Apple Begins Selling $69 OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive

After many rumors and speculation, Apple has finally released its OS X Lion USB thumb drive. Since OS X Lion is only available via the Mac App Store, the thumb drive is intended for users without a broadband connection.

OS X Lion Thumb Drive

9To5Mac reports that the thumb drive is available for purchase via Apple’s online store for $69. Apple had pre-annnouced that they would be making the USB stick available for purchase back in July. The USB stick comes loaded with the OS X Lion installation without any need to download it over the internet.

OS X Lion is available on a USB thumb drive for installation without the need for a broadband Internet connection. Just plug the drive into your USB port and follow the instructions to install. OS X Lion is also available for a lower price as a digital download from the Mac App Store.

For $69,00, the  USB thumb drive costs $39.01 more than the version through the Mac App Store. OS X Lion is still available through the    Mac App Store for $29.99.

Apple Launches $999 iMac for Educational Institutions

iMac Education ModelThis morning, Apple has announced a new lower cost $999 iMac for education institutions. The new low-end model is being advertised as “Education only” and is not available to individuals. The new iMac is available for purchase via Apple’s Higher Educational online store and the specs have been published online too.

  • 3.1GHz Intel Core i3 Dual-Core
  • 21.5-inch LCD
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750 with 256MB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 250GB Hard Drive
  • SuperDrive
  • OS X Lion

This new iMac offers a mini Display Port, but no Thunderbolt port, which is interesting because all other Macs that are currently for sale offer a Thunderbolt port. The next higher model is $1149 and offers a 2.5GHz Quad-Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.

In the past, Apple has offered exclusive education only models for institutions. Possibly, these educational purchases may be more price sensitive than the rest of the market, and Apple has adjusted the pricing of the hardware so it fits the $1000 price point. In addition, Apple offers even an even cheaper 20″ iMac for $899. This iMac features an Intel Core 2 Duo and does not include OS X Lion.

Apple Now Accepting Mac App Store Apps for OS X Lion

Apple has started to notify developers  to submit Mac App Store submissions for OS X Lion. Yesterday, Apple sent  out an email to developers  saying that OS X Lion will “soon be available to millions of Mac users around the world.”  They want to ensure that Mac apps are OS X Lion compatible so they can be available on the Mac App Store when OS X Lion ships sometime this month.

OS X Lion dev email

Apple has said that OS X Lion will become available later this month, and rumors have suggested a launch date for the 14th. Once released, OS X Lion will only be available via the Mac App Store.

Apple Retail Stores Making Preparations For OS X Lion and New MacBook Airs Launch Next Week?

A number of reports today suggest that Apple may launch OS X Lion next week. In addition, new MacBook Airs and other hardware updates are likely to follow on or soon after OS X Lion debuts.

9 to 5 Mac reports that Apple has scheduled “overnights”  for July 13th where store layouts and promotional materials are tweaked and store management is briefed on new products. The source offered no information on exactly what will take place during next week’s overnights.

OS X Lion

Also, AppleInsider backs up the claim with its own report by mentioning “overnights” scheduled for next week, however the source  did not offer a specific day for the changes. Also, sources say that Apple is requiring that a number of display machines in its retail stores have their RAM upgraded by this Sunday, possibly for the OS X Lion launch.

Different sources  for the report indicate  that Apple is preparing OS X Lion for a launch next week, with new MacBook Airs possibly set for an introduction the following week. Retail sources have also indicated that  Apple may be inviting some customers to download Lion at their local retail stores next week in order to receive assistance if needed.  No other updates for the Mac lineup is expected since they have been recently updated.

Apple Posts Final Cut Pro X FAQ

Final Cut Pro X FAQ

Last week, Apple released a new version of Final Cut Pro, and since then they have received lots of criticism for the lack of features. Today, Apple has posted a FAQ in response to the criticism and questions from customers.

