Apple's Front Row media experience coming to iBook line

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple Computer appears ripe to extend its Front Row media experience to a new line of iBook consumer laptops this spring.



Introduced this past October, Apple's Front Row software offers users a simple and powerful way to play their music, enjoy photo slideshows, and watch video such as DVDs, iMovies, and programming purchased from the company's iTunes Music Store.



This spring Apple is expected to roll-out the a new series of iBook consumer laptops built around a 13-inch widescreen display. The new models will sport the first major design revision to the iBook in several years and come bundled with both Front Row and the Apple Remote, people familiar with the company's plans tell AppleInsider. Like Apple's new iMac Core Duo and MacBook Pro computers, the new iBooks will also feature a built-in iSight video cam and come bundled with the company's Photo Booth software, these people say.



Although processor specifications for the upcoming iBook series remain largely unconfirmed, it's only logical to assume the laptops will be powered by Intel's 1.67GHz Core Solo processor -- the only processor on the chip maker's roadmap suited for a laptop that is neither equal to, nor greater than, the Core Duo chips used in Apple's MacBook Pro laptops. As the name implies, Intel's Core Solo processors contain one processing core, compared to the Core Duo's two.



Keeping true to its roots, the iBook's industrial design is expected remain similar to the current models. One person who claims to have caught a glimpse of the nearly-finalized prototype describes it as a slightly-smaller cousin to the recently introduced MacBook Pro, but clad in iMac white. Meanwhile, rumors that Apple's Intel-based iBooks would arrive without support for FireWire are untrue, this person said. The new models are said to retain a single FireWire 400 port in addition to two USB 2.0 ports.



Although Apple has reportedly decided to base the new series of iBooks around a single enclosure and display size, it's still expected that the laptops will arrive in at least two retail configurations -- one with a SuperDrive and the other without. The latter model will fall within the sub-$1000 range currently occupied by the 12-inch PowerPC-based 1.33GHz iBook. All configurations will include an infrared sensor in the front of the laptop capable of communicating with the Apple Remote. This will allow users to control the included Front Row software on their iBook from up to 30 feet away.



Of interest, those people familiar with Apple's plans say the company at one point seriously considered adding a black-colored Intel iBook model to its offering. However, no such model has ever been seen, and with the development of the new laptops winding down, this option seems unlikely. The idea was reportedly inspired by the success of Apple's black iPods, which instantly became a hit with consumers when Apple introduced its iPod nano digital music player this past September.



It remains unknown whether Apple will re-brand the iBook under new name like it recently did with the PowerBook line.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 126
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Hooray! I get to control a 13" screen from 30' away!
  • Reply 2 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Hooray! I get to control a 13" screen from 30' away!



    When I first thought of Front Row on laptops, I thought it was a crazy idea too considering how small the screens are...



    ...but then I remembered that they can be hooked up to TV, projectors and large displays.



    Hopefully Front Row 2 will allow itself to be streamed to TVs using Airport Super Duper Express 802.11n.
  • Reply 3 of 126
    This is all fairly cool (and predictable).



    As a slight aside, I think the next few years of Mac design are going to be interesting...in their dullness. What I mean by this is that it looks like Apple has landed (with the laptops and the iMac and even the Mac mini) on a collection of form factors that have some legimitate staying power. I mean, at some point, there isn't much more that can be done with a laptop (form-wise). Even the iMac, if you pay attention, what Apple is doing is slowly making the computer disappear. Once it does, form-factor matters less and less. I think you'll continue to see thinner, smaller bezels, lighter, etc. You'll also see features like the backlit keyboard migrate through the whole product line. Maybe new materials. But the form of the things? It is difficult to imagine much new. Which I actually think is an okay thing. It elevates the OS and software and user experience even further.
  • Reply 4 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    This is all fairly cool (and predictable).



