9:42 PT - Dan Moren: Good morning and welcome (virtually) to Moscone West as we cover Apple's WWDC keynote event. I'm Macworld Associate Editor Dan Moren alongside Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell and we'll be with you throughout the next couple hours as Phil Schiller and a coterie of Apple executives show off the latest developments in the world of Apple.
9:44 PT - DM: The crowd is still assembling, and the only hint we have so far is a giant Apple logo on the main screen. I know. Exciting, right?
9:46 PT - Jason Snell: Here's your musical interlude for the day. They're playing Radiohead. "15 Step."
9:56 PT - DM: Mr. Voiceover is welcoming us to the conference. And now they're going to ask us to turn off our phones and pagers (I would hate to be the one dude in the crowd with a pager—I'm looking at you, Doogie Howser).
9:56 PT - JS: Can you feel the electricity building? We can. They ought to rename Moscone West "the Electricity Building."
9:58 PT - DM: Current musical selection: "You, Me & The Bourgeoisie" by The Submarines which you may recognize from one of Apple's commercials.
10:00 PT - DM: The lights are coming down. Let's get ready to rock with a side of roll.
10:01 PT - DM: And here's PC (John Hodgman) on the screen, welcoming us to the WWDC conference. Now he's doing a second take, welcoming us *again* to the WWDC. "A week with some innovation, but not too much, please." Don't you think 1 billion apps is enough? Maybe you could float a few ideas my way? "Cancelled, get out." And here's Mac. "What PC's trying to say is 'Have a great conference.'"
10:02 PT - DM: And here's Phil Schiller. Blue collared shirt (untucked! bold, Phil). "We have an amazing week planned for you. It's incredible." Over 5200 developers from 54 countries here. Best level of excitement for the conference yet. Here's a chart of OS X active users in the first five full years of OS X, 2002-2007. Actual active users, up to 25 million. But over the last two years, there's been a huge spike, approaching 75 million. Tripled the number of active users and installed base of customers. "No wonder everybody's trying to race behind us and follow in our footsteps."
10:04 PT - JS: Interesting, because they're rolling iPhone numbers into the "OS X" installed base. Because it runs "OS X."
10:04 PT - DM: Bertrand Serlet, SVP of OS X and Scott Forstall, SVP iPhone software will come out to talk as well. We're going to start out talking about the Mac. Majority of new customers choose notebooks when they buy a new Mac. Starting with MacBook Air, notebooks use the unibody construction. Sturdier, made of beautiful materials, packed with features, insanely thin and light. Then the 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch MacBooks to follow. All have done extremely well. Even though Apple has a huge lead, they don't want to stop, and they want to extend that lead.
10:06 PT - DM: Brand new version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Built on the unibody architecture. Revolutionary built-in battery (à la the 17-inch's non-replaceable). Up to 7 hours of battery life. 2 hours longer than before; 40% greater battery life. And it's more environmentally friendly. Most batteries get 300 recharge cycles; new lithium polymer batteries get over 1,000 recharge cycles. Typical notebook user gets 5 years of life before seeing diminished battery life. Most customers won't need to change the battery in their notebook. With competitors, users go through a lot more batteries. New model is just as thin, just as light.
10:08 PT - DM: 15-inch has the "nicest display we've ever put in an notebook." 60% better color gamut. In place of Express Card slot there's a SD card slot. Why an SD card slot? Most customers have digital cameras, and you can plug it in with a USB cable, but customers like popping out SD card. Pop it right into the MacBook Pro, and you're good. And more.
10:07 PT - JS: Interesting - of course Apple knows it will hear criticism of having no swappable battery, but the upside is longer life. Apple must feel like most people just don't swap batteries. It would be nice if there was more third-party support for external backup power, though.
