Well, another Apple "special event" product release has come and gone. And while those out in Macland who were pining for the unveiling of the MacTab went home disappointed, there were some good moments in the presentation and some cool products to look forward to. A few of the highlights...
Steve Jobs returns
Okay, so he has been back as the head of Apple for some time now, but today Jobs actually came out and gave a full 90-minute keynote. Granted, Phil Schiller took a bit of that time, but the investors had to be a bit relieved to see Jobs well enough to do the whole on-stage thing.
Jobs also for the first time spoke on his liver transplant and urged everyone to register as an organ donor. A class move.
Wednesday's event was mostly focused on the iPod and iTunes, but there was some good stuff for the iPhone as well. The 3.1 update adds pre-made ringtones and a new genius feature for the App Store.
Perhaps most important, the update contains numerous stability and security fixes. And having a safer, more stable device is always a good thing, particularly when said update is free.
Bigger, cheaper, faster
The meat of the update was an overhaul for the iPod line. For most of the devices, this meant capacity upgrades. For the iPod touch, this also meant a price drop. You can now get your hands on an 8GB touch for just $199.
Additionally, Apple bumped up the processor speed for the Touch, presumably the same chips powering the new faster iPhones. Seeing as how Apple is now pitching the touch as a gaming console to rival the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, they'll need all the horsepower they can get.
An iPod for creeps
Apple touted the new camera-equipped iPod Nano as a portable video camera for the YouTube crowd; an easy way to shoot and share video on a compact device. The more paranoid of us saw another way for creepy folks to shoot video on unsuspecting subjects. The next time some weirdo on the train is fiddling with his iPod, you may want to check his line of sight and adjust your garments accordingly.
Seriously though, the reception for the camera-equipped Nano could be worth paying attention to. The disc-based iPod Classic is already fading away, and with phones sporting increased storage capabilities, the Nano may soon find itself fending off mobile phones. Being able to match features could help keep sales up. It's also worth noting that the only real difference between a Nano and a conventional cell phone is the calling function. Perhaps we're seeing the first steps in the transition to an iPhone Nano?
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