Apple Announces New iOS, iPods, iTunes, Ping Social Network, Apple TV
Apple held its big event today, and showed off several things. At the event, Steve Jobs said that Apple now has 300 retail stores, and will soon open one in Spain making it 11 countries. He said that Apple has shipped 120 million iOS devices, and that there are 230,000 new iOS activations per day. He also said they’ve had 6.5 billion app downloads and get 200 app downloads every second.
The New iOS
Jobs introduced iOS 4.1, which features bug fixes, High Dynamic Range photos, HD video upload over WiFi, TV show rentals, and Game Center.
With HDR photos, it takes 3 photos in rapid succession, and combines them to make a better picture.
Game Center includes features for multi-player games, challenging friends, auto matching, comparing scores and discovering new games. There is an API, which is its own app on the phone.
iOS 4.1 will be available next week in iTunes for the iPhone and iPod Touch. 4.2 will come in November for the iPad. This will include multitasking, Game Center, HDR photos, and wireless printing, and something called AirPlay.
AirPlay is the new name of AirTunes, and extends the service from music-only to all kinds of media. You can stream audio, video, and photos over Wi-Fi.
The New iPods
Jobs said the company has sold 275 million iPods. He then announced what he says is the biggest change to the iPod lineup "ever". The new version of the Shuffle comes with buttons, VoiceOver, playlists, and "Genius mixes." It holds 15 hours of music, comes in five colors, and costs $49.
The new version of the Nano eliminates the click wheel and adds multi-touch. It also now has a clip. It’s 46% smaller and 42% lighter than the last version. It has hard volume buttons, VoiceOver, FM Radio, Nike+, pedometer, and comes in 29 languages. The screen can be rotated. It costs $149 for the 8GB version and $179 for the 16GB version.
Jobs says they’ve had 1.5 billion game and entertainment downloads. He says the iPod Touch is the most popular portable game player in the world with over 50% market share worldwide.
The new version is thinner, and comes with retina display, the A4 chip, 3-axis Gyro, iOS 4.1 with Game Center, FaceTime with a front camera, and a rear camera with HD video recording. It costs $229 for the 8GB version, $299 for the 32GB version, and $399 for the 64GB version.
The iPods are all available starting next week, and are available for pre-order.
The New iTunes and Social Network
Jobs says iTunes has 11.7 billion songs, 450 million TV episodes, 100 million movies, 35 million books, and 160 million accounts with credit cards and 1-click shopping in 23 countries.
He then announced the launch of iTunes 10, with a new logo (without a CD, noting that iTunes is about to bypass CDs in sales). The new version has a hybrid view with five or more songs from the same list view and album artwork. There is also a new "ping" feature, which is a social network based on music. Jobs says its like Twitter and Facebook meets iTunes. This is for users and artists.
Ping comes with privacy settings, social music discovery, follow features, a circle of friends feature, the ability to post thoughts/opinions, custom song/album charts, concert listings, and 160 million iTunes users. Ping will be an app store app.
The New Apple TV
Jobs says in four years they’ve sold a lot of Apple TVs but the product hasn’t been "a huge hit". He introduced the second generation, and it comes in the form of a device that fits in the palm of your hand. It has a built-n power supply, one HDMI connector, built-in ethernet, and built-in WiFi.
It features HD content, with no purchases. There is no storage because everything is by rental. You can also stream from your computer. You can view movies, TV shows, and music. TV shows are 99 cents (in HD). You can rent first-run HD movies for $4.99 the day the come out on DVD. They have deals with ABC and FOX, abut think the other studios ill get onboard. It comes with Netflix access (for subscribers) as expected, and supports YouTube, Flickr, and MobileMe. You can stream content from an iOS device to an Apple TV. It costs $99 as expected. It will be available in four weeks with pre-orders today.
Update: We received the following statement from Disney/ABC: “When we put our shows on iTunes five years ago, it was revolutionary,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. “Since then, we’ve continued to provide viewers with innovative new ways to access our programming, and today we’re proud to team with Apple on a rental option for fans of our shows.”
(Hat tip to GdGt for its live coverage)