Friday, August 10, 2007

You wait all week for a new Mac

and suddenly they all come at once. Well, not quite all, but with new iMacs, improved MacMinis, new versions of iLife (with a really new iMovie, more later) and iWork (with a Spreadsheet app), .Mac, and software updates coming at us like the proverbial rats up a drainpipe (or should that be rats down a fibre optic pipe) - lots of New Stuff (technical term) to play with.

First Impressions:

iMac looks pretty good for a 'home' (meaning not in the Pro range) computer. Tech specs outperform the best Pro towers of only a couple of years back. What used to be the drawback, the difficulty of expansion of hard drive (make that the impossibility for us mere mortals) isn't an issue in this age of firewire and USB drives.

Note that the Apple logo has gone from the Command key in the new improved keyboards - it even says 'Command'. I also spot that they moved all the Function keys around. I mean, they're still numbered from the left, but the right hand side now do the video transport things, didn't spot where they've moved the eject button. This will be fun for starters.

iMovie08 is, apparently, a whole new program, with a 'new way' of editing video. Jobs' demo is as slick as ever and there does seem to be a place in all our lives for quick and easy assembly of clips - I like the way that scrubbing has made it to the consumer market (though it's now called 'skimming') and I suspect there are pointers to the way FCP will develop, at least in the indexing and display of content. Note one thing there isn't - a Timeline. What the demo doesn't say (but we all know about iMovie) is that you can't do much apart from AV joins - no complex sound, no split edits. But what do you expect for £55? One note - iMovie08 requires a G5 or faster processor.

Numbers - the spreadsheet program - is (IMHO) worth the price of iWork alone. Anyone who's had to pull a graphic out of an Excel spreadsheet, then manipulate the figures and THEN try to print the lot on one page will rush to buy. I have to agree with the cliche view on Apple here - they focus on what users want to do and make it easier.

More trends I've spotted from iPhone presentations coming up later in the blog.