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Thursday, October 21, 2010
Apple Previews Mac OS X Lion, Introduces New MacBook Air Notebooks, FaceTime For Mac


Apple has laid out its plans for the next version of its OS X operating system dubbed OS X "Lion," and its MacBook Air ultraportable notebook.

OS X Lion

Apple today gave a sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion, the eighth release of its operating system. Shipping next summer, Lion is inspired by many of iPad's software innovations. Today?s sneak peek highlighted just a few of Lion's features, including the Mac App Store, a new way to discover, install and automatically update desktop apps; Launchpad, a new home for all of your Mac apps; system-wide support for full screen apps; and Mission Control, which unifies Expose, Dashboard, Spaces and full screen apps into a new view of everything running on your Mac, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere.



"Lion brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac, plus some fresh new ones like Mission Control that Mac users will really like," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Lion has a ton of new features, and we hope the few we had time to preview today will give users a good idea of where we are headed."

The Mac App Store brings the App Store experience to OS X, making discovering, installing and updating Mac apps easier than ever. Like on iPad, you purchase apps using your iTunes account and they download and install in just one step. App updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store, so it's easy to keep all of your apps up to date. The Mac App Store will be available for Snow Leopard within 90 days and will be included in Lion when it ships next summer.

Launchpad makes it easier to find and launch any app. Similar to the Home screen on iPad, you can see all the apps on your Mac displayed just by clicking the Launchpad icon in the dock. Apps can be organized in any order or grouped into folders, and you can swipe through multiple pages of apps to find the one you want.



Lion includes system-wide support for full screen applications. With Lion, you can enter full screen mode with just one click, switch from one full screen app to another with just a swipe of the trackpad, and swipe back to the desktop to access your multi-window applications.

Mission Control presents you with a unified view of every app and window running on your Mac, so you can instantly navigate anywhere. Mission Control also incorporates the next generation of Expose, presenting all the windows running on your Mac grouped by application, alongside thumbnails of full screen apps, Dashboard and other Spaces.

New MacBook Air notebooks

Apple also today unveiled an all new MacBook Air, the first of a next generation of notebooks which will replace mechanical hard disks and optical drives with Internet services and solid state flash storage.

Available in 11-inch and 13-inch models and weighing as little as 2.3 pounds, the new MacBook Air is Apple's lightest and most portable notebook ever. MacBook Air uses the same solid state storage technology as iPad to deliver instant-on responsiveness, up to seven hours of battery life and up to 30 days of standby time. Prices start at $999.



With its aluminum unibody enclosure, the new MacBook Air measures just 0.11-inches at its thinnest point and 0.68-inches at its thickest, and weighs just 2.3 pounds for the 11-inch model and 2.9 pounds for the 13-inch. Like iPad, MacBook Air was designed from the ground up to use flash storage exclusively. Apple?s custom-designed flash storage is 90 percent smaller and lighter than a conventional notebook hard drive, contributing to MacBook Air's mobile, featherweight design.

MacBook Air features a full-sized keyboard as well as the glass Multi-Touch trackpad found on Apple's MacBook Pro, so you can scroll through web sites, flip through photos, and resize or rotate images all from the trackpad. It has a built-in FaceTime camera, mic and stereo speakers.

Flash storage is combined with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics . MacBook Air features an 11.6-inch or 13.3-inch high-resolution LED-backlit display and Mini DisplayPort. 802.11n Wi-Fi networking allows you to download music and movies from iTunes, back up data to Time Capsule and store or share files with MobileMe and iDisk. MacBook Air includes Bluetooth 2.1+EDR for wireless peripherals and two USB ports. The 13-inch MacBook Air also includes an SD card slot.



The MacBook Air battery delivers up to seven hours of wireless productivity on a single charge and up to 1,000 recharges. The built-in battery design results in less waste, and depleted MacBook Air batteries can be replaced for $129, which includes installation and disposal of your old battery.

Every Mac comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iLife, Apple?s suite of applications for creating and sharing photos, movies and music.

The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air are immediately available through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 1.4 GHz 11-inch MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 64GB of flash storage starts at a suggested retail price of $999 (US) with a 128GB model for $1,199 (US). The 1.86 GHz 13-inch MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starts at a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US) with a 256GB model for $1,599 (US).

Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbookair.

FaceTime for Mac

Apple also today announced the public beta of FaceTime for Mac, a new application that allows Mac users to video call iPhone 4 and iPod touch users as well as other Macs. Featuring an easy to use interface, FaceTime for Mac automatically uses your Address Book contacts so there's no need to create special buddy lists, and it works with the built-in camera and mic on Mac notebooks, iMac and Apple LED Cinema Displays.

FaceTime for Mac requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard and it can be set up with an Apple ID. The public beta is available immediately as a free download at www.apple.com/mac/facetime.



New iLife '11

Apple's iLife '11 is a major upgrade that gives Mac users even more ways to create and share photos, movies and music. iPhoto '11 has a whole new look, with full screen modes for Faces, Places and Events. iMovie '11 makes it easier to edit videos and transform them into fun theatrical trailers for easy posting online. GarageBand '11 introduces new ways to improve your playing and create great sounding songs with Flex Time and Groove Matching. Free with every new Mac, iLife '11 is available as a $49 upgrade for existing users.

iPhoto '11 features a new full screen modes for browsing, editing and showcasing your photos. Sharing your photos is easier than ever in iPhoto '11, whether you send them by email using one of eight themes, post them to your Facebook wall with a single click, or play them in full screen with one of 12 professionally designed slideshows. iPhoto '11 features a completely new approach to creating books and cards with a sleek carousel interface, intelligent book layout and a bookshelf that displays all your projects. New letterpress cards let you combine your photos and text with imprinted designs to create wedding invitations, birth announcements, holiday greetings and more.

iMovie '11 helps you turn your videos into captivating Hollywood-style trailers that are fun to watch and share. You can choose from 15 different genres including Adventure, Romantic Comedy and Epic Drama, each one complete with its own unique titles, graphics and cinematic soundtrack. New tools make it easy to selectively adjust audio levels and apply visual effects like flash and hold, instant replay and jump cuts with a single click. People Finder analyzes your videos and marks sections containing faces, so you can quickly find the perfect clips for your trailer or movie. iMovie '11 also adds new themes that make your videos look like professional news or sports programs.

GarageBand '11 includes two new ways to fix or change the timing of your recordings. Flex Time lets you move, stretch or shorten individual notes by clicking on just the part of the audio waveform you want to change, without affecting the rest of the recording. With Groove Matching, you can select any track as the "Groove Track" and all other tracks will instantly match its rhythmic feel. GarageBand '11 adds seven authentic-sounding new guitar amps, five fun new stompbox effects, and 22 new Basic Lessons for piano and guitar. The new "How did I Play?" feature listens while you play along with any lesson, highlights mistakes and tracks your progress to help you become a better musician.

iLife '11 is available immediately for a suggested retail price of $49 (US) through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple?s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The iLife '11 Family Pack includes five licenses and is available for $79 (US) and the Mac Box Set which includes iLife '11, iWork and Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard is available for $129 (US).


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