Apple has included an app by Nike in their iPod and iPhones since 2006 to track your runs. The first Nike+ kit consists of the small sensor and a receiver which you plug to the back of the iPod. From 2008, first on the iPod touch followed by the iPhone 3GS, Apple included a built-in receiver, removing the need for the add-on receiver.
A few days back, Nike released a new app called Nike+ GPS (“iTunes link”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nike-gps/id387771637?mt=8) – which eliminates the use of the sensor on the shoe by tracking your run with a combination of data from the built-in GPS and accelerometer found on the iPhone and iPod touch running iOS4. Continue Reading…
Firstly, we’d like to thank all of you who stayed up with us last night. For those who missed the keynote, here’s a quick roundup of all the new products announced by Apple.
h3. Summary in numbers
120,000,000 iOS devices.
230,000 new iOS activations every day, excluding updates.
6.5 billion downloads from App Store.
250,000 apps available on the App Store.
h3. About iOS
iOS 4.1 will be released next week and available as a free update via iTunes. Some of the fixes include issues with the proximity sensor, better Bluetooth support and issues for iPhone 3G users. Some of the new features include support for HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos, ability to upload HD videos over WiFi and GameCenter. This is Apple’s solution to unify the gaming networks such as OpenFeint and Crystal. Also, GameCenter manages game invites between your friends and global leaderboards, similar to Xbox LIVE.
We think this is a great feature but will need to see the final implementation and how many games that will be linked with GameCenter before we decide its usefulness.
iOS 4.2 will be released in November, primarily to update the iPad to be in line with the rest of the iOS devices. Currently, still on iOS3.x, iPad will gain multi-tasking and support for folders, which iOS users have gotten used to. In addition to that, this update adds printing support via Print Center so if you have a wireless printer at home, you’re can print your documents directly from your iPad. This feature is definitely a useful addition to the iPad. We think this is the beginning of more iPad-specific features to come, to differentiate with what iPhone and iPod touch can do.
h3. iPod shuffle
The buttons are back, after being removed from the previous generation. This new shuffle now gets 15 hours of battery life per charge and is available in 5 colors – pink, silver, blue, green and gold. They retail for S$78.00, and is available in 5 to 7 business days from the “Apple Store”:http://bit.ly/a/search/?q=AppleSG-BTS.
h3. iPod nano
The nano is now smaller and they removed the built-in camera in the previous generation but added a multi-touch screen. It’s now about 1.48 inches tall and 1.61 inches wide. The new nano gets 24 hours of playback time per charge and has a built-in FM tuner. It’s available in 7 colors – pink, silver, blue, green, gold, black and red. They retail at $228 for the 8GB version and $278 for the 16GB, and is available in 7 to 10 business days from the “Apple Store”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?16093114C1844960741T.
For the fashion conscious, the new iPod nano will become a hit as we are sure 3rd party vendors will come out with wrist straps, belt holders for you to slide/snap the iPod nano and you can wear it like a fashion accessory, while still listening to your music. With Nike+ support, we think this is also the perfect companion for users who wants to go jogging and not have to strap their iPhones to their biceps.
h3. iPod touch
As the rumor mills had predicted, the iPod touch also received updates. The new iPod touch will gain the Retina Display similar to the iPhone 4 with 960×640 resolution at 326 pixels per inch. It will be powered by the A4 chip, has the 3-axis gyro and, no surprise – front and back facing cameras for FaceTime. Yes, you can now use the iPod touch to FaceTime with your friends who have the iPhone 4. However, the back camera doesn’t have the same resolution as the iPhone, though it can take HD videos but only 960 x 720 photos.
The iPod touch now boasts a battery life of 40 hours and it will be available in three storage sizes – $328 for 8GB, $428 for 32GB and $588 for 64GB. All three will ship within 5 to 7 business days from the “Apple Store”:http://ad.zanox.com/ppc/?16093193C416466615T.
According to Apple, the iPod touch has became the #1 portable game player, outselling Sony and Nintendo. With the upgrade to the A4 processor and Retina Display, the new iPod touch will really appeal to game developers to develop more graphics intensive games. For example, check out this demo by Epic Games Inc – “Epic Citadel”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/epic-citadel/id388888815?mt=8 that shows you the environment created powered by the Unreal Engine 3. This will become a yet-to-be-released game coming out soon. Together with GameCenter, the iPod touch and iPhone 4 might be gamers’ favorite mobile device in the near future.
h3. iTunes 10
This new version of iTunes will sport a new logo and a new social networking system called “Ping”:http://www.apple.com/itunes/ping/. Ping provides social music discovery where you and your friends can share what you’re listening to. You can also follow artists and look at their photos, comments and tour dates. We will test this new version when we install it but from what it reads on paper, it certainly makes a lot of sense to provide support a social media dimension to iTunes.
