New Apple iProducts
Apple have shown off some new products today, at a rock and roll event in San Francisco. First of all, the new iPhone operating system - version 3.1, is now available as a free download for iPhone and iPod touch users. This update introduces 2 key new features, one of which is bringing Genius functionality to the app store, to recommend applications based on what the user already owns, similar to the technology in iTunes 8 to recommend songs similar to the ones the user had purchased. The second part of the update brings ringtones to the app store, over 30,000 to be precise. Priced at $1.29 on launch, or around 99p. Users can now download the update from iTunes.
The release of iTunes 9 followed, now available to download from apple.com
, includes many new features. iTunes LP, iTunes LP, is one of the most significant features in this update. It is supposed to deliver users "a rich, immersive experience" for selected albums by making related bonus features available such as live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, photos and more. This is in a way similar to what Microsoft has tried to do with the Zune marketplace. iTunes Extras is a feature for movies which adds deleted scenes and interviews. Home Sharing is another new feature that allows up to five computers in one household to share content. The Genius feature that we discussed earlier has also been improved to offer Genius Mixes - a tool that will generate endless DJ-like mixes of songs in the iTunes library.
Concluding the iTunes update, Apple promised improved synchronisation with the iPhone and iPod touch. Meaning users will now finally be able to organise and manage apps from within iTunes, and iTunes' sync tools have also been overhauled to allow for greater control.
Despite endless rumours of an Apple Tablet, nothing appeared, however the iPod line did get a much needed refresh, precisely 1 year after the last one. No groundbreaking changes were made, but some small and much needed features were added. I suppose nothing major is needed as they already control over 70% of the portable music market with 220 million units sold last year. The first update was the flagship iPod touch, some price amendments meant that the 8GB model sits at £149, £229 for the 32GB and £299 for the 64GB model, although no camera functions were added, although rumours suggested there would be. As you can see, the 16GB model has been discontinued, although the iPod classic, which was supposedly on the verge of being discontinued saw an update from 120GB to 160GB, whilst keeping it's £189 price tag.
The Shuffle was given a make over, with 5 new colours and a special edition stainless steel model also introduced. The tiny player was given a price drop to £45 for the 2GB variant and just £59 for the 4GB, whilst the steel edition is available for £75, in 4GB capacities only. Of course the best was saved for last - the revamped nano. The fifth generation of the "world's most popular music player" now features a larger 2.2inch screen, a microphone a speaker, and a camera. Able to record 30fps video at 640 x 480, it is marketed as a pocket camcorder alternative. There is also an FM radio, pedometer and the Genius mixes feature in the latest generation player. Available in the usual silver, black, purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, red and pink, in both 8 and 16GB variants for £115 and £135 respectively.
All in all a very nice update for the iPod range, I am sure some will be disappointed with no tablet or iPod touch with camera, but what do you think? Discuss in our Forums