Just when we were about to get used to the current product names, Apple has either released or will be releasing a whole new line of products and software during the next few months. The new products include upgrades to the Apple operating systems (OS) and new versions of the iPhone, the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro, the iMac, the iPad, the iPod and other significant changes including introduction of the iCloud. Some of the news accounts are just rumors but many of the new products will actually see the light of day.
First a review of the products already released. Foremost in this category are the iPad 2 and the MacBook Air. Both of these new models are incremental upgrades (improvements) to the previously existing products. The MacBook Air became even thinner, now from .11 to .68 inches thick. The weight was reduced to 2.3 pounds. The computer is essentially either an 11.6-inch or 13.3 ince (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors. Historically, laptops have been not lighter than desktop computers, but also much lighter in computing capacity. The MacBook Air comes with either a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache; or optional 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache in the 11 inch model or in the 13 inch model, a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB on-chip shared L2 cache; or optional 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache. This is a serious computer despite its light weight and size.
The iPad 2 is both thinner and lighter than the original iPad. It is now only .34 thick and weighs 1.33 pounds. The new machine maintains the long battery life and impressive display and comes in both WiFi and WiFi+3G models. Chances are, if you haven't got one or know somebody who has one, you will soon. By the way, a Georgian (the country) teenager just got the World's Record for typing on an iPad, just when you thought you didn't have any other goals.
The iPhone and iPod Touch are both transitioning to Retina displays, HD video recording and FaceTime, the two-way video phone capability. The buzz in the computer world is presently about the iPhone 5, due out before the end of the year. What is known is that the iPhone will be slimmer and more powerful than the proceeding models.
I new, already released, iMac is now powered by a quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and DDR3 memory. The new computers come with the upgraded connectors, called Thunderbolt, from Intel although there are not yet many peripherals that support this faster connector.
On the software front, Apple is ready to release new versions of its operating system named OS-X Lion. With over 250 new features the new OS will have multi-touch gestures, full-screen apps, auto-save and versions and many other innovations. One addition with a lot of promise is AirDrop, Apple describes the process as follows: "With AirDrop, you can send files to anyone around you wirelessly — no Wi-Fi network required. And no complicated setup or special settings. Just click the AirDrop icon in the Finder sidebar, and your Mac automatically discovers other AirDrop users within about 30 feet of you. To share a file, simply drag it to someone’s name. Once accepted, the fully encrypted file transfers directly to that person’s Downloads folder."
With new iPhones, iPads and iPods, Apple is releasing iOS 5 the new operating system. Claiming to be even easier than the existing OS.
Last there is the iCloud, Apple's answer to online storage. As Apple claims "iCloud is seamlessly integrated into your apps, so you can access your content on all your devices. And it’s free with iOS 5."
As anyone who has talked to me for any length of time knows, I was one of the original Apple adopters, clear back in 1982. I realize the Apple has not yet made a huge inroad into the genealogy market, but with its dominance in sales, I am sure that Mac software and similar Apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod will soon become even more attractive than they are already.