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.
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.
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.
- September 1, 2010
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.
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.
- September 1, 2010
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.
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.
- September 1, 2010
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 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.
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.
Apple and Nintendo have been named in a new lawsuit accusing the companies of patent infringement. Filed in the patent-friendly U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, the suit states that the motion-sensing capabilities of the two companies’ devices infringe on a patent held by Triton Tech, entitled “Computer Apparatus Input Device for Three-Dimensional Information.” AppleInsider reports that the patent describes a “mouse” that detects motion on six axes using multiple accelerometers and angular rate sensors. The court filing specifically singles out the iPhone 4 for its use of “acceleration sensors and rotational rate sensors for detecting motion about a particular axis for communication with a computing device,” along with Nintendo’s Wii Motion Plus accessory, but implies that other devices may also be in violation.
A large portion of tomorrow’s Apple special event will be spent discussing improvements to iTunes’ music discovery features, a new report suggests. Citing unnamed sources, Cnet reports that Apple will double the length of song previews from 30 to 60 seconds in a bid to encourage users to find songs via iTunes instead of using increasingly popular services such as Pandora or YouTube. The report also claims that Apple’s rumored cloud-based music service is unlikely to be announced at the event. Apple’s 2010 iPod/music event will begin tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
- August 27, 2010
Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, has sued Apple and ten other companies claiming they infringe on technology patents awarded to his Interval Research Corp. think tank. The Wall Street Journal reports that while Allen didn’t develop any of the technology himself, he does own the patents, which cover automatic suggestions for shopping sites, automatic location of related stories on a news site, and the presentation of information such as ads, stock quotes, news updates, or videos on a computer screen, in the periphery of the user’s main activity. Allen’s suit names Apple, as well as Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and Google’s YouTube subsidiary; unsurprisingly, Microsoft is missing from the list, as Allen remains a major investor in the Redmond, WA-based company.
- August 27, 2010
Apple has ended its relationship with SurfaceInk, a small Silicon Valley design firm, over its exhibition of a prototype tablet computer. The New York Times reports that Eric Bauswell, a founder and chief executive of the engineering design company, said Apple parted ways with his company due to its “growing awareness of our turnkey capabilities,” or business of designing products for clients. “I think they view our capabilities as an opportunity for competitors,” he added. According to the report, SurfaceInk had helped Apple with the development of certain products for nearly 10 years.
- August 26, 2010
HTC has filed an answer to Apple’s complaints against them involving patent infringement, Groklaw reports. In its reply, HTC denies infringing the patents, but also claims that four of the four of the patents are invalid for “failure to comply with one or more of the conditions for patentability set forth in Title 35 of the United States Code, including, but not limited to, utility, novelty, non-obviousness, enablement, written description and definiteness in accordance with 35 U.S.C. §§ 101, 102, 103, 112, and/or 116, or are invalid pursuant to the judicial doctrine barring double-patenting.” In addition, HTC claims that it has license agreements with third-party suppliers that allow it to do some of the things Apple claims are infringing. Apple filed suit against HTC in March.
Apple, meanwhile, has asked that all four current cases involving these patents—including both Nokia’s suits against Apple and Apple’s suits against HTC—be consolidated “at least for purposes of coordinating pre-trial activities.” “Consolidation is appropriate in this instance because the four cases involve numerous common issues of law and fact, including eleven patents that Apple has asserted against both Nokia and HTC,” Apple said in the filing (PDF Link). “Given the overlapping patents and technologies at issue in the cases, consolidation offers the benefit of conserving resources and promoting judicial economy by avoiding the need for duplicative discovery or any other redundant litigation activities, such as multiple Markman hearings concerning the same patents. Importantly, consolidation before a single judge will also ensure that there are no inconsistent pretrial rulings—most notably inconsistent constructions of claim terms in the eleven overlapping patents.”
Apple has begun emailing select members of the press, inviting them to a special event in San Francisco on September 1. As it has been in the past, the event will be held at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, and will be focused on the company’s iPod line, as indicated by the invitation’s image of an acoustic guitar with an Apple logo cut-out. Apple is widely expected to introduce updated iPods at the event, likely including the fourth-generation iPod touch, and possibly a rumored next-generation Apple TV, which may be renamed iTV, as well as 99 cent TV episode rentals.
Apple plans to hold its annual iPod media event in San Francisco on September 7th, according to a new report. Contained within the same Bloomberg report that suggested Apple would be debuting a 99 cent TV show rental service, yet curiously overlooked by multiple outlets—including iLounge—the brief statement cites two people as saying Apple will launch a new iPod touch, an improved Apple TV, and the TV show rental service at the event. Traditionally, Apple has held the event in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco; the Yerba Buena’s calendar shows an event scheduled for the 7th in its gallery area, but nothing being held in the theater on that day.