Tag Archives: iPod touch

Apple splashes a new coat of paint across its iPod lineup, beefs up the aging touch

It speaks volumes about Apple’s iPod division that Tim Cook’s company decided to roll out a new version of the iPod touch in a press release as opposed to dedicated stage time to it at a public event. The ubiquitous iPhone and its tablet counterpart the iPad play music and so much more, making the iPod touch, nano, and shuffle more obsolete than ever. Still, Apple is keeping its iPod line alive with refreshed innards and a splash of new colors.

First and foremost, the new, sixth-generation iPod touch packs the same A8 processor found inside the powerful iPhone 6. This boosts the music player’s graphics performance 10x and CPU performance 6x, it brings a 64-bit architecture to the device, and it supports Metal, Apple’s technology for developers that helps them make more immersive games. Additionally, the new touch also includes the M8 motion coprocessor for enhanced fitness tracking. *Note: TechCrunch reports that the A8 processor is slightly underclocked inside the touch (1.1GHz versus the iPhone 6’s 1.39GHz), likely to conserve battery life and keep prices down.

The cameras have also been upgraded on the touch. Around the back, the iSight Camera now sports an 8-megapixel sensor (up from 5 before). It supports slo-mo video recording in 720p HD at 120 fps, burst mode, time-lapse video, and high-resolution panorama shots. The updated front-facing FaceTime HD Camera also supports burst mode, plus improved HDR, face detection, and exposure control. Elsewhere, users will notice up to 3x faster WiFi speeds thanks to 802.11ac support; Bluetooth 4.1 is also on board.

The new iPod touch, which comes preloaded with iOS 8.4 and the new Music app with access to Apple Music, starts at $199 for the 16GB model. For another 50 bucks you can get it with 32GB of memory. 64GB and 128GB models are also available at $299 and $399, respectively. The largest model is exclusive to Apple retail and online stores. The new colors match the iPhone & iPad lineups; there’s space gray, silver, and gold, for starters, plus vibrants options in pink, blue, and (PRODUCT)RED. The 16GB iPod nano ($149) and 2GB iPod shuffle ($49) also received the same coat of new colors. All iPods are available to ship today.

Enjoy ’em while they last. As the iPhone, iPad and even the new gadget on the block, the Apple Watch, continue to cannibalize the market with their never-ending feature sets, the iPod’s future remains murky.

[Via Apple]

Apple unveils iPhone 5, previews revamped iTunes & showcases new iPod family

On Wednesday Apple unveiled the next-generation iPhone and it’s called the iPhone 5. They also used their stage time to discuss iTunes+iPod, showing off a redesigned iTunes Store for iOS, a simplified version of iTunes for desktop, and showcasing the next-generation iPod nano and touch. We begin with the top story…

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is a beautiful piece of hardware made entirely of glass and aluminum. It’s the thinnest and lightest iPhone to date, measuring at 7.6mm thin (that’s 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S) and weighing 112 grams (20% lighter than the 4S). Apple’s calling it “the world’s thinnest smartphone.” The screen has grown for the first time to 4-inches, boasting a Retina display with 326 pixels per inch and a resolution of 1136×640. The additional screen real estate allows for a fifth row of apps in the home screen, and all of Apple’s apps take advantage of it. Third party apps will see the letterbox effect, but developers can easily tweak their apps to also fill up the screen properly. The iPhone 5 also features 44% more color saturation than it’s predecessor and integrated touch sensors in the screen make it 30% thinner than before outputting a sharper image and less glare in sunlight.

The bigger screen is just the tip of the iceberg. The new iPhone packs ultrafast wireless with built-in GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, and, yes, LTE. In the U.S., LTE will be provided by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. A single chip does voice and data; also inside is a single radio chip and a dynamic antenna. 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi is there as well.

The newly designed-by-Apple A6 chip features a CPU that’s 2x faster than before, with 2x faster graphics as well. The chip itself is 22% smaller than the previous A5 processor. Apple managed to make battery life better, too. It goes like this: 8 hours of 3G talk time, 3G browsing, and LTE browsing; 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and video playback; 40 hours of music playback; and 225 hours of standby time.

