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Wheel rims with Apple logo in center
The iPod set benchmarks for product usability, aesthetics and cultural cachet -- and then the iPhone proved that Apple's design mojo could strike twice. So, what could Apple possibly deliver next? Mac|Life imagines the future of Apple hardware design in the form of four product fauxtotypes.

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 Adam Benton blew us away with his 3D renderings of our Apple product fauxtotypes. Now he describes the ultimate Mac-based 3D workstation, and shares must-know info for 3D artists-in-training. He’s done work for Saatchi & Saatchi, that most prestigious and tony of advertising firms. He’s done work for Activision, a video game company that seems to make one out of every three titles that gamers play. And he’s done work for T3, the world’s preeminent gadget magazine, which is published in 22 international editions.

Anyone remember what kind of box the Lisa came in? Our point exactly. There was a time when Apple product packaging had all the charm of generic cigarette cartons. Today, however, the form and function of Apple packaging matches the panache of the company’s product design - buying and opening a piece of Appleware is an experience in and of itself. So how might Apple skin its products in the future? Using the next version of iLife as a canvas, we asked three local designers to show us some evolutionary paths.

Digital cameras are smarter and more capable than film cameras, but underneath, they still work the same: light hits an image sensor, and the camera’s interpretation of that light is the image you see. Sometimes the camera (or the photographer) gets it wrong, and the picture suffers. But once you’ve mastered a few tools found in Adobe Creative Suite 3, you can make adjustments to exposure and contrast. You can also do it nondestructively, making things easier to fix in the future if you change your mind.

Lightening the Darkroom

If there’s one thing to love about digital photography, it’s the instant gratification. There’s no reason to wait one hour for your prints. If you have your own home digital photo lab, within minutes, you can shoot, print, and flip through a stack of prints - and you don’t have to spend a ton of money on heavy equipment.

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Transfer TiVo-ed Shows to Your Mac

If you’re a TiVo user, you probably can’t live without its ability to record and control TV shows. Roxio Toast 8, includes a TiVoToGo feature—but with a $100 price tag, it doesn’t quite have the same ring as “free,” which is how much TiVoDecode Manager costs.

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We’ll be revealing four amazing – but purely conjectural – Apple product studies in the January issue of the magazine (check this website on Nov. 26 for the full article). But for now we wanted to share our vision of how this fabled tablet might pan out.   We call it the MacBook Flash, and it eschews a bulky hard drive for featherweight flash memory. Granted, the lack of a spinning disk is all just rumor-mill hearsay, but the concept isn’t so far-fetched. The solid-state Flash could be slimmer than three-quarters of an inch thick, and include a touchscreen OS for drag-and-pinch navigation and fingertip data entry. For times when you need to write anything of length, you’d slide the screen upward, revealing a keyboard (à la the Sidekick mobile phone). Optical drive? Très gauche! Instead, you would install apps over an Internet connection (à la third-party iPhone apps) or through FireWire and USB drives. Only power demands compel us to spec the Flash at thicker than a half-inch. With a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 128GB of Samsung memory, and a 12-inch glossy widescreen display, this MacBook will need a legitimate power supply. So please consider. And check back on Nov. 26 for a peek a four entirely new product directions that Apple might explore. 

Better Your iLife (Part 3)

 ...with Mac|Life's collection of iLife '08 tips and how-to projects.

...with Mac|Life's collection of iLife '08 tips and how-to projects.

Better Your iLife (Part 1)

Create, share, enjoy: It’s Mac|Life’s tagline, but it might as well be iLife ’08’s, too. Apple’s suite can do a lot for its low $79 price, weaving together audio, video, and photos into fun projects like a personal website or blog, hardcover photo albums, home movies complete with original music, and more. We reviewed the apps in iLife ’08 in our November issue, but this month we’re sharing our best tips and project ideas, to help you get the most from iLife’s new features. We hope they will inspire you to fire up your Mac - and your imagination.