Final Cut Pro X is a breakthrough in nonlinear video editing. The application has impressed many pro editors, and it has also generated a lot of discussion in the pro video community. We know people have questions about the new features in Final Cut Pro X and how it compares with previous versions of Final Cut Pro. Here are the answers to the most common questions we’ve heard.

It seems that the FAQ addresses many of the concerns David Pogue mentioned in his article which  included  responses from Apple product managers.

One of major complaints about Final Cut Pro X, is the lack of ability to import old projects from Final Cut Pro 7. Apple responded by saying that due to the many changes there was no way to “translate” old projects without losing or changing data.  In addition, Apple promises that Final Cut Pro X will support  Multicam editing. Apple says that this feature will be added in the “”next major release”.

The rest of the FAQ provides additional  details that may be of interest to Final Cut Pro X users.

Apple Maybe Making More Profit Selling One Mac Than HP Does From 7 PCs

Apple Logo

A new blog post by  high school student Matt Richman titled  “A Consequence of Losing the PC Wars” compares  Apple’s profit margin from the sale of Macs to HP’s sales of PCs. The numbers which are revealed are mind blowing.

According to the report,  Richman reports that  Apple accumulated  $4.976 billion in revenue from the sale of 3.76 million Macs during their previous quarter, giving a Mac an average selling price of $1,323.40. Richman then multiplied that number by a 28% gross margin for Mac sales from Jefferies & Co  to arrive at a profit of $370.55 per Mac sold.

A June 1st research note from Peter Misek of Jefferies & Company pegged Mac gross margins at 28%. Multiply $1,323.40 by .28 and Apple makes $370.55 for every Mac sold.

In comparison, HP’s PCs  brought in  $9.415 billion in revenue and returned a profit of $533 million last quarter. Hewlett Packard’s  operating margin, which doesn’t include  overhead costs, came in at 5.66%.

HP’s Personal Systems Group, the division at HP that sells PCs,  brought in$9.415 billion in revenue and turned a profit of $533 million last quarter. Their operating margin, which doesn’t factor in overhead costs, was 5.66%. If we assume they spent 1% of their $9.415 billion in revenue — $94.15 million — on operations, then their profit margin was 6.66%. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and make it 8%.

Richman says that  “If we assume they spent 1% of their $9.415 billion in revenue — $94.15 million — on operations, then their profit margin was 6.66%…But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and make it 8%.”.

With an average selling price of $650 and a profit margin of 8 percent, HP would be making approximately $52 on the sale of each PC, translating to “Apple makes more money from the sale of one Mac than HP does from selling seven PCs.”

Wootish is the StumbleUpon of Apple’s App Stores

As any iOS or Mac OS X user knows, one of the worst things about the App Stores available to us is that it is often hard to discover new and interesting apps. You could search on the Internet, or try to dig through the lists that Apple puts together, but it’s not always the most interesting thing to do. That’s where Wootish comes in.

If you are familiar with the popular web discovery application StumbleUpon, then you will understand the idea behind Wootish. What Wootish is designed to do is to collect information about what apps you are interested in for what platforms, and then it offers suggestions for you to look at.

Using Wootish to Discover Apps

Wootish Starting Screen

Using Wootish is actually very simple. When you first load the website, you will see a screen like the one above. Follow the instructions, and select your devices, desired app categories, and price range from the drop down menus towards the top of the page. Once you do that, you can hit ‘Discover’.

You will be offered one app at a time to look at. You can look at the screenshots, the description, and even see the rating of the app. The one feature that I can say I wish Wootish had was the ability to read reviews from within the web page.

If you decide that you are interested in an app that Wootish shows you, there is a ‘Download’ link on the left side of the page. Clicking that link will send you to the iTunes page for the app, and even open iTunes to download it. If you are browsing on your iOS device, then you will be given the App Store page for the app instead.

Wootish: Where it Falls Short

As I said above, I really wish that Wootish had the comments within its web interface. While they are easy to access via the iTunes/App Store link, it’s inconvenient to leave the page. I also noticed that whenever I selected ‘Free’ in the ‘Price’ menu, I got an error like the one below. I hope they get that fixed soon.

