January 15, 2008

Macworld keynote 2008: Live coverage

I’ll be reading these…

  • Engadget
    King of the live updates: well-written and frequently updated, with lots of photos. This year, the latest entries are at the top.
  • MacRumors Live
    Copious shorthandy notes on a page that auto-updates every minute.
  • Macworld
    Hey! It’s a live blog with photos! Looks great! I guess they learned from Engadget.

…when I get back from the dentist. Of all the days to have scheduled a cleaning at noon…

Update: I changed the Macworld description above to reflect their new format, and I’ve gotta say, having come back to my computer about an hour and 20 minutes into the keynote, I actually found Macworld’s new-stuff-at-the-bottom format—which is how Engadget used to do it—much easier to read than Engadget’s. And Macworld’s photos are in a separate column. Really good job.

So. Four key announcements:

  • Time Capsule, an Airport Extreme base station with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive built in. Wireless network backup storage, made ridiculously easy and automatic via Mac OS 10.5 Panther’s Time Machine feature. It’s about time Apple made this—overdue, really.

  • Various iPhone software improvements: Google Maps now knows where you are by triangulating cell towers, you can save a view of a specific part of any web page with Webclips (a feature copied from the Mac), you can customize the home screen, text messaging handles multiple people at once, the video player now has chapters and subtitles and languages, and the music player supports lyrics. But even more interesting and useful, as I see it: The iPod touch now can run Mail, Maps, Notes, Weather, and Stocks. This really does make it an iPhone without the phone. Very cool. $20 upgrade for current owners.

  • iTunes Movie Rentals and the revised AppleTV. Download high-def movies with 5.1 surround sound; you must start watching within 30 days of renting, and then you have 24 hours before the rental expires. Move movies from your computer to your AppleTV, iPod, or iPhone, even after you’ve started watching. You can download movies directly with the AppleTV, so you don’t have to be at your computer to make a rental. All major studios (and some smaller ones) are offering rentals, usually a month after the DVD release.

  • MacBook Air. Wicked-thin three-pound 13"-screen notebook computer. iPhone-style multi-touch gestures on the trackpad. It can fit in a manila envelope. No DVD/CD drive, but software lets you use a desktop computer as its optical drive. Pricey and gorgeous.

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