If you missed our tweets from earlier today and you live under a rock, you may not know that Apple held a special press event today titled It’s only rock and roll, but we like it. The event, which in some form or another Apple has held every September for the past few years, usually premieres new iPods and other special announcements. The event also saw the return of Steve Jobs to leading most of the special event. It’s great to see Steve back!
The announcement today was no different previous September events, we got updated iPod Touch, Shuffle, Classic, and most significantly Nano models. In addition, we got a new version of iTunes with some good new features (and bugs) and a partially updated App Store.
Let’s start off with the iPod updates. Most of the changes were minor updates including larger sizes, more colors, lower prices. The significant changes had to do with the iPod Touch and the Nano. Touch devices have lower prices (8GB $199, 32 GB $299, 64 GB $399) and the 32GB and 64GB models have what seems to be the same processors as the iPhone 3GS as they were advertised as twice as fast and OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible. No cameras were announced for the iPod Touch though it’s expected that they will be added fairly soon. Steve Jobs was interviewed by the New York Times and stated the reason for no camera in the Touch had to do with cost.
The Nano got the biggest boost in hotness. Adding a video camera and microphone to allow it to capture VGA quality video (640×480) at 30 frames per second. Also added to the Nano are a pedometer, voice recorder, and FM radio. The FM radio has some great features including 15 minute pause/rewind. Also included is the ability to tag songs currently playing for later download on iTunes.
Now, lets get to the interesting stuff, iTunes and the updates for iPhone OS users.
First, iPhone OS 3.1 was released today. It’s a minor update, but due to security updates, a highly recommended one. No major new features, just a few things that make things a little better. It’s a free upgrade to iPhone users and iPod Touch users who bought 3.0. Interestingly, the update to OS 3.1 for iPod Touch users who haven’t upgraded yet to 3.0 has dropped in price for $4.95 from the original $9.95.
iTunes 9.0 was released today. And while it’s a bit buggy (crashed on me 4 times already today), it’s a pretty good improvement in most areas. Some of the new music features such as iTunes LP, and Genius Mixes are fantastic for music fans. Genius mixes are also available in iTunes on the device with OS 3.1.
Some of the improvements for iPhone OS users include the often requested update in the method of managing apps in iTunes. The new features, while stopping short of a perfect solution, are at least a step in the right direction. You can, from iTunes on the desktop, change the location of your apps on your phone moving them to different positions or pages. You can also rearrange full pages. There are also extra functionality included for syncing movies and audio in iTunes.Included with the new iTunes version is an updated App Store. The main changes are a major facelift for the front page of the App Store and the inclusion of a new Top 100 list for Top Grossing.
It’s obvious that this App Store changes are not yet complete as only the front page has been updated. In addition, missing are the sub-categories in the games category. If anything we’d expect more sub-categories to help tame the large number of apps, not fewer.
The addition of the Top Grossing list is interesting and something that Apple recently hinted about. It’s a list of the apps that have generated the most revenue over a certain unknown timeframe. While this is a small start to the problem of falling prices in the App Store, it’s hopefully just the start of changes.
We’ll keep an eye on it and keep you informed.Posted in: Blog