After days of rumors, we now know what Apple had up its sleeve for its event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.
Steve Jobs was on hand unveiling the new Apple TV, iTunes 10 with social networking, iOS 4.1, a sneek peak at iOS 4.2 and new iPod Shuffles, Nanos, and Touches.
Calling it a “hobby” due to its lack of success, Jobs showed the new version of Apple TV, a box that is about one-fourth the size of the previous version. There will be no more content purchases, only rentals, to avoid storage management. It will stream video directly from iTunes or your computer.
Photos: Apple: Streaming Apple TV, iTunes 10, iPods
Apple is offering $0.99 rentals from ABC and Fox and full streaming support for Netflix and YouTube. First-run HD movies are $4.99.
The new version will also feature built-in power supply, HDMI, Ethernet, and 802.11n wireless. The new Apple TV will cost $99, which is $129 less than the old Apple TV. It is available in four weeks and can be preordered now.
iTunes 10 is About Social Networking
Jobs also introduced iTunes 10, which adds a social music network called Ping. Jobs says Ping, which is built right into iTunes, allows you to follow your artists and friends, discover what they’re talking about, listening to, and downloading.
Jobs says Ping is for “social music discovery”. Artists will set up their own pages, and you can set up a circle of friends. Jobs says Ping, which is open to 160 million iTunes users, is “not Facebook, not Twitter, it’s something new.”
Ping is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
iOS 4.1 for iPhone, iPod Touch
Jobs first announced iOS 4.1, which will be available next week as a free download for the iPhone and iPod touch. He says it will fix a lot of bugs with the iPhone and the proximity sensor issues. It also adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo capture and support for Game Center.
HDR takes three separates photos of the same image: one regular exposure, one under exposed shot, and one over exposed shot. It keeps the normal photo and the HDR photo, which is combined from all 3 exposures.
Game Center is a social platform for those who want to play games in iOS devices. Epic Games president Mike Capps gave a quick demo of Project Sword, a HD 3D game that will be available for the iPhone this holiday season.
iOS 4.2 for iPad
Jobs says iOS 4.2, which will be available in November as a free download, is all about the iPad. It will bring all the features of iOS 4.1, multitasking, wireless printing and a new version of AirTunes that is called AirPlay. They changed the name because the feature will, in addition to music, now stream videos and photos over WiFi.
The iOS 4.2 upgrade will also be for iPhones and iPod Touches.
iPod Touch Adds “Retina” display, A4 Chip
Apple’s new iPod Touch is smaller than the previous model, adds the iPhone 4’s “retina” display, and is powered by the A4 chip that is in the iPad.
The iPod Touch now has front- and back-facing cameras and can handle FaceTime, the video chatting feature on the iPhone 4.
There will be three models - 8GB ($229), 32GB ($299) and 64GB ($399) - available next week and can be preordered today.
“We are very very excited about this amazing lineup of new iPods.”
Jobs says Apple has made “the biggest change in the iPod lineup ever.” He started by introducing new $49 iPod Shuffles. They will be available in five colors (blue, black, pink, green and yellow) and have buttons, playlists, genius mixes and VoiceOver, as well as 15 hours of music time.
Jobs added, “Of course it’s got the clip ... It’s small and wearable.”
The sixth-generation iPod Nano is 46 percent smaller and 42 percent lighter than the previous model. It now includes multitouch as Apple removed the clickwheel. It has volume buttons, VoiceOver, FM radio, Nike+, a pedometer, 24 hours of playback time and works in 29 languages. It also has a clip that makes it wearable.
The new iPod nano is available in blue, pink, green, gold, silver and red. It is priced at $148 for the 8GB model, and $179 for the 16GB model.
Follow Electronic House