Apple's New Gadgets
Apple was surprisingly predictable at its fall music event, revealing new iPods, an update to iTunes, and a smaller, cheaper Apple TV. Tech watchers were expecting all of these things, but of course it's the details that count. Let's take a closer look at Apple's new lineup of gadgets.
Buttons are back in the fourth-generation iPod Shuffle, after critics panned the previous button-free version. Other features of the previous Shuffle are intact, including Voiceover and playlists, and this version adds Genius playlists as well. It's out next week, with 2GB of storage, for $49.
As rumored, Apple lopped off the Nano's bottom half, installing a multitouch screen with iPhone-style icons. But this is not an iOS device. There's no app store, just shortcuts for music, photos, radio, and Nike's fitness app. Video support is notably absent, as is the previous generation's camera. Available next week, an 8GB Nano goes for $149, and a 16GB model costs $179.
iPod Touch: Now With Cameras
The iPod Touch's biggest additions this year are front- and rear-facing cameras, just like the iPhone 4. Both cameras can be used for Facetime, the iOS video chat app; and calls can be made between an iPod Touch and an iPhone 4. Prices are $229 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB when the iPod Touch ships next week.
iPod Touch: Talking a Big Game
The first thing Apple CEO Steve Jobs said about the iPod Touch was how popular it has become for gaming. Jobs claims the iPod Touch outsells portable game consoles from Sony and Nintendo combined, and says Apple has 50 percent of the portable gaming market. The new iPod Touch has the iPhone 4's gyroscope, A4 chip, and retina display to boost its gaming prowess.
iPod Classic: It Lives
Jobs did not mention the iPod Classic at all during Apple's press event. It wasn't even shown alongside the Shuffle, Nano, and Touch when Jobs proclaimed that this is the best iPod lineup ever. But you can still get one from the Apple Store, with 160GB of storage, for $249, same as before.
iTunes 10 Still Rocks the Desktop
Ping (Neither Bing Nor Fring)
This is Apple's entry into social networking. From within iTunes, users can follow musicians or friends, checking out photos, upcoming concerts, and song snippets. And of course, every time a song is mentioned, iTunes posts a purchase link. I'm not sold on the idea, but Lady Gaga loves it.
New iTunes Logo
Jobs claims that iTunes music sales will surpass the physical CD next year, so Apple's ousting the old logo, which showed a music note on top of a disc. But, wait -- isn't the iTunes store about movies, TV and apps, too?
Apple TV: Smaller, Cheaper
Rumors of a new Apple TV have been kicking around for months, and they were partially correct. Indeed, Apple TV is now $99, with a focus on streaming content from the Web, computers and other Apple devices. And it's one quarter of the old Apple TV's size.