Apple’s Announcements

by Mike

Apple hosted an event today and announced some new products. Unfortunately, the “true” video iPod was not among them, but there were definitely some cool ones.

The products announced were the 2G iPod Nanos, the 2G Shuffles, the 5.5G iPods, iTunes 7 with movie downloads, and the prototype DVR-type device known as iTV.

First up is the new Nanos, the most noticeable change is the fact that the cases are now aluminum instead of the previous finger print magnet plastic. You can get a wide variety of colors now, too, just like the old Minis. The size capacities have been bosted, too, there are 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB models. The price point on each is excellent, $150, $200, and $250 respectively.

Shuffle 2G
The new Shuffle is, in a word, miniscule. It’s designed for people who just want to let their music play while on a run or commute. The Shuffle has a built in clip for attaching to your clothing, too.

The “5.5” generation iPod has the same exterior, but the screen is 60% brighter, the battery life for video is now 4.5 hours, and now comes in 30 GB and 80 GB varieties. My favorite part is the price drop, the 30 GB model is only $250, the same price as the 8 GB Nano, and the 80 GB model is $350. Another new option is the ability to play some real games, like Bejewled and Zuma, but those will cost you $5 each and only work on the 5G iPods.

iTunes 7’s most noticeable feature is the addition of movie downloads, with titles from Disney, Pixar, Touchstone, and Miramax studios. You can get a catalog title for $9.99, and new releases for $14.99 or $12.99 (preorder). The iTunes interface has been polished, too, music organization is a little better, and adjusting your iPod’s settings is much easier than before. There’s also a download manager that will show you what’s downloading and how long is left. Overall it makes for a much better experience.

The last device Apple announced is called the iTV, and it’s not yet available, the model they showed was only a prototype, but looks very promising. It looks like a slimmed down Mac Mini, and what it does is let you wirelessly stream your video content to your TV. All of this is done with the pretty Front Row interface and will actually work with both Mac and Windows. It should be available in the fist quarter of 2007.


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