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Intel and More Inside
Pages: 1, 2

Telling Stories

You can now more easily produce an enhanced podcast using GarageBand. Apple has added a podcast studio to make it easier for you to create your own better sounding podcasts. Jobs ran a one-minute podcast spoofing an online rumor site. He broke the news of the upcoming release of a (fake) eight-pound iPod. He then dragged art to various places in the timeline so that as his story ran, the illustrations popped up at the right time. He did not show off the new feature designed to enhance your voice after recording a podcast. He did, however, add music to his recording and showed off the ducking effect. Just before the spoken word began, the volume of the music decreased so that it didn't compete with the narration.

In addition to the podcast artwork track, GarageBand has added more than 200 royalty-free sound effects and more than 100 royalty-free jingles. If you want to interview someone who isn't local, it is now easy to record from iChat's audio conferencing right into GarageBand's podcast studio.

You can publish your podcast using .Mac and the new member of iLife '06, iWeb. The iWeb application makes it easy for you to build websites that can be hosted on your .Mac home page or, with a bit of work, on a non-.Mac website. You can post a blog, picture pages, a podcast, or a link to your photocasts. For those who want an easy-to-use client for creating a working website using one of Apple's templates, iWeb is a great solution. If you have more sophisticated needs (such as allowing comments on your blogs), it may not be for you. This fits in with the rest of the iLife suite and targets the same sort of consumer who wants to work with digital media in a way that is easy and attractive.

Concealed Weapon

Do you remember the Toasted Bunnies commercial that Apple ran comparing the Pentium II to the G3? A firefighter helped extinguish someone supposedly in one of the famous Intel bunny suits while the voiceover apologized that the new G3 had toasted the Pentium II. If you're Intel, that ad might not have been so funny back then. But now Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini can laugh about it. As smoke poured out from under a curtain on stage, Otellini, dressed in an Intel bunny suit, joined Steve Jobs on stage and presented him with a pressing of Intel chips. Jobs had promised that the first Intel-based Macs would be delivered by June 2006, and Otellini was there to announce that Intel had dedicated over 1,000 people to the task and delivered what Apple wanted in under a year.

To the audience's surprise, Jobs announced that the first Mac to include the dual-core Intel processor was the iMac. From the outside, it looks identical to the iMacs that Apple is currently shipping. In addition, the pricing remains the same. According to Jobs, what changes is the performance. Jobs said the new iMacs were two to three times faster. The Intel Core Duo chip has two processors on one chip, each of which is faster than the G5.

Otellini onstage in the bunny suit is just one indication that Intel is ready to have some fun with the Apple partnership. Apple's website asks, "What's an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it's ever done in a PC." A companion television commercial shows a chip being freed from its dull existence inside PC after PC, as it now gets to live its life inside a Mac.

Jobs then proceeded to wrap up the morning keynote. He described Rosetta, which will be used for a while in the new Intel Macs to enable programs that were compiled for the PowerPC to run. Jobs demonstrated Photoshop working on the Intel Mac and then invited Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit general manager Roz Ho to the stage. Ho announced that Microsoft is on track to bring out universal binaries (versions compiled to run natively on both Intel and PowerPC chips) of Office and Messenger for the Mac. More importantly, Ho announced that Microsoft is committed to shipping new versions of Office for the Mac for at least five years. This continues to be a crucial application to have on the Mac if Apple wants to convince more Windows users to switch. The audience appreciated the importance of the announcement and applauded loudly.

The signature "one more thing" part of Steve Jobs keynote was unexpected. Rumors of an Intel-based notebook had been widely published, but the rumors indicated it would be an iBook. Forums were full of complaints of what this would do to the professional line. Whether the rumor sites had been misled or just got it wrong, Jobs finished the morning by announcing the successor to the PowerBook. The new name is the MacBook Pro, and 15-inch models will be available in February. It will feature the same chip as the Intel iMac, which will make it four to five times faster than the current G4 PowerBooks. It also features a built-in iSight and an infrared port in the front so that you can use a remote control. The power cord is now connected to the machine using a magnet so that if someone stumbles over your power cord, they won't tend to damage your machine.

Never Enough

So, in his Tuesday morning keynote, Steve Jobs announced that Apple's revenues were better than ever. He covered major additions to two of the iApps and the introduction of a new one. The entire iLife suite continues to come bundled with new Macs for free and is available for $79 ($99 for a family pack). He also covered minor changes to several other applications. He introduced an Intel-based Macintosh six months ahead of schedule together with an update to Mac OS X (10.4.4), and showed off the new iMac available today and the new MacBook Pro available in February. And yet, as I walked out of the morning keynote there were people grumbling about the things they'd expected, based on the rumor sites, that hadn't been announced. Apple is preparing to turn 30. It still feels like a young company, full of ideas. As I listen to the keynote assessments to my right and my left I smile. It just feeds the momentum of trying to outguess Jobs' next keynote address.

Daniel H. Steinberg is the editor for the new series of Mac Developer titles for the Pragmatic Programmers. He writes feature articles for Apple's ADC web site and is a regular contributor to Mac Devcenter. He has presented at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, MacWorld, MacHack and other Mac developer conferences.

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