Special: MWSF ’05 Live Keynote Coverage

by on January 11, 2005

Apple released some new products today at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, but what do we think of them? Well, we’re pleased with most of the announcements. Go directly to keynote updates on the Reporter’s Notebook.

Life is Random

I think that the new iPod Shuffle will be great for many. It’s cheap and gives people the status symbol that is the iPod. The price is a lot less than most expected, and the design is clever (although there is no screen). The fact that they’re available immediately is also an improvement over last year’s iPod mini delays.

iPod shuffle

iLife ’05

The $79 price tag seems to be the only downside to iLife ’05. GarageBand 2 looks to be everything GarageBand 1 users wanted and then some. iPhoto’s improvements make it even easier to share photos (besides, Apple needs to cash in on the digital camera sales over the last few weeks). iMovie’s HD tools make it much better, as well as the Magic iMovie feature (not that I’d use it, but some might like it). As for iDVD, I don’t have a Mac that it can be used with, but any improvements are welcome.

iWork ’05

A year ago, I was complaining about Office 2004. It’s not bad, but I really thought that it was overkill for many users. Pages looks like it’ll be what every Mac user will want. As for Keynote 2, it’ll run more circles around PowerPoint. $79 is pretty reasonable for an office suite (although I wish that Apple had come out with a spreadsheet, too).

I Shall Call It….Mini-Me!

I decided to keep the same header for this from last year, since, the $500 Mac rumor was true. Besides that, the computer looked even better than I could’ve imagined. The Mac minis are cool, affordable, and ingenious. Apple’s use of basically an eMac and cramming it in a tiny enclosure that looks cool and selling it at a very reasonable price is sure to make the Mac mini a winner. I’m just concerned that it will hurt eMac sales.

Mac mini

Good Ideas

Overall, Apple’s announcements seemed to be good news. With Apple partnering up with car manufacturers, more people can get the iPod connection installer. The Mac mini is sure to get many more switchers and even sell more Macs to existing Mac users. The iPod Shuffle is perfect for those who want the iPod’s ease of use and style, but don’t want to spend $250 or more.

Reporter’s Notebook

We’ve provided a copy of the updates of the new products on here, for archival purposes in the future, and so that you can see what happened with details…

2:00 PM EST: Show’s over – go home

1:56 PM EST: New TV ad shown

1:55 PM EST: Armband, dock, sports case, battery extender (20 more hours) – all $29 (available in 4 weeks)

1:55 PM EST: iPod Shuffle – $99 512MB (120 songs), $149 1GB (240 songs) – ships today

1:52 PM EST: iTunes autofill puts random songs on iPod shuffle…

1:50 PM EST: iPod Shuffle – flash player based on shuffle mode, tiny, click wheel, almost as small as remote for iPod, no display, 1 oz, play/pause/volume/prev/next are controls, or switch to a playlist (USB, 12 hour battery, PC or Mac)

1:46 PM EST: iPod mini is taking away flash market share…Apple wants rest of flash market

1:45 PM EST: Motorola phones discussed…this spring

1:42 PM EST: iPod car connections – BMW sold out of theirs (new ones due this year), Mercedes, Nissan, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Ferarri, Scion will have their own

1:40 PM EST: iPod – 730,000 sold in holiday quarter 2003, 4.5 million sold in holiday quarter 2004, Jobs has 10 millionth iPod (16 Dec 2004)

1:38 PM EST: iTMS prepaid cards sold 1 million units

1:37 PM EST: iTunes has sold more than 230 million songs, 70% market share

1:33 PM EST: New Mac Mini – 3″ tall Cube, DVI & VGA, fits in the palm of your hand $499 (1.25GHz G4, 40GB HD), $599 (1.42GHz G4, 80GB HD) – available January 22

1:30 PM EST: $79 for iWork ’05, 22 Jan availability

1:25 PM EST: Pages – word processor, all kinds of cool templates, Keynote-like interface, adding a page is like adding a slide in keynote (you can use multiple templates in a document), outputs PDF

1:22 PM EST: Keynote 2 – new animations, kiosk mode, presenter display, new themes

1:22 PM EST: iWork, successor to AppleWorks

1:21 PM EST: $79 for iLife ’05, free on all new Macs, 22 Jan availability

1:20 PM EST: iTunes – no upgrade

1:14 PM EST: John Mayer demoes some of the new features ago (he did it last year, too)

1:12 PM EST: Garage Band – orchestral intruments, 8-track recording, real-time notation from Logic, loop maker, vocal transformer

1:09 PM EST: iDVD – new themes, easier creation

1:03 PM EST: Sony president speaks about HD video

1:02 PM EST: HD camcorders demonstrated, Sony $3500

12:59 PM EST: iMovie – supports HD, better editing, direct from camcorder

12:45 PM EST: iPhoto – better organizing and searching, more formats, better editing, new books and designs, more folder options, calendar view, MPEG4 movie support, RAW support, better color/brightness/contrast adjustment, new effects (Ken Burns)

12:44 PM EST: iLife time – “leading the digital media revolution” – iLife ’05 completely new

12:43 PM EST: Jobs demonstrates Final Cut Express HD

12:42 PM EST: 2005 is not the year of the laptop, or year or music, but the year of HD video

12:40 PM EST: The multiuser chats have a reflection below the video, similar to the effect used on ABC News

12:38 PM EST: iChat – new, 10 users in audio, 4 video, utilizes H264

12:36 PM EST: Other widgets demoed, weather, converter,translator, eBay

12:35 PM EST: Jobs comments on AAPL

12:34 PM EST: Most widgets replace Sherlock’s functions

12:33 PM EST: Dashboard widgets demonstrated

12:33 PM EST: QT 7 demoed more

12:32 PM EST: QuickTime 7. 330 million downloads, 98% to Windows users. It also features surround sound, hd playback, full MP4, H264, and has been adopted for Blue Ray and HDDVD (H264, that is)

12:27 PM EST: New version of Mail, drastic changes, faster, more reliable (also has a new slideshow button for showing attached pictures, better tied with iPhoto)

12:26 PM EST: iTunes screen saver

12:26 PM EST: More Spotlight…integrated into the Finder…you’ve seen it at WWDC….

12:25 PM EST: After a bit of user error, Jobs manages to get the right stuff working

12:19 PM EST: Jobs shows off Tiger features (again)

12:17 PM EST: OS X – Tiger gets a new logo, will ship in first half of 2005

12:15 PM EST: iMac sales – Jobs talking about the praise for iMac, iMac best-selling Mac this quarter

12:13 PM EST: Apple Store in London is the largest and second highest grossing store.

12:12 PM EST: This is the first Macworld Keynote to be in HD. There are 101 Apple Stores with 1 million visitors a week.

12:11 PM EST: Steve Jobs takes stage

12:00 PM EST: Keynote starts – U2’s Vertigo plays to warm up crowd.

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