San Francisco -
Apple revamped its complete iPod lineup with a new Shuffle, Nano and Touch
while launching a new Apple TV that streams rented movies and TV shows rather
than downloads them for local storage.
CEO Steve Jobs called the launches "the
biggest change in the iPod lineup ever."
The company also upgraded the iTunes
application, upgraded its Touch/iPhone OS to iOIS4, and provides a sneak peak
of the iOS4.2, due in November.
In its iPod line, the Touch got thinner and
added the iPhone 4's Retina display for sharper images, multiplayer gaming via
the new iOS 4.1 OS, a front-facing camera for use with the company's FaceTime
video-chat application, and a rear-facing camera/camcorder that captures HD
video but has no flash. The FaceTime app can be used to chat with other Touch
users and with iPhone 4 users.
The Touch also gets the iPad's 1GHz Apple A4
chip, a three-axis gyro for better game play, and extended music playback time
of 40 hours on a single charge. Like before, the Touch is available in three
capacities: 8GB at $229, 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399.
Apple downsized the Nano by 46 percent, made
it square, added an aluminum and glass body, and in place of a clickwheel,
added a multitouch touchscreen that users can manually reorient. It adds a belt
clip and extends battery life to 24 hours for music. It also carries over its
predecessor's FM tuner, video and picture storage, pedometer, and Nike+
feature. Prices hold steady at $149 for the 8GB version and $179 for the 16GB
The Shuffle, which morphed into an aluminum
square, got back its clickable buttons to control select features. Controls in
the previous generation were incorporated in the headphone cable. Like before,
the shuffle randomly selects songs for playback, lacks a display, and features
VoiceOver, which lets users hear the name of the currently playing song and
enables them to use the device's controls to change songs, playlists or Genius
Mix. Genius Mix, which automatically generates a playlist based on a selected
song, is new to the Shuffle. The new model also extends music playback time to
15 hours on one charge, but it now comes in only one capacity: 2GB at $49 vs.
2GB and 4GB.
clickable buttons consist of a center button to play and pause and outer
buttons to skip forward and back or adjust volume up and down.
The 160GB iPod
Classic remains in the line at $249.
The new Nano will be available next week in
silver, graphite, blue, green, orange and pink through Apple's online store,
Apple's retail stores and authorized resellers. A red iPod Nano will be
available only through the Apple online store and Apple's retail stores.
The Touch and Shuffle also will be available
next week through Apple's online store, Apple's retail stores and authorized resellers.
The Shuffle's color options are silver, blue, green, orange and pink.
In launching a new Apple TV, the company
dropped the price to $99 from $229, eliminated the 160GB hard drive for content
storage, and went to an all-streaming strategy to stimulate demand. Due in
about four weeks, the palm-sized device streams first-run HD movies day and
date with DVD release for $4.99, and streams commercial-free TV shows from ABC, ABC Family, FOX, Disney Channel, BBC America
and Fix for 99 cents. It also streams movies from Netflix and connects to YouTube
and Flickr. It also streams music, photos and video from a networked computer.
It features HDMI output.
The current Apple TV downloads HD movies for
purchase and rental, and TV shows are available only for purchase at $2.99.
The iOS 4.1 OS launched by Apple fixes
multiple bugs in the current iOS 4 OS used in the Touch, iPhone and iPad. It
also adds HD video uploading via Wi-Fi to the net, multiplayer gaming and an
HDR (high dynamic range) photo capability, which takes three photos in rapid
succession at different exposures, then merges them into one photo to create
the best picture.
The iOS 4.2 OS, due in November, adds wireless
printing from a Touch, iPad or iPhone and enables Wi-Fi streaming of video and
photos, not just music, to Apple's AirPort Express devices.
To its iTunes application, called iTunes 10,
Apple added a music-focused social networking feature called Ping.