Initial Thoughts on Today’s Apple Announcements

That was quite a set of announcements! I was only able to watch part of it live, but I caught up on what I missed from the various sites who were liveblogging the event.

iOS Updates

Man, there was some good stuff in there. I’m using my iPad like crazy, so I was really excited to hear that early omissions like printing are going in. There was an interesting line where I swear Steve Jobs mentioned that the HDR functionality was going to be in the iPad too. Does that mean there’s going to be a new product update with a camera? I really couldn’t care less about a camera going into the iPad, but I know that a lot of people who are on the fence about the iPad point to the lack of camera as a reason. To be honest, I was surprised it was released without one in the first place.

I can’t wait to get iOS quick app switching, threaded email and unified inbox on the iPad, so I was disappointed that it’s not coming until November. Gah!

AirPlay sounds great, and I can imagine that the interaction from the iPad could be really cool. What a great way to share photos this could turn out to be!


I use my iPhone as my iPod, so these announcements, while very cool, weren’t of much overall interest to me. I thought the new Nano looks really cool, although I can’t imagine that tiny touchscreen being very useful. That said, is the Nano now an iOS device? There was no mention of targeting it for 3rd party apps. The new iPod Touch looks amazing. I was a bit surprised at how thin it is without all the phone stuff in there. Very nice.

Whither the iPod Classic? No new update doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dead, but I wonder. It seems out-of-place with the rest of the lineup now. Update 12:37 PM: Engadget says it’ll still be offered.


I’m surprised they didn’t rename iTunes along with changing its logo. Let’s face it: it hasn’t been only about music in a long time, and in some senses it’s not even the majority of its focus now. Still, it does have strong brand recognition, I guess.

The other changes look interesting, and the new Ping social network seems like it might be cool–we’ll have to see. Most of my friends don’t necessarily have tastes in music that I’d be interested in following, but the same is not true with movies and television. We’ll see if it works for other parts of iTunes than music. I’d say the social aspects of video formats is one of the more interesting things about Boxee and I’d like to see that kind of thing on iTunes, especially on the Apple TV. Speaking of that….

Apple TV

I was disappointed here. I was hoping for a more radical redesign of the software. The new hardware looks good, although I’m out of HDMI ports, and use component for my Apple TV. Still, that’s a nice form factor. But the software looks almost the same, but with Netflix, the new rentals ($0.99 == nice!), and AirPlay. I really hope existing Apple TV’s can get those new features too, because the changes aren’t really anything to run out and buy a new box for, even the nice $99 price point. Update 12:37 PM: Engadget says existing Apple TVs are out of luck. Also, I wonder if the new rentals have the same awful restrictions where you have only 24 hours to complete watching something you’ve rented. Bummer if so.

Only ABC and FOX? Wow, that’s a bummer. Hopefully the other content providers are still available the old way via the Apple TV.