    As a slight aside, I think the next few years of Mac design are going to be interesting...in their dullness. What I mean by this is that it looks like Apple has landed (with the laptops and the iMac and even the Mac mini) on a collection of form factors that have some legimitate staying power. I mean, at some point, there isn't much more that can be done with a laptop (form-wise). Even the iMac, if you pay attention, what Apple is doing is slowly making the computer disappear. Once it does, form-factor matters less and less. I think you'll continue to see thinner, smaller bezels, lighter, etc. You'll also see features like the backlit keyboard migrate through the whole product line. Maybe new materials. But the form of the things? It is difficult to imagine much new. Which I actually think is an okay thing. It elevates the OS and software and user experience even further.




    Very true. The iMac now is simply a flat screen on a stand. And that's perfect...you can't get any simply than that since you absolutely need to have a display. It would suck if Apple put everything back into a base ala sunflower iMac.



    The only things Apple can do now is make them thinner. Oh, and I'm also hoping Apple will eventually make the damn things wall-mountable out-of-the-box.
  • Reply 5 of 126
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    Get that iSight crap out and put a Superdrive in as standard... Apple will be a laughing stock selling a $1000 computer with CDRW in 2006 - worse, the tag of selling over priced hardware would be fully justified.
  • Reply 6 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xflare

    Get that iSight crap out and put a Superdrive in as standard... Apple will be a laughing stock selling a $1000 computer with CDRW in 2006 - worse, the tag of selling over priced hardware would be fully justified.



    Wee he did say it was sub-$1000. Now it could mean $999...and it could mean a lot less.
  • Reply 7 of 126
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    Well the "New" Intel iMacs that were announced as being the same price as before are actually more expensive here in the UK than the G5 iMacs.
  • Reply 8 of 126
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    It is difficult to imagine much new.



    In an interview with Business Week, Jobs said from a design perspective there wasn't much more they could do to make the iMac better.



    Quote:

    the tag of selling over priced hardware would be fully justified



    The myriad of Windows OEM's competing with each other over price. I think these claims will always be made as long as Apple doesn't sell its computers for the dame price as Dell.
  • Reply 9 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xflare

    Get that iSight crap out and put a Superdrive in as standard... Apple will be a laughing stock selling a $1000 computer with CDRW in 2006 - worse, the tag of selling over priced hardware would be fully justified.



    Um...

    The iBooks include DVD-ROM standard.

    And it's likely they'll be updated to SuperDrives for the MacBook.



    And I don't get why people say Macs are so much more expensive - they're very similar prices.

    It's just that Apple doesn't tarnish its good name with bargain-basement crappy $300 computers that have hardware failures after three months.

    Try thinking about iLife, for example - the included software in PC's sucks. A PC equivalent of iLife would cost thousands of dollars.
  • Reply 10 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xflare

    Well the "New" Intel iMacs that were announced as being the same price as before are actually more expensive here in the UK than the G5 iMacs.



    The UK pricing is based on US pricing and exchange rates. It's the same for me here in Canada.
  • Reply 11 of 126
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by xflare

    Well the "New" Intel iMacs that were announced as being the same price as before are actually more expensive here in the UK than the G5 iMacs.



    guess he is comparing discounted iMac G5 with iMac Core Duo?



    here in singapore the prices are same for G5 n Core Duo iMacs (while some shops giving additional RAM or discount for iMac G5)
  • Reply 12 of 126
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    No 12" PowerBook replacement?, that's strange
  • Reply 13 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by shanmugam

    No 12" PowerBook replacement?, that's strange



    Well, I suppose we don't know that yet.



    First, maybe not. Second, maybe...



    13" MacBook ("Good") - white - $899

    13" MacBook ("Better") - white - $1199

    13" MacBook ("Best") - white - $1299



    13" MacBook Pro - silver - $1499/$1799

    15" MacBook Pro - silver - $1999/$2499

    17" MacBook Pro - silver - $2799



    All widescreen, iSight, etc.



    Of course if they do drop in a 13" and 17" MacBook Pro, they could rejigger the 15" MacBook Pro features and pricing a bit.



