Apple held a media event in San Francisco today at which CEO Steve Jobs
rolled out a refreshed iPod line along with two pieces of software
notable to iPhone owners: iTunes 8 and iPhone/iPod Touch firmware 2.1.
iPhone firmware 2.1 is, in Jobs' words, "A big update" that "fixes lots of bugs" including fewer dropped calls, no app crashes, and battery life improvement. If it's all true, that's weclomed news, believe you me. The update will be available Friday as a free download to all iPhone owners.
In case you're curious, the new iPods shake out like this:
iPod Touch (slight redesign to look more like iPhone 3G, built-in Nike + iPod receiver): 8GB model - $229. 16GB model - $299. 32GB model - $399. Jobs also called Touch, "The best portable device for playing games." Wow. Look out, now, Nintendo and Sony.
iPod nano: 8 colors: Silver, purple, bue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink. 8GB model - $149. 16GB mdoel - $199.
is a free download available today from iTunes.com. The newest version
of Apple's media player/manager features "Genius" functionality which
uses information about your media library and listening preferences to
make smart playlists and suggestions of music and video content that
"goes with" what you're already listening to and watching. Apple's
Genius looks to be either a super convenient way to discover new stuff
you'll be into or a garishly rude invasion of your privacy aimed at
upselling you DRM-laden content from the iTunes store that will also
systematically whittle away individual preference and taste in
commerical art ... depending on how you look at it.
couldn't resist that mini-rant ... The Genius stuff might be kind of
cool, who knows. But Apple sure seems to be pushing it hard, which
always gets my goat.
Apple also took the wraps off of a new
version of their In-Ear Earphones. Their first attempt at canalphones
was a huge fail. Trust me, I bought a pair way back when. This new
version features two drivers in each ear (a woofer and a tweeter), and
will ship with three sizes of earbuds and feature an inline remote with
play/pause/track advance and volume control along with a microphone.
No word yet on whether they'll work with iPhones, but I'm guessing they
will. $79 when they ship next month.
A few new iPhone/iPod Touch games were shown off, as well, including Real Soccer 09, Need for Speed Undercover, and the not-quite-new Spore Origins (which Apple is also pushing pretty hard these days). While I'm not yet sold on the whole virtual D-Pad on a touchscreen thing, I do love me some electronic soccer and so might just have to lay out ten bucks (or whatever it costs) to try out Real Soccer (ney, Real Football) 09.