Thursday, September 2, 2010

Apple Event: New iPods, iTunes, iOS, Apple TV

Looks like I was very lucky. This was my first Apple event (thanks Apple, for taking me to London to attend) and it was filled with lots of new stuff. (Ok, it might not have been as hyped as a new iPhone or iPad launch, but it was filled with lots of different new - and that's great. :)

The event was streamed live by Apple  - some say as a test to their new server farm, maybe to try out how streaming millions of rented HD movies and TV series will be. Unfortunately, while it stands behind web standards when battling Flash, their video stream has available only to Apple customers, requiring you had Safari, or an iPhone/iPad.

Apple Stores around the World

Steve Jobs showed up on stage and - after a well deserved public greeting to Wozniak - started talking about their latest Apple Stores around the world - Paris, Shangai and London are now home to some incredible stores that turn Apple into a "different" brand.

Soon Spain will also have one Apple Store... but unfortunately there are no (known) plans of ever getting an official Apple store in Portugal.

iOS Devices

With over 120 million devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads) and 230 thousand new devices being activated every day, the iOS platform is an obvious success. It is almost surreal to think how things were in the pre-iPhone era; where a "touch-only" based device seemed an impossible trick to pull.
Steve even joked about Android daily activation numbers were not only "new" devices, but counted updates as well - but Google has already set that straight.)

iOS 4.1

The first great annoucement: the much awaited iOS 4.1 update is coming next week. I've never been pleased with iOS4.0 regarding "stability", and I was pleased to hear this version comes with lots of bug fixes (proximity sensor, bluetooth, working on iPhone 3G, etc) and also has a few new tricks as well.
  • HDR Photos (High Dynamic Range)
  • HD Video upload via WiFi
  • TV Shows rentals
  • Game Center
The most noticeable are the HDR photos. While you already had some Apps that did this, starting next week you'll have this as standard in your iPhone 4. Basically, it takes several photos, with different exposures...

... and it merges it all together to create a new photo where you can see details in both extremely lightes and shadowed areas.

As for the game center, it makes the iOS platform even more attractive to game developers - Nintendo said they didn't care about the iPhone as a game machine... they'll soon be regretting having said that.

Epic came on stage to show off an Unreal Engine demo running on the iPhone... and it looks amazing:

You can check it out yourself: Epic Citadel.

But, in November comes...

iOS 4.2

Yes, soon after the iOS 4.1, the iOS 4.2 will bring all that to the iPad (and more.)

Printing, AirPlay and everything you already have on the iPhone will be available for the iPad - at last!
Just have to wait a little bit longer...

New iPods

The entire iPod range was updated.

New iPod Shuffle
Small as ever, with easy to use buttons, playlists, genius, and VoiceOver; and costs $49.

New iPod Nano

The one I liked the most: the new iPod Nano.

Smaller than ever, the new Nano ditches the clickwheel and gains a small multitouch screen.

It looks like a Nano iPhone interface, and you can even rotate it with two fingers.

New iPod Touch

You get what you hoped for: A4 CPU, Retina Display, dual cameras, gyroscope, etc.
Only the "look" stays the same - but thinner.

New iTunes 10

iTunes gets to version 10 and now has Ping.

Ping is a Twitter-like/Facebook-ish kind of social network oriented to music and iTunes contents. You can easily share and track what your friend and favorites artists are doing - and vice-versa.

With over 160 million iTunes users out there, Apple expects this to be an instant hit, and I'm sure they're right - although I'm not really an iTunes-fans.
For me, I'd rather see Apple offering a iTunes-in-the-web service, that would allow me to completely forget about installing and syncing my iPhone at home.

New Apple TV

Not so great for us here in Portugal (as we don't have access to these iTunes rental) but great for everyone in a supported country, here's the new Apple TV.

1/4 the size of the old one, the new Apple TV is no longer a "computer" but more like a HD Media Player. It has no local storage and is better suited to stream content from either your local network, YouTube, NetFlix, or - more importantly - the new low cost iTunes rentals.

Forget about buying... renting is the new "buy" - at least as far as Apple is concerned.

Maybe due to its A4 CPU, or mabye for streaming bandwidth reasons, the new Apple TV only outputs 720p (and not Full HD 1080p.)

More Photos

Final Thanks

I want to thank Apple once again for the short but lovely stay I had in London.

(Yep, that was my room view... Apple really knows how to treat us! :)


  1. Apple really knows how to treat us! :)

    By which you mean their shills? Might as well change the blog name to apples best fanbois.

  2. So, according to you, you can never appreciate when someone treats you in a nice way?

    And, by the way, I have always criticed what I think needs criticizing... no matter if its Apple, MS, or any other company.

    There are a lot of stuff I like about Apple, there's also a lot I don't particularly like.
    If you choose to see just one side of it... I guess the problem is really... yours.


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