    ( or something along those lines )



    I suspect that they are streamlining things again.
  • Reply 14 of 126
    Also it is starting to look like they are trying to do to video chat/conferencing what they did to USB. Once they maded it standard equipment, you started seeing more USB stuff and things snowballed throughout the industry.



    Front Row is a play to slowly ratchet up the whole media center and iTunes video store thing I think. Of course, eventually, there will be a legitimate "media center appliance" that just plugs into your TV (Mac mini reloaded). But no need to wait.



    I am starting to see a clearer picture of Apple's future trajectory. They are turning the Mac into a media (and communications) platform. Though I do not travel for business these days, I can easily imagine (if I did/do again) having my MacBook pro with me and being able to "video phone" back to my family while away. To say nothing of the potential for business calls. As the video camera becomes standard equipment (you know the PC folks are going to tack it on to keep up), this all becomes much more real.



    Things do look exciting.
  • Reply 15 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    This is all fairly cool (and predictable).



    As a slight aside, I think the next few years of Mac design are going to be interesting...in their dullness. What I mean by this is that it looks like Apple has landed (with the laptops and the iMac and even the Mac mini) on a collection of form factors that have some legimitate staying power. I mean, at some point, there isn't much more that can be done with a laptop (form-wise). Even the iMac, if you pay attention, what Apple is doing is slowly making the computer disappear. Once it does, form-factor matters less and less. I think you'll continue to see thinner, smaller bezels, lighter, etc. You'll also see features like the backlit keyboard migrate through the whole product line. Maybe new materials. But the form of the things? It is difficult to imagine much new. Which I actually think is an okay thing. It elevates the OS and software and user experience even further.




    This is true... BUT, Can't Apple change design colors/materials to give some of their hardware a breathe of fresh air. White was great for the first couple years, and now black is cool, but its all that shiny white plastic with the grey Apple logo. I'm looking for an extremely cool design switch in the new iBooks, even though their form factor will stay the same. Color/Case material changes is what is going to keep customers coming back for updates after two years...
  • Reply 16 of 126
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    well when exactly are the new intel iBooks coming out then? anytime before end of march? spring sounds mighty far away... okay, okay, it's just a few months away i guess..... and a lot of indications point towards the april-june quarter??
  • Reply 17 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Hooray! I get to control a 13" screen from 30' away!



    iPostage Stamp. Still waiting for the 17" MacBook Pro with a FW 800 port back in. Anyone who thinks we don't need FW 800 any more never invested in external FW 800 cases. NAB?
  • Reply 18 of 126
    Originally posted by Multimedia

    iPostage Stamp. Still waiting for the 17" MacBook Pro with a FW 800 port back in. Anyone who thinks we don't need FW 800 any more never invested in external FW 800 cases. NAB?




    yeah, that would be sucky, here's a nice powerbook g4 with FW800, but then here's a dual core macbook pro, without FW800, but is much faster, but then only at some things, so it's back to the powerbook g4, but then it might get end-of-lined like the imac g5 17", so okay let's get the macbook pro, but what about the FW800, ad nauseum indeed



    we're into the core (pun intended) bits of the transition now. may not be as pretty as we expect, although personally i am generally optimistic about the transition. i sympathise though with people (the prosumers/ pros/ etc) that have to map out some sort of upgrade plan amongst this turbulence... indeed it already is a challenge to minimise the constant need for newer technology for getting one's work done in reasonable time.
  • Reply 19 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ThinkDifferent

    BUT, Can't Apple change design colors/materials to give some of their hardware a breathe of fresh air.



    Yeah...colors. But that's about all I really see happening.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by ThinkDifferent

    White was great for the first couple years, and now black is cool, but its all that shiny white plastic with the grey Apple logo.



    Maybe they'll go back to beige. They were actually the first to do that.



    They have done beige, black, white, silver, multi-colored, patterns.



    I'm actually about 1/2-serious. Beige may just make a come back. Style is so cyclical.



    Personally I'd love to see adonized aluminum colors (a la iPod mini only different, more manly colors)
  • Reply 20 of 126
    13" Black iBook!



    Yeah Baby!
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