Apple’s special event for its music line of products has come and gone. It is a yearly September event for Apple that has dated back to at least 6 years. I believe it is expedient that we have at least a glimpse of it here at Mobility Nigeria. Apart from the iPod line of products that was announced, iOS 4.1 update was also mentioned during the event. iOS is the operating system that runs on both the iPhone and iPad. The iPad 3G has an integrated gsm/3G radio and would be out by next week and November respectively. The 4.1 update will fix the proximity issue with the iPhone 4 and also the sluggish performance of the iPhone 3G.
The major updates and announcement could be summarized into about 5 areas of revamp in their product line.
1. iPod Touch
This has definitely undergone a major revision. The Wi-Fi antenna is still internal, so do not expect that antennagate issue that has plagued its higher sibling, the iphone 4. The revamp includes most of the key features of the iphone 4, including the front and back facing cameras and support for Apple’s facetime video chat technology. This fourth generation iPod Touch also boasts of the Retina display technology of the iPhone 4 and slimmer body line. The back camera has HD video recording and the processor powering it is the same A4 (1 Gigahertz CPU) processor that is also used in iPhone 4 and iPad. It is going to be available this week at $229, $299 and $399 for the 8GB, 32GB and 64GB respectively.
2. iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle
These also underwent a revamp. Images of these two product lines are as above.
3. iOS 4.1 and 4.2 details
iOS 4.1 now introduces a new feature called GAMECENTRE. It is both an app on the iphone as well as a set of APIs for developers to implement more efficiently multi-player games into the iphone/ipod touch. One could just easily challenge a fellow ios 4.1 user to a game for instance thus making the iPod Touch or iPhone a powerful gaming device.
Other new features in iOS 4.1 include high dynamic range (HDR) photos, uploading full HD videos over Wi-Fi, TV show rentals, and a handful of major bug fixes. High dynamic range photos are 3 photos shot in rapid succession with different exposure ranges, which are then combined into one photo thus ensuring the widest color and exposure range possible. A number of bugs have also been addressed in iOS 4.1. The proximity sensor issue for instance has been fixed with the iPhone 4 as well as problems with Bluetooth connectivity and audio quality. In addition, the iOS 4.1 update should improve sluggish performance on older iPhone 3G models.
iOS 4.2 will be available for the iPad in November. iOS 4.1 features like Game Center and HDR photos will come to the iPad (although it doesn’t have a camera), as well as AirPlay and wireless printing.
Both the iOS 4.1 and 4.2 updates will be free to owners of iOS devices.
4. iTunes 10 and Ping
iTunes is Apple’s media management and jukebox software. Apart from general bug fixes and improvement of the UI, iTunes 10 now also fetures ping. Ping was described by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs as “Facebook and Twitter meets itunes”. It is a social network for music and lets iTunes users follow their favourite artistes or each other. Viewers can also see what others are buying or each other’s playlists and impressions from artists.
I should be able to give a hands-on review on ping soon because I have registered in the Social media. My opinion is more of positive than indifference!
5. Apple TV
This is still a “hobby” for Apple. There was a major change here with the full removal of hard disc storage . You can use this to stream media from the internet to your TV. With Google TV also in place, this is a direct fight for your living room!
If you ask me, I should say that this is a good revamp of far reaching products from Apple. The iPod Touch 4th generation will be difficult to ignore, especially if you liked the iPhone 4 but cannot afford it on account of cost.