New iPods, iTunes 10 & iOS 4.1

This past Wednesday Apple announced a slew of new products in time for Q4 and the holiday season including all new iPods and even a hardware update of the Apple TV. The big news here, is that the nano has moved to a touch-based interface (multi-touch capable), and the touch has received two cameras, a Retina Display, and of course the legendary A4 chip. More cameras, more touchcreens, and… more buttons?

In short, this is what they’ve got:

– The iPod shuffle is back, and with buttons. Again. Jobs mentioned the fact the people just ned buttons on this thing. They’ll still have the VoiceOver feature for verbal control over the player. Still small, and still screen-less (see iPod nano). 2GB version available for $49.

iPod shuffle (from Apple)

– The iPod nano now has a touchscreen. Apple has done away with the click-wheel — and video playback (a little-known feature degrade). The new nano has, of course, multi-touch tracking, and has essentially become a completely dumbed-down iPod touch with no apps (yet?); just an interface facelift likely tuned for touchy fingers. 8GB and 16GB versions will be available for $149 and $179 respectively.

iPod nano (from Apple)

– The iPod touch is closer to being an iPhone now more than ever. Apple has finally introduced a rear-facing camera capable of near HD video capture and stills — albeit somewhat less stellar than the iPhone 4’s camera due to the touch’s thinness. And to continue in their mission of flooding the market with FaceTime-capable iOS devices, they’ve added a VGA-quality front-facing camera. Oh, and they have indeed outfitted the touch with a retina display, which brings it that much closer to actually being a phone-less iPhone 4. 8GB, 32GB & 64GB versions available for $229, $299 & $399.

iPod touch (from Apple)

In other news, Apple announced bug fixes slated for iOS 4.1 release next week; including revamped iPhone 3G compatibility and a possible fix for the proximity sensor on the iPhone 4. Apple also announced that everything in iOS 4 we’ve enjoyed on the iPhone 4 (and older generation iPhones) is coming to the iPad; multitasking and all.

There’s even a camera feature addition that Apple showed off called HDR. This will reportedly vastly improve exposure with pictures taken outside for instance. Images taken that have bright backgrounds with shadowy areas will look more balanced giving fuller detail to those bright and sunny areas, as well as a great amount of light and detail in darker, perhaps shadowy areas of the shot.

Apple also introduced a new version of iTunes, iTunes 10. The new iTunes feature a moderate facelift (nothing major), probable bug fixes, and a new service called Ping. There seems to be a lot of mixed feelings regarding Ping, essentially a cross between Facebook and Twitter (although not either one, claims Jobs) all focused on music and connecting. Steve Jobs also made a comment about the new iTunes logo, losing the CD inspired background, for a dash a blue within a circle. Whoopee.

iTunes 10 (from Apple)

There’s also been a slight adjustment with Apple’s AirTunes feature. It’s been renamed AirPlay and now will play a much larger role including more integration amongst the iOS device and iTunes — and the new Apple TV — and even third-party products.

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