Yeah, you’re gonna wanna read on.
We know today was going to be a big day for Apple, and boy did they not disappoint. Apple gave the pretty much the whole iPod line a refresh (except for the Classic which appears to be on its last legs)– and all look really, really nice. We got the whole round-up and breakdown of what you need to know about Apple’s Fall Event after the break, so read on!
Ok, as mentioned above, a whole lot went down today, but let’s start with the big guys– new iPods!
Remember the old Shuffle from 2 years ago? The one with the colorful, aluminum, square body with a clip on the back and media controls on the front? Well, it’s back and it’s better than ever. Apple decided that the previous Shuffle (the 3rd gen Shuffle)– while incredibly sleek– wasn’t what a lot of people wanted, and that people really missed having physical buttons to control their music playback, but still loved having VoiceOver (Apple’s software on the Shuffle that read you all the info about your particular song such as title, artist etc., and also read playlists– allowing you to control more music on the Shuffle without the need for buttons) and the sleek design. So you know what they did? They brought back the old design with physical buttons, made it thinner, and kept the great features from the 3rd gen Shuffle like playlists and VoiceOver and threw in the traditional colorful options.
If you really wanted something thin, light and an iPod that’s purely music but also an iPod that’s under $100, the new Shuffle looks to be perfect for you . The new Shuffle launches next week in 2 GB capacity (about 500 songs) in a variety of colors (the usual green, pink, blue, silver, and yellow) for $49. You can pre-order the new Shuffle here.
Now what if you liked the Shuffle’s sleekness but wanted it with a screen? Then you’re gonna wanna check out this new iPod Nano, as that is really what it is. Remember that mysterious Apple screen that was about 1.7 inches? Well, it turns out it’s the new Nano, and I gotta say, for anyone that leads an active, outdoors, lifestyle and needs a new iPod– this is perfect for you.
Gone are the days of a click wheel and large long screen– this new Nano is all about being sleek and portable. Running what looks to be a watered down version of iOS, the new Nano is pretty much a high-end Shuffle. Not only does it keep the same really slick design, but also adds a whole bunch of great features that the Shuffle lacks– mainly that multi-touch screen and higher capacities like 8 GB and 16 GB (perfect for those with larger music libraries). Like the Shuffle, this also has a clip on the back for you to attach to a bag or shirt, and with two fingers you can literally “turn” the screen toward you for better control no matter how you clipped it on.
Other features on the new Nano include an FM radio (like the old Nano), a Photos app (it does have a multi-touch color screen after all), and a pedometer for tracking your running. Sure there is no more camera or video playback like on the older Nano, but if you wanted something great for music on the go but wanted a screen and have more than 500 songs, this seems perfect.
The new Nano will also be available next week for $149 for the 8 GB version and $179 for the 16 GB version and it too will be available in a whole bunch of colors (silver, graphite– dark gray/blackish, blue, green, orange, pink and a special (PRODUCT) RED version which will donate part of the proceeds from your Nano to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa). You can pre-order the new Nano from the Apple Store here.
Now let’s move on to the big guy– the new iPod Touch, which got the biggest updates out of them all.
Waiting on an iPod Touch? Good idea, as this is definitely the best iPod Touch yet. Packing a whole bunch of expected yet awesome new features like dual cameras– one on the front for FaceTime video chat and one on the back for HD video recording, a Retina Display for a crazy awesome screen, 3-axis gyro for much better gaming, and an A4 processor for much faster speeds all around. Oh, and they made it even thinner too! Throw in the 250,000 apps and games available for iOS, multitasking and iOS 4, the built-in speaker and now mobile video chat– this is truly a pocket computer without the need for a cell phone contract. In short, this new iPod Touch is amazing.
The new iPod touch will also be available sometime next week for $229 (8 GB), $299 (32 GB), and $399 (64 GB), and is available for pre-order from the Apple Store today.
But this wasn’t all Apple had to announce on the iOS front, and iPad owners, now is the time for you to listen up.
iOS 4.1 and 4.2 for iPad
iOS 4.1’s HDR– the pic on the left is without HDR, the pic on the right is with HDR (and looks a whole lot nicer).
Apple also took the wraps off their next version of iOS for the iPhone and iPod Touch, iOS version 4.1– and like the new Touch, it too packs a whole lot of really cool features. Also coming next week, there are 3 really big things in this update to iOS 4– HDR photography, HD video uploads, and Game Center. Let’s start with HDR photography.
Ever take a picture on your phone only to see some parts of it too light or too dark? Yeah, it’s happened to all of us, but Apple is looking to fix this with this new software their calling HDR (which stands for High Dynamic Range in case you were wondering) photography. What this software does is basically take three pictures when you click the camera icon– one with the exposure (lighting) it thinks is appropriate, one with a little extra exposure, and one with a little less. It then combines the 3 shots to make one “perfect” shot that takes all the best parts of each. Basically, your iPhone and iTouch pix will now look a lot better and more like how you see the shots in real life. Also, you know how your iPhone 4 and iTouch take HD video? Well, now you can finally upload that HD video in its full quality right from your iDevice to sites like YouTube without having to worry about your video being downgraded to a lower resolution (though this for now is WiFi-only for iPhone users, but is still a very much-needed “addition”).
The third big thing is Game Center. Game Center (which was announced when iOS 4 was first announced), is kind-of like Xbox Live for your iOS device– just without the subscriptions fees. Basically,it’s a one stop shop for easy online gaming right from iOS. It’s got it all– leaderboards, achievements, and you can even go head to head with friends or play random opponents via matchmaking. So, yeah, add full-blown video game system to your iOS device. (Note: Game Center will only work on the iPhone 4 and 3GS, as well as the 4th, 3rd and 2nd gen iPod Touches, and all need to be running iOS 4.1).
Any one with an iPad right now has gotta feel a little left out. The magical tablet is now lagging both the iTouch and iPhone in key features like multitasking and iOS 4. Fear not iPad users, as Apple had a whole bunch of stuff for you too today. Coming in November, iOS 4.2 for iPad brings a whole bunch of new and long-awaited features such as wireless printing, multitasking (really the two things needing from truly making this the perfect school computer in my opinion), Folders, and new features from iOS 4.1 like the Game Center for gaming. But the big news here has got to be printing and multitasking, and we’re really glad to see them both finally begin to make their way onto the iPad.
So there you have it– everything you need to know about Apple’s latest iPods. What do you think? You gonna go pick up that new iTouch?