September 9, 2008

Apple Let's Rock Event: New iPods, Accessories, Firmware

Apple hosted an event in California this morning to reveal some new iPods. The biggest update is probably the 4th Gen iPod Nano, now with an elongated LCD, accelerometer and new colors; priced at $149 and $199 for a 4GB or 8GB respectively with a bunch of new colors to choose from. They've also made an update to the 2nd Gen. iPod touch; although I am wondering if the update is nothing but some cosmetic changes. From what I can tell, it received a shiny/rounded back casing, external volume button and speaker. It now supports Nike kit as well, which I was suprised to learn that it is a big deal. I was highly anticipating the addition of a Camera and Mic for the iPod touch so we can expect some VOIP/Communication services. Given the minimal change, I may be in the market for an older model, especially if it is on sale.

In addition, iPod and iPhone firmware 2.1 is released, they are said to be bug-free, most reliable. For its sake, I hope that is the case. Personally, I am tired of constantly updating my firmware and backing up my content. I feel like within the last 2 months, I must have gone through 4 firmware updates already for my iPhone(s). It is probably the most firmware updates I have ever experienced on any phone.

Steve Jobs also announced a new in-ear headset, priced at $79, with dual drivers to compete with premium headphones. I think the price is a little on the high side, however, it is priced below competition (ie. Shure, V-moda, etc.). Preliminary research says it has a built-in mic and will work with new firmware iPods (for voice recording); I think it should work with iPhones as well, but will need to confirm. Some folks are hoping this will allow the aforementioned lack of mic on the iPod Touch use some VOIP solution down the road.

For a complete event playback, visit Apple.com.

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