However, as Ping works together with the iTunes Music store, which is not available in Singapore, users with the Singapore iTunes account will not be able to use Ping.
The new iTunes will also sport subtle changes to the user interface. Apple has also extended the previously named AirTunes, to become AirPlay. Besides the name change, AirPlay allows you to stream music, videos from your iTunes 10 to any AirPlay-supported devices which will be available soon.
h3. Apple TV
This new version saw a major overhaul. It’s now smaller (about 1/4 the size of the previous generation) and powered by the A4 chip with HDMI output, micro-USB, digital audio and ethernet port. It will no longer have an internal hard disk, which means it has moved away from being a storage device to a streaming device. If you live in the US or have a US iTunes Store account, you can access First Run HD movies at US$4.99 or TV series at US$0.99 per episode.
This new Apple TV is not listed in the Singapore Apple Store since none of the contents are available for us here, except Podcasts and iTunes U, not things you’d want to spend money buying the Apple TV for.
h3. In conclusion:
Given that they’ve sold 275 million iPods to date, we think this line of new iPods will continue to drive Apple’s year-end sales. If you’re looking to upgrade your old iPod, this is probably a good time to. The iOS updates are pretty solid, I especially liked how the roadmap for iOS converges in November when iPad gets 4.2. Traditionally, Apple doesn’t roll out a massively long list of new features with every update but the few changes are almost always meaningful, namely GameCenter and wireless printing for the iPad.
Apple TV is our biggest gripe about last night’s announcement. The price point and form factor is attractive, but without an iTunes Store that serves video content, you’re essentially buying an overpriced paperweight. Without an internal hard disk, we’re not sure it’s possible to install 3rd party software. So, as Apple claims this is a hobby product for them, we’ll keep an eye out for but won’t take it too seriously until we have access to the content.
What are your thoughts about last night’s announcements? If you want to watch the whole keynote address, start iTunes and “download the video”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/apple-keynotes/id275834665 Will you be buying new iPods? If so, which one?
In the mean time, here’s the latest iPod touch ad from Apple.
iOS4 will be available soon in the next few hours. While we wait for it to be ready, there are a few things you can do to get yourself prepared.
h4. is your iOS device suitable for iOS4?
Only iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3G will be able to experience all the features of iOS4.
iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G will only have a subset of features while the original iPhone and iPod touch won’t be supported
If you have jailbreak your iPhone, do refer back to the sites you got your jailbreak software to see if there are any updates before you upgrade to iOS4. Apple won’t support any issues from upgrading if it was done with a jailbreak phone.
Alternative is to restore your iPhone to the original OS and update to iOS4, while waiting for the jailbreak software to be available.
h4. Get iTunes 9.2
iOS4 requires you to use iTunes 9.2 to sync – so run Software Update on your Mac/PC or download from “Apple”:http://www.apple.com/itunes/ and update your iTunes.
h4. Update your iPhone apps
Developers have been advised to submit iOS4-ready apps and updates are streaming into your iTunes App Store. So download them while you wait for iOS4.
h4. Backup, Backup and Backup
This is one step that thankfully is automatically executed whenever you sync your iOS device. Prior to updating, sync and do a backup of all your data on the iPhone. Just in case, bookmark this “Apple Support Document”:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766 on Backups and find out what is backup-ed, where is the back up and most importantly, how to restore your back ups.
h4. Last but not least…be patient
When the iOS4 is released into the wild tonight, there will be lots, and I mean, LOTS of people who will be pinging their iTunes to download the OS. So there will be delays, drop connections and probably errors if the file wasn’t downloaded properly.
You don’t need to have it on day one, but if you do – be patient.
2010 could be a very exciting year for Apple. Towards the end of last year, Jimmy and I were discussing what would be the top 10 things we’d like to see from Apple this year and here it is. Some of these we know will happen, some others will be like praying for rain in the middle of the desert. Who knows, miracles might happen right?