In one of the least eventful keynote speeches in recent memory, Apple's SVP Phil Schiller, filling in for the ailing Steve Jobs, announced upgrades to iLife and iWork, an upgraded 17-inch MacBook, and iTunes Store pricing-structure changes and DRM-removal plans. Phil Schiller at Macworld Expo 2009 A performer is only as good as …
how can the event be called a letdown when the only thing that lets it down is that you believed all of the rumours that were circling over the past month
this happens EVERY year, you'd think people would have learnt by now that rumours, no matter even if they are reported by journalists, are just rumours and are not fact.
it's not really a letdown, you are just embarissed and gutted that some kid made something up and suckered you into believing it was true
also - i'd have thought the updates to iPhoto and iMovie would constitute more than just 'tweaks'
iMovie looked seriously powerful now
Let that be a lesson to you, El Reg - I hope you're suitably embarissed.
Wow, the iMovie update impressed you? You've got some low standards jai.
Until I can edit AVCHD natively without the lengthy and hard disk eating conversion process to the Apple Intermediate Codec I will rue what Windows users have been able to do easily over the past year.
iMovie 09? More like iMovie 06.5.
10 hour flight to Paris? From Vulture central? are you going by biplane?
I was at least hoping for a few killer shiny technological lust objects with ludicrously svelte industrial design.. Ah well. Now is probably not the time to be risking new products, if you're at the "built like a very sleek tank" end of the market- people are busy belt-tightening anyway, so it's probably just as well.
Yes, ok, so all these Dells look a little dull and plastic, and the Suns are just ugly- send me a wheelbarrow of cash for some lovely Apple toys pl0x.
WTF Apple? Do you know how many times I've had to pop the battery out of a PowerBook, or MacBook (of both varieties) after they've hard locked? More than a few, I can tell you that. So now I have to disconnect the mains and wait 8 God Damned hours? F@ck you and your non-removable batteries!
And while you're at it, only put a 90day warranty on that battery so when the thing explodes in 2 years I'm out the full $3000.
Good lord I'm entirely too pissed off for my own good right now...
So I misread the title
as "...17-inch MacBook, iLife, tweaks Tony Bennett." Now that would have been an interesting keynote.
I'm pretty happy. It's as though they worked through my iLife wishlist and implemented every feature, even better than I'd imagined it... and then some. Best upgrade yet.
I guess it depends what you want, huh?
The internal battery...
The reasons not to have a removable battery are simply laughable, not to mention that Apple has a long history of defective batteries... :-(
...needs more work. I tried out Pages a while back, having never really used any iWork app before, and found it remarkably pleasant to use (much more so than, say, Word 2008 - though admittedly with less functionality, although that isn't a big issue for me most/all of the time). However, it still doesn't have any auto-save or auto-recover functionality...what? What is this, 1995? Come on, Apple, get the basic stuff down! I can't possibly consider paying for a word processor which, if it crashes (and it did), doesn't bring back the file I was working on in a pretty up-to-date state. It's just not feasible.
Sorry, no dice
"To be fair, iLife '09, iWork '09, and the new 17-inch MacBook Pro are solid - if not earth-shattering - upgrades"
Sorry, have you got ahold of some brand-spanking-new non-publically released versions of those softwares that were just shown (vis a vis video) at the expo? No? Then kindly retire to the peanut gallery and wait until they come out before exploding in an iGasm and showering us with iSplooge.
Christ. What IS it with Mac fans and taking everything as gospel truth even though it isn't always true?
I've seen Apple arguments suggesting that an easily "replacable" battery is unnecessary because the one built in should last 5 years, etc.
"Replacable" isn't the issue. When I am on a long trip (e.g. New York - Tokyo) what I need is a "swappable" battery. Isn't this incredibly obvious? When you can't recharge your current battery, a pre-charged spare is essential.
I use a Sharp MP-30 (which isn't made anymore, because it didn't look cool enough I suppose) with batteries that click out and click in in 10 seconds. Apple's legendary industrial design couldn't facilitate this?
So glad I am no longer a victim of Steve Jobs's design fascism, and not subsidizing his health care anymore.
As for iMovie, first they dumbed it down, and now they market a new version which corrects their error.
What a farce.
