There was plenty announced at today’s event. Nothing was earth-shattering, but there were definitely some interesting news. Here are the highlights.
Finally we see the return of Steve Jobs, who was greeted to a standing ovation. It is great to see him back. No offense to Phil Schiller, but an Apple event isn’t complete without an appearance from Jobs.
iTunes 9 receives quite a few changes. The application overall has a cleaner and more modern appearance. The iTunes Store’s new look was designed to make content navigation easier. There is too much content on each screen though and it is hard to explore. iTunes 9 also brings app management for iPhone and iPod touch. Perhaps most importantly for families with multiple copies of iTunes, Apple has finally made it easier to share and sync your songs with something called “Home Sharing”.
One major complaint of buying music online is that it is missing things that CDs have, such as artwork and liner notes. iTunes LP changes that. LPs will have artwork, liner notes, videos, photos, and more. There is a meager selection of LPs currently, but hopefully they will gain traction.
iPhone OS 3.1 is out now and boast a few interesting features. Genius recommendations suggest apps that you may enjoy. This is a blessing since it is a chore to navigate all of the apps in the App Store. MobileMe users now can remotely lock their iPhones.
The iPod nano received the most additions of the entire iPod lineup. The nano has its own video camera in a bid to compete with Flip camcorders. The screen is bumped up to 2.2 inches. The nano’s also have a new polished anodized aluminum finish. Surprisingly, Apple has finally added a built-in FM tuner which can also pause live radio. There is also a pedometer. The price remains the same for the 8 GB model ($149), but is reduced for the 16 GB version ($179).
The other iPod models had very few changes. The classic is 160 GB (so long 120 GB) and is $249. The iPod touch drops the 16 GB but adds 64 GB ($399). 8 ($199) and 32 GB ($299) models are still available. The iPod shuffle now has a 2 GB version for $59, 4 GB for $79, and limited edition stainless 4 GB model for $99. All iPods are shipping from Apple’s online store and will be available in retail soon.
Many rumored announcements did not come to fruition, including an all-you-can-eat subscription plan, DVD ripping, Blu-ray support, the mythical iTablet, and The Beatles finally coming to iTunes (which seems like it will never happen).
We will have more in-depth coverage of these announcements in future articles, so stay tuned.