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TV Show Rentals limited to iOS 4.1 devices

According to a support FAQ from Apple, rented TV Shows are limited to being played on devices running iOS 4.1 or later. Specifically, the FAQ indicates that rented TV shows downloaded via iTunes 10 can be played only on the computer, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS or iPod touch and HD TV rentals can only be played on the computer, iPhone 4 or iPod touch (4th generation) and that iOS 4.1 or later is required. This restriction not only prevents rented TV Shows from being played on Click Wheel iPods and the first-generation Apple TV but also rules out iPad compatibility at least until such time as iOS 4.2 ships in November. It is also uncertain at this time if TV Shows rented in iTunes 10 can be streamed to the second-generation Apple TV or whether users will need to rent TV shows directly on the device. Further, as with the movie rental restrictions discovered earlier this month, the FAQ also indicates that TV Shows rented on the iPhone 4 or fourth-generation iPod touch are “not transferable to any other device or computer” meaning that they must be watched only on the device used to rent them.

Deutsche Telekom to lose German iPhone Exclusivity

The Wall Street Journal reports that Deutsche Telekom AG will be losing its exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in Germany ahead of the holiday season. Citing people familiar with the matter, the WSJ report indicates that although nothing has yet been finalized, negotiations are “in an advanced stage” for competing providers Vodafone and O2 to begin selling the iPhone following the end of Deutsche Telekom’s exclusivity, which could end as early as October. Deutsche Telekom has held exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in Germany since its release in that country in November 2007. Germany is the last major European market in which a single provider continues to have iPhone exclusivity. O2 lost its exclusivity in the UK just prior to last year’s holiday season and the market opened up in France earlier last year following a legal ruling.

Apple confirms no more updates to first-generation Apple TV

Apple has confirmed to Ars Technica that it will not be releasing an update to bring the new second-generation Apple TV features such as Netflix streaming to the older device. As with other products Apple has discontinued, the first-generation Apple TV will continue to work in the same way as it already has: users will continue to be able to purchase movies and TV shows directly from the first-generation Apple TV and download new content to the device’s internal hard drive. Notably, however, the first-generation Apple TV will not provide any support for TV Show Rentals, even those rented directly within iTunes 10.

iTunes Ping loses Facebook Connect after release (images)

As noted when iTunes 10 launched yesterday with Apple’s new music social network Ping, the official release of the software came roughly eight hours after its announcement—considerably later than had originally been expected. Reports have suggested that the delay may have been the result of a last-minute contractual problem between Apple and Facebook, which reportedly proposed “onerous terms,” leading Apple to remove a promised Facebook Connect option for locating a user’s existing friends online.

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The Facebook Connect feature briefly appeared within iTunes 10’s Ping feature last night, as shown in the screenshot above, before disappearing entirely. iLounge editors testing the feature found no contacts available via the service while it was available. Users now have the option to manually search the Ping database for people or artists, or invite friends via e-mail; Facebook and Twitter sharing links for individual media files still appear elsewhere within the iTunes Store. It’s unclear whether Facebook Connect will return to Ping in the future. Additional screenshots are available below.

Apple quietly nixes “Free iPod touch” promo for new iPods

In an unexpected change to its “Buy a Mac, get a free iPod” promotion for educational customers, which runs through September 7 of this year, Apple will not offer students rebates on iPod models announced yesterday, a limitation snuck into a just-updated Terms and Conditions PDF on its Apple Store web site. Since late May, Apple’s web site has promised students and educators a free 8GB iPod touch or less expensive iPod model with the purchase of a new Mac computer, issuing up to $199 as a rebate after the combined purchase. Now, however, the new Terms and Conditions claim that the “new models are NOT ELIGIBLE for the Back to School promotion, and rebate “claims submitted in conjunction with these new products will not be honored.”

As noted by Macworld UK, neither the change in terms nor the way to take advantage of the promotion to order old models is obvious when viewing Apple’s web site. “Because the promotion says that you have to pay for the iPod first, then reclaim the money later,” a reader pointed out, “I suspect there might be quite a lot of disgruntled students in a few weeks time, when they discover that they’ve bought an iPod they really couldn’t afford and that they’re now not going to get the money back for it.”

iLounge has confirmed that this change is impacting U.S. customers who placed orders yesterday for new Macs and iPods, as the company’s telephone representatives are claiming that rebates—despite the lack of conspicuous notice during the ordering process yesterday—will be denied.