I love Apple, I think their hardware and software are top-notch. I've had ibooks, powerbooks, macbooks, iphones, I have a mac mini under my tv and have hacked osx onto my main pc, which works fantastically.
Having a non-replaceable battery on a laptop is a bad, bad move. With the build quality of their top-end hardware it could last 10 years! But if you can't replace the battery this laptop will soon become as portable as the length of the extension lead you have it plugged into! I am gutted about this cock up.
If Apple offer to replace the battery for the cost of a current new 17" battery (~£100) then fair enough, but if they charge for installing it I can see a lot of other mac fans being outraged by this as well!
"iPhoto's Places blends Google maps with GPS geotagging"
You mean sticking a pin into a Google Map by reading some EXIF data. Kinda like just about every other photo manager and sharing website has been able to do for years now. Nah, I'm sure Apple has somehow found a way to make it "so unbelievably cool" that the fanboys will wet their pants over it
The MacBook battery thing should be the final nail in the coffin for the remaining few people who still think Apple give a shit about their customers as opposed to trying to lock them in and screw them for every penny they have at every carefully manufactured opportunity.
FTFA: 4GB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB by Apple for $1,200)
1,200 bucks for 4 more GB of RAM?
/Tux because I have just installed Slackware 12.2 on my laptop
5 year battery life splendid advance?
What kind of planes do you battery complainers ride on?
Try booking "modern" planes with in seat chargers using
seatguru.com on long flights.
Apple's "with it" but it appears "you're not with it" when you fly.
The $1200 price tag is probably because 8GB of DDR2/3 SODIM in two 4GB sticks are not mainstream (yet?).
I'm pretty sure that you would have to tke out the existing RAM and install completely new ones to get the density needed.
even so, you may soon be able to get this amount of RAM cheaper from places like Crucial. With the changes they are making to the Macbook Pro, they might make installing the new ram far more difficult that it is with existing devices.
Mines the one with a 2007 17in MBP in the backpack (far too big to put in the pocket....)
If you or your employer can afford a 17" MBP and a NYC-Tokyo return ticket then presumably it can afford to install you on an aeroplane that allows you to plug your laptop in.
Why lack of Blue Ray option on 17"?
While I believe that with the advent of high speed broadband (& larger capacity USB drives) other removeable media (in particular CD sized media) should die, if the 17" MacBook Pro is built to last a long time, it is puzzling that Apple have not done what they did so well with what was probably their best ever laptop, the black plastic Lombard / Wallstreet series. They featured twin removeable bays where you could choose between two batteries, or one battery and your choice of media drive, such as CD, DVD etc. These machines were stylish, had great keyboards, LED battery level indicators (like the current series) and in a way, a more natural shape. Thick and heavy by today's standards, but just more thoughtful in design. During tough times, I do not understand why Apple are turning out laptops whose Windows based equivalents from HP, Dell, Tosh, Asus and others sometimes do more for a lot less money - most including Blue Ray drives too, whose large capacity will appeal to the very customers Apple target with the 17" - content producers who need large capacity media to hand to their clients.
And where was the new Mac Mini? Next week maybe.
Oh dear, here we go again...
Go and buy another product then that does support it (cheapest is Adobe Premier Elements 7 I think). Dick.
@ Everyone complaining...
Boys, nobody is forcing you to buy Apple products. It's not some hairbrain conspiracy to take over the world. They are a business, just like Sun, Microsoft and IBM. Of course they want your "hard" earned cash, so does everyone else! It isn't as if any of you Winblows/Linsux fanboys were planning on buying any of it anyway!!! Trolls...
@The internal battery...
"The reasons not to have a removable battery are simply laughable, not to mention that Apple has a long history of defective batteries... "
Errm.. defective batteries are not the preserve of Apple alone, plus, these are usually outsourced items from the likes of Sony.
250,000 battery recall by Fujitsu
4.1 million battery recall by Dell
28,000 battery recall by Sharp
Acer to recall 27,000 batteries
Sony to pay out $432m to recall nearly 10 million batteries
I guess you can see where this is going...
A question rather than comment...
