Weekly Wrap: Thunderbolt blazes, the TouchPad's okay, and Lion's almost here

As our nation celebrates its independence, perhaps you feel guilty about exploiting yours. Sure, you’re free to skip out on reading Macworld.com every once in a while—but when in the course of Apple-centric events it becomes necessary for one reader to catch up on what he or she missed, the Weekly Wrap is always happy to help.

I remember now why they call it Thunderbolt

It turns out Thunderbolt is pretty stinking fast. In our lab tests, Thunderbolt made FireWire 800 look like a floppy disk. If you actually want to put your new Mac’s Thunderbolt port to work, you’ll want to grab Apple’s Thunderbolt firmware update, along with its new $49, FAQ-worthy Thunderbolt cable. You also might want to try to procure a loan, if you’re desperate to pick up one of the new, professional-grade Thunderbolt RAIDs.

Comparing Apple to oranges

Macworld editorial director Jason Snell spent some time with HP’s new TouchPad and offered up this first look. As I read it, the TouchPad is to the iPad as, say, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” is to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” You can appreciate the new one’s painfully clear homage to the original, but it’s easier to love the original. The TouchPad, while impressive on some levels, just isn’t ready for the tablet big leagues.

Microsoft Office 365 officially went live this week, and we wrote up what it means for Mac and iOS users. No matter how much attention Microsoft pays to its new cloud service, we doubt senior contributor Andy Ihnatko will ever compare it—as he did with Apple’s iCloud—to God.

Big Mac

Apple has promised that Lion’s coming in July, and by gum if my calendar doesn’t say we’re in July right now. Any final preparation you need to ready your Mac for Lion’s unveiling needs to get handled, stat. Your Lion trainer and mine, Chris Breen, shared a few final tips on Lion application compatibility. He also wrote up a walkthrough for those of you still clinging to AppleWorks documents; Snow Leopard is the end of the road for AppleWorks, so if you don’t want to lose access to your old files after your Lion upgrade, make sure you read through Chris’s advice. We also want to let you AppleWorks devotees know that, not too long ago, Apple released a very cool cellphone that you may not have heard about yet.

The Mac IT Guy wrote up what Lion means for businesses; if nothing else, we’re certain that Apple’s new operating system is better for your business than an actual wild lion.

In the never-ending saga that is the Final Cut Pro X controversy, Apple published a FAQ on the software, declaring—among other things—that the app will never be able to import Final Cut Pro 7 projects. I wrote and published Macworld’s story on that FAQ by 6:40 a.m. my time, because of my passion for breaking news. Well, that and the fact that I live with three kids under five years old, so I was unsurprisingly awake anyway.

We shared eight feature requests for iTunes. Personally, all I want is for iTunes to do more stuff, beyond music playback, app, music, movie, and book shopping, iPod and iOS device syncing, podcast discovery, and Ping. Okay, I don’t want it to do Ping at all, actually. Speaking of iTunes, we offered some advice on how to keep your music—along with your photos, and the rest of your Mac’s data—safe when you’re traveling.

Reviews

Oh say, we did rate
Software lousy and great
Gems like Launcher and Fake
Both of which made us happy
Witness, Undock, MiRow
Each is quite good, you know
But iPhone flower apps—
turns out they’re mostly crappy
Need an iPad 2 case?
You’ve come to the right place!
Prefer Mac bag reviews?
Then enjoy Chartier’s
Oh hey, we reviewed cameras
And a fun but buggy word game
And DTerm scored four full mice
Audition earned the same

Everything else

We shared a hint on publishing your iWebsite to Dropbox, tips on taking photos of fireworks (example: Use non-flammable cameras), and an Automator workflow for moving files from subfolders.

Apple's legal woes with Samsung and Kodak are ongoing. I expect we'll see some real fireworks soon.

With that, you’re pretty caught up on the past week at Macworld. And I’m off to find some sparklers.

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