10:09 PT - DM: Fastest notebook we've ever made. Up to 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, with 6MB L2 cache, up to 8GB of 1066MHz DDR3. Up to 500 GB 7200rpm hard drive or up to 256GB SSD. And it costs just $1699—$300 less. Standard starts at 2.53GHz, 4GB of RAM, 250GB HD, 9400M Nvidia graphics, SD Card slot for $1699. At $1999, 2.66Ghz, 320GB hard drive, both 9400M+9600M GT graphics, and the highest end is $2299 ($200 less expensive than before). 2.8GHz, 500GB HD. New configurations of 15-inch MacBook Pro.
10:11 PT - DM: The 17-inch configuration gets updated. 2.8GHz, 500GB hard drive, and the 17-inch retains the ExpressCard slot for pros. And it's just $2499. All of these are shipping today.
10:11 PT - JS: Finally, Apple puts an SD slot on the agenda. Interesting that they're ditching the ExpressCard slot on all but the 17-inch model.
10:11 PT - DM: And then there's the 13-inch unibody design. Updated, with the same built-in battery. It gets up to 7 hours of battery life. 2 hours longer than before, 40% more battery life, same dimensions. It has the new 60% greater color gamut display. And it has the SD card slot as well. Challenge to fit (looks like there may be no audio input?). At what point isn't this a MacBook Pro? What can we add to make it a MacBook Pro?
10:13 PT - DM: 13-inch can also take up to 8GB; up to 500GB of storage, or 256GB SSD. The built-in backlit LED keyboard is standard as well. And it's got FireWire 800 port. MacBook Pro deserves it. So the 13-inch is bumped up to "MacBook Pro" and it starts at just $1199. Less expensive than the 13-inch aluminum MacBook it replaces.
10:14 PT - DM: Standard configs: $1199 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, 9400M graphics, 160GB hard drive, SD card slot; $1499, 2.53GHz, 4GB memory, 250GB hard drive. And it's available today. And that completes the MacBook Pro family. Most affordable lineup ever.
10:15 PT - DM: Just a week or so ago, updated white MacBook. So to complete the picture, also bumping up the MacBook Air. $1499 gets you 1.86GHz, 2GB memory, 120GB; and a 2.13GHz with 128GB, that's $1799 and that's $700 less expensive than previous configuration.
10:15 PT - JS: Very cool to see the Air come down in price, since it's an appealing light laptop but its price was just out of whack with the rest of the laptop line. It's closer in whack now.
10:16 PT - DM: Also very environmentally friendly. Every MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air meets the EPEAT Gold standard and Energy Star version 5 coming out this summer. World's greenest lineup of notebooks.
10:16 PT - DM: Great hardware deserves great software. So to hear about Mac OS X, here comes Bertrand Serlet. Also wearing a blue collared shirt, but he's got it tucked in.
10:17 PT - DM: Leopard is the most successful software product Apple has ever had, like Cover Flow, Quick Look, Time Machine. What a sharp contrast with Windows Vista. Showing quotes from PC Mag, InfoWeek talking about Vista. Microsoft has dug a good hole for itself with Windows Vista; Windows 7 is built on the same technologies: registry, DLLs, the User Account Control, defragging hard drive. And in Windows 7, even more complexity for users. Windows 7 is just another version of Vista.
10:19 PT - DM: Proud of Leopard, so when it became time to think about the next big cat, they decided to call it Snow Leopard to build on Leopard. Build a better Leopard. What does that mean? First, lots of refinements across board. Second, powerful new technologies and third, Exchange support.
10:19 PT - DM: First, refinements. Mac OS X is made up of a lot of projects, so for Snow Leopard, they've decided to refine over 90% of those projects. The Finder, for example. Didn't change the UI of it, and rewrote it using Cocoa and from that rewrite, lots of little benefits. A lot of things are faster for example.
10:20 PT - DM: In Leopard, beautiful 3D dock. But sometimes too much clutter, so they've built Expose into the dock. Click and hold on an app icon and it shows you all the windows for that app.
