iPod update: Touch-up for the touch, and nanoclips

But it was a bit of a shock that the iPod touch (which now has faster graphics and a bit more speed all round) didn't get a camera. There's a rumour that the touch was due to get one, but Apple had some indefinable problem making it work, so it didn't make production. But who knows? It does seem likely the touch will graduate to a camera, some day. I mean crikey, if they can fit one into a nano ....

Perhaps because there was no Apple tablet launched today (and perhaps it will remain forever mythical), Apple has started calling the touch "a great pocket computer". The new iPod touch costs £229 for the 32GB, and a massive (for flash storage) new 64GB model costs £299.

The most exciting product revealed was the new nano, have to say, complete with video camera. In a choice of nine colours, even. You can use your computers to transfer videos you shoot straight to YouTube.

There are real-time effects built-in too, like Thermal, Film Grain, Kaleido and X-Ray. The new iPod nano is super-slim, yet sports a larger 2.2-inch colour display. It even has a built-in FM radio - it's starting to sound a bit Zune-like. (Except it looks heaps better. And shoots video.)

No one's said how many megapixels the nano captures. But I guess that's kinda irrelevant. It fits in your purse, and it plays music and videos too.

I predict that in years to come, there'll be nostalgia pieces about how cool all those iPod nano videos were. I predict nanoclips will be springing up for decades to come, as embarrassing footage at 21st birthday bashes and the like, and on period piece theme evenings. Kids will shoot millions of metres of footage, I bet.

The nano radio has live pause, so it must buffer the signal into the onboard storage. There's a built-in pedometer to keep you on your toes. The 8GB model costs £115. The 16GB model will set you back £135 . Not bad for double the space, I reckon.

Apple also announced a price reduction for the clip-on iPod shuffle, the world's smallest music player and the first music player to talk to you. It's now available starting at just £45 in silver, black, pink, blue or green. The 4GB model costs £59.

But - there's always a but, isn't there? - I was hoping against hope (it seems) for new iMacs. I pretty much knew they weren't coming. All the rumours pointed at iPods, but I think we're well overdue for a new iMac. Let's just hope that when it comes, it really will be sensational, to really demonstrate Snow Leopard's chops.

iLounge has a ‘hands-on' about the new 'Pods, if you're interested, complete with videos.

New iTunes and OS 3.1

Best of all for Apple fans who value Macs, the new iTunes was made available immediately, giving you much more control over iPhone/iPod touch syncing. You can reorder your app layout in iTunes and that's how it syncs, rearranging the order on your device. You can read about that at Cult of Mac.

What a great idea, and it works really well.

OS 3.1 for iPhone/touch came out too. And that tablet.

I find it hard to get excited about a tablet, frankly, but it seems to get plenty of others fizzing. I'm just not sure I want anything between a full-fledged Mac and my iPhone. Those two things seem to cover all the bases for me. Would I want a device I'd need a bag for that's not a full fledged Mac?

Doubt it. But I imagine there are plenty of people such a thing would suit just fine, and who don't need (or can't afford) full-fledged Macs. I mean, what would a tablet be good for? Getting email? My iPhone does that. Browsing? My iPhone does that too, although the screen's pretty limited. For serious browsing, a tablet would be better than an iPhone, sure.

For musicians? Well, it would have to pack some punch, wouldn't it? For taking notes? Hmm. I dunno about hard-out typing on a touch screen. Sounds awful.

Mr Jobs

Perhaps best of all for Apple followers, Steve Jobs took the stage for the announcements and looked comfortable, healthy and cheerful. And got a standing ovation. He still looks a bit skinny maybe, but hey, it's good to see him in control again.

Jobs graciously gave thanks for the person in their 20s, who donated his new liver. He made a plea for others to tick the box to become donors in the event of death by accident.

But it's all a matter of how you view things, isn't it? Reuters reported that Jobs was "frail-looking". But to my eyes, Jobs looks a lot healthier than Microsoft's Ballmer. You can decide for yourself - Cult of Mac embedded the video.

Apple's shares closed 1 per cent lower - analysts explained the dip both by pointing to how gaunt the 54-year-old chief executive looked and by saying investors took profits after a steady run-up in the few days before the event.

Oh well, I'm happy. It's hewing Apple to a singular vision that's led it to define so many genres and products. Even culture.

And that vision is Steve Jobs'.

Source: NZ Herald