Jobs Unveils New OS X, iPods at Macworld
During his keynote address at Macworld New York, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced several new and updated products. Along with Mac OS X 10.2, updated iPods and new iApps, Jobs revealed changes to the company's iTools online service and the anticipated 17-inch widescreen iMac.
Jobs demonstrated numerous features in the upcoming Mac OS X 10.2, previously code-named Jaguar. New in Jaguar is Rendezvous, a technology allowing computers and other devices on the same network to automatically find each other without configuration. Network printing without configuration was demoed, along with support for sharing music and playlists between computers running iTunes.
A system-wide address book has also been implemented and an updated Mail application will be included in Jaguar, complete with enhanced spam filtering capabilities. One of the most anticipated new features is iChat, an AOL-compatible instant messenger. iChat integrates with the address book and Rendezvous for chatting with other users on the network. The Mac OS X 10.2 upgrade will be available on August 24 for $129 USD, launching ahead of schedule. "We are early, which is a rare thing in software," Jobs boasted.
Four months since its last upgrade, new versions of Apple's iPod portable music player made an appearance at Macworld. In addition to cutting $100 USD off the price of the 5GB and 10GB models, new 10GB and 20GB versions are now ten percent thinner than the previous models. A wired remote and carrying case are included with the 10GB and 20GB versions.
The iPods additionally feature updated firmware, including the ability to browse by genre or composer, support for keeping track of how many times a song is played, Sound Check for playing all music back at the same volume level, a clock and a redesigned menu structure. Many of these new features take advantage of new functionality found in iTunes 3, released today. The new iPods will be available in early August starting at $299 USD for the 5GB version. The remote and case will be available for current iPod owners at $39 USD each.
Answering much consumer demand, Apple said that it has partnered with MusicMatch to bring the iPod to Windows. The included MusicMatch software will provide Windows users with the ability to automatically sync their iPods with their music collection. Windows versions of the iPod will cost the same as their Mac counterpart and will be available in late August.
Jobs announced during his keynote two new products in Apple's iApps line of software. iCal, a calendaring program designed for the Internet, offers the ability to publish and share calendars online with automatic updates. iSync works with iCal and the system address book to automatically synchronize with Bluetooth cell phones, Palm handhelds, and the iPod. Both iCal and iSync will be available in September as a free download from Apple.com.
Also announced today were changes to Apple's iTools service. The online service, now called .Mac, is moving to a subscription-based model. "You used to be able to get free services like crazy," Jobs said in his keynote, noting the current atmosphere of the industry. "All that's gone."
For $99 USD per year, .Mac users will receive 100MB of online storage, IMAP, POP3 and web-based e-mail, backup and anti-virus software. Current iTools members can upgrade to .Mac and pay only $49 USD for the first year. After September 30, all iTools accounts that have not upgraded will be deactivated.
As expected, an upgrade to the flat-panel iMac was showcased at Macworld. The new iMac features a 17-inch landscape display with a resolution of 1440x900 and a GeForce4 MX graphics processor. Prices of the 15-inch iMac were cut by $100, with the 17-inch iMac retailing for $1,999 USD.
Nate Mook contributed to this report.