Apple reinvents the Mac

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Design

Apple unveils the post- iPad Mac

Apple's oldest product was given a new look yesterday at the 'Back to the Mac' event. The conference, at the company's California headquarters, saw some decidedly iPad-influenced innovations announced by CEO Steve Jobs.

The new MacBook Air is just 0.3cm thick at the narrowest point, and the 29.5cm-screen version weighs just 950g. It features a glass trackpad, a 30-day standby battery life, and an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU. TechCrunch was prompted to comment "think of it as an iPad with a keyboard".

Just like the iPad, the new MacBook has been built without a disk drive and spinning hard drive. Instead, the Apple website says it is "built completely around flash storage". Removing all packaging and using only the chips themselves "frees up around 90 per cent more space", but means all new programmes will have to be transferred by USB or download.

Applying past success

Another similarity to the i-series is the introduction of FaceTime video calling service, and the App Store for Mac. The latter is an attempt to replicate the massive success of the original App Store, which recently surpassed 7 billion downloads. Mashable reported that there would still be a 70/30 profit split between Apple and commercial developers, and submissions will begin in November.

The opportunity to reach a wider audience, and develop apps for a device with a keyboard and full-sized screen, has been met with widespread approval. All of this will be supported by the new Lion OS X 10.7, which Jobs claimed is a fusion of iOS and OS X. The OS will be available in summer 2011, but the app store will go live in 90 days. The MacBook Air is out now.