Apple’s event occurred today, complete with Steve Jobs, a new version of iTunes with several new features, iPhone OS 3.1.1, price drops on the iPod touch line with a larger model, same for the iPod Classic, the iPod shuffle in new colors, and a new fifth generation iPod nano with a video camera in it, positioning it as a challenger to the Flip Mino and other small, easy to carry video cameras like it. Just like them, it won’t take still pictures (which is kind of stupid).
What’d Apple forget? An easy integrated USB plug. The iPod nano still needs that big USB dock cable. The reason that the Flip has been so successful is because of how simply easy to use it is. Apple has missed a key part of that convenience in its design of the iPod nano.
I think that plus the likelihood that many people already have iPhones or some other iPod model (or would rather spend a little more money to get an iPod touch complete with all those wonderful apps) will undercut Apple’s ability to really challenge the Flip Mino with this device.
So what were the real stars of today’s announcements? iTunes 9 with new Home Share feature via which I just copied over 500 songs from Kristin’s MacBook to my iMac quickly and seamlessly using the feature. It allows sharing of songs between up to 5 computers (copied up to 5 times). Also, the iPhone syncing has been improved and actually previews the App layout on your phone and lets you arrange apps from within iTunes. Very cool.
They’ve also revamped the iTunes Store itself, added Genius recommendations for iPhone apps based on other apps you’ve purchased, and added two new purchasable bits of coolness: iTunes LPs, which are complete albums with pictures, liner notes, and extra content, and iTunes Extras, which offer extra content alongside iTunes movies, just like the extras you normally find on DVDs.
I still hope we’ll hear about the long fabled iTablet before the holidays. When I saw Steve Jobs on stage today, I thought we were going to see it at the end of today’s announcements, but no such luck.