Apple today gave a sneak preview of iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. While the release will bring all of the features from iOS 4.0 to the iPad, it will also include several new features including wireless printing and a revamped AirTunes, which has been renamed AirPlay. AirPlay will allow users to stream audio, videos, and photos from an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad directly to the company’s next-generation Apple TV. iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch will be released in November and will be a free update for all capable devices.
Apple today introduced a revamped version of its AirTunes technology. Dubbed AirPlay, the new streaming technology allows not only audio, but also video and photos to be streamed from any iOS device to another iOS device or the new Apple TV. The new AirPlay technology, slated to be included in iOS 4.2, will allow iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to instantly stream content from their device directly to their Apple TV, while controlling playback and storing the content on the iOS device. Apple has also also announced plans to license its AirPlay technology for inclusion in speaker docks, AV receivers and stereo systems from companies such as Bowers & Wilkins and Denon. The new AirPlay technology will not only stream music and other media content but can also transmit information about the content allowing song titles, artists, album names, elapsed time and album artwork to be displayed on AirPlay-enabled speakers with graphical displays.
With today’s introduction of the new Apple TV, Apple has also announced the addition of Netflix support to the Apple TV, allowing Netflix subscribers in the U.S. to access movie rentals from Netflix, including access to users’ Instant Queues and synchronization of playback positions with Netflix on the web and other devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Apple today announced a long-awaited update to its Apple TV home entertainment device, significantly reducing the size of the device and shifting the focus to a streaming rather than syncing model. Almost entirely preserving the interface of the Apple TV 3.0 software update, the new Apple TV device will now include the aluminum seven-button Apple Remote that was previously released but not included with the device, while dropping the component video and stereo audio ports in favor of one HDMI port and an optical audio port. The new Apple TV measures 0.9” by 3.9” by 3.9”, and weighs 0.6 pounds. Its black plastic shell is flat and mostly matte on top with a glossy Apple TV logo, tapering on the sides from glossy straight sides to a gentle secondary flat surface on the bottom, elevating the bulk of its body off of the table it’s on. Now powered by the Apple A4 chip, the system supports full 802.11n networking—2.4GHz and 5GHz—as well as 802.11a/b/g standards, and continues to have 720p H.264 and M-JPEG support, with 640x480 MPEG-4 support—like the prior Apple TV.
At Apple’s event today, Steve Jobs reiterated that the goals of the new Apple TV design were to provide Hollywood movies & TV shows, all content in HD, lower content prices and reduce the dependency on computer and storage management. As part of the new design and goal of reducing storage requirements, the new Apple TV will move to an entirely rental-based model with no purchases available on the device. First-run movies will be released as HD Rentals for $5 on the same day as the DVD release, and HD TV Shows will now be available for rent for $1, commercial free, as opposed to the prior $3 per episode price. Content will be initially be available from the ABC and FOX networks, with other networks hopefully coming on board in the future. The new Apple TV will also provide support for Netflix streaming in the U.S. in addition to its current support for streaming videos from YouTube and photos from Flickr and MobileMe. The new Apple TV will also continue to include support for streaming content from an iTunes library. The new Apple TV will be priced at $99 and will be available from Apple Stores and online in about four weeks, with pre-orders starting today.
Apple today introduced a new social music network today, Ping. Integrated with iTunes 10, the Ping social network provides a Twitter-like social media network all about music where users can share their favorite songs, what they are listening to, commentary, album & song reviews, and view over 17,000 concert listings. Ping will provide a customized social chart to show what users are listening to and their favorite albums and artists as well as comments and reviews by other users. Privacy controls allow users to choose to share their information openly on the Ping network or choose to share their content only with smaller circles of friends. Ping is also being introduced to the iPhone and iPod touch and will be integrated into the iTunes Store application on these devices.
