Great to see Steve Jobs back at the helm; kind of thin looking but I'm not his mother. He now claims to have the liver of a mid 20 y.o. donor and says that he would not be alive had he not received the transplant. It turns out that the "It's only Rock and Roll" tag line for today's keynote was really just about iTunes improvements with minor hardware upgrades. No big surprises at all; minor surprise that iPod Nano got the camera instead of the iPod Touch. No Apple Tablet snuck into the mix; refreshed all iPod line with memory, colours, pricing. I followed live using http://live.gdgt.com where you can see the full archive of the live blog they posted. Below are just my comments.
iPhone 3.1 update:
App genius now part of new 3.1 iPhone OS to suggest other apps we might like. Good marketing strategy; we all know Apple needs help with that...ha ha ha! With so may apps at the App store, it does help to have some guidance. Not sure that this really addresses the major flaw with the app store in how the top sellers are $0.99 or less even if not very good making it hard to find gems that might be more expensive but worthwhile. Perhaps the Macworld app gems app is a better way to find the apps you might need compared with this App Genius but we'll only know as we try it out over the coming months. When the music genius was first launched, until its database was populated by iTunes libraries, it was far from ideal but as the database increased, it has improved greatly.
Improvements in genius playlists in the form of a Genius DJ. It looks like this will allow you to select from the artists you have in iTunes, rather than just basing your genius list on a single song. This gives the user more control over the list that is generated. More power to the people (and that's the closest to any Beatles references I'll get to for these comments.)
Manage iPhone apps in iTunes; phew, that rumour is true and welcome relief. We will finally be able to move groups of apps around on our iPhones more easily than just one app at a time from the device. The leaked videos in advance of this even were therefore accurate.
Copy between your 5 authorized household computers. This was possible only with music when became DRM free, now applies to movies and shows which is good since HD versions can fill things like your Apple TV (if you are a victim, oh I mean owner, of one.)
iPod Touch line refresh:
A bunch of iPod Touch/iPhone game demos then followed after going on about how popular the iPod touch has been: 20 million iPod Touches. This reminds me of a parody about the iPhone 3G when it was being released with a fake Steve talking about how they had sold 15 trillion first gen iPhones. All this build up was to announce price drops in the iPod touch line with $199/$299/$399 for 8GB/32GB/64GB respectively. They have now doubled the RAM on the top two models.
iTunes store re-design:
Redesigned iTunes store and now iTunes LP to encourage people to buy full albums instead of just tracks. Nice clean layout and sharing options. You can now gift the album, add to a wishlist, tell a friend about it, share on facebook and on Twitter. This really adds a new level of interaction that was lacking before in iTunes. I was always saving wish lists at Amazon since there was no option in iTunes and I do like the option of being able to share links via email, facebook or twitter. This would be the "It's Only Rock and Roll" moment in the keynote. A better looking iTunes store, with bigger images, lyrics, and access to bonus album material such as cover art, credits, etc.
Now movies on iTunes include the Extras found on DVD releases. One of those things which should have just been there all along and now is offered as an aren't we great feature.
More hardware refreshing:
iPod classic, now bumped back to 160GB and keeping same price that 120GB was (before it was slashed by $30 earlier today.)
iPod shuffle, oooh, ahhh, big woop? still no controls, dropped price to $59 for 2GB and, drumroll please....more colours. Also a special edition all silver one with 4GB for $99.
iPod Nano now has a video camera built-in; Steve is calling this a FREE video camera! Yes, if you buy a whole new iPod Nano. Uploading of videos to iPhoto then to Youtube from your mac. Now FM radio is also built-in to the nano and there is a microphone, speaker and bigger display 2.2". Looking at the pricing of $149/$179 for 8GB/16GB this actually does make for a great competitor to the Mino since it also packs full iPod features. Still won't have the resolution of something like the new Kodak Zi8 or much in the way of optics but does give portability.
Norah Jones provided the musical entertainment to end the event. It's only rock and roll and minor - and improving iTunes and bumping up the iPod line will probably make Apple stock sink. We can't expect every Apple event to Rock the world, can we?
Update on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 3:05PM
(This comment was copied from original submission date and posted as a journal follow-up article in preparation for changing to DISQUS for future commenting on my blog.)
11Oct2009 reader comment:
I THINK IT IS TIME FOR A BIG PLAYED IN THE MARKET , BECASEU APPLE IS GOING CRAZY TO MAKE AN EVENT JSUT FOR DUMMY CHANGES AND UPDATES , IT IS NOW A SUITABLE TIME FOR A NEW SMART COMPANY TO TAKE TAHE SHARE , TRUSTABLE HARDWARE , REASONABLE PRICES AND MORE ADVANCED SOFTWARE , iF i WERE RIM (RESEARCH IN MOTION, I WOULD ACT TO BE ANOTHER APPLE , WITHOUT SUCH CRAP) , JUST CALL ME GUYS I HAVE MANY IDEAS.