Apple Launches Social Network, Destroys Cable TV
There were some jaws that had to be picked up off the floor this morning when Apple held its latest media event. Emceed as ever by Steve Jobs, the event was primarily about Apple updating its entire line of iPods, but it was a handful of other announcements that stole the show.
Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know.
Ping works much like Facebook, but it’s all about music, allowing fans, musicians, and friends to be easily linked together, so you can see what your friends are buying, thinking, what concerts they’re going to, and more. It’s pretty nifty, but it should be interesting to see if users who are used to doing their social networking on the web will be willing to give that up; Ping works only inside iTunes, or your iPhone or iPod. Ping comes with iTunes 10.0, a brand new version of iTunes, which should be available to download for free shortly, with its shiny new CD-less icon.
3) iPods. The entire line of iPods (except the iPod Classic) got a complete overhaul. The Nano and Shuffle are now very nearly the same size — a tiny little square clip-on doodad — only the Nano comes with a small touchscreen. The iPod Touch is even thinner than before (apparently Steve isn’t going to be satisfied until it’s a razor blade), while adding front and back cameras for picture and video taking, as well as FaceTime, the iPhone’s much-ballyhooed video chat app. Available next week.
4) iOS 4.1. The first major upgrade to iOS 4 fixes a lot of bugs and adds GameCenter — essentially Apple’s version of Xbox Live. Gamer profiles, leaderboards, multiplayer matching, the works. It’ll be a free download for iOS 4 users. iOS 4.2 is planned for November, and brings all of the iOS 4 stuff to the iPad.