I’m covering MacWorld from the relative safety of midtown Manhattan this year, which means compulsively reloading various livebloggers’ websites. Glamorous! I gambled that CES would be dull this year and won. Let’s see how I do with MacWorld.
As usual, the keynote started slow. Leopard, yay. iPhone updates, yay. Movie rentals, HD, yay, yay, yay. And I’m glad Apple is still plugging away at Apple TV, which I think is a great product whose time will come, oh lord. And it was big of Jobs to admit that it was a miss first time around. Boo: paying $20 for adding what should be basic functionality to my iPod Touch (weather widgets, etc.)
But yay for the MacBook Air, which is quite a beautiful piece of design, and adds an extra sector to Apple’s notebook family, which is a good place for them to concentrate, given the hot year Leopard had, and the company’s galloping expertise in miniaturization. Some numbers: 3 pounds, .76 inches at its thickest, 1.6 GHz, 2GBs of memory, an 80GB standard hard drive, 11 or 12 inch display, $1,799 price tag. Not enough to make me wish I’d gone to San Francisco, but pretty damn desirable.
Maybe the most exciting feature in there — and Jobs soft-pedaled it, interestingly — is that the trackpad supports MultiTouch, the touchscreen technology that’s in the iPhone. Pinching, gesture recognition, that whole deal. I’ve been waiting to see that technology pollinate its way into Apple’s computer lines, and here it is. So yay. I’m betting we’ll see quite a bit more of that — how long before the screen itself becomes the trackpad?