available today. And there'll be two models. One will be a 13.3 inch screen and the other will be 11.6 inch screen. Both are very light, feature built-in batteries that give you between 5 and 7 hours of battery life, and the lower-end, 11.6-inch screen model will go for 999 dollars.
But one of the most interesting new features of the MacBook Air is all models are going to feature flash memory. There's no hard drive, no optical drive. The smallest model goes with 64 gigs of memory, all the way up to a maximum of 256 gigs in the larger, upgraded version.
So that's a quick look at today's announcements from Apple. Until next time, this is Gary, with MacMost Now.