Apple showed off the latest editions of its iPod lineup and the Apple TV earlier today
. The new iPod Nano loses the physical controls and adopts a multitouch display. The iPod Shuffle, however, gets them back.
The new Apple TV eschews local storage in favor of streaming HD movies and TV shows from the cloud. Netflix and network TV is on-board -- but only Fox and ABC for now. It'll also play stuff on your home network, via WiFi or Ethernet, piped to the set using HDMI.
In a demo hosted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the new Nano was depicted at one point as a fancy wristwatch.
Jobs chats with journalists after the new gadgets were announced Wednesday in San Francisco.
The new Apple TV is only a quarter of the size of the last one, and about four inches square. At $99, it is less than half its price.
Xeni spent time with the new gear after the announcement, and called in with her findings. Firstly, an Apple spokesperson said that the new Nano and Apple TV don't
use iOS, the operating system used on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The lightweight tech gets custom software that still (in the Nano's case) incorporates multitouch.
The new TV box has a neat UI, but it is user-friendly connectivity -- with other computer gear as well as the touted HD movie rental/tv services --that holds the most promise.
"The UI is improved, and so is the ability to bounce back and forth from YouTube to your own local video collection, to NetFlix and iTunes," Xeni said. "That freedom of movement and the freedom to view that same stuff on your phone, Apple TV and your computer, was already technically possible but you'd need five different things on five platforms, and nothing really talks to anything else. What Apple can do is put it all together and make it more likely more people will adopt it."
Not everything will go down well, however, especially the loss of local storage options in the Apple TV box itself: "Cloud rental is being pitched as freedom from having to store, but I think there'll be a lot of grumbling because people like owning things."
But Xeni did like the Nano: "It's really sweet, so small. I wanna eat it. It's as big as maybe four keyboard keys. It's like a pill you might swallow. The clip's snug."
Also announced was Ping, a social network tightly integrated with iTunes. "The value of any social network depends on how fast it builds nodes on the network, " Xeni said. "Apple's launching a network with 160 million iTunes users from day one. This bodes well for Apple. That's momentum that is nearly impossible to build organically."
People are pointing out all over the 'net that Apple is making a sharp move on Facebook, but given its tight connection to music, Ping's landgrab lands more on MySpace's turf.
However, you can invite
Facebook contacts, with their consent, to join the network, though no details on integration
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]