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Macworld: Jobs Keynote Kicks Off

Alias|Wavefront to announce new Mac version of Maya; Jaguar coming early; new iPod and reduced prices By Dave Nagel
The Macworld 2002 convention has kicked off at the Jacob K. Javits Center in ew York. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken to the stage and begun his keynote address. Major announcements include a new version of the iMac, a new version of Alias|Wavefront Maya for the Mac and the early shipment of Jaguar (Aug. 24). We'll keep you updated throughout the event.

Announcement summary
Announcements at the keynote address so far include:

  • Jobs announced a new version of the iMac with a 17-inch landscape display. He also dropped the prices of the previous high-end model to $1,799.
  • Alias|Wavefront will launch a new version of Maya for the Mac at the Macworld expo.
  • iTunes 3 has been launched.
  • Apple has announced reduced pricing on the current iPods and also launched a 20 GB model for $499.
  • Sherlock 3 has been announced. It includes Internet services technologies.
  • Mac OS X 10.2, code-named Jaguar, will include a multithreaded Finder, integrated searching and spring-loaded folders. It will be in stores Aug. 24.
  • Apple is launching iSync, a program for synchronizing data with wireless phones.
  • Real Networks has launched a new player for OS X.
  • Apple is dropping iTools in favor of ".MAC," which will be a fee-based version of iTools. It includes 100 MB of storage and Web-based mail.
  • Handwriting recognition has been integrated into the Mac's overall text system.
  • Rendezvous is a new technology for automatically discovering systems on an I.P. network. It allows computers to find one another automatically for sharing files in various applications without actually copying them from one computer to another.

The keynote address
The address launched this morning with screening of a few new ads from Apple's "Switch" campaign, including one starring Saturday Night Live comedian Will Ferrell, in which he spoofed the testimonial campaign. At the end of the commercial, he announced, "My name is Will Ferrell. I'm a porn actor."

Jobs began his address by talking about Mac OS X--its user base and new applications. Apple has "officially announced" Mac OS X 10.2 with 150 major new features. It will be instores earlier than expected, Aug. 24, for $129. According to Jobs, Apple has become the largest distributor of Unix software. OS X 10.2 includes a multithreaded Finder for speed and integrated searching. It also includes spring-loaded folders, a feature that was in Mac OS 8 and 9.

Apple has also announced Sherlock 3, the latest version of Apple's search tool. The new version includes Internet services technologies, which includes the ability to read news and stock quotes within the application itself.

Steve Jobs has also previewed Rendezvous. Rendezvous is a new technology for automatically discovering systems on an I.P. network. It allows computers to find one another automatically for sharing files in various applications without actually copying them from one computer to another. It will be integrated into iTunes early next year. Printer manufacturers, such as Epson and Hewlett-Packard, have also committed to the technology for automatically configuring network printers.

Mail in OS X 10.2 will be revamped and will also include a junk mail filter. The Mac Address Book has also been improved. It will now serve as a unified contact database accessible by all applications. It's also Bluetooth-enabled and can link to wireless phones. It can even dial phones or view caller I.D. information on incoming calls and forward calls to voicemail and send instant messages.

Jobs also announced iChat, a new instant messaging application that supports hyperlinks and is AOL-enabled.

Jobs has announced the end of "iTools" and says Apple is replacing it with ".MAC." It includes Web-based mail, a revamped version of iDisk that includes 100 MB of storage with password protection. It also includes backup software and antivirus software. It will now run $99 or, for current iTools users, $49 per year.

Apple has also launched a new application called iCal. iCal is a calendar application that includes Internet functionality. It will be available as a free download in September.

iTunes 3 has been launched. It includes a new "Smart Playlist" feature that automatically inserts songs into pre-defined playlists, such as most-played, '60s music, etc. It also includes a function for rating music. It adds support for and can also track bookmarks. It's available now as a free download.

Apple has also dropped prices on its iPod product. The models have dropped $100. The 10 GB version includes a new, thinner design, a remote, a case and a cover for the FireWire port. Apple has also introduced a 20 GB iPod for $499. The iPod also includes new software, including a composer column. It also supports Smart Playlists and It also has a new menu structure and support for calendars and contacts. New iPods will be in stores in August. Accessories can also be purchased for existing iPods. Finally, the iPods will also support Windows via MusicMatch technologies. The Windows versions will run the same price as the Mac versions and will be in stores in late August.

Jobs has announced iSync, a new application for synchronizing data with newer wireless phones.

In terms of hardware, Jobs announced a new iMac with a 17-inch widescreen. The graphics are powered by the Nvidia GeForce4 MX. It sells for $1,999 with an 800 MHz G4 processor. It will be available in two weeks.

Steve Jobs's keynote address has concluded. Stay tuned for analysis.

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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