Taking the announcement about the new Macbook Pro having an integrated battery with the specific wording concerning the RAM ("upgradeable to 8GB by Apple for $1,200"), I wonder whether the new design provide easy access to the RAM? That wording, combined with the existing design whereby the RAM can be physically accessed in a MacBook/MacBook Pro by removing the battery, makes me wonder...
The Mac Mini is now an embarassment and badly needs an upgrade. I'm not keen on integrated shite of any flavour. The Mac Pro is too expensive for most people even if, for what it is, it's not over priced. Perhaps in another year, or hello hackintosh!
Lacking a removable battery is simply pathetic. It's easily possible to make a battery unusable in under two years, never mind 5..
No wonder Steve was not there
I would hide away as well. RIP Expo.
I was really considering a Mac Mini at one point but ended up buying a new laptop (to replace my exisiting one) and then just totally forgot about getting a new desktop and threw the old one out.
Shame they never bothered to upgrade, if you want something of a similar size i'd go with the Dell Studio Hybrid. They aren't that powerful (just as the Mac Mini isn't) but you can still spec them a lot higher.
No need to pull the battery: press and hold the power button.
Paris Hilton: because even she would know that.
Built in battery rated at 8 hours versus a swappable one rated at 4 hours, plus the weight and inconvenience of a second one to swap it with.
I'll take the built-in one thanks.
Paris, because even she could work that one out.
I had a battery in my MacBook Pro lose charge too quickly after about 6 months, and they replaced it without any questions. Have they really changed the warranty for the battery to 90 days? The rest of the computer gets a years warranty (or 3 with AppleCare)...
Future EU battery directive...
If the EU gets off their collective arses Apple may one day not be able to sell their remedial kit here !
I agree with you that the Mac Mini is a second-rate machine: I always thought it was very much the red-headed step-child of the Mac family. Personally I don't think we'll see any more updates to it and it will be allowed to wither on the vine. Caveat emptor.
As to the non-removable battery I think you're wrong to describe it as "pathetic". It might not meet your, possibly theoretical, need to swap batteries but Apple isn't in business to provide solutions tailored solely to your requirements. It's a trade-off. On both the Air and the 17" it's a trade-off between size plus battery capacity plus design versus being able to remove the battery.
I think it's a no-brainer. I'd take size+capacity+design over the ability (in fact I have, I own an Air), which I have never needed, to swap the battery. I have a 1st gen Macbook Pro whose battery is still working, despite the fact that I abuse it horribly (I don't do the ideal regular charge-discharge cycle).
In any case, Apple will replace the battery in the 17", for free under AppleCare if it fails prematurely, or for a reasonable fee ($200 I think) otherwise. Failing that, you could always pull out your screw-drivers yourself.
As to the Mac Pro. From what you say I don't think "expensive" is the right word: costing a lot is not the same thing. A base model Ford Focus costs more than a Mac Pro but I don't think many people would describe it as "expensive". Have you considered an iMac? The current iMacs are pretty good machines and would appear to meet your needs.
As to your "threat" to get a Hackintosh. Why? Insteading of all the hassle of maintaining one and the dubious morality of installing OSX on it (the retail boxes are upgrades to the copy that comes with a Mac, not licensed full installs) why not buy a standard PC and install GNU/Linux? At least that would be both legitimate and widely supported by everyone from lone enthusiasts to commercial companies. In any case if you're scared of getting the screwdrivers out to replace a battery in the 17" MBP then maintaining a Hackintosh probably isn't for you.
Paris: because she does have brains.
True it's not just apple... but that just adds weight to the argument. You never know when a batch of batteries is gonna be flagged up faulty, but at least with the other companies (and other mac laptops of course - excluding the air!), you only have to return the battery, not the entire unit. And I imagine it takes a fair while longer to open a mac and replace the battery than it does to just check the serial number on a returned battery and authorise a replacement.
Personally I hope they don't "get off their collective arses" the state (national and European) nannies us far too much as it is.
If I want to buy a machine with a built in battery, because I prefer the trade-off (I own an Air so I do) then I should be able to. If a fool spends that sort of money buying a machine like that without checking it meets their needs that's their fault and problem. It's not as if Apple is secretly changing it's laptops to use non-replacable batterys and selling them to an unsuspecting public.
Paris: because I wouldn't object to being nannied by her.
