The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

San Francisco - Live Coverage of Apple Special Event

1:00PM EDT, August 7th, 2007 - Digg This!

[2:34 PM] That's it, folks. The event has ended and we're being shepherded out of the theater. Thanks for watching with us! Now back to TMO for all the follow-up news.

[2:27 PM] Steve was asked if Apple plans on overtaking the PC in market share. Steve answered that Apple wants to make the best computer possible, and they want to do so as cheaply as possible. He said that there are things in the PC world that Apple wouldn't be proud to ship, and that Apple simply can't ship those kinds of products being who they are (i.e. Steve being who he is).

In short, "We don't offer stripped down, lousy products." He said that he thinks Apple's products compare favorably to Windows products.

[2:23 PM] Steve was asked how the Mac currently fits in Apple's Digital Hub strategy. Steve talked about how photos and movies rising in prominence, and betting that the company could position the Mac as the central hub of those activities. Says that he thinks Windows customers will Switch for these applications.

[2:21 PM] There is no Excel Macro support in Numbers.

[2:21 PM] Steve was asked Apple isn't supporting true HD for video uploads to .Mac Web Gallery (i.e. Steve said "higher than DVD," but didn't say HD). Steve replied that HD camcorders aren't true HD, so Apple elected to go with whatever specific resolution is "higher than DVD" being used.

[2:21 PM] Tim Cook said Apple is seeing some traction in the business space with Macs. Didn't offer any details.

[2:16 PM] Steve said Apple is happy with where the iPhone is going, and effectively that his company isn't concerned about those who aren't.

[2:16 PM] Steve said that some folks want mobility, some want desktop computers, and some want both. The unsaid answer was that Apple was content to offer the best of each, and let consumers decide.

Someone else asked about the Mac mini. Tim Cook said it was being updated.

Someone else asked about Google, and whether Apple was working more closely with them. Steve basically gave a long-winded "Yes."

[2:13 PM] CNet asked about mobility. How will iMac evolve in the face of mobility.

[2:12 PM] Tim Cook and Phil Schiller are being invited on stage for an unprecedented Q&A.

[2:11 PM] Priced at $79, didn't catch the ship date.

Man, my iPhone is HOT. Physically hot. I am definitely putting it through a workout.

[2:10 PM] Numbers definitely seems easy to use, and a lot of folks are going to like it. "This completes our productivity suite," said Steve.

[2:07 PM] Jupiter Research is asking how Apple is going to market Apple's seamless integration to the public. Steve said that we, the media, were going to help, but added that customer evangelism is the way Apple gets new customers.

Another chap asked why Apple doesn't do Intel Inside. Steve: "Uhhhh...What can I say. [pause] We like our own stickers better."

Phil Schiller added that when you buy other PCs, you get a confused branding message with lots of logos and offers, and (my wording) crap.

[2:03 PM] Numbers has Intelligent Tables, which allow you to more easily assemble formulas. You can sort and filter columns. Flexible Canvas - allows you to have multiple tables on one pags. Change something in one table, and the other tables, charts, etc. are unchanged. Also features Interactive printing. This is basically a preview mode that is highly interacive. There are customizable templates, and you can import and export to "almost all" Excel documents. Steve is demonstrating it now.

[2:03 PM] Moving on to Pages. New formatting options, and modes. Contextual format bar. Track changes. New templates. Moving on to something new...Yep, Numbers!

[2:03 PM] Also adds A to B animations. Looks great, and Steve said mere mortals can learn to use it. If only every PowerPoint user on the planet could move to Keynote...

[2:01 PM] 1.8 million copies of iWork have been sold. iWork '08 is being introduced today. Starting with Keynote. New text effects, including several animated ones. New transitions that look great. Instant Alpha allows you to remove background imagery from an image. Smart Builds adds some automatic presentation generation abilities.

[2:00 PM] I think he's about to add Numbers.

[1:56 PM] From today on, all new Macs include this version of iLife (Save $79, Steve quipped, and buy a new Mac today). .Mac storage is being bumped to 10GB of storage. Price remains $99.95 for .Mac. Moving on to iWork.

[1:56 PM] Magic GarageBand has several categories, such as rock, latin, country, reggae, etc. Choose one, and you get a stage setting with different instruments according to that genre. You can then sub out the different instruments, on the fly. Ah, this is a way to easily set up the kind of instrumentation you want with the preview song, and when you are satisfied, it will set up a GarageBand project for you with that selected instrumentation ready to go.

iLife 08 is still $79. Available today.