Wootish SQL Error

Another feature that I wish Wootish had is language filtering. While using it, I got multiple hits in  languages  that I do not speak or read. If there was a simple tick box to select a language, it would  improve  the  experience  significantly.

Overall, I think Wootish is a great way to discover new apps. I recommend that you check it out if you are an iOS or Mac OS X user.

GitHub Releases a Desktop Client for Mac

Social Coding Platform GitHub's LogoThe popular social programming platform,  GitHub, released a Mac version of their desktop application today. For the unaware, GitHub is a website aimed at giving programmers the ability to share code and changes across the internet. It is immensely popular among open source programmers, as well as being used by major companies like Facebook.

The Mac client is one of the best executions that I have seen of GitHub. On top of being very functional, with the ability to pull in both local and internet based repositories, it is very beautiful. Once you download the file and install the app, you can start it up. You will be asked to log into your GitHub account, and from there, you can connect to any repositories that you are a part of.

Unfortunately, I am not really a computer programmer. I have dabbled in some Java and C, but I am not an active user of GitHub. As such, I cannot give a full hearted review of the application or the service. According to the coders I have spoken to about it, GitHub has become an industry standard.

I know that I make use of GitHub to monitor the progress of my Android ROM of choice, CyanogenMod. I check out the commits, comment on the added features, and even directly interact with the coders. I look forward to digging into the features of this desktop client to see how it pertains to my use of GitHub.

I feel like nothing but good can come from having a desktop version of this. The ability to focus more on your work and less on Facebook has to be a good thing. I know that I work better when I write my articles from a desktop client instead of doing it in the browser window.

If you want to see what the GitHub client looks like on Mac, then check out the screen shots below. You can download it by heading over to GitHub.

GitHub Mac Client

Apple Releases Final Cut Pro X, Cuts Express Version

Apple released the newest version of their video editing suite, Final Cut Pro, this morning. The newest edition, which is number 10, includes a host of new features and updates that will make any Final Cut fan happy.

Apple Final Cut Pro X

Some of the most talked about features in the newest version of Final Cut Pro include native 64-bit support, meaning that the award-winning video editing platform can take full advantage of all the ram available in 64-bit versions of OS X. This means support for more than 4 GB of RAM.

The fans of Final Cut are also excited about the new editing system that Apple calls ‘Magnetic Timeline.’ This trackless system of editing, which resembles the system used by Adobe in their Premier software, makes the process of creating high quality edited video much simpler for the user.

While the new additions are part of the draw of upgrading to Final Cut Pro X, another major reason is to get the updated software. As with every software update release, Apple has included many bug fixes and patches with Final Cut Pro X. However, there is a rather glaring omission from Apple’s newest Final Cut release.

The major complaint from Mac users regarding the release of Final Cut Pro X is around the fact that Apple will not be releasing an Express version of the software. In the past, the steep price tag of the Final Cut suite has kept many users away from the full version, instead opting for the more reasonably priced Express version.

Apple justifies its decision by offering the Pro version of Final Cut for only $299. They say that this price is much more accessible to the average users of Final Cut. The suite can be completed by purchasing the Motion and Compression apps for $49 each. All three applications are available in the Mac App Store.

[via AppleInsider]


Apple Updates Time Capsule

Time Capsule
Before WWDC 2011, many rumors of an updated Time Capsule started appearing. Today, Apple has announced an updated version of their 2TB and  3TB Time Capsules. Time Capsule allows Mac owners to backup their data via Time Machine. The new 2TB Time Capsule is available for $299 and the 3TB for $499. There’s no mention of new features besides storage capacities.
In addition, Apple has made a few changes to their promotional pages for AirPort Extreme. This leads me to believe that the  device has also received an update. However,  no details on spec changes have been revealed. Pricing for the AirPort Extreme remains the same at $179.