Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mac OS X Leopard: Worth it or not?



In my opinion, the best feature that Leopard will have to offer is going to be Spaces. Spaces allows you to have different well, err... spaces, where you can do stuff. If you're the kind of person that needs to keep everything organized and separate, Spaces is definitely for you. Instead of having all your stuff cluttered on one desktop, Spaces gives you 4 desktops on which to put your stuff. It's a bit like having four desks all to yourself ... doesn't it seem like life will be almost too easy?

Another feature that I think is going to be a winner is Time Machine. After all...how could you resist? The ability to go back in time is something we've only been able to show in movies...or in dreams! I guess that pretty much means Apple makes dreams come true. But seriously, Time Machine will be a great tool for all those people who constantly have to make new copies of documents, such as say, resumes, and save them separately after each edition.

The other feature I think will make leopard worth the price is Mail, or more specifically, the updates in Mail. Remember how much you loved those templates in Pages that basically did the work for you? ... well, Mail is now going to have templates of its own. Yep, you can make your letters look professional, or tacky, with just a few clicks. On top of that, Mail is going to offer cool little things like Notes and To-Do lists to keep you on track wherever you go.

Of course, these are not the only notable features of Leopard, so check out Apple's page on Leopard for a more in depth look.

In conclusion, I think Mac OS X Leopard is definitely going to be worth it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Could Leopard be delayed?


Today two different sources are claiming that Leopard will be delayed. DigiTimes reason that this is to enhance Vista support in Leopard and that it will not ship until October. To me this seems like an unlikely prospect, especially Vista has been out in Beta long enough (I think) for Apple to strengthen its Windows compatibility. Besides, Vista has been reported compatible with the current version of Boot Camp, which leaves little for Apple to improve upon, except for the odd Vista driver.
Ars Technica's Infinite Loop however are claiming a shorter delay, to June. And while this isn't exactly a delay from Apple's original Spring promise, most of us were hoping for an earlier release. While it makes sense to release Leopard at WWDC which is taking place in mid-June, I think that that there will be too much going on in one month if Leopard is releases then. That's because in June the iPhone is supposed to ship, as well as some possible Mac upgrades (which will hopefully also happen between June and now), which may be too much to talk about in one keynote. I also think it would benefit Apple's stock price to spread out product announcements rather than to group them all together (although if Leopard is not finished there's nothing they can do).
All we can do now is hope; hope that Steve realizes that he's making us write about Vista for lack of Apple news and turns on the Real Time Distorter inside Apple.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Apple TV ships; Apple stock soars


Apple has finally started shipping the Apple TV, and it seems to be a hit among reviewers. The shipping time is listed as 3-5 days on the Apple Online Store, and pre-ordered Apple TV's are shipping right now. That and other positive Apple rumors seem to have driven AAPL shares up 10.5%, up to 93.87 per share from early March's 83.93. Additionally, Apple Stores will be offering hands-on demos and workshops for the Apple TV's features, presumably on Sony Bravia's.

Reviews of the Apple TV can be found here and here.
Pictures of unboxing the Apple TV are here and a video of setting up the Apple TV right there.
Whew!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Audio conversions made easy: EasyWMA


Ever wanted to convert audio files from WMA to .aiff, .mp3, .m4a, or .wav? EasyWMA makes it easy to convert your audio files: with full drag and drop capabilities, it takes only a few seconds to be able to have your .wma file on iTunes and on your iPod. Personally, I use EasyWMA with my Olympus digital voice recorder, which saves the files in .wma format on my computer. In a few seconds, I can convert these files (often recordings of lectures) and have them ready to listen to on my iPod.
Great tool for anyone who needs their audio files in .aiff, .mp3, .m4a, or .wav format.
Made by Patrice Bensoussan, it costs only $10 for the full version, and you can get it from www.easywma.com

Enjoy!

Future iMacs to sport touch-screens


It's true, iMacs have not had a significant hardware overhaul since the iMac G5 (the Intel iMac is a bit thinner than the G5). So some people are speculating about the next big step for the iMac, which they say is multi-touch functionality. According to AppleInsider, these will also significantly slimmer and sleeker (as if they were thick right now) but that the 17 - inch Mac will be taken down with the announcement. What isn't clear however, is whether Apple is just starting to work on the project or if it is going to be shipped within the next couple of months.
But what do you think? Would a touch screen iMac even be worthwhile to use or would it just smear the screen up with fingerprints?

Invites Issued


Next month is the annual NAB Media Show, and Apple has already issued invites to their keynote. At NAB Apple is expected to release a new version of Final Cut Pro and possibly a new Eight Core Mac Pro to go along with that, which would go in conjunction with with Apple's past product releases at NAB, which were Final Cut Studio and Soundtrack Pro, in 2005.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Free SMS Messaging: a hit for Callwave


Callwave's free SMS text messaging widget has risen in popularity to #2 on the favorite widgets list. The widget allows users to send up to 5 free SMS messages daily to any phone from the USA, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Greece, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Hong Kong & Singapore.
You can send messages to any phone in the US and in Canada.
For people like me who don't feel like spending $5 a month on text messaging, I think it's pretty nice to have this service for free via your computer and internet. If you're interested, check it out at:
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/email_messaging/freetextmessagingfromcallwave.html