Apple today announced the release of iTunes 10, the latest version of its popular media management software. The new version boasts a more simple and elegant interface, with a new hybrid view that adds album artwork to text lists of song titles, and provides a more streamlined library. iTunes 10 also adds Ping, a new social network focused on music discovery, letting you easily find out what your friends and favorite bands are listening to. Ping provides a customized social chart showing what contacts are highlighting as favorites, plus linked messages in a Twitter-like online stream. The Ping network provides privacy controls that allow users to control who follows them, post thoughts and opinions, view custom song and album charts, and over 17,000 concert listings. iTunes 10 is being released today as a free download from http://www.itunes.com.
Apple today introduced its fourth-generation iPod touch, featuring a FaceTime-capable front-facing camera. The new touch also sports a new HD video recording rear-facing camera and microphone, the same Apple A4 chip that powers the iPhone 4, a 960x640 retina display, and a 3-axis gyroscope. Physically, the new iPod touch is thinner than its predecessors and features a slightly curved, flatter back, and a new speaker port near the Dock Connector. Notably, both the front- and rear-facing cameras will be capable of still photography, with the former capped at 640x480 resolution and the latter capped at 960x720. The devices will be available next week and will be priced at $229 for the 8GB model, $299 for the 32GB version, and $399 for the 64GB model.
Note that the fourth-generation iPod touch gains limited 802.11n support (2.4GHz only), like the iPhone 4, joining Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and has a promised audio run time of 40 hours, versus 7 hours of video. H.264 and M-JPEG video codecs now support 1280x720-resolution 720p HD videos, as well as 1024x768 output via Apple’s previously-released iPad VGA to Dock Connector Adapter. The device does not have GPS hardware and thus supports geo-tagging only when connected to a Wi-Fi network. FaceTime video calling is handled via a dedicated FaceTime application, with an icon that looks like a white camera on a green background.
Apple has announced its new sixth-generation iPod nano, dropping the device’s Click Wheel in favor of a Multi-Touch interface. As expected, the device features physical, iPhone 4-like volume buttons, a polished aluminum and glass enclosure, a clip on the back, headphone and dock connector ports on the bottom, and a sleep/wake button on the top opposite the volume controls. The new nano’s interface appears to be very similar to that of iOS, with four customizable option icons on each screen, and multiple screens available—however, it does not actually appear to be running iOS, at least as the name generally would indicate. Like the fifth-generation iPod nano, it includes a FM radio, Nike+ support, a built-in pedometer, and VoiceOver support, and will offer 24 hours of audio playback; gone are the video playback and camera capabilities of the prior model. The sixth-generation iPod nano will be available next week in seven colors, including a Product Red version, and will sell for $149 for an 8GB model and $179 for the 16GB version.
Spec fiends should note that the iPod nano now measures 1.48” by 1.61” by 0.35” including the rear clip, with a weight of 0.74 ounces. It does contain an accelerometer, and promises 24 hours of music playback—no video playback—off a full charge. The 240 pixel by 240 pixel screen has 220 pixels per inch, and includes accessibility modes for visually and sonically disabled users. However, the device lacks for the Home button of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad that came before, requiring swiping or holding gestures to switch between sub-menus, which may confuse some users at first.
Apple today debuted its fourth-generation iPod shuffle, bringing back physical buttons while retaining the VoiceOver feature of the third-generation model. The new model is smaller than its predecessor and more square in shape, with the company’s familiar ring of control buttons on the front, a dedicated VoiceOver button on the top, doing away with the need for an in-line button to activate the feature, and a clip on the back. Genius capabilities have also been added to the device. The fourth-generation iPod shuffle will be available next week in five colors and will sell for $49, with 2GB of storage capacity.
The new iPod shuffle measures 1.14” by 1.24” by 0.34” including the rear clip, with a weight of 0.44 ounces. The top notably features a small dot next to the headphone port that looks like the microphone hole of an iPhone 4, though the device has not been described as microphone-capable in Apple’s materials. It continues to use a custom USB charging and synchronization cable that connects to the headphone port, preventing simultaneous listening and charging; Apple promises 15 hours of audio playback.