AKG outs Quincy Jones Signature Line of headphones

AKG, a brand of Harman, has introduced a new line of Quincy Jones Signature headphones. The lineup includes the Q701 “reference-class” over-the-ear headphones featuring a flat-wire voice coil, a Varimotion two-layer diaphragm, and neodymium drivers, the Q460 portable on-ear mini headphones featuring a folding design, a detachable cable, and an iPhone-compatible in-line microphone and remote, and the Q350 in-ear headphones with three included pairs of silicone sleeves, a cable winder, and an iPhone-compatible in-line microphone and remote. AKG’s Q701, Q460, and Q350 headphones will be available in October and will be priced between $150 and $480.

Apple posts new iPod touch, iPod nano TV ads

Apple has posted its first TV advertisements for the fourth-generation iPod touch and sixth-generation iPod nano online. The fourth-generation touch commercial is similar to past spots for the device, showing off its video-recording, gaming, and FaceTime features against a white background, set the to song “Come Home” by Chappo. The sixth-generation iPod nano commercial is also shot against a white background, and is shown being clipped to various people’s clothing while they manipulate the touch-based controls; the song “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by Cake is played in the background. Apple’s new iPod commercials are available for viewing now on the company’s website.

Apple CEO Jobs talks apps on TV, Facebook + Ping

In separate interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek and AllThingsD, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has provided some insight into yesterday’s announcements. Jobs told Bloomberg that Apple could open an App Store for the TV when the time is right. When asked if the iPad could evolve into the TV of the future, Jobs said, “That’s how I do most of my TV watching today.” Discussing Apple’s new Ping social networking service, Jobs told AllThingsD that the company had held talks with Facebook about a variety of potential partnerships, but that the talks went nowhere, due to “onerous terms that [Apple] could not agree to.” Jobs did say that the service could incorporate Facebook Connect, making it easier to find friends, but said that users can still find friends by typing their names into search or sending them email invitations. Curiously, several reports—which have been confirmed by iLounge editors—indicate that a Facebook Connect option was seen for a brief time on Apple’s Ping service before being removed for unspecified reasons.

Apple posts stream, podcast of Fall 2010 iPod event

Apple has posted a stream of yesterday’s Fall 2010 iPod event on its website, as well as a downloadable version on its Apple Keynotes podcast. During the event, Apple announced iOS 4.1 and 4.2, new models of the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod touch, iTunes 10 with the new Ping social networking service, and a new cheaper streaming-based Apple TV. For more information on the event, see our summary article, our complete transcript, and our image gallery of the new products.

Twitter releases official iPad app

Twitter has released a universal update, adding iPad support to its official Twitter app for iOS devices. Earlier this year, Twitter acquired Tweetie for the iPhone and iPod touch for it to become the company’s official Twitter app. As part of the acquisition, Tweetie developer Loren Brichter was brought onto Twitter’s staff to continue further development of the app including work on developing an iPad-native version. Now released as a universal app for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad devices, Twitter 3.1 on the iPad provides all of the features of the iPhone version with an enhanced user interface optimized for the larger screen. Web pages, photos and videos are easily accessible from within the timeline and users can tap on any tweet and a related content pane opens to display linked content from within the tweet such as media content, web pages, profile information and hashtag searches. Panels can be slid from side to side to allow users to quickly navigate through related content, and can use two-finger pinch and drag operations to quickly peek into tweets for related information, actions and replies. Users can also access the public Twitter timelines and searches without requiring a Twitter account, or sign up for an account directly within the app. Twitter 3.1 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is available from the App Store as a free download.

iTunes Ping goes live on iOS 4, not yet iPad

In addition to the release of iTunes 10 for Mac and PC earlier this evening, Apple has brought the Ping social music networking feature to the free iTunes application for iPhone and iPod touch. Rather than offering Ping as a standalone application, the company has integrated most of its features into a button that’s now found at the bottom of iTunes, using button-style tabs to let you switch between a timeline of Activity, lists of People you follow and who follow you, plus Profile, which contains a seemingly non-editable version of the profile you create with the desktop application.

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Notably, the Ping button does not appear as of yet in the iPad version of iTunes, and may not do so until the November release of iOS 4.2.

 

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iLounge’s Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz welcomes iLounge readers to follow him on Ping as he tests the service.

