Apple CEO Steve Jobs once again introduced the new PowerBooks new and upgraded software to a throng of adoring fans at the annual Macworld Expo San Francisco, including a new web browser, new versions of the "iLife" applications (iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD), and presentation software (which Steve himself has been "beta testing" at every Macworld keynote since 2002).The PowerBook has been extended in two directions, with screens up to 17" and down to 12". Both feature a new material for the casing, aluminum (anodized, not painted), with AirPort antennas in the screen. The AirPort range of the PowerBook now equals the iBook. It will no longer boot into Mac OS, only into Mac OS X.
The 17" model is 1440x900 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, G4/1GHz, SuperDrive, GeForce4 440 Go/64MB, and all the same ports, with the addition of line in and FireWire 800 (in addition to FireWire 400). It is less than 1" thin, and 6.8 lbs., and has fiber-optic lightning for the keyboard activated by ambient light sensors. It will be available next month for $3,300.
The 12" version is 4.6 lbs., and is smaller than the iBook in every dimension. It's 1024x768, G4/867, GeForce4 420 Go/32MB, and is AirPort-ready ($99 extra). It is $1,800 for a combo drive model, $2,000 for a SuperDrive model, and will be available in two weeks.
Both models sport the new AirPort Extreme (802.11g), which is 54Mbps, up from the 11Mbps of AirPort (802.11b). The base stations and clients are fully compatible with the old AirPort, handle 50 users, and support both wireless bridging (to extend the range by adding more stations) and can act as a USB printer server.
Jobs also introduced Safari, a new Mac OS X browser based on the KHTML rendering engine from KDE (and Apple will publish changes they've made to it). There's nothing especially great about it -- it's a web browser -- except that, unlike most other browsers, it is expected to be fast and work properly, as well as be fully integrated into Mac OS X. The web is a killer app, but pretty much all web browsers suck; Apple hopes to give us something that doesn't suck in Safari. It is a free download for the beta, starting today. This story was posted using Safari. W00p.
iPhoto 2 has been revamped, with iTunes integration (access to playlists, tracks, even searching) for slide shows; one-click enhance of photos; a retouch brush; archiving to CD/DVD; and more. iMovie 3 has added chapters, the "Ken Burns Effect" (panning through still images), and precise audio editing. iDVD 3 has added a ton of quite cool themes, which will look great the first few times you see them.
They are -- along with iTunes -- bundled with all new Macs beginning January 25 as "iLife". All but iDVD will be freely available online, contrary to previously published reports. The entire bundle of four apps will be available for retail purchase for $50.
For sale today at $99 is another new app, Keynote, which is the presentation software Jobs has been using for over a year for his own presentations. It includes all sorts of flashy features like textures and Quartz-powered 3D transitions, and can import and export PowerPoint, as well as export to PDF and QuickTime. It has an open file format (using XML).
Jobs also introduced Final Cut Express, a stripped-down version of Final Cut Pro, for $300, and noted other prominent third-party software recently released for Mac OS X: QuickBooks, Director, and DigiDesign Pro Tools (later this month). He noted that the number of native apps for Mac OS X jumped from 2,000 to 5,000 in 2002.
Meanwhile, the number of users of the OS went from 1.2 million to 5 million last year, and he expects the number to jump to 9 or 10 million in 2003.
Update: 01/07 19:37 GMT by Jamie (also posted with Safari): And thanks to the several Slashdot readers who pointed out a great but unannounced product: X11 (aka the X Windows System) for Mac OS X. It's in Public Beta right now. Great to see this, an Apple-supported X is greatly needed. I don't know why Jobs didn't at least mention this, it would have gotten quite the round of applause I'm sure.