[1:55 PM] GarageBand has a host of new features, and I didn't see most of them. There are multitake recordings, and Magic GarageBand, which Steve is showing us now.

[1:52 PM] iDVD has better performance, new themes (boy, do they look great, very high value). Moving on to GarageBand.

[1:51 PM] iWeb has live Web widgets, as in grabbing something from Google Maps, YouTube, etc. You can easily add Google AdSense direct from iWeb. You can make an Index page view drag and drop, for easier site navigation. You can add pointers to your .Mac pages, too. Personal domain support has been added, and you can change themes after you've already published.

Moving on to iDVD.

[1:50 PM] The audience applauded again, loving iMovie 08. Moving on to iWeb 08.

[1:45 PM] Publishing to .Mac Web Gallery was easy, and the movie looked great. Oh, and you can allow people to download your movies to their drives.

[1:43 PM] Now we're making a movie, a snowboard movie to be specific. He's grabbing small clips from the media library, segments of longer clips, and quickly plopping them into his movie project. This really is an amazing way to build movies. In the form we're seeing it in iMovie, it's not precise enough for professional editing, but for home use, it's fantastic. Indeed, I think there are a few YouTubers who I think really need something like this.

In any event, Steve added some music, and boom, had a great 30 second movie he made in a couple of minutes.

[1:42 PM] Steve is demonstrating it now. The ability to Skim a thumbnail is incredible, IMNHO.(Steve just suggested someone answer the cell phone that was ringing -- he didn't seem amused. As this is the second phone that has gone off, my question is WHO DOESN"T REALIZE THEY SHOULD TURN THEIR RINGERS OFF!).

[1:41 PM] You can publish to .Mac Web Gallery, with all that entails. There are multiple resolution options. You can publish to YouTube directly. Folks should like that.

[1:39 PM] Wow, you can select sections of movie from the thumbnail just like you would highlight text and drag it to the movie you are assembling. Editing features are supposedly easier. There are new sharing modes, too.

[1:37 PM] Has a single library mode for browsing media. Will work with HD media, including the brand new AVCHD format. You can Skim through the video in thumbnail mode (i.e. scrub through it)!

[1:35 PM] Next up, iMovie 08. We're being woven a tale of how an engineer went on vacation, and came back and wanted to make a great movie in a half an hour. Found he couldn't do it in iMovie or Final Cut Pro, so he invented a way to do it. Steve said that Apple loved it so much ("We were blown away"), they decided to completely replace iMovie. It's still being called iMovie, but is this new app with a new icon.

[1:32 PM] He's now showing us how other people can publish to our galleries. Phil Schiller published a photo of him with an obviously fake image of Mini Me (I can't remember the actor's name, but the fakery was very funny), and published it to the gallery directly from his iPhone. Too cool.

[1:30 PM] OK, there are controls for allowing various levels of other people to contribute to your gallery, so you, the owner of the gallery, have total control. This is a killer product, IMNHO.

You can set up albums in your ,Mac Web Gallery. Oh, and you can Skim the album in the thumbnail view on the Web. That's absurdly cool! You can resize the thumbnails, get info, sheen through all the photos, view them in a grid, mosaic (with resizing!), a coverflow "carousel", and slideshow.

[1:28 PM] Oi! You can allow other people to publish to your gallery by e-mailing images to an e-mail address published on your gallery. This not only adds the photos to the gallery, it syncs them to your own library. The example he used was publishing images of a Little League game, and another parent adding their own photos to the gallery. I belive this is controllable by you, of course.

Also, iPhone will show these galleries in a very iPhoneish way. Looks great.

[1:26 PM] Looking at .Mac now. Steve said there are now 1.7 million .Mac subscribers. Been growing, he said, "and I think it's going to grow even faster after today." He's showing us .Mac Web Gallery, a feature that uses iPhoto and .Mac to make what Steve said are beautiful galleries. One button photo sharing to the Web.

It's a "very rich Web 2.0" exerience, Steve said. You can display them in a coverflow view, a mosaic, a slide show, and there are nice shadowing and other effects. Works with Safari, IE (Windows), and Firefox. Definitely attractive viewing.

[1:23 PM] Clicking on an image (or two, in this case) and clicking the Hide button removed them from view. To see them again, he clicked the Show button. The Unified Search feature allows inter-Event searching. Very cool. The audience of all-media applauded when Steve said "Pretty cool, huh?" What a master!