Apple are not very good on ODF support are they? I know textedit supports it, but their support in their products is pretty poor. Here's hoping their new cloud uses it.
From vulture central -- Paris, 2 hours tops,
however, from iCentral (San Fran) -- Paris, probably more like 10.
@ Steve Davies
Ok, thanks for the explanation, but still 1200 dollars for the upgrade seems extremely pricey, a 17" laptop should have space for an extra RAM slot or two. I guess this is Apple looking forward.
My better half swears by and adores her ~2007 15 inch MBP, I don't see a compelling reason to upgrade her in the foreseeable future.
/Ballmer, coz he's a twat.
The unremovable battery is just on the 17" model...
... so I guess this is yet another example of Apple limiting their target audience. As well as the usual stuff, i.e. not offering an upgradeable consumer desktop, etc, they're now limiting 17" models to people who don't need a swappable battery (or, at least, don't need one even with double the battery life).
It'll be interesting to find out exactly how complicated the shape of the battery is once some of those weird internet people who buy new technology on launch day just to take it apart get their hands on it.
Beyond all that, I think I agree with the main part of the article: not really an inspiring product launch. I want a new Mac Mini - I don't care in the slightest about the integrated graphics but I am a bit concerned by the small hard disk, slow CPU, etc. I appreciate a new model will be small and slow in relative terms, but the current Mini is relatively small and slow in, at a guess, late-2006 terms.
Another mark of these hard financial times...
You know times are tough when even the mac fanboys have no Jobs.
Sorry, everybody else has probably been making that gag for the last three months...
i gotta think you are a proper fanboy
(please, no need to retaliate, just accept the message icon and my apologies/condolences LOL)
Portable companion battery that plugs into MacBookPro power input.
To work around the internal battery limitation, I would expect 3rd party manufacturers to bring out a battery that plugs into the power input of the MacBookPro to work as it if was running off the mains. A kind of portable UPS, Un-interrupted Power Supply.
So problem solved, but not as elegant as just being able to swap the battery.
This kind of product has been available for mobile phones to charge them from.
17" battery and planes
Just a thought: to use a 17" laptop for >8 hours on a plane you probably need to be in a cabin that provides good seat spacing (e.g. business class) where you are also likely to find at-seat power! However, if you are in the cheap seats you most likely can't open a laptop bigger than 15". In the cheap seats you are less likely to have at-seat power and so might need a spare battery.
Its just possible that someone thought very hard about this.
MacWorld - Toy Story more like!
No disrespect, but I often get the feeling that going to a MacWorld expo would be like being trapped in that rocket ship vending machine in Toy Story, surrounded by those little green alien zealots!
"Built in battery rated at 8 hours versus a swappable one rated at 4 hours"
Rubbish. Do you really think that half the volume of the battery is taken up by its case and the release mechanism?
Fools Day Comes Early...
"To be fair, iLife '09, iWork '09, and the new 17-inch MacBook Pro are solid - if not earth-shattering - upgrades"
I thought this was a joke - then I realised April is 3 month away...
I don't get it.
Hands up who has had to buy a new battery for their laptop? Anyone? Now when you do this, would you rather go to the shop and buy a new one, or send it off to an authorized apple repairer?
I'm constantly depeleting and recharging my batteries and get quite good life out of them, but one of the other guys at work here leaves his plugged in constantly. Result? Battery lasted almost exactly 1 year in a 13.3' Macbook. This is a very short-sighted decision.
Yayy PISMO, probably the best Apple laptop ever, IMHO, loved the design, even if the batteries would fall out when the machine got old, my best was just over 10 hours use on two batteries.
for the fixed/removable battery argument may I suggest: -
coming soon to a MacBook near you. Expensive yes, but still a good solution as no one walks around whilst using a 17" laptop
Mines the one with the spare remote battery, mini displayport adapter, soft cleaning cloth, empty wallet etc, etc.
@ Edward Miles
"And I imagine it takes a fair while longer to open a mac and replace the battery than it does to just check the serial number on a returned battery and authorise a replacement."
And wait days for said replacement to arrive with a gaping hole in your machine. Probably longer than going to the Apple store and having the battery replaced on the day.
