Today’s iPod Event Summary: What You Need to Know

Today’s live streamed Apple iPod Event was seen by a lot of people, yet the stream held up except for a few choppy bits during the new iTV demo. It was really interesting to hear about the announcements made today, so this post will include “musings” over the updates released today and some info you need to know. Let’s get started!

iOS Updates By The Numbers

  • 6.5 billion App Store downloads (Steve made an error and said 6 billion apps hehe)
  • 120 million iOS devices shipped
  • 230,000 new iOS activations per day
  • The exponential growth of App Store downloads are mind boggling.
  • It seems like more and more iOS devices are taking over the world. App Developers have more incentive than ever to create that “must have” app.

iOS 4.2 Coming in November for iDevices (iOS 4.1 was just seeded to developers)

  • Apple previously mentioned that iOS 4 would be coming to the iPad in the Fall. They weren’t lying, but I expected it to arrive earlier
  • Printing from the iPad is finally here
  • iOS 4.1 is coming next week with new features: HDR photos, Gamecenter, iTunes Ping
    • I can’t wait to try HDR photography and Gamecenter. This will definitely take a bite out of OpenFeint et al.
    • Bug fixes: Bluetooth, proximity sensor, iPhone 3G.
    • It’s about time these fixes will be addressed, especially iPhone 3G users who have experienced major slowdowns with iOS 4.
    • iTunes Ping–can’t wait to try this too.

New iPod Shuffle with VoiceOver

  • New design–buttons are back!
  • 2GB for $59CDN; 15 hour battery life
  • Colors: silver, blue, green, orange and pink
  • I find it hilarious that buttons are back. This is still an amazing price point for people to buy their “first” Apple product.
  • This is definitely a “niche” item. It is perfect for those going to the gym or a jog since the thing is so tiny and has a built in clip.

These look tasty!

New iPod Nano with Multitouch

  • Newly designed iPod Nano loses the video camera and buttons.
  • Looks like a larger iPod Shuffle! No buttons–hold down one finger to get to homescreen. Innovative. Apple hates buttons!
  • The two finger screen rotate was pretty cool.
  • Prices start at $159CDN for 8GB model; it’s like paying $100 more for a touchscreen, FM radio, and pedometre. New clip is nice.
  • The Nano looks like the face of the upcoming iWatch. Touchscreen interface on a such a tiny screen will only go so far.

The smallest multitouch screen ever?

New iPod Touch with Retina Display, HD Recording/FaceTime, A4 Processor

  • How many years have have people waited for a camera on the iPod Touch? Finally!
  • 720p video recording–BUT only HD stills on the back (960×720 resolution)
  • FaceTime over WiFi using the same front VGA camera as the iPhone 4
  • Retina Display (huge bonus!)
  • A4 processor–same as the iPad/iPhone 4 (another bonus) and 3-axis gyro.
  • Game Center: Apple is man handling the handheld gaming market.
  • The chrome back remains the same–no iPhone 4 build.
  • Price starts at $249CDN for 8GB model.
    • At this pricepoint–why buy an iPhone 4 (use Skype over WiFi!)? The Retina Display, 720p video recording, FaceTime, and A4 upgrades are the real winners here.
    • Being able to FaceTime with iPhone 4 users is really neat.
    • The iPod Touch is creeping into iPhone territory but still lacks a 5mp camera, GPS, phone.

FaceTime, suckas!

iTunes 10 with Ping Social Music Network

  • New iTunes 10 that includes a new social media music network–Ping
  • Twitter + Facebook = Ping Social Music Network
  • Has a Facebook type layout but allows a Twitter-like following mantra
  • Follow your favourite artists, check out their pictures, concerts, buy songs, etc
  • Ping is powerful because music artists will jump on the bandwagon–quickly. Having 160 million credit card ready users following you will make any artist salivate. Apple continues to take a chunk from other players such as MySpace.
  • What I love is the integration into iTunes and best of all, iPhone/iPod Touch.
  • DO NOT install iTunes 10 if you want to keep your jailbroken iPhone. Wait for an update from the Dev Team.

We're going to get Social in here!

Apple TV Comes Back from the Dead. Apple “Reinvents” Their Own “Hobby”

  • Users wanted a “silent, cool, and small” top box. Apple created one–it’s 1/4 the size of the original Apple TV. Includes a 7 button remote. It’s so sexy–I want one (but I don’t really NEED one. It’s that vicious Apple drug!).
  • No more storage–everything is streamed over the air. Netflix streaming!
  • Apple is pushing TV/Movie rentals. What about people who like to own their own media? Or people who don’t have internet (gasp!) or televisions (double gasp!) at home?
  • New streaming feature, AirPlay, allows iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad/Mac to stream content to Apple TV with a couple taps. Pretty slick.
  • $119CDN–this new price point makes this an easy “impulse buy” for many. It’s more than 50% cheaper than before.
  • I see these selling like hotcakes at Christmas, as it’s an affordable “tech toy” for husbands, dads, wives, moms, the family, etc.

All in all, one of the highlights of this Apple Event was the ability to watch it via live video streaming. Since I haven’t been around the Apple juice since their earlier live-streaming days, watching today’s event was pretty cool. I tested the live streaming on my Mac, iPad, and iPhone. All worked flawlessly. There were some hiccups but overall the video and audio held up well.

Out of all the announcements, the iPod Touch and revised Apple TV caught my attention. We all predicted that the features on the iPod Touch would catch up to the iPhone 4. The Apple TV’s new streaming capabilities will make sharing content to your TV easier–without the need for cables. If you’re into the whole renting TV/movies thing, you’re also in for another bonus.

Further clarification of iOS 4.1 and 4.2 was also very appealing. HDR photography is going to be a huge feature as the iPhone 4 camera is awesome–but there are still exposure issues in tricky lighting situations.

Here’s a preview of HDR in action from Gizmodo, and the layout from When Will Apple:

…and that’s about it for now. Let me know if I missed anything in the comments!

What did you find most interesting from today’s announcements?

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