[1:19 PM] Double clicking a thumbnail in an Event brings up the image without sheening off into an editing mode. He demonstrated splitting an event, whereby he clicked on the first image in an Event for the series of images he wanted to split off, and hit the split button. iPhoto grabbed all the images following the one he chose, and split it off. Merging was just as simple.

[1:19 PM] Steve is going to demo iPhoto on a new iMac. They appear to be 24" models. His library has some 5,000 images, and funny enough, I don't see a single one without perfect exposure and color! It's good to be Steve.

Wow, there is a Skmming feature ("we've applied for patents on it") that allows you to drag your mouse over an Event thumbnail and see all the images in that Event in that thumbnail space. That is SUPER cool!

[1:18 PM] Another new feature is the ability to Hide photos. It allows you to take those images you don't want to trash, but don't want to look at any more, out of your Event or Album. There is a Unified search, and new editing features, like the ability to copy/paste your edits from one photo to another. Theme based home printing for making prints for framing, etc. New Photobooks, and new Photobook options. There's a cover, and you can print on the cover, including the inside sleeves.

[1:15 PM] Events can be split or merged, in case your days don't match your photos. For instance, splitting a wedding and birthday into two Events, or merging all your vacation Events into one.

[1:14 PM] iPhoto is a big improvement, he said. Adding Events. Talking about expanding iPhoto libraries, where it becomes more difficult to manage and find images. With Events, you get an Events view where you can browse by Event, which is similar to an Album, but with a thumbnail representation of that Event. Events are broken down for you by day.

[1:13 PM] Revamping some apps, and replacing one of them.

[1:12 PM] Steve is touting Apple's role as inventing the notion of the digital hub. He said that the company has increased its lead over the PC world with every new release of iLife. "This is the biggest jump in iLife since we first introduced it many, many years ago."

[1:11 PM] The commercial just shows the iMac with background music. No voice over, no specs. Most likely intended to bring people into Apple Stores. Moving on to software.

[1:11 PM] Steve says that recylcling has been kept in mind from the ground up. Says iMac is great in this area. He's now showing us a commercial.

[1:09 PM] The $1,199 model has 1 GB of memory, and 250 GB drive. The $1,499 one is 1GB of memory and 320 GB drive. Didn't catch the $1,799 specs.

[1:08 PM] The 24" will be priced at $1799. The 20" unit will be 1499. There will be another 20" model at $1199.

[1:06 PM] Up to 4GB of RAM, up to a TB of hard drive space. 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.0 built in.

[1:05 PM] Has a new aluminum keyboard with two USB 2.0 ports. Much lower rise than previous. Looks like it has MacBook-like keys. Has some special keys for controlling things like media buttons, dimmers, sound, ec. Has a wireless option. The wireless version is very compact (succinctness *is* next to Steveliness!).

[1:04 PM] Showed us a new iMac. Has a black back, and a black border around the display. Has FireWire 400 and FireWire 800. Comes in 20" and 24". Both will be glossy displays.

[1:02 PM] Maybe coincidence, maybe not.... .Mac outgoing email seems to be offline.

[12:58 PM] "Today, we are going to be focusing on the iMac." Talking about the world being an all-in-one world, an area where he said Apple has been a leader. Talk about laptops being all-in-one units, and how much they have grown. Compared a Dell desktop mess to the iMac's clean desktop footprint.

[12:57 PM] "The iMac has been really successfull for us, and we'd like to make it even better." Talking about using aluminum and glass to make things, and touted looks, recyclability, and more. Noted that Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, and iPhone are all made from Aluminum and glass (in the case of MacBook Pros).

[12:55 PM] Steve Jobs has walked on stage. He's looking healthy, for those keeping score at home. He thanked us for coming, and said he was happy to be able to do this in a more intimate setting. He's showing us a graph of Apple's computer market share, where the company has been growing at 3X the industry.

[12:55 PM] Folks filing in. It's all very exciting (by which I mean it is not all exciting...yet).

[12:54 PM] Forutnately, the EDGE network is running faster than I have ever had it run in Silicon Valley. Mayhaps AT&T magically beefed it up for the "Cupertino" area? Hey, I'm just saying...

[12:51 PM] Posting from Apple's auditorium, courtesy of some iPhone hacking help from Michael Johnston of iPhone Alley. Thanks, Michael!

[12:34 PM] We're outside, badged, and being corralled up to head in shortly.

[8:41 AM] Good morning from TMO! Technology permitting, coverage should begin right around 1pm EDT/10am PDT today. Check back for more info. In the meantime, visit the main site for all your Mac news.