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Mac OS X Lion gets touchy-feelyWe'll break down all of Apple's announcements, Steve scolds me--again, FaceTime comes to the Mac, and you'll be touching, swiping, and pinching a Lion.
-What's happening? I'm Brian Tong and welcome to the Apple Byte for all the good and bad inside the world of Apple. Apple flooded us with a goodie bag of announcements at the recent media event and Steve made sure we were paying attention. -So can we just take a minute, maybe everybody could flip the silencer on their phones. Thank you. -You're welcome. Alright, let's get to the good stuff guys. The biggest announcement, can you guess it? The introduction of the new MacBook Air that resembles one of our Iron Chef Morimoto's chopping knives. It's coming in two screen sizes, the 11.6-inch version starts at $999 and the 13.3-inch model starts at $1299. Let's check out Dan Ackerman's first look. -I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here mere blocks from the Apple Campus in Cupertino with the very first hands-on look with the new 11.6-inch MacBook Air. As everyone expected, the newest member of the MacBook family is this 11-inch Air. It looks and feels a lot like a cross between the current MacBook Air and those 11-inch premium netbooks that we've seen a lot of this year. This guy actually has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and Nvidia's GeForce 320M graphics and that's pretty much the same as you'd actually get in the white $999 MacBook, although this is an ultra-low voltage version of that processor. Still, for an 11-inch, you know, premium netbook style system, that's a fairly reasonable and powerful set of hardware. You're gonna find pretty much the same full size keyboard and large multitouch trackpad as you find on other members of the MacBook family and the screen on this, this is actually really interesting. This is the first MacBook ever with a 16 X 9 display, that's really the industry standard now. It's 1366 X 768. The 13-inch version of the MacBook Air still has a 16 X 10 screen. MacBooks are really some of the only laptops left with 16 X 10 displays. Besides the new version of iLife, the upcoming OSX Lion edition and the new app store, the thing you're probably gonna be most excited about is, get this, not one but, count them, two USB ports. That's twice as many as in the original MacBook Air and really fixes one of the main complaints people had about that system. Like the original MacBook Air, it's actually very tapered. It's about 0.68 inches in the back, tapers down very thin in the front. The 11-inch is actually just as thick as the 13-inch, it's not really any thinner, and there you go. We just turned it off and turned it back on again. That's the instant on, that's something else people are very excited about. Observe again, I close the lid, it goes into a kind of very low power mode and then when you open it up, instant on, almost like you get with your iPad. The new 11-inch MacBook starts with 64 gigs of solid state memory for $999. It's actually not an SSD hard drive. They actually take the memory modules out of it and put it right on the motherboard, and of course you can trade up from there to more memory or a faster processor or the 13-inch screen. There's one kind of bum note about the design I'm not too pleased with and that is the lack of edge glass on the display. 1 You see, it's got the silver bezel here. It doesn't look nearly as good as the black bezel with the glass over it that you see on other MacBooks but that's about the only negative so far in our very early hands-on impressions. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the new 11.6-inch MacBook Air. -Cool jungle safari background, Dan. Now, that is one sexy beast. I'm talking about the laptop. Sorry, Dan. Now, I can't wait to make salsa with it and it's available now and honestly guys, it fits exactly what I'm looking for and I'm getting one, but do you remember way back, like way, way back, nine months ago, when Steve said... -The problem is, netbooks aren't better at anything. They're not better than a laptop at anything. They're just cheaper. They're just cheap laptops. -Well, they just made their own but it's not a netbook, no, no, it's called a MacBook Air. Now, a few side notes, the 13-inch is the only one that has an SD card slot. Both netbooks-- I'm sorry, laptops, can connect to Apple's 27-inch display. You'll also have a build-to-order option to double the RAM and bump up the processor speed for the models with the larger hard drive capacity. Neither laptop comes loaded with Flash so you'll have to download that yourself since, you know, Apple and Adobe are such good friends. Now, we all like hardware but software was also the focus with the unveiling of new features we'll see in Mac OSX 10.7 Lion. It will be available some time in the summer of 2011 and I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed that I got it wrong with my "Mufasa" guess. Now, Apple's bringing features on iOS devices to the Mac like a dedicated Mac App Store that makes it easier for apps to be downloaded directly on your computer. They're releasing it in 90 days for current Snow Leopard users so you guys will be able to get a crack at that, but app submissions by third parties will have to follow Apple's rules to be accepted. No surprise there. Now, Apple also showcased Launchpad which gives you instant access to your apps and allows you to organize them into folders just like the iOS and Mission Control allows you to see everything open at once. It's like Expose, Spaces, and Dashboard put together so you can see everything that you're working on and everyone will be using this feature. Apple's really pushing for Mac OSX to be more multitouch and gesture-based and that's sweet if you're a trackpad user, but all you Magic Mouse people, if you haven't experienced it already, you're going to have trouble with your mouse sliding around and we saw it happen in the demo. -I can just flick in. -Whoopsie. So, maybe it's not so magical after all. FaceTime is now compatible to use your iOS devices to talk with your Macs. The app is in beta. We've been asking for this but really they need to integrate this into iChat instead of making it a standalone app. But there's a security risk. If you're signed in, the app shows all of your account info including your birth date and security question and answer to your account and even if you guys signed out, your password is still in place to access the account. Awesome. Now this one was just too easy and, guess what, we're throwing out the bad Apple at you. And Apple I really hope you guys fix this, immediately. Now, Apple's been taking their sweet time but we're digging a lot of the improvements in iLife '11 that they showed off. It's available now for $49, $6.99 if you already bought a Mac in October, or free with a purchase of a new Mac. iPhoto '11 brings a full screen mode that looks great, there's new ways to share photos with Facebook and other services, trading books and cards with the new interface really couldn't be sweeter and, guys, pay attention, this is the way to a lady's heart. Plus, we also were schooled on the magic behind letterpress cards. -And when someone receives a letterpress card that you've created just for them, it feels special, and so do they. -So precious. Okay, shake it off. iMovie '11 is bringing some really impressive audio editing features that I've been begging for, new instant one-step effects, and a movie trailer feature that you know will be taken advantage of. Now, Garage Band '11 gets a full groove matching feature that corrects your recorded music to match each other on beat and new guitar amp effects. Ow! Rock on! Rock on! Yeah, sometimes, I could get carried away with that stuff. Alright, that's gonna do it for this week's show. We'd love to hear your thoughts about Apple's announcements so send us your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org . I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching, and we'll catch you guys next week for another byte of the apple.