At its annual press conference in California, Steve Jobs revealed that Apple is to update its entire iPod range.
Updated iPod Nano
The new iPod Nano has a square, rather than rectangular design, and is almost half the size of its predecessor. It’s also dropped the famous Apple scroll-wheel, replacing it with a 1.5 inch touchscreen display. On the back is a clip, making it as portable and gym-friendly as the shuffle.
The new Nano will be available in grey, pink, blue, green and orange and will cost £129 for the 8GB model and £159 for the 16GB version. A release date has yet to be announced.
New iPod Touch
You can read reviews of the current iPod range in our MP3 player report. And we’ll bring you First Look reviews of all the new iPod range as they become available.
The iPod Touch has also been updated. Apple has added the super sharp Retina display from the iPhone 4, and included front and rear cameras. The Touch’s new front-facing camera will allow for FaceTime video calling between all compatible iPod Touch and iPhone 4 devices, while the rear camera can record 720p HD video.
Three versions of the Touch will be available, an 8GB model for £189, a 32GB model for £239 and a 64GB model for £329. A UK release date has not been announced although the Touch is available to pre-order in the US.
Apple also revamped its tiniest player, the Shuffle. The new version resembles one of the earlier Shuffle incarnations, with Apple dropping the controls on the headphones and returning the click wheel to the front of the player. The Shuffle will only be available in a 2GB version costing £39. It’s available to pre-order now.
New social network service
As well as refreshing its hardware, Apple launched a social network, called Ping. Jobs described Ping as “A social network that’s all about music. It’s like Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes.”
Ping allows users to build networks of friends and musicians, and to build playlists based on what members of those networks are listening to.
The service will be accessible through iTunes software on Macs and PCs as well as through the iTunes application on iPhones and the iPod Touch.
Jobs also unveiled a new, compact Apple TV set-top box which can stream content, such as music, films and television shows, from the internet directly to a television.
The original product has been around since 2007, but has never been a success for Apple. The new Apple TV will allow users to rent films and television shows for a modest fee. The device itself will cost $99 – around $200 less than its predecessor – although Apple has not yet released details of UK pricing.