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Apple TV Revamp, New Nano Touch, and Ping!
Everything you need to know about the Apple TV revamp, the new iPod Nano, and the new Apple music social network, Ping!
Despite rumors, it was not renamed iTV, but it is available for a mere $99. It will not be enabled with the iOS app structured user interfaces that we are familiar with on the iPhones, iPod Touches, and the iPad. Instead, it will maintain the previous user interface that Apple TV had. While the device comes with a remote, it does allow one to use their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad as the remote, if you have the Remote app from the iTunes App store installed on your device.
Initially Apple TV will only be able to rent TV shows from Fox and ABC networks for $.99 per episode, rather than purchasing episodes to keep permanently for $1.99 at standard definition, or $2.99 for Hi-Definition rates. Because the device is targeted at those who already own 1080p high definition television sets, the $.99 rentals will be in high definition. Rentals will only be available for 48 hours after purchase plus Apple TV users will be stuck with receiving them on the current day after release of initial TV episode airing schedule. It also appears that they may not be able to stream their podcast content onto their TV screen anymore. I feel confident saying that podcast fans and creators will be able to stream content, but upon examining the Apple site, I could find no mention of it. Also, the comment by Steve Jobs during the event in which he said "that we heard our users loud and clear . We don't want amateur hour", which sounds very much like a direct blow to video podcast producers. We will see if they continue to support podcasters and other content creators as they have with the previous Apple TV incarnations. The new Apple TV closes the analog hole that content producers from the MPAA have been complaining about. It will only have HDMI out. Rentals of first movies will be $4.99 per film and the price is supposed to decrease over time.
You will not buy content to own on the Apple TV. Everything streamed into your television is intended to be disposed of once it expires. This means no archiving of episodes on your drive. You will be able to stream content from your Netflix account if you have one. You will also be able to watch Youtube, Flickr photo slideshows and video, and your photos and videos from your MobileMe account.
Apple did not announce whether or not they will continue the iPhone 4 case program. If you recall, during the Apple Press Conference held in the middle of July, when Steve Jobs was asked how long the case program would be made available, he said that Apple would revisit that decision in September. Either we still will hear an announcement from Apple about this later this month, or we can take the silence as an assent that indeed the case program will continue. There was also no update on the delay of the white iPhone 4 model, which had originally been slated to be released on July 30th of this year.
September has traditionally been an iPod refresh time for Apple, and occasionally has served as the time when Apple releases their new and significant iTunes revision, and so it was not surprising to learn that there were all new iPod models, reflecting revamp in nearly every model. The iPod Touch will receive the new retina display that the iPhone 4 received back in June of this year, as well as front facing camera with the Facetime software. It also works only over Wifi(as when introduced on the iPhone 4), which is all the iPod Touches have been equipped with in the past. Storage is curiously only 8gb, 32gb, and 64gb capacity. It seems a bit weird to me that they kept the 8gb capacity instead of dropping it off in favor of the 16gb. I can only assume that they have shortages in 16gb flash drives. They have always been big about giving you more features with the new models while maintaining the old price structure. Models still come in at the same prices of $229, $299, and $399.
The 160 gb hard drive iPod Classic survived the cuts one more time. At this point, the iPod Classic is beginning to look like that aged veteran on the sports team that survives the cuts each year because of their veteran moxie and the ability to do some core things very well. If you love them, I suggest you snatch them up before Apple eventually cuts them.
The iPod Nano endured perhaps the most dramatic changes. Gone is the click wheel and the camera. Gained is the multitouch inteface of the iOS system. The Nano also features a clip, like the Shuffle, for adhering to pockets, etc. they still come in 8gb and 16 gb sizes that cost $149 and $179 respectively. With only a $30 difference in price I am flabbergasted why anyone would purchase the 8GB size, but to each their own.
The owners of iPads can eagerly look forward to upgrade their iPads to the new iOS 4.0 features like folders and multitasking as soon as week of September 9th, 2020. Game Center, an earlier feature of the iOS 4.0 upgrade was reinstated. It had been intended for the iOS 4.0 upgrade in June to iPhones and iPod Touches, but was scrapped at the last minute. It returns to iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users in the 4.1 patch. It allows gamers to find other friends to compete with in multiplayer game apps on iOS 4.1 devices. Apple also announced the iPad 4.2 update that will allow iPad users to print wirelessly, and use AirPlay (the renamed AirTunes) which lets iPad owners stream any of the content on their iPad to other devices over Wi-Fi.
The release of iTunes 10 was announced, and was scheduled to be available sometime later today, though by mid-afternoon it still was not available. It features a new logo that is more representative of what iTunes has become. No longer does the icon have the CD within it, but they did keep the two eighth notes that were in the original logo, against a bright blue background. Of the features that are new to the software, it offers a new hybrid view for albums in your list view. If you own more than five songs from an album by a music artist, you get album artwork displayed in your list view, without taking up any additional space, instead of what would have been repeated text of the album title. For albums in which you own fewer than five songs, you will still see the repeated text listing of the album as you've come to know it in the list view. Its a tiny feature, but I actually like it. The really big and exciting announcement for the new iTunes was the unveiling of the social network Ping, which ships with the iTunes software. The idea, is that music lovers will be able to use Ping to find new stuff through their social connections on iTunes. Ping goes live as soon as iTunes 10 is available for download. Jobs stressed that it is a social network that is ONLY about music. This is the Lala implementation we've been waiting for, since Apple bought them in December of 2020 and shut them down on May 31st of this year! You can choose to limit who can follow you, using a Circle of Friends of feature, and you can benefit from charts of songs that are built from the data within your circle of friends and people you follow. You will also be able to follow artists accounts themselves, giving what many hope is a deeper connection to the artists and the events surrounding the music you love. I really think this is overdue. I've been waiting for a feature like this on iTunes since the first time I installed the software all the those years ago.
Did you get what you were expecting? In light of the changes Apple has made to the Apple TV, will you be interested in purchasing one now?