Apple today announced iOS 4.1, brining with it a multitude of bug fixes, built-in HDR photography, the Game Center social gaming service, and HD video uploads over Wi-Fi. The free update for iPhone and iPod touch users will fix existing bugs with the proximity sensor, Bluetooth, and iPhone 3G performance, and will feature built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, a feature through which the camera takes three photos in rapid succession and combines them to make a picture with a wider dynamic range than a traditional photo. In addition, the update will provide HD video uploading over Wi-Fi, and the aforementioned Game Center social gaming service. iOS 4.1 will be available next week and will be a free update for users of capable iPhone and iPod touch devices.
Apple today gave several updates on its iOS, App Store, and retail store businesses. It said it has now shipped over 120 million iOS devices, and is handling 230,000 new activations each day. Over 6.5 billion applications have been downloaded from the App Store, resulting in an average of 200 apps every second, and the App Store now offers over 250,000 apps, 25,000 of which are made for the iPad. The company now has 300 retail stores in 10 countries—the Covent Garden store in London was the 300th opening—and has over one million customers coming through the stores on several days each month. It will soon open a store in Spain, marking the 11th country in which it has retail stores.
It also revealed that it has sold 275 million iPods, and that the iPod touch is now the best-selling portable gaming device in the world, outselling Nintendo’s and Sony’s portable devices combined. In enjoys over 50% market share in the portable gaming device category both in the U.S. and worldwide, and iPod touch users have downloaded over 1.5 billion game and entertainment apps.
Whether you’re looking for play-by-play analysis of Apple’s 2010 iPod/Music event or unable to watch Apple’s live video stream, we invite you to follow along on our iLounge Twitter feed, or on our live event coverage page. At the event, which begins at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/1:00 Eastern Time, Apple is expected to announce its Fall 2010 iPod and iTunes lineup, and possibly updates to the iPad’s OS, Apple TV, and iPhone.
Apple is preparing to announce a next-generation version of the Apple TV with Netflix streaming capabilities, according to a new report. Citing three people with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that the inclusion of Netflix content might help boost sales of the “hobby” product, and that two of the three sources claimed the revamped device will be announced at Apple’s media event later today. The report also states that the new Apple TV will be priced at $99, as previously rumored, but did not make any mention of a potential name change for the set-top box. Prior reports have stated that the next-generation Apple TV will be based on iOS; Netflix currently has apps for Apple’s other iOS devices.
Apple has announced that it will broadcast today’s iPod event live over the Internet. According to the press release, Apple will use its “industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming,” which is based on open standards, to provide a live video stream of the event, being held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. Apple notes that the broadcast requires either a Mac running Safari on Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard, an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad. Apple’s special event will begin today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/1:00 Eastern Time.
ALK Technologies has released an update to CoPilot Live, its turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for new services and updated maps. CoPilot Live North America and CoPilot Live USA now provides ActiveTraffic, an upgraded version of its optional Live Traffic service which improves on the prior service by extending live traffic coverage beyond highways and interstates to also include arterial roads, city streets and secondary roads across the U.S., using data from traffic information provider INRIX. The ActiveTraffic feature is a free upgrade for current CoPilot Live users who have already subscribed to Premium Live Services, and a 14-day free trial of ActiveTraffic is available for other CoPilot Live users. The update also provides in-app MapSure reporting for submitting map updates and corrections and a full map update to the latest Q2 2010 map data which adds thousands of new miles of roads in the U.S. and Canada including map improvements submitted by customers. The latest version also reducing the amount of time that the app remains running in the background while idle on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices and improves memory usage for iPhone 3G and 3GS users. CoPilot Live North America is available from the App Store for $20; CoPilot Live USA is available for $5. Both versions are free updates for current users.