Last week we brought you the rumours surrounding the much anticipated Apple iPod event taglined “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it”, and today 09/09/09 we finally found out what what they were planning — and as it turns out we were half right!
Although the rock-and-roll quote and the fact that the date that coincided with the release of Beatles: Rock Band were red herrings, not only were the rumors about the camera true, but the additions to the iPod Touch and general software updates were also well predicted. So, with the iPod Nano, Touch, Shuffle and Classic all being changed here’s a quick overview of them all.
So, first things first, the news you’ve all been waiting for: the iPod Nano now comes with an FM radio. Oh and it has a camera as well! However you may be surprised to know that despite the fact that the camera can record in 640×480 you cannot take still photos, and will have to use iMovie to extract any static images you want.
But at least it finally has a camera (which puts it ahead of even the iPod Touch in those stakes), and the addition of a 2.2” diagonal screen, a speaker and a couple of extra features borrowed from the Shuffle make quite possibly the most popular MP3 player that bit more attractive especially at £115 for the 8GB version (£135 for the 16GB version).
Second we’ve got the iPod Touch, which has been reworked slightly to make it more attractive for the gaming minded market (and perhaps also to make up for the camera which Apple still refuse to add to it!) boosting the size by adding 32GB and 64GB versions both of which have 50% improved performance and the ability to show better graphics with Open GL ES 2.0. They will come with price tags of £149, £229 and £299 for the 8GB, 32GB and 64 GB versions respectively.
Admittedly not quite as exciting as the other upgrades as today only brings a new 160GB version, although for the price of £189 you will be able to fit an impressive 40,000 songs onto it (but if you have 40,000 songs that you want to carry around with you I’d be surprised!).
There are three things that have been changed (or added) to the Shuffle: the headphones, colours and prices. The former is one that I’m sure many will be particularly happy with, as when the first iPod Shuffle was released the fact that only special Apple headphones could be used with it irritated many — but now they are getting adapters with inline controls allowing you to use third party headphones as well as they expensive but nice looking Apple ones.
Secondly there’s the range of colours: black, silver, pink, green and blue, and finally the relatively low price of £45 for the 2GB version (or $99 for the special edition 4GB version nicely ‘decorated’ in stainless steel). Oh, and it can also support multiple playlists.
So all in all a pretty packed announcement from Apple and Steve Jobs himself was back fronting the presentation too, giving us a lot to chew on; and we haven’t even looked at the new iTunes and iPhone OS (which we will address separately). It’s a mixed bag in terms of Apple iPods, there’s the expected (with the Nano camera), the good (with the introduction of the ability to use 3rd party earphones with the Shuffle) and the irritating (still no sign of a camera on the Touch), but that’s what we like Apple for! And don’t forget to stay tuned for the news on the software updates as well!