Apple Launches $0.99 Mac FaceTime App on Mac App Store

Today is one busy day for Apple, they have just officially launched the FaceTime for Mac App on the Mac App Store for $0.99

The app was in public beta before this, but with the imminent launch of the new MacBook Pros, Apple has launched version 1.0. New MacBook Pro owners will get FaceTime pre-installed, so it appears as if this download is only for existing Mac customers.

Although buyers of new MacBook Pros should have it come preinstalled on their machines, if you want FaceTime on your existing Mac, it’s going to cost you $0.99 and is available through the Mac App Store

According to the Apple website:

Simple to Get Started
• Setup is quick and easy – just enter your Apple ID.
• With just one click, you can make a video call to an iPhone 4, an iPod touch, or another Mac.

Easy-to-Organize Contacts
• Make calls using your existing Address Book contacts – you don’t have to enter your contacts from scratch.
• Add the people you call most often to your Favorites list.
• Quickly review your past calls with Recents.

High-Definition Video
• Receive HD video calls at up to 720p on supported, Intel-based Macs.*
• A Mac with a standard-definition camera delivers up to VGA-quality video for Mac-to-Mac calls.

Elegant Interface
• Window and playback controls fade away so the focus stays on your conversation.
• View transitions smoothly when an iPhone 4 or iPod touch user switches from front to rear cameras or from portrait to landscape views.
• FaceTime’s widescreen aspect ratio makes it easy for families and groups to participate in a call.
• Enjoy your video call full screen, using every inch of your beautiful Mac display.

Ring Anywhere, Any Time
• Incoming calls ring on your Mac, even if FaceTime isn’t running.
• If you have more than one Mac, incoming calls ring on every one so you can answer on the Mac that’s most convenient.

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Apple Introduces Thunderbolt

Not only the Apple Store got a major new release, the whole Apple site got an overhaul and now includes information about a lot of their new cool features. The website now includes an overview of Thunderbolt, which they all-but-confirm is Light Peak and designed in collaboration with Intel Labs (who has their own press conference scheduled for later this morning).

According to Apple Thunderbolt is up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and twice as fast as USB 3.0. It’s a single cable that consolidates almost all existing ports, from FireWire to USB to miniDisplay to eSATA. This is one cable to rule them all.

And even though the new MacBook Pros come with only one Thunderbolt port, it shouldn’t matter for end users: two 10Gbps channels on the same connector mean you can daisy chain multiple high-speed, data-intensive devices and multiple displays to the same port without using a hub… and without reducing performance.

thunder

“Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro.”

NEW MacBook Pros are here!!!!

When the Apple Store came back online, one of the major changes was the new MacBook Pros

As expected the new MacBook Pros make the leap to Intel’s new architecture, Sandy Bridge, starting with the 13-incher’s 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU and stretching all the way up to the $2499 17-incher’s 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor.

Furthermore, the MacBook Pro has seen some minor enhancements, too: the entire lineup has dropped in weight, and all models feature a slightly larger trackpad than before, and they include a ‘FaceTime HD’ camera versus the iSight of previous models.

Specs copied from our friends at TUAW.com

13″ MacBook Pro:

  • CPU: 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with a 3 MB shared L3 cache or 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 processor with 4MB shared L3 cache
  • Display: 13.3-inch LED-Backlit with 1280×800 resolution; Glossy only
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM clocked at 1333 MHz (2×2 GB), supports up to 8 GB
  • HDD: 320 or 500 GB, 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard drive; optional 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB solid-state drive
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384 MB DDR3 SDRAM shared memory
  • Other features: FaceTime HD camera, 8X slot-loading SuperDrive, Thunderbolt High-Speed E/A and Mini-DisplayPort, 802.11N WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, SDXC, FireWire 800, USB 2.0.
  • Price: Starting at $1199

15″ MacBook Pro:

  • CPU: 2.0 or 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor with 6 MB L3 Cache; optional 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with 8MB shared L3 cache
  • Display: 15.4-inch LED-Backlit with 1440 x 900 resolution; Glossy or Anti-Glare
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM clocked at 1333 MHz (2×2 GB), supports up to 8 GB
  • HDD: 500 or 750 GB, 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard drive; optional 750GB 5400-rpm hard drive, 500GB 7200-rpm hard drive, or 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB solid-state drive
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256 MB GDDR5 RAM or AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1 GB GDDR5 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Other features: FaceTime HD camera, 8X slot-loading SuperDrive, Thunderbolt High-Speed E/A and Mini-DisplayPort, 802.11N WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, SDXC, FireWire 800, USB 2.0.
  • Price: Starting at $1,799

17″ MacBook Pro:

  • CPU: 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor with 6 MB L3 Cache; optional 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with 8MB shared L3 cache
  • Display: 17-inch LED-Backlit with 1920 x 1200 resolution; Glossy or Anti-Glare
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM clocked at 1333 MHz (2×2 GB), supports up to 8 GB
  • HDD: 750 GB, 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard drive; optional 500GB 7200-rpm hard drive or 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB solid-state drive
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1 GB GDDR5 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Other features: FaceTime HD camera, 8X slot-loading SuperDrive, Thunderbolt High-Speed E/A and Mini-DisplayPort, 802.11N WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, ExpressCard/34 slot, FireWire 800, USB 2.0.
  • Price: Starting at $2,499

Apple officially to unveil new iPad during March 2 event!

iPad2

This is the news we have all been waiting for, it’s official: The iPad 2 launch will be March 2.

Journalists are receiving press invites to a special media event on March 2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. And Apple has already begun preparing the site for the event.
Event

“Come see what 2011 will be all about,” says the invite. Looks like Apple is pretty confident about the iPad 2.

It will be interesting to what the new iPad wil look like and what the specs will be like, we find it rather interesting that the only App which appears in the picture is the map App, could Apple have something planned here or is this simply a coincidence.

It will be interesting to see who will present the new device, will it be Tim Cook or will Steve come out of his hiatus.

The event starts at 10:00 am. It’s the same venue Apple traditionally uses to introduce products. We will keep you updated on where to follow the event!