Both the back-facing iSight camera and the front-facing FaceTime camera have been upgraded. The iSight cam features an 8 megapixel sensor (3264×2448) with backside illumination, hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, and fast f/2.4 aperture. The 25% smaller design also boasts a dynamic low light mode, spatial noise reduction, a smart filter for improved color matching, better low-light performance, and faster photo capture (40% faster than the 4S). 1080p HD video recording is still here with improved video stabilization, face detection, and the ability to take photos while recording video. The back-facing camera can also take panoramic shots now thanks to a simple enhancement in the Camera app in iOS 6. Moving to the front side, the FaceTime camera takes 1.2 megapixel photos, shoots 720p HD video, and features backside illumination, face detection, and FaceTime over cellular (with Verizon and Sprint only).

Audio is better with three built-in microphones located in the front, back, and bottom of the phone. The improved speaker design is 20% smaller than before and features a five magnet transducer, a noise-canceling earpiece, and wideband audio for better phone call performance.

Say goodbye to the nearly decade old 30-pin dock connector. Apple announced the new Lightning connector that is found in the iPhone 5. It’s 80% smaller than its predecessor, it’s all-digital with an 8-signal design and adaptive interface with improved durability and get this–it’s reversible, meaning you can plug it into the bottom of your device face up or down. Apple will sell a 30-pin to Lightning adapter for those who own accessories like sound docks that were strictly designed with the 30-pin connector in mind.

Apple spent time detailing the next version of their mobile OS, and you can read all about iOS 6 right here. It brings Apple-designed Maps, the new app Passbook, and enhancements to Notification Center, Safari, Mail, Photos, and Siri (among over 250 new features) to the iPhone and its brethren. It’s available as a free upgrade to iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, 3rd-gen iPad, iPad 2, and 4th-gen iPod touch owners on September 19.

Now it’s time to talk pricing and availability. The iPhone 5 features a two-tone exterior and will come in two hues: black/slate and white/silver. It’s priced exactly like the 4S was: $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), $399 (64GB). It’s available for preorder starting Friday, September 14 and ships one week later on September 21 in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. A week after that it releases in 20 more countries, and by December it will ship in 100 countries with 240 carriers around the world. In other news, the iPhone 4 (8GB) is free and the iPhone 4S (16GB) is dropping to $99 effective immediately.


READ MORE Apple unveils iPhone 5, previews revamped iTunes & showcases new iPod family

Apple announces iPhone 4S, refreshed iPods, & provides release date for iOS 5 & iCloud

On Tuesday newly appointed Apple CEO Tim Cook hosted a press event to launch the next iPhone and detail the new version of iOS and the upcoming iCloud service. Breakdown, commence.

iPhone 4S

The successor to the iPhone 4 is not the iPhone 5; it’s the iPhone 4S. It serves as an incremental upgrade to its predecessor much like the iPhone 3GS was to the iPhone 3G. The exterior design of the handset remains the same; the changes can be found on the inside. The 4S packs the same processor originally designed for the iPad 2: Apple’s dual-core A5 chip. The company says that users can expect speeds up to 2X faster than the previous iPhone. In addition, the 4S also contains a new dual-core GPU that renders graphics up to 7X faster than the iPhone 4. At the keynote games developer Epic previewed Infinity Blade 2 (out December 1) and it looks magnificent.

After speed, Apple went on to upgrade the device’s camera. The 4S sports a new 8 megapixel camera. The sensor has 60 percent more pixels allowing users to shoot 3264 x 2448 photos with crisp detail. CMOS backside illuminated allows for 73 percent more light, a hybrid IR filter allows for better color accuracy and uniformity, a five element lens setup allows for 30 percent more sharpness, auto white balance has been improved by 26 percent, and a larger f/2.4 aperture is now featured. Also, the Camera app launches much faster and the shot to shot capability is twice as fast as before; it now takes 1.1 seconds to shoot your first photo and then 0.5 seconds for each additional shot. According to Apple’s research, these speeds blaze past the Android competition. And there’s this: the backside camera shoots video in full 1080p HD resolution and features real-time video image stabilization and temporal noise reduction helps in low light conditions.

The phone’s antenna system has also been tweaked. The dual-antenna design of iPhone 4 remains, but now it can intelligently switch between both antennas to transmit and receive data more efficiently. This results in the device’s ability to download data up to twice as fast as before (HSDPA performance: 14.4 Mbps down, 5.8 Mbps up) and you can expect better call quality. The 4S is a world phone, meaning GSM and CDMA technologies are built in and users can roam internationally on both networks.