10:21 PT - DM: Install is now up to 45% faster, and after you install, you recover 6GB of disk space, over half the footprint of the OS, thanks to tech like file system compression.
10:22 PT - JS: As advertised previously, Apple is selling Snow Leopard as an incremental improvement on Leopard, with small nice touches plus improved speed and better use of resources.
10:22 PT - DM: Preview has gotten faster, 2x faster for opening a JPEG. Text selection in PDF, doesn't always get logical. Use a little bit of AI to infer structure of text selection. Yes, text selection gets a round of applause.
10:22 PT - DM: Chinese input method. Why not use the trackpad? You can draw characters with your finger (looks a lot like the iPhone's Chinese input method).
10:23 PT - DM: Mail is even faster. 2.3x faster for moving messages, faster for search too.
10:23 PT - DM: Safari 4. Today, shipping Safari 4 for Leopard, Tiger, and Windows (XP and Vista). Unsurpassed sped; they claim it's faster than IE 8, Firefox 3, and even Chrome 2. Multiples of IE8 speed—Safari 4 is over 7x faster. And it passes the Acid3 test, 100%. IE8 passes only 21%. Safari 4 will be included in Snow Leopard. Couple extra features in Snow Leopard: crash resistance. Number one cause of crashes in OS X is browser plug ins (read: Flash); but when it crashes, you just see that part of your page broken, not a whole crash.
10:25 PT - JS: That's a little bit of a dig at Flash, yes, but there's also the Chrome issue. Google's big selling point with Chrome is that it's more stable and walls off separate pages into separate processes. Seems like Apple's making similar claims here for Safari under Snow Leopard.
10:26 PT - DM: QuickTime has a fancy new icon, shiny and purple. All new QuickTime X in Snow Leopard. Modern foundation, hardware acceleration, ColorSync, and new technology for streaming, HTTP streaming. Works with any webserver, like an Apache server. Also change the User Interface. Looks a lot like QuickLook window, and even the title bar goes away when it's inactive.
10:27 PT - DM: We're going to take a look at some of the features and little touches. Craig Federighi, VP of Mac OS Engineering is going to come talk about the refinements. Three areas to cover.
10:27 PT - DM: Dock and the Finder. First up, Stacks. In Snow Leopard, Stacks handles large contents better than ever, you can now scroll through a large Stack, and you can drill into sub-folders. In Icon view in the Finder, there's now a magnificiation slider, and the icons are live previews, so you can play movies, page through PDFs, etc.
10:28 PT - DM: Dock Expose. Lots of windows open by the end of the day. Usually know which app has the window looking for. If you click and hold on the app icon in the dock, and you get a look at all the images. (It also looks smoother, and they've relocated the title). You can zoom in on a window without leaving Expose. And moving content across windows is easier. Dock Expose into Finder, find the image, and drag it to Mail to get Mail Expose, get the correct window and drop it in.
10:31 PT - JS: Apple spending some of its demo focusing on user productivity in Snow Leopard. You know, it might not make big waves at a press event, but it's the sort of thing that makes people feel they're enjoying their Mac computing experience more, which can lead to more satisfied customers. Interesting that they're bringing it up here.
10:32 PT - DM: QuickTime X. Playback controls superimposed on video, and then everything fades away when you take the mouse off. Fade in when you mouseover. Ability to trim and share. Get a visual timeline of the video, can drag the endpoints with seamless scrubbing, click trim, and you get the edited clip. Can share to YouTube, MobileMe, or iTunes (for export to playback on iPhone).
10:34 PT - JS: The new QuickTime interface looks nice. So what happens when you open an audio file instead of a video file?
10:34 PT - DM: Just a few of the many touches to Snow Leopard. Bertrand's back.
10:34 PT - DM: Powerful new technologies as well. All these new resources: gigabytes of RAM; powerful processor at a frequency in GHz, multicore, 64-bit capable; and the GPU with enormous raw processing power. But to take advantage of it, you need the right software.