Apple's .Mac gains Web Gallery and 10GB of storageLast minute indications turned out to be true, as Apple on Tuesday announced significant enhancements to its .Mac online service, highlighted by the debut of .Mac Web Gallery, a new feature for sharing photos and movies on the Internet.
.Mac Web Gallery lets members easily share photos and movies directly from iLife '08 with anyone on a Mac, PC or iPhone in stunning quality. In addition, .Mac Web Gallery visitors can download high quality images for printing and even contribute photos using a standard web browser or email. Other new .Mac features include a tenfold increase in .Mac storage to 10GB, support for personal domains for iWeb websites and enhancements to .Mac Mail.
".Mac Web Gallery is an awesome way to share photos and movies on the Internet with friends and family," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "You can share your favorite photos and movies with anyone on a Mac, PC or iPhone, and they can turn them into high-quality prints as well as contribute photos to your site using a web browser or email."
With iPhoto '08, .Mac members can easily create a .Mac Web Gallery with just a few clicks and choose whether they want to make their albums available to everyone or limit access to specific people, allow visitors to download high-quality images suitable for making up to 16x20-inch prints, and even allow friends and family to contribute photos.
".Mac Web Gallery offers an amazing online photo experience that feels more like a desktop application than a web page," Apple said. "Visitors will have the same rich viewing experience whether they are using a Mac or PC and can experience .Mac Web Gallery photo albums in their choice of views, including mosaic, grid, slideshow or carousel."
Using .Mac Web Gallery, viewers can skim through albums just like they do in iPhoto by simply moving their mouse over an album on the web page to see the photos inside. Friends and family can easily contribute to a .Mac Web Gallery by clicking the upload button from their browser or sending an email. iPhoto '08 automatically stays in sync and downloads contributed photos directly to the .Mac member's iPhoto library.
.Mac Web Gallery is also designed to work great with iPhone, enabling users to view albums or simply snap a picture, choose an album and post it to their .Mac Web Gallery.
With iMovie '08, .Mac members can easily encode and upload their movies to their .Mac Web Gallery for viewing in several sizes, with the largest size offering higher-than-DVD resolution. Visitors can view .Mac Web Gallery movies on a Mac, PC or iPhone. .Mac members can also choose to make their movies available for download, so that friends and family can play them back on their computer, iPod, iPhone or Apple TV.
.Mac members now have 10 times more online storage space for photo and movie sharing, email, website hosting, exchanging files and backing up important documents, increasing from 1GB to 10GB for individual members and from 2GB to 20GB for Family Pack customers. Members can choose to purchase an additional 10GB of storage. .Mac members can send and receive larger email attachments up to a maximum size of 20MB and manage unwanted mail better with improved webmail spam filtering. Using iWeb '08, .Mac members can embed dynamic web widgets like Google Maps, Google AdSense, .Mac Web Gallery albums or HTML snippets in their .Mac website and host their websites at their own personal domain.
Pricing & Availability
.Mac is available as a subscription-based service for $99.95 (US) per year for individuals and $179.95 (US) for a Family Pack which includes one master account and four sub accounts. Customers save $30 (US) on either the individual subscription or the Family Pack when purchased with a new Macintosh and anyone can sign up for a free, 60-day .Mac trial at www.mac.com.
*Individuals can optionally purchase an additional 10GB of storage for $49.95 (US) annually.
.Mac requires a Macintosh computer with Mac OS X v10.3.9 or v10.4.3 or later and 256MB of RAM. Internet access requires a compatible ISP; fees may apply. Broadband Internet connection recommended. Some features require Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger and iLife '08, available separately.