Also, if there were a recall of batteries, they KNOW what batch goes into what number series, making recall simpler, rather than the job lot batteries that go into your Dull, Sony, Sumsang or whatever brand of Wintel laptop you own.
Power of 1
Yep i found myself all excited expecting some great things........so what do we have 1 hardware release with a battery you cannot swap out if it goes belly up. The further catch is that you will have to pay those at apple to have the battery removed and replaced (££) or if your in the US($$).
When they think of these ideas they obviously think of ways of making more money out of the punters. Have Apple fallen into the same hole as Microsoft where they say you will have this and you will like it or lump it....Or are they so confident that they have so much money in the bank that they can treat anyone as dirt.
I for one had a nasty taste in my mouth when i saw what they had presented.... we better wait and see what Willy Wonker (Apple) will produce next.
It's already a 17" machine - i.e. bloody huge. Seriously, is a removable battery going to make that much difference? I expect their thinking is that no-one is actually going to travel with it (which I can understand : I've got a laptop with a 12" screen because it's portable), but it's nice to have the option.
Also, if you're regularly using a laptop on mains it's a good idea to be able to remove the battery, as I believe leaving the battery in usually initiates a continual slight discharge/charge cycle..
$200 is hideously expensive for a replacement battery especially if you believe the comments above about batteries only being covered for 90 days (IBM warranty for a year. I'm sure others will too).
I would also be prepared to bet that replacing the battery yourself invalidates the laptop warranty - it's not a matter of being scared to wield a screwdriver, it's a matter of maintaining your investment in a piece of kit (laptops) which tends to be less reliable and more expensive to fix than other kit (desktops). The target market can undoubtedly afford it but it still feels like a rip off of a captive market.
A Mac Pro is a high price regardless of the value for money it offers (which considering the workstation chipset, FBDIMMs, water cooling and 5 OS X licenses is not unreasonable). I'm not denying its value, but the expense will deter people. Without wishing to be offensive 'expensive' is entirely appropriate if you use the dictionary definition.
I'm not interested in integrated products from any supplier. Not Apple, Dell, HP, IBM etc. I already have excellent display devices and input devices. I don't want another, especially when most of them contain laptop grade components. I also don't particularly care about appearance - it's a box, and it sits under the desk.
I already run several Unixes; they're not OS X - which is practically the only reason to buy a mac.
I must admit I was a bit suspicious at first about the lack of a replaceable battery but on further reflection it really doesn't seem like so much of an issue after all:
- It's not as if the battery is soldered in, it's only not easily user-swappable. If the battery fails (and remember, the new battery has a much longer lifespan in terms of recharge cycles than normal batteries) it will be only be a 5 minute job to take the laptop to an Apple Store or get out screwdrivers and replace it yourself.
- Even though I do have a spare battery for my 15" MBP, in practice I never actually take it with me and swap it out. Years and years ago I used to carry spare batteries for my mobile phone but I've long since stopped bothering to do so. Laptops are going the same way.
- Inevitably, having a swappable battery involves design compromises for bother the laptop and the battery. If having a fixed battery reduces costs, makes the computer lighter, more robust and more reliable, and increases battery life then 99% of users are better off as a result.
- I'm not sure about the poster who claims he needs to remove the battery to reset his computer. I've never had a situation where pressing and holding the power button failed to shut down a frozen machine. Traditionally you had to remove the battery and hold the power button to reset the power management unit but presumably the new 17" MBP has a different mechanism to do the same thing.
- An 8 hour battery life is pretty impressive and should be more than adequate for most people. Even when I've taken my laptop (with my spare battery!) on long flights I've never actually bothered to use it for more than a couple of hours as I usually watch at least one film and try to get some rest as well.
- As others have pointed out, for those who really really need an extra battery, there will be 3rd party external charging solutions just like there are for things like mobile phones and iPods.
I like it!
So, in the event of a battery recall notification, consumer choices would be:
(A) Drive to Apple store. Wait in line. Be told to come back later because they are out of replacement batteries.
(B) Ship unit back. Wait longer. Be told to pay extra for the unit's return in order to cover the royalties on the unlicensed audio files that were found on the hard drive.
(C) Open the unit themselves and void the warranty.
I wish it wasn't, but that really is the kind of customer service you see everyday, isn't it?
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