Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple's announcements: What it means for iOS users in Singapore

Apple unveiled a series of announcements last night that were pretty significant for Mac users. They include new MacBook Airs, a peek at the Lion, the new version of the Mac OS, and updates to iLife.

For iOS users, what was significant yesterday was the fact that Apple will be making FaceTime available as an application for the Mac (currently). No news about its availability for Windows yet. FaceTime is a separate application, instead of being an update to Apple's iChat.

FaceTime will allow Mac users to do video calls with people using the iPhone 4 and the new iPod touches. This means a much larger universe of people to do video-calls with.

FaceTime will be part of Lion but is currently available as a beta. To run it, you need to be running at least 10.6.4. You can read more about the FaceTime beta here.

Also of interest are the two new MacBook Airs, an 11.6-inch version and a 13.3-inch version. Macworld has a nice round-up of the two new machines. The new MacBooks create an interesting problem for those of us looking for a new portable device.

The entry-level 11.6", 64GB MacBook Air costs S$1,488 according to the online Singapore Applestore. The highest-end iPad has a 9.7-inch screen and the 64GB version with 3G costs S$1,228. So a S$200 difference separates these two portable devices. Throw in a S$98 Bluetooth keyboard and the difference is S$102.

The MacBook Air is more versatile (it runs all Mac applications) but weighs 1.06kg and always has a keyboard, which is good for working, but not so good for reading on the MRT. The iPad is more portable (0.73kg) and has always-on connectivity and is easily used on the MRT because there isn't a keyboard (I'm assuming here that you won't get a seat on the MRT of course, a pretty safe assumption.)

A tough choice indeed.

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Mugunth Kumar said...

iPad 2 will be 0.37 kgs :P

Jimmy Yap said...

Arrghh!! And I forgot, you (currently) can't play Angry Birds on the MacBook...

Lim Thye Chean said...

But you can't do iPhoto (yet) or Xcode (won't be) on iPad. :)

Jimmy Yap said...

It seems to boil down to consumption vs creation. You can do either on both devices but one is optimised for consumption (the iPad) and the other for creation (the MacBook Air).

I have to say, I hate the weight of my 15" MacBook Pro but the iPad (especially without multitasking) is still hard to rely on for work alone. Logmein is a nice workaround but not practical to rely on it for doing serious work.

Perhaps the answer is both. (I'm sure that's what Apple wants us to think anyway!!)