New 17 inch MacBook Pros soon?

With Intel’s new processor announcements slated for the International Solid-State Circuits Conference starting February 7th, it would seem that it’s about time for Apple to release a new top of the line MacBook Pro as the announcements usually seem to coincide (and it also coincides with MacWorldl Expo. The MacBook Pro is 242 days since the last release, somewhat over the average of 200 days.

MacWorld 2009

So, to kick off 2009 most interestingly to me we have

  • 17 inch unibody MacBook Pros with optional glossy screens (for an extra US$50), with a built-in (ie non-removable) 8-hour battery that apparently lasts 1000 cycles before dropping to 80% capacity (as opposed to some 300 or so for existing laptop batteries
  • iPhoto ’09 with face detection and recognition (used for both creating albums of people and ensuring the slideshow doesn’t crop out faces), geotagging, Google Maps and support for uploading to MobileMe, flickr and FaceBook (including tagging people with their FaceBook info). Also themed slideshows and maps in printed books. I hope FaceBook are ready for the onslaught 🙂
  • Dropping of iTunes DRM, with your existing songs ‘upgradable’ to DRM free for US$0.30 each as they become available
  • iwork.com
  • “Learn to play” music instruction for guitar and piano in GarageBand

BTW, has anyone else noticed the spoonerism that gives you Schil Philler?

MacWorld Best of Show 2008

If you’re interested in some cool Apps, check out the MacWorld Best of Show 2008 list, including
Hardware:

  • MacBook Air
  • Eye-Fi wireless MMC memory card
  • MultiSync LCD3090WQXi

Software:

  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 6
  • Guitar Hero III
  • BusySync
  • Flow
  • Dictate
  • Parallels Server
  • Vector Designer
  • OmniFocus

MacBook Air released

Today Apple released “The World’s Thinnest Notebook”, the MacBook Air, positioned between the MacBook and MacBook Pro. 0.4 to 1.93 cm (0.16 to 0.76 inches). The thickest part of the MacBook Air is thinner than the Sony TZ. It fits in an envelope and has a 13.3″ widescreen display with an LED backlight, iSight built in, MacBook keyboard (with black keys) but with an ambient light sensor, multi-touch trackpad which uses multi-touch input (to pivot photos, zoom etc.).1.6GHz (US$1799) to 1.8GHz (+US$300) Intel Core 2 Duo Otellini CPU (60% reduced in size!), 1.8 inch 80Gb Hard drive with a 64Gb solid state disk as an option (+US$999). 45W MagSafe power adapter, 1 USB 2 port, Micro-DVI, Audio Out, 802.11n, BlueTooth 2.1/EDR. An external SuperDrive is available. “Remote Disc” software allows the MacBook Air to “borrow” optical drives on a Mac or PC. 5 hours of battery life and 2Gb of memory standard. Shipping in 2 weeks time.
From an environmental perspective the display is mercury and lead free, and the circuit boards are free of BFR (Brominated Fire Retardant), and the retail packaging is 56% smaller than the MacBook.

Apple TV software update, price drop to US$229

Apple have announced a free Apple TV software update available in 2 weeks time (why the wait, is it not finished yet?) that allows you to rent movies from your TV screen without a computer required. It has DVD quality, HD and Dolby 5.1, video and audio Podcasts, along with Photos from flickr and .Mac. It also synchs with iTunes. HD rentals are US$4.99 with 100 titles available today. Movies (including Star Trek 🙂 can be previewed and also can display what ‘other renters also rented’.
Screensaver photos can also be automatically downloaded from .Mac galleries, and songs purchased from the iTunes Store onscreen.The Apple TV price has been lowered to US$229 

iTunes Movie Rentals announced

After announcing that iTunes has sold 4 billion songs (20 million on Christmas Day), 125 million TV shows, and 7 million movies, Steve Jobs today announced the availability of iTunes Movie Rentals (for US users only!) with content from Sony, Universal, Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, Fox, Warner Bros, Disney and Paramount.This will include over 1000 movies available 30 days after DVD release. Watch on Mac, PC, iPod or iPhone within 30s start time (assuming you’ve got decent broadband), and movies available for watching within 30 days but must be watched within 24 hours of starting to watch. US$2.99 for library titles and US$3.99 for new releases 

Live Macworld 2008 keynote coverage

If you’re up early looking for the keynote coverage (especially if you’re in GMT+9), then you can check out The Unofficial Apple Liveblog (they’ve also got a Twitter feed).Alternatively there’s a feed from Engadget, including a translation in Spanish.Newly on the scene there’s also SteveNoteLive which promises to include pictures.Also, #macrumors on irc2.tecknohost.com if you remember what IRC is :)Also don’t forget JoyOfTech’s handy Unofficial MacWorld Expo Survival Kit.