I was at work today during the announcements, but I managed to listen to the stream every once in a while, and somehow managed to get all the good stuff.
So, let’s take a look at today’s announcements, and break them down to a nice, easy to read format.
iOS 4.1 was announced during today’s event, and it has some pretty cool new features. First off, it fixes all the big new bugs found in iOS4. Now, one of my favorite new features is that they added HDR into the default camera app. This allows you to take photos with a ton of detail, no matter how much, or how little lighting you have. Often, when you take a photo, there are light and dark areas. HDR in iOS 4.1 will allow you to take photos with detail in dark spots, brights spots, and all the areas in between. The update also brings GameCenter, which will make multiplayer gaming incredibly easy. You’ll be able to set up matches between friends, and if you don’t have any who want to play, you can set up a match with random people on the net.
iOS 4.1 will be released sometime next week.
The iPod Shuffle saw an update today as well. In fact, all iPods either got an update, or got tossed aside (more on that in a bit). The Shuffle now has buttons. In fact, if you took the 3rd generation iPod Shuffle, shrunk it, gave it VoiceOver, playlists, and Genius, and better battery life, you’d have the new 5th generation iPod Shuffle. Finally, the Shuffle has come into it’s own.
The shuffle is available in a variety of colors.
How do you make an already small iPod smaller? By ditching the Clickwheel. Who saw that coming? (I actually predicted it over a year ago). The new update does a few things. First off, the Nano gets a multitouch screen, a clip, and a great new form factor. What it loses, however, is the video camera. However, the video only camera on the last iPod Nanos wasn’t really a great selling point. The ease of use and small form factor of the new Nano are much better selling points. Steve pointed out that the new Nano was small enough to be used as a watch! (Which, of course, makes me want a Nano-wristwatch). The Nano won’t have movies, to start off, but it will have music and photos. The Nano is not running iOS, it just looks like it is. And it looks great.
PRICE: $149 8GB $179 16GB
The new iPod Touch looks a lot like the old one… but a closer look reveals some great new details. The new iPod Touch has a retina screen, and a new A4 processor, just like the iPhone. It’s also a lot thinner than the last version, and less rounded. It has both a front facing and rear facing camera. And, while the rear facing camera doesn’t have the same high quality still photos as the iPhone 4, it does have full hd videos at 30fps (better than most smartphones on the market). The front facing camera uses FaceTime, though wifi with your email address.
The battery life is quite impressive as well. 24 hours of music playback on this guy.
And a tidbit shared by Steve at the event: the iPod Touch is now the most popular portable gaming device on the market, beating out Nintendo and Sony combined. Better hardware, more features, better software, and great inexpensive games lead to this new trend.
PRICE: $229 8GB $299 16GB $399 64GB
The new iPod Classic has a… whoops… it seems as though there will be no iPod Classic. Sales and interest in the only iPod with a hard drive have dropped quite a bit. The iPod Classic is still for sale, $249 for 160GB. Sure, there’s a lot more storage for the price. But it seems people like iOS and the iPod Touch too much to trade storage space for the OS. It’s a shame, but that’s technology. People would rather the new OS than storage space, and the iPod Classic has seen it’s last update.
The Apple TV was updated, as expected, and it very impressive. They’ve traded storage for better usability. The device is just 25% the size of the original Apple TV, and now exclusively rents out tv shows and movies. It also has Netflix. The Apple TV has an HDMI port, Optical Audio, USB, Ethernet, and a power cord. The AC adapter is built in. It’s tiny, and runs cool. And for that price, it’s amazing.
It’s a great little device, and makes renting TV Shows and Movies from the couch easy. Also, you can stream from your other internet connected computers. The new Apple TV has wireless N as well, so streaming is a synch.
Movies are rented for $5, but this may come down, and tv shows are 99¢. Per episode. As of now, Fox and ABC are the only networks that have agreed to this pricing, but other networks will follow after the success of this little device.
Though I would have loved the features of the first Apple TV, I never would have purchased it. The new Apple TV, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
iTunes 10 adds a bunch of new features, the biggest one being Ping, Apple’s new music based social networking service. Using Ping, you can follow your friends as well as your favorite artists. The service helps you find concerts, keep up to date with information from your favorite bands, and see what music your friends are listening to. There’s even an area dedicated to showing you the most popular music your friends are listening to. And, just like on the new Apple TV, you can rent TV shows for just 99¢.
AirPlay has been added as well, which lets you stream music and movies to plenty of accessories and your other internet connected devices (like your Apple TV or iPhone). Syncing your iPods, iPhone, and iPad is easier now as well. The capacity bar is updated in real time as well.
Apparently it will be available later today, but you can’t download it just yet.
And there you have it! That’s as succinct as I can make this list. I’ve tried to make it easy to read, and I hope that helps.