Once exclusively the province of iOS users, FaceTime for Mac now lets you reach out and touch someone from your computer—or see how they look the morning after the big party. We’ll skip the usual buildup—yes, FaceTime for Mac is great for making high-quality video calls to friends and family on iOS devices and other Macs over Wi-Fi. But as futuristic as that killer feature is, FaceTime’s contact management needs to catch up with the 20th century.
MacBook Pro refreshes aren’t as predictable as the faithful yearly launches of the iOS devices. They tend to come out of nowhere, like a bolt of lightning—and this one brought a surprising bolt of thunder, too. Yes, the MacBook Pro now sports a Thunderbolt port. Developed by Intel and Apple, it lets you attach external displays with a Mini DisplayPort connector, delivering audio and video. Existing Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI (or VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort) adapters also work.
When change comes, it can be torrentially fast. In under a year, the iPad went from question mark to astonishing success, selling 15 million units in its first nine months on sale. No wonder the iPad 2’s debut touched off even more bedlam than Apple’s often-frenzied product launches.
Well, I've escaped the reality distortion field of this morning's iPad 2 announcement, although the RDF did its best to chase me down Highway 101 back to the office. Yes, the new iPad is sweet. Super sweet! Let's explore why -- and examine what Steve Jobs and Co. chose not to say.
It's been a month and change since Apple released its new MacBook Air line, and since they were nice enough to hand me a review unit on my way out of the October 20 event, I've been using it every day.
I wouldn't say it's changed my concept of what a computer is, or revolutionized my life, or anything as lofty as that. It's a great little machine, though. And even with the reviews written and verdicts given and the television commercial running near-endlessly, people still have questions. I asked our 20,000 Twitter followers what they wanted to know, for example, and found plenty of things you're still curious about...
When Apple revealed the newly redesigned MacBook Air at a press event in Cupertino, Steve skipped the theatrics of pulling one out of a manila envelope or any other “gee whiz, that’s thin!” gimmicks. But once the new machines arrived at the office (one of each size, hooray!), their improvements--both in design and performance--made a bigger impression than any Steve stunts could’ve.
Tacking “Magic” onto the name of this new external trackpad is grandiose in that typical Apple way, but we have a feeling that this nifty device actually is performing one genuine feat of magic: peering into the future. At least a little, anyway. Between the proliferation of touch-based iOS devices and Apple’s patents for touchscreen iMacs surfacing recently on the web, it’s reasonable to speculate that Mac OS is going to want you to reach out and touch it someday soon. If that’s even a little true, we can see why Apple might hope that the Magic Trackpad will help us get a little more accustomed to “touching” iMacs, minis, and Mac Pros--not just MacBooks.
The new Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server must be taking tips from one of those VW Beetles with all the clowns in the back. That’s the only way to explain how Apple crammed all that hardware and performance into such a small form factor. A tiny little aluminum box like its predecessors, the mini Server comes without monitor, keyboard, or even mouse. While it can be administered remotely, it’s a good idea to connect it to a monitor and keyboard for initial setup. In keeping with its role as a server, the optical drive is sacrificed to make room for a second 500GB drive for a total of 1TB storage. Also notable by its absence is the external power brick. That’s now tucked inside the mini too.