AppleInsider has a blow-by-blow account of Steve Jobs’ keynote at MacWorld SF. The announcements did not contain too many surprises partly because of ThinkSecret and Apple’s legal action against their site.
iPod Shuffle – this is Apple’s attempt to enter the lower end of the MP3 player market, It is also more suitable for physical activity like jogging or the gym. It looks nice, if a bit Fisher-Price in its asthetic. I am particularly interested to see that it can be used as a flash drive for moving data around as well. The battery life is a surprisingly low 12 hours and it comes with a white lanyard, facilitating muggers who want to throttle their victim and steal their iPod.
Mac Mini – despite the hoopla this is an iBook specification PC for the home, it looks like a stack of large coffee coasters and allows existing PC users to through away their old beige box, keep the keyboard, mouse and screen and get something suitable for home computing and surfing the web without the bulk. It would be also ideal for thin client applications such as bank tellers, newspaper artworkers, retail situations and kiosks because of its size. For the price point users may also want to consider an eMac. I would not expect the Mac Mini to be upgradable in the future like a PC.
iWork – is the next generation AppleWorks (the child of Claris Works, the integrated spreadsheet, presentation and word processor that I used for my college course back-in-the-day). It comes with a new Word compatiable word-processing application and the latest iteration of Keynote. At 79 USD Stateside, it is worth it just for Keynote as its formatting capabilities eats PowerPoint for breakfast.