Archive for June 8, 2009

New Mac OS X, Snow Leopard, announced

Apple WWDC 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. [Photo: adamjackson1984/Flickr]

Mac OS X is getting a facelift, Apple Computer announced today during the keynote for its Worldwide Developers Conference. Called Snow Leopard, the 64-bit OS will be available as an upgrade to Mac OS X Leopard users starting in September for $29. There will also be also a five-license family version for $49.

Snow Leopard will use 6GB less hard drive space than the previous version, the company said.

Apple also debuted new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops today during the keynote for its Worldwide Developers Conference. Both will use the same battery currently built into the 17-inch version. Apple claims the battery will last 7 hours; in our tests of the 17-inch MacBook, we got 6.5 hours of battery life.

Both will also have an SD slot instead of an ExpressCard slot, and illuminated keyboards. The company says it improved the LED backlit displays. Options for the 15-inch version include up to a 500GB hard drive or 256GB solid-state drive. Prices range from $1,700 for a model with a 250GB hard drive to $2,300 for one with a 500GB drive . The 13-inch MacBook Pro (yes, the 13-inch laptop is now also part of the Pro line) will cost $1,200 to $1,500 with a 120GB to 250GB hard drive and 2 to 4GB of RAM.

Prices are dropping on other MacBooks, the company announced. The 17-inch MacBook will start at $2,500, a price drop of $300, with a 500GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. The price of the MacBook Air will start at $1,500 with a 120GB hard drive and $1,800 with a 128GB solid-state drive.

Safari also gets an upgrade today, with Apple releasing Safari 4. Since plug-ins are the leading cause of browser crashes, Apple said, it’s changed the way Safari operates so when you encounter a problem with a plug-in, only the plug-in crashes and your browser windows stay open. —Donna Tapellini

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A whole week of me on TV!

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Apple’s big day arrives: The rumors and the reality

This afternoon, Apple will open its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with its attention-grabbing keynote, known for headline-generating announcements. And as usual, in the weeks leading up to the keynote, rumors are flying about new Apple product choices.

While these are just rumors, computer fans enjoy the pre-launch drama. So we thought we’d bring you a quick list of the most persistent rumors. Come back later this afternoon for the real story.

First big rumor, and the one with the most street cred: a new iPhone. Engadget teams with Daring Fireball and says that the next iPhone will have twice the RAM, double the speed, and a video camera. Price: $200 to $300. Another iPhone improvement to look for? Longer battery life.

Next up: a tablet version of the Mac. Same rumor popped up last year, and it’s being revisited this year. CNET says fuhgeddaboutit until 2010. But here’s an overview of how such a tablet might look

Speaking of the Mac, Snow Leopard is the next incarnation of OS X. What might we expect to learn during the keynote? Not a lot, according to Mac Rumors.

Finally, Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing will be presenting the keynote for Apple. Any possibility that Steve Jobs will show up? Lots of “will he” or “won’t he” rumors flying, but we’ll have to wait a few hours to see what really happens.

Meanwhile, chime in with your own Mac gossip.

Check back here this afternoon for our take on the announcements.

And earlier, as the news comes in, follow my colleague, Jeff Fox, live on Twitter. —Donna Tapellini

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Get prepared for a week of Me TV!

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Get prepared for a week of Me TV!

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