Apple had their first live streaming event this morning, and they took that opportunity to show off some interesting new products. While it’s all pretty much what everyone expected, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
That’s the iPod Nano over there. It’s square now, having become entirely touchscreen. Sure looks neat. Besides that, there’s a new iPod Shuffle, which has buttons again and now supports Genius Mixes. and the new iPod Touch is basically an iPhone 4, but without phone functionality.
There’s a new version of iTunes, iTunes 10, which features a new, CD-less logo. There’s some new technology, including better syncing and a tweaked interface, but the main attraction is Ping. Ping, besides sounding a lot like “Bing,” is Apple’s new social network. It will allow you to follow friends and bands. Basically Twitter/FaceBook for iTunes. I’m excited to take a look at that when it rolls out later today.
Then there’s the Apple TV. It’s a tiny little black box that you plug into your TV. You can watch Netflix, YouTube, Mobile Me and Flickr photos, content streamed from a nearby computer and even an iPad. You can also rent videos from iTunes. $5 for new movies, $1 for new TV shows. So far only ABC and Fox have signed on. There’s no way to actually keep content, which I guess makes sense for the market Apple wants. The Apple TV is for people who want a simple way to watch digital content on their TV, not people who understand services like Boxee.
In the end, kind of a disappointing event for me. I mean, sure, that iPod Touch will be great for those people who want an iPhone but not for the phone part. And iTunes 10 looks pretty cool. But I thought Apple TV would become the next must-have item, and it didn’t work out that way. Like the iPad, it looks like a novelty.