Apple event yields FaceTime, App Store for Mac, showcases OS X Lion

mac-press-eventDuring today’s “Back to the Mac” Apple press event (watch the complete video here), Apple chief executive, Steve Jobs, made a number of important announcements that saw new exciting products and feature add-ons to existing products.

One of many notable announcements, Apple today announced that its hugely popular App Store found on iOS devices like the iPhone 4, will be available on Mac computers starting in about three months from now.

The Mac App Store version will include popular apps found on iOS, with about 70-percent of the apps being free, and the remaining being paid, according to Apple.

The company also used the event to launch FaceTime video chat for Mac computers, finally allowing Mac computer users to participate in video conferencing with iPhone users.

FaceTime was previously exclusive to iPhone 4 devices, but Apple had already said that it would open the service up to allow cross-platform video conferencing. It finally done so today, even though it might not really be construed as cross-platform since it only works on Apple operating systems.

On October 8, Yahoo released an updated version of its Messenger application on the iPhone (available on the App Store now) which brings true multi-platform video chat with the iPhone through the use of Yahoo Messenger.

Specifically to the App Store version for the Mac, Mr. Jobs said during the press event today, which was live streamed on the Internet by the company, that the app download process would be seamless with a single click download and install, and would include automatic push updates. They would also support full screen resolution.

Apple also used the event to unveil the next large update to its Mac OS X operating system, OS X Lion, which will include various new features, including Mission Control, which essentially is a new user interface that consolidates Exposé, Spaces, and the Dashboard features all into a single user interface. Additionally, existing features such as Exposé include new enhancements, such as grouping, designed to make it easier to navigate through opened applications.

The new Mission Control user interface will be exclusive to OS X Lion, which is slated for release by September 2011. The company did not release pricing, or a more specific release date.

OS X Lion also includes native support for multi-touch, but the company says it would not be releasing Mac computers with touch-screen displays because it is not intuitive for people to use. Instead, the company would utilize glass mouse track-pads on Macbook computers that would include various multi-touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, among other gestures.

The company also showcased a new version of its popular iLife productivity software, and unveiled an updated Macbook Air line, with the upper end model boasting a 1.86GHz Core2Duo processor with 256GB of flash storage for $1,600.

macbook-air-usbFor the first time, Apple will offer MacBook Air users a specifically designed USB stick that includes system files to re-install OS X, iLife and iWorks, as the MacBook Air still does not have an optical drive included given its slim design.

On October 18, Apple reported record quarterly earnings for the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, reporting $20.34-billion in revenue and $4.31-billion in net profit for the period.

In after hours trading, the Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) is trading down, but nearly at par from today’s closing stock price of $310.53 (up from the opening price 0.34-percent).


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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to hercules@business2press.com
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  • http://www.axvoice.com Home Phone Service

    An app store for Mac OS, eh? How long until Apple blocks all apps from other sources “to improve the user experience”?

    • Guest

      Not likely. The computer market is utterly different from the one for phones.

    • Guest

      Not likely. The computer market is utterly different from the one for phones.

  • http://www.axvoice.com Home Phone Service

    An app store for Mac OS, eh? How long until Apple blocks all apps from other sources “to improve the user experience”?

  • http://messigirlfriend.com/ SANA IRFAN KHAN

    i think apple’s new products will make good impact in market

  • http://messigirlfriend.com/ SANA IRFAN KHAN

    i think apple’s new products will make good impact in market

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