Top Five (Apple) Things That We Are Grateful For This Holiday Season

This has been a fantastic year for Apple and its customers. There was an amazing amount of activity, as usual for the company, in new and updated product releases! Read on to find out which five are among the best of those great items. Also included below: A “One More Thing…….” bonus item!

1. iPhone 3G, released July 11, 2008.

A truly incredible machine! Billed as “twice the speed for half the price” of the original iPhone, it sold close to 7 million units from its debut through the end of September – that is less than 3 months on the market!

Its worldwide launch could not have been more remarkable for Apple.

The device itself is a marvel of cutting edge technology that competitors are desperately trying to imitate with often poor or faulty results.

The distinction between a handheld computer and cell phone has become blurred and expectations of smartphones have been raised significantly.

In typical Apple fashion, this one handheld device delivers a straightforward and effortless user experience and features the ability to take your photos, videos, music, email, internet, phone and more with you on the go.

Now with 3G speeds and the iPhone 2.2 software update, the iPhone 3G is a “Must Have” item for the holidays, if you don’t already own one. I, for one, am deeply thankful for it and it has enhanced my life immensely.

2. Revolutionary new MacBooks:

The MacBook Air (announced at Macworld 2008 on January 14) and the new MacBook and MacBook Pro (announced at an Apple “Special Event” on October 14, 2008) have redesigned the concept of what a notebook computer should look, feel, function and be built like.

Apple has taken a radically different approach to designing these portable computers as compared to any of its rivals’ offerings.

From designing the “thinnest notebook” and one of the lightest, full-featured notebooks on the market to utilizing an unconventional aluminum “brick” manufacturing process in order to produce a “unibody” enclosure that offers superior strength and stability in the newest line of MacBooks, Apple has once again raised the bar, advanced technology and left their competitors behind.

In addition, Apple has done away with many harmful chemicals that are still used in many of today’s desktop and notebook computers. The company also used highly recyclable materials to take on a leading role with respect to environmental responsibility.

These notebooks are gorgeous, function superbly and offer an incredible value in what they bring to the table in respect of their hardware and award-winning built-in software suite of applications that enhance your digital lifestyle. Of course, no viruses, malware or spyware are brought to you by Mac OS X, Leopard.

3. MobileMe:

Apple’s “cloud computing” offering. Its official launch (July 11, 2008) was a bit rocky due to lost emails, disrupted service and subpar web interface functionality. However, in the 5 months following its launch, its stability and reliability has been addressed and improved.

MobileMe’s myriad of cool features is well worth the investment. One such feature is the automatic over-the-air syncing of your contacts, calendar appointments, emails and browser bookmarks between you desktops, notebooks and iPhone.

Another cool feature is a web gallery where photos and videos can be uploaded to share with family and friends. In addition, you get 20 GB of online, offsite storage for important documents and files to backup. You can access these files on the go from any modern web browser, which comes in handy if you have to retrieve important information or files that are on a remote Mac.

For a more in depth review and how it saved my life, click here.

4. App Store, iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK):

The App Store, launched on July 11, 2008, is probably the single most significant feature to transform the iPhone from a unique smartphone into a mobile computer platform.

Thanks to the release of the iPhone (and iPod Touch) SDK, developers can program native applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch to enhance the device with added functionality.

Thanks to built-in sensors, such as the accelerometer and a GPS chip, location, gaming and other applications expand the range of usefulness exponentially for these mobile handheld computers.

In just under five months, the App Store (found within the iTunes Store and one of the only ways iPhone/ iPod Touch applications can be legitimately distributed) has made available over 10,000 applications and had witnessed over 300 million downloads.

Most of the apps are under $10 and of those, most are $0.99 or free. It is a phenomenon that has distinguished the iPhone and iPod Touch as truly unique devices with which competitors will find harder and harder to compete.

5. AppleTV, Take 2:

This product shipped with all new AppleTVs and was a free software upgrade for existing AppleTV customers with further incremental upgrades throughout the year.

This update added the ability to rent (motion pictures only) and buy movies and TV shows in DVD and HD quality + Dolby 5.1 directly from the AppleTV without the need for a computer. Additional features included buying music directly from Apple TV and browsing audio and video podcasts and photos from Flicker and MobileMe.

Photo slideshows and home videos in HDTV are a great and easy way to share our experiences with family and friends, thanks to AppleTV.

One More Thing…….

Mac OS X Leopard was updated to version 10.5.2, bringing much needed stability to the newly released operating system.

A plethora of stability and security upgrades were delivered throughout the year (currently at version 10.5.6), that enabled new features and made the computing experience on a Mac exciting and pleasurable, without the crashes, viruses or other hassles cramping your style.

Looking forward to the next Major OS X upgrade, Snow Leopard 10.6 and its new technologies in the new year with great anticipation! Oh, and health, happiness and peace on earth.

Happy Holidays from everyone here at AppleHits, where the Hits keep coming, one Apple at a time!

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