And then there was the “one more thing…” Apple announced Siri, the device’s “intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking.” With the iPhone 4, holding down the home button will prompt the phone to initiate the rather crude voice-activated menu where you can say things like “Call Home” or “Play Kanye West.” Siri takes this to an entirely new level of awesome. Apple designed Siri to “understand context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions.” Here are some examples to help illustrate. You can ask Siri “What is the weather like today?” and it will display the current temperature with visual aid. Then you can ask for an “hourly forcast” and it will provide that information, too. You can also say things like “Wake me up at 6AM”, “Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto”, “Give me directions to Hoover Tower”, and “Schedule lunch at Friday on noon with John Smith” and Siri will answer you intelligently. It will access the clock app to set an alarm; it will search the ‘Net for Greek restaurants and sort them by Yelp customer ratings; it will launch Maps and provide directions; and it will look into your calendar and create events for you (if there’s an event that clashes with the new one you’re attempting to make, Siri will inform you about this and ask if you want to reschedule one of them). And the hands-free interaction doesn’t end there. Siri has access to many of the apps preloaded on the 4S. You can make Siri read aloud your text messages and emails and it’s also integrated with Reminders, Safari (“Search Wikipedia for Neil Armstrong”) and Wolfram Alpha’s database (“Define mytosis”). An information pane inside the Siri interface will provide users with a list of prompts they can use. And when you ask Siri “Who are you?” it’ll answer “I am a humble personal assistant.” Ha, try it! It also does dictation; a new mic icon is now part of the virtual keyboard. Siri is an iPhone 4S exclusive, and it works over WiFi and 3G. At launch it’ll remain in beta and support English, French, and German; Apple promises over time additional languages and services will be added.

The iPhone 4S, which will ship with iOS 5 and iCloud services, releases October 14 and is now available for preorder. It’ll sell in black and white flavors at the following price points: 16GB: $199, 32GB: $299, 64GB: $399, all with new two-year contracts of course. Additionally, Sprint joins AT&T and Verizon Wireless to become a carrier of the iPhone. (Note that the iPhone 4 will continue to sell at a new low price point of $99 (8GB) and the iPhone 3GS (8GB) can be picked up at no cost. When the 4S ships on the 14th it’ll release in the US, Canada, Austrailia, the UK, France, Germany, and Japan; on the 28th it’ll make it’s way to 22 more countries and by December 2011 it’ll sell in over 70 countries and with over 100 carriers. Apple claims this’ll be the fastest rollout ever for an iPhone.

iOS 5, iCloud, and iPods after the break. READ MORE Apple announces iPhone 4S, refreshed iPods, & provides release date for iOS 5 & iCloud

Apple WWDC 2011: Lion, iOS 5, iCloud — all the details

Today Apple brought the house down in San Fransisco’s Moscone Center where they previewed the latest versions of Mac OS X, iOS, and a new service called iCloud. Quote of the day comes from Apple CEO Steve Jobs who introduced the developer event with this: “If the hardware is the brain and the sinew of our products, the software in them is the soul.” The next-gen iPhone was nowhere to be found; today was all about the magical software that keeps Apple’s momentum chugging along at great pace. And now without further ado, let’s dive right in! It’s all after the break. READ MORE Apple WWDC 2011: Lion, iOS 5, iCloud — all the details

iOS 4.3 out now; Apple TV receives new content and enhancements

Today Apple released the latest version of their mobile operating system–that is, iOS 4.3–one day earlier than expected. Just about coinciding with the launch of iPad 2, iOS 4.3 brings with it all kinds of goodies including significantly increased Safari performance, iTunes Home Sharing, AirPlay improvements, iPad side switch behaviors, and personal hotspot functionality for iPhone 4; it’s all detailed right here. Bug fixes and the like are bundled in too; hop after the break to find a rundown of what’s included. iOS 4.3 is a free download for all GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and third and fourth-gen iPod touch owners. Connect your iOS device to a computer, fire up iTunes, and you’ll be notified to download and install the update.

In related Apple news, their hobby puck has also received a welcome system update. ATV owners will now be able to stream baseball and basketball games through the ether straight to their TVs thanks to MLB.tv and a NBA League Pass Broadband support. These services require pay subscriptions. In addition, Netflix has received 5.1 audio support. Cheers to that!

[Via Engadget 1, 2] READ MORE iOS 4.3 out now; Apple TV receives new content and enhancements

Apple September event roundup: New iPods, iTunes 10, refreshed Apple TV, iOS4 updates

Today Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to announce a new lineup of iPods, the next version of iