On Wednesday, Sept. 1, Apple held a fall music event. As with previous fall events, this one was also held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Touted as a music event, Apple used this event to show off the new iOS 4, iTunes 10, an all new iPod lineup, plus one more thing.
At the beginning of this year, Apple introduced the iPad. This mobile tablet device has been a huge hit for Apple and they took some time during this event to show off its upcoming OS update, iOS 4. This update will bring a few new features. Two that stand out are multitasking - the ability to do more than one thing at a time - and printing. Printing from the iPad was something that many have complained about. There was no printing built into the OS. With the next update, iPad owners will be able to print to a device on a WiFi network.
Of course fall is when Apple comes out with new iPod models and this year is no exception. Actually, all of Apple's iPods,except for the iPod Classic,have been completely redesigned. From the low-end on up there we have the Shuffle, Nano, and Touch. Steve Jobs stated that this is the biggest change in the iPod line ever.
The Shuffle is the lowest-priced iPod, but it is also the most basic model. The new Shuffle is now square shaped and looks more like the 2nd generation Shuffle than the previous "stick-of-gum" model. The previous model had no control button and relied on a special ear bud with inline controls. This was not well received by Shuffle owners and Apple has decided to return to a traditional-button layout. Like the second-gen Shuffle the new one has a built-in clip. The new Shuffle is available with 2GB of storage for $49. There are five colors from which to choose.
The Nano, which used to be Apple's most popular model, is radically different. It is now square shaped and has a similar clip as the new Shuffle. Control buttons are gone. An Apple touch screen allows the user easy access to information and controls.It is not the same OS as the iPhone but has similar 'touch' swipes and moves. The screen can be rotated by using the rotate motion - turning the thumb and finger.
The size of the new Nano will amaze you, being not much bigger than the new Shuffle at 1.48 by 1.61 inches. While it does have some nice functions built-in, like FM radio turner, pedometer, voice recorder, voice over, and Nike + support.
The bad news is what is missing, which might be a deal breaker for some. Gone is the video camera. While this was not the greatest video camera ever, it was good enough for that grab shot or casual video recording. If you have your iPod with you, you had a camcorder too. Also, the new Nano does not play video. If you want to watch your favorite TV show or movie on the go, the new Nano is not for you.
The new Nano is now set to be a music device. No video, no camera, just music. The FM tuner does have the ability to pause and resume - sort of like TiVo for FM. It's available with either 8GB or 16GB of storage. Prices are $149 or $179 and is available in seven colors.
The last new iPod is now, according to Apple, the most popular iPod. I am talking about the iPod Touch. Just a few months ago, Apple released the iPhone 4. Since the Touch is based on the iPhone it makes sense that the new Touch has been updated to match.
The new Touch, while based on the new iPhone 4, still looks much like the last Touch, just slightly slimmer. It does have most of the same features and functions as the new iPhone. It has two cameras, one on the back for HD video and one on the front for Apple's new FaceTime. The Touch runs the latest iOS 4, Apple's mobile operating system based on OS X. With iOS 4 you have access to some new Apps, like iMovie Mobile (cost is $5), iBooks, and the up-coming Apple Game Center.
The new Touch has the same 1GHz Apple A4 processor used in both the new iPhone and iPad. The best part of the new Touch is the Retina touch screen display, which was introduced on the new iPhone. This high-resolution 3.5-inch screen shows an amazing 960-by-640 pixels. With a faster processor and high-resolution screen, the new Touch is set to become THE handheld gaming machine. In fact, the Touch really is an ultra portable computer. It has built-in WiFi networking, and full PDA functionality calendar, contacts, etc., along with included Apps Safari, email, maps, memos, photos, plus over 100,000 Apps from the Apple App Store. We shouldn't forget that it is also the best iPods for playing your music, movies, and TV shows.
The new Touch is available with 8GB, 32GB, and 64GB of storage, priced at $229, $299, and $399.