Apple Announces New Features, Updates

Sep 02, 2010

Apple announced an array of new features and updates for existing items in its product line, including updated versions of the iPod Nano and iPod Touch, as well as new features for its popular iTunes platform.

According to Apple, iTunes 10 now features a social media component called Ping that will allow users to follow specific artists and friends in much the same was as Facebook and Twitter. Ping also integrates certain aspects of the iTunes storefront, allowing users to purchase songs mentioned in messages from friends or other users of interest.

The redesigned iPod nano features Apple's Multi-Touch interface that lets users navigate their music collection by simply tapping or swiping a finger on the display. Nearly half the size and weight of the previous generation, the new iPod nano features a polished aluminum and glass enclosure with a built-in clip, making it instantly wearable. The new iPod nano features Genius Mixes, the ability to create and edit playlists, a built-in FM radio with live pause and the company claims it holds up to 24 hours of music playback on a single battery charge. The new iPod touch features Apple's Retina display, FaceTime video calling, HD video recording, Apple's A4 chip, 3-axis gyro, iOS 4.1 and Game Center-all combined in the thinnest and lightest iPod touch to date. The new iPod touch boasts up to 40 hours of music playback and seven hours of video playback on a single battery charge.

Apple is also updating its Apple TV media center product, which debuted in 2007 as a small form factor set-top box that users could use to play various media content from a personal computer through HDTVs. The updated version maintains the existing features of the earlier Apple TV product, while also shrinking the device considerably and reducing its price-tag from $200 to $99. Apple TV will also feature the ability to "rent" episodes of various TV shows for $0.99, stream movies through Netflix's on-demand service, and stream video from networked computers.