Yeah, Steve Jobs made his triumphant return to the stage – and, admittedly, it was good to see him up there – but a lot of the big announcements people were hoping to hear from Apple today never happened.
Apple tablet computer? Not a word. Beatles music on iTunes? Nary a whisper. Cameras added to the iPod Touch? Nope. Sorry.
Sure, there were a few new announcements, but not the knock your socks off sort of stuff that people were hoping for. If you missed the news or the live-blogs, here are the highlights:
Genius goes bigtime – The Genius system, which recommends apps based on your previous purchases is coming to the iPod Touch. It’s a good service that existing users enjoy – but let’s face it, at it’s heart, it’s a highly polished marketing tool.
New iTunes layout – While it’s phenomenally successful, the iTunes store has always had some frustrating issues – like having to return to the home screen to navigate from music to movies or not being able to manage your apps there. Both of those are things of the past with iTunes 9 (out now). Also, home sharing will let you copy songs from computer to computer up to five times.
The iTunes extras on albums and movies add back in liner notes and DVD extra features, but seem more of a defensive move on Apple’s part. And neither was a big surprise, since Rob Thomas hinted at them a couple of months ago in an interview with Technotainment.
Price cuts and upgrades and new models, oh my! – Buying an iPod is cheaper now – and the addition of a 64GB iPod Touch is a welcome touch. But leaving the iPod classic at $249 and throwing in another 40 GB? Not exactly a barn burner as we move into the holiday season. And a new, more expensive Shuffle (The $99 stainless steel 4GB model)? It doesn’t scream “big move”.
Say cheese – The addition of a video camera into the iPod Nano at no additional cost is a nice move – and lets Apple compete with the Flip camera market. And the addition of FM radio, a pedometer and a voice recorder are also welcome. But the question everyone was asking after the announcement was “why aren’t these things being added to the iPod Touch?” One rumor blamed technical difficulties. Another theory is that would edge too close to the iPhone’s territory. Or, it could just be that Apple doesn’t want to do it.
Still, it was nice to see Steve again.