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New Apple software, hardware shown at Macworld

Apple Announces Widescreen iMac By Dave Nagel
Apple today announced several additions to its product lineup, though no new hardware targeted specifically for the professional market. Leading the announcements was the new widescreen iMac, which takes over the high-end slot in the iMac line. Apple also cut prices on iPods and the former high-end iMac and launched some new software.

The new iMac includes a 17-inch widescreen LCD display that supports resolutions up to 1,440 x 900 pixels. Previous iMac models included a 15-inch 4:3 LCD display. The new model also includes an 80 GB hard drive, an 800 MHz G4 processor, a combo DVD-R/CD-RW drive and an Nvidia GeForce4 MX graphics card with 32 MB memory. It will sell for $1,999 when it arrives next month. The previous high-end model has been reduced in price to $1,799.

Apple also announced a new 20 GB version of the iPod, which, in addition to the larger capacity, includes a new, thinner design; a solid-state controller; a cover for the FireWire port; a remote control; and a carrying case. It sells for $499. Apple has also reduced the prices on the 5 GB and 10 GB iPod models by $100 each and is offering a new accessory package for owners of earlier iPod models.

On the software side, Apple also introduced iTunes 3, available for download now. The company also announced new software tools, including iCal and iSync. iCal is an Internet-enabled calendar program. And iSync is a synchronization tool for wireless phones, PalmOS devices and iPods. iSync and iCal will be available in September as a free download.

Apple also announced the end of iTools and said it will be replaced by the new .Mac service. The .ac service will be free for existing iTools users until September, after which point it will run $49.95 (introductory price). Non-iTools users will have to pony up $99.95. The service includes a e-mail account (include Web-based mail), some software and 100 MB of iDisk space.

Finally, the company also previewed some of the new features of Mac OS X 10.2, code-named Jaguar. Jaguar will arrive earlier than planned, according to Jobs. New features include a multithreaded Finder and spring-loaded folders. Other new features will include:

  • FreeBSD 4.4
  • Quartz Extreme, which accelerates graphics performance
  • Sherlock 3
  • Rendezvous, a new home-networking technology
  • QuickTime 6
  • A new handwriting recognition system called Inkwell
  • iChat for instant messaging
  • and an enhanced Mail client.

Mac OS X 10.2 should be in stores by Aug. 24 for $129. Upgrade CDs will run $19.95 for those who purchased a Mac system on or after July 17.

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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