Xeni's in San Francisco for Apple's press event today. Watch this space for live commentary from the event, and tune in to the live streaming broadcast from Yerba Buena at apple.com (the short version: to watch the HTTP Live Streaming, you gotta have a Mac/iPhone/ipod/iPad. But following Boing Boing? Pick any OS and hardware you like.)
Liveblog archive after the jump.
9:00AM: Big crowd of reporters gathered outside Yerba Buena. Ratio of dudes to women at all big tech events always seems so skewed. Today, 20:1, it seems! Tech media is so overwhelmingly male. But nice to see some familiar faces here, female and otherwise. If you're wondering if lady-reporters have a secret handshake we give one another at these things? We do. But if I tell you, I'll have to spray perfume on you.
10:00AM: Mr. Jobs takes the stage to applause. Steve Wozniak is in the house, Jobs calls him out, much applause. Talk of the new Apple store in Paris. And the second Apple store in China, in Shanghai. 40' high curved glass cylinder. Third store in London. Covent Garden. 300 stores, 10 countries. Spain store coming soon, which will make total number of countries with Apple stores 11.
"120 million IOS devices shipped. 230,000 IOS activations per day, not counting upgrades. 6.5 billion apps in App store. 200 apps downloaded per second. (beat) Whoosh! Another app sold."
"IOS 4.1 introduced today. A lot of bug fixes. Proximity sensor bugs, bluetooth bugs, iPhone 3g performance bugs. all the bugs we get emails about."
"Also new: HDR photos. High Dynamic Range." (Explains how HDR works.)
"Game Center: Multiplayer games. Challenge friends, or auto-match if you don't have any friends." (laughter in audience). "Compare scores, discover new games your pals are playing."
(Mike Capps, President of Epic Games, demos "Project Sword," sword-battle adventure. Staged trash-talking ensues between the game's designer and Mr. Capps).
( Jobs returns: IOS 4.1 next week.)
"Surprise peek at next release… IOS 4.2, coming later this year. All about iPad. Wireless printing. And AirPlay… stream photos, audio, video. More than AirTunes was capable of doing."
(cues Jack Johnson music… multitasks with email, browsing, and other tasks while stopping and starting music using multitask bar.)
"IOS 4.2 comes out in November. Free update for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch."
"Now… iPods. This is our music event where we unveil cool music products for the holidays — and today's no exception. 275 million iPods sold…"
"New designs biggest changes ever in the iPod line. First: Shuffle… people miss the buttons, and liked voiceover playlists. New iPod shuffle is smaller than 2nd generation device, has buttons, voiceover, playlists, and it's really small…"
"Small, wearable, playlists, genius mixes, tells you when battery needs charging. 15 hours of music. It's really cute, 5 colors. New Shuffle will sell for $49."
"Now, let's look at the nano…" (walks through the 5 generations of Nano.) "This one is multitouch." (applause-o-meter loudest yet since Jobs walked on stage.) "46% smaller, 42% lighter. Clip, no more armbands, if you want to use for athletics. Volume buttons… 24 hour battery life." (demo includes ability to rotate display with touch gesture, to many whoops and claps.) $149 for 8 gig version, $179 for the 16 gig version."
"iPod touch has, in the past year, become the most popular iPod. A lot of people call it an iPhone without a phone… or an iPhone without a contract. It's the number one portable game player in the world. 1.5 billion game and entertainment titles downloaded. New iPod touch: even thinner. Even more beautiful. Has amazing retina display we pioneered with iPhone. 4x pixels 326 ppi, 24 bit color, LED backlit. Best display in the world. Apple A4 chip, same as powers iPhone. 3-axis gyro for gaming. ios 4.1 with game center. Facetime and front-facing camera and rear-facing HD, all in the new iPod touch. 40 hours of use."
"You edit your videos right on the phone." (Heh, Freudian slip!). Pricing: 8 gig for $229, 32 gig for $299, 64 gig for $399. All three products are available next week. Available today for pre-order, to ship next week." (Editor's Note: no iPod Classic mentioned, they must have aborted this from the line.)
"Wouldn't be Apple without some new ads… I've got some ads to show you."
(Cake song blasts, multitouch is the focus of this Nano ad… then the Shuffle and Touch featured in 2 more video ads.)
"Now, iTunes. 11.7 billion songs, 450 million TV eps, #1 online media store in the world. Today we're excited to launch iTunes 10. This is the venerable logo we've been living with for a decade… next Spring, iTunes will surpass CD sales, time to ditch CD in the logo…here's the new logo for iTunes 10." (LOL.)
"One of the big things we've focused on in iTunes is… discovery. Discovering new music… There must be a better way to share than email. We're announcing something new…
"Ping. A social network for Music.
"Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes."
"Social network all about music, built right into iTunes. follow your favorite artists and friends, discover what music they're listening to, talking about, and download it. Built right into iTunes. Here's a post by one of you're friends you're following… a post by Lady Gaga, an artist you're following… find people just by looking for their names. You get a custom top ten chart of songs and albums, customized to only the people you follow are downloading from iTunes."
"Here's Lady Gaga, an artist you're following. Here's a post from her. About concerts, posts she's written… here are posts from all he other artists you're following. Here's your friend Kevin Angel. Here's the concerts he's going to… here are the friends he's following.