Update: Ping does not appear to work on iOS 3 devices, including original iPhone and iPod touch models, unupdated iPhone 3G/3GS or iPod touch models, or the iPad.

iTunes 10 now available for download, new Ping notes

Eight hours after announcing iTunes 10, Apple has released the latest version of its digital media management software for free download from Apple.com and iTunes.com. As discussed more fully in our earlier iTunes 10 story, the software adds a new Ping social networking feature, a Hybrid View of songs with album art, and a collection of small refinements to the user interface, as well as promising performance improvements. Grab it from iTunes.com now, or wait for either the iTunes 9 software (PC/Mac) or Mac OS X to let you know that the new version is available.

Update: iLounge’s Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz welcomes iLounge readers to follow him on Ping as he tests the service.

Update 2: Note that Ping-related e-mail follow requests from Apple contain a web link that is currently not working. Using the Ping > People screen from within the iTunes Store will let you acknowledge and add followers.

iOS 4.1 HDR, YouTube HD upload screenshots posted

Apple’s release of the final version of iOS 4.1 to end users is days away, but we’ve just received screenshots showing off two of the new and previously unannounced features: high dynamic range (HDR) photography and high-definition uploading to YouTube.

Our source indicates that the HDR camera functionality, activated by a new button on the top of the camera screen, has interesting characteristics and limitations that may be of interest to some users. First, when HDR is turned on, it now takes 3-5 seconds longer to save an HDR image on an iPhone 4, as the device gathers multiple images and uses them to create the more colorful final photograph. Second, HDR cannot be used with the flash—turning HDR on automatically turns the flash off, with the flash returning to its prior setting if HDR is turned off. Third, there’s a setting that will either keep the “normally exposed photo” or discard it when HDR is turned on. If you’re viewing this article from our main page, more screenshots can be seen by clicking on the article’s title.

 

According to our source, YouTube HD uploads will only work over Wi-Fi, as suggested at Apple’s event today. The HD uploading option will be disabled if Wi-Fi is not available. A sample video shown in the screenshots here shows a more than 3:1 increase in the video’s size when it jumps from standard to high resolution.

Finally, a feature previously suggested in beta versions of iOS 4.1—FaceTime calling over e-mail—now appears to at least attempt the call. With two registered devices running iOS 4.1 and logging their e-mail addresses, the feature presumably works without issues.

Epic Games releases Epic Citadel

Epic Games has released a walk-through demo of its upcoming RPG for iOS devices demonstrated during today’s Apple iPod event. Codenamed “Project Sword,” the game is an impressive 3D RPG with detailed real-time graphics powered by the Unreal Engine 3. In the full game, players will be able to explore a medieval town and engage in combat with other players over the Internet. The current demo, Epic Citadel, available as a free download from the App Store, provides a simple walk-through of the game environment with no combat options, allowing users to simply explore the detailed 3D realm. The full version of Project Sword is expected to be released later this year.

iOS 4.1 GM released to developers

Apple has released to developers a pre-release version of the Gold Master of iOS 4.1 for the iPhone and iPod touch. The release is likely the last prior to next week’s public release of the software; it is currently unknown what changes have been made in this version, although Apple did highlight some new features that will be present in the final release during today’s iPod media event. Apple’s iOS 4.1 GM seeds for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, second-, and third-generation iPod touch are available now to paid iPhone developers from the iOS Dev Center.

Gallery: Photos of 2010 iPods, Apple TV posted

iLounge has posted a gallery of Apple’s official photography for the sixth-generation iPod nano, fourth-generation iPod touch, second-generation Apple TV, and fourth-generation iPod shuffle, all of which were announced today during the company’s annual fall music event; a full transcript of the event is available here, while the photo gallery can be viewed below.

iPod classic still available; 160GB for $249

Despite Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ statement that the company was announcing all new designs for every iPod model, the company’s legacy iPod classic, which hasn’t seen a major redesign since its introduction in 2007, remains in the lineup. The device, which offers audio, photo, and video playback capabilities, is still available from Apple’s online store, and offers 160GB of storage for $249. The iPod classic was not mentioned during today’s traditional Fall iPod event, providing further evidence that Apple has shifted its focus to the iOS-powered iPod touch and presumably better-selling shuffle and nano models, although it is mentioned at the bottom of the press releases for Apple’s latest iPods.

New iPods, Apple TV now available for pre-order

The online Apple Store has now been updated with the new iPod and Apple TV announced today at Apple’s special event. The new iPod shuffle is now sold only in a 2GB capacity for $49 and available in five colors. The new iPod nano is available in 8GB and 16GB capacities for $149 and $179, respectively, and comes in seven colors including a (PRODUCT) RED special edition. The new iPod touch is available in 8GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities for $229, $299 and $399 respectively. Unlike last year, Apple is also no longer selling a previous-generation iPod touch in the 8GB capacity; all of the three available iPod touch models are now the fourth-generation. All iPod models can be ordered today with expected shipping times of one week. The new Apple TV is also available for pre-order today for $99 with an expected ship date of September. Notably, the iPod classic did not receive an update today however it still remains on sale on the Apple Store in a 160GB capacity for $249.

Apple’s 2010 Music Event: The Big Picture Summary

Apple’s 2010 Music Event is over, and as expected, it brought new iPod models, a new Apple TV, and a new version of iTunes—plus information on iOS versions 4.1 and 4.2. Here’s a quick summary of the key announcements, with a convenient gallery of photographs.

Fourth-Generation iPod shuffle: $49 (2GB). After the huge flop of the third-generation shuffle, Apple has switched the body completely, with a new design that preserves all of the buttons on the face like the iPod shuffle 1G and 2G. It’s now available in five colors, all polished aluminum. Has VoiceOver and a tiny microphone-sized dot on the top.

Second-Generation Apple TV: Now $99. Loses hard drive and “syncing” capability, loses component outputs, gains more powerful streaming from iOS devices with 802.11n wireless, retains seven-button metal Apple Remote design that was introduced last year but not packaged with Apple TV. Plasticy black shell, 1/4 the size of prior Apple TV. Netflix streaming for Netflix subscribers is included as a new feature.

Sixth-Generation iPod nano: $149 (8GB) - $179 (16GB). Over 40% smaller and lighter than before. Seemingly loses video and camera capabilities while becoming a screened, more expensive alternative to the iPod shuffle with greater capacity. iOS-style multi-touch icon interface with four icons on screen at once, toggling from color home screens back to white backgrounds with black text for menus. Clip on back, available in seven colors, all anodized aluminum.

Fourth-Generation iPod touch: $229 (8GB), $299 (32GB), $399 (64GB). All three versions gain a Retina Display (960x640 resolution), front and rear video cameras, a rear microphone, and a bottom speaker vent, with a redesigned rear shell that makes the latest version slightly thinner than before. Contains an Apple A4 chip for faster/more efficient processing, and runs iOS 4.1 out of the box. Note that the rear still photo camera is considerably more limited than the ones on any iPhone to date, with 0.7-Megapixel resolution that falls short of even the original iPhone’s camera.

iOS 4.1 and 4.2: iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4 users, plus iPod touch 2G, 3G and 4G users get iOS 4.1, which has bug fixes and a HDR photo mode for devices with cameras. iOS 4.2 is coming in November to add all new iOS 4 features to the iPad as well, including streaming to the Apple TV, multitasking, folders, threaded mail, and the like. It’s unclear whether some prior iPhone and iPod touch models (3G and 2G respectively) will be able to run iOS 4.2.

iTunes 10. Adds Ping, a social network for music, and Hybrid View, which combines album art and text listings sort of like iOS devices. Unlike the other devices and software, it’s available today.

New! Editorial: How Apple Killed $99 and $199 iPods + More. Details on subtle and not-subtle changes to the iPod lineup that may affect your holiday shopping.

In addition to the story links above, the transcript of our live event play-by-play is available here if you want to dive into the nitty gritty of the event, which ended with a live performance by Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Complete transcript of Apple’s Fall 2010 iPod event

Below is a complete transcript of iLounge’s play-by-play coverage of Apple’s Fall 2010 iPod media event, held on September 1, 2010, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. Updates are presented in chronological order; photos from the event can be seen on iLounge’s Flickr account.

9:48AM PT: Apple is now streaming live from the theater. The acoustic guitar on the screen at the stage is matched with the music they’re playing, which has frequently in the past been tunes from Coldplay and other artists Apple’s execs love. This appears to be a recent live Paul McCartney performance. Now it’s Alanis. Last year, Rolling Stones music was playing.

9:53AM PT: You may recall that Apple’s FaceTime demonstration for the iPhone 4, as well as Safari on the Retina Display, had technical issues that wound up delaying the iPhone 4 unveiling event. We’ll see if they repeat today. Eric Clapton’s Layla is playing.

9:56AM PT: Apple’s iPod events have most frequently been held in this theater, very close to San Francisco’s Moscone Center, but with less seating capacity. By choosing its unveiling locations carefully (and packing remaining seats with Apple employees who sometimes let out surprising cheers during events), the company gives the impression of a packed crowd no matter how big or small the announcement may be.

 

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