"Most of us will live in the feed right here, and all of the people we follow will be delivered right to us. Ping is for social music discovery. Follow and be followed. An artist can say, follow me. You can say, follow me, and everyone can follow you. Or, you can follow me only if I approve, because I'm particular. Me and my ten buddies and that's it. And whenever any one of us hears a great song we'll post it and the ten of us will know instantly. Be as private or public as you want. Privacy is super simple to set up anyone can do it — it's great."
"Privacy is easy. 17,000 concert listings, and you can connect with 160 million iTunes users in 23 countries immediately upon launch. We're starting with a very large base of itunes users."
(Demo begins. A knowing flutter of chuckles in the crowd upon privacy mention, clearly Apple learned from Facebook's epic failures in that arena.)
"Ping will be available not just on your computer, but on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. It's a social network for music, built by Apple, built into iTunes 10, available today to those 160 million people. Free download starting today… I think it's gonna be pretty hot."
"We've got… one more thing…. one more HOBBY."
"Apple TV. Introduced 4 years ago. We've sold a lot of them… but never been a huge hit. Netiher has any competitor product. But we talked to people who use it, and they love it.
"What have we learned from our users? The number one thing they want is Hollywood movies and TV shows when they want where they want it. They don't want amateur hour. They want pro content, in HD.
"They'd like to pay lower prices. The lower the prices the more they'll watch. And they don't want computers on their TV. They go to widescreen TVs for entertainment, not for a computer. Consumers get it. They don't want to manage storage. They don't want to sync to a computer. Most haven't figured out what that is, too complicated. They want whatever hardware we have to be silent, cool, and small."
"So, we've made something new for them. This is the current Apple TV… and we are introducing the second generation today. It's really small, you can hold it in the palm of your hand. Power supply built in. HDMI. Ethernet. WiFi 802.11n. Don't need a hard network connection. Great remote. Beautiful aluminum remote. Easy. IT's about music, Tv shows, and streaming music from your computer… it's all HD when the content's available… we've gone to the rental model. Rent everything. Prices are more affordable. No storage problem. Rental prices are so cheap that you can watch a few times and it's still cheaper than if you'd bought it. No syncing. Stream from your computer."
"First-run movies day and date, from $4.99, the day they come out on DVD. Commercial-free television shows from ABC and Fox rentable for 99 cents. Other networks we hope will come on board.
"In addition, you can stream content from Netflix. And whatever you want on YouTube, including HD video. Flickr, and MobileMe photos, too. Stream content off your computer, Mac or PC. Music, photo, videos." (UI integrates Rotten Tomato reviews for movies… IMDB-style info on features… shows Netflix UI within Apple TV… computer access, sharing…) "It all comes out of this tiny little box, and it's pretty amazing." (Editor's note: No more purchases, all rental-model — this is a big, big shift.)
"This is by far the best implementation of Netflix ever… easy to use. Quality's great." (Demo of photo-surfing features…) "We can surf AirPlay devices using Apple TV. So I have a movie on my computer, Up, and I'm going to play it on Apple TV. I can decide where to stream it to (which device in household, out of multiple screens), and I'm going to select Apple TV."
"You're going to be able to come home, select a movie on one device, and then choose to watch it in your living room on your Apple TV. Select a photo on your iPhone, then view it on Apple TV. Previous model was $229 price range, consumers weren't willing to experiment with that. Lowering the price today to $99. New Apple TV will be available in about 4 weeks, and you can pre-order today. "
"Let's review: strongest lineup of iPods ever. Beautiful nanos, fantastic for athletics… Shuffle… iPod Nano now so small and compact that it's wearable without an armband, clip and go. And new iPod Touch includes Facetime, not just between iPod Touches but iPhones and iPod Touches. Strongest line up of iPods we've ever had. And, we announced a new iTunes, with iTunes Ping, a social network for music. We think it's gonna be really popular very fast. Because 160 million people can turn it on today. And, IOS 4.2: HDR photos, Game Center, and more. And Apple TV: a phenomenal way to watch movies and TV shows in your living room whenever you want, and stream content from Netflix or your own computer right on your TV. They're all rolling out starting today."
"Now… we started iTunes because we love music. And whenever we have music events we like to remind ourselves why we do this. No better way to do this than to ask one of our favorite musical artists to perform… Coldplay. We asked Chris Martin and he graciously accepted."
(Chris Martin takes the stage, acoustic, accompanied only by piano)
Martin: "Wow, this is the toughest closing gig ever. I don't have any products to announce, and we haven't had nearly as many downloads… I'll just play a song, maybe another, until you feel like lunch."
(Martin's first number is "Yellow," and his second number is "Viva La Vida," the "Rule the World" song widely featured in Apple ad campaign. He relates a story of how their record label didn't think it was much of a hit song, and says perhaps they were right… but it became one after the Apple campaign. Directing his comment to Apple, he says…) "Your marketing people can sell anything."
Martin is wearing a Flaming Lips t-shirt. He goes into a schtick about his next album… "It will be called Coldplay 2.6… even our closest rivals have no idea about our song design… this is in the chord of iMinor." (He's sounding great. Odd to think of an Apple press event as an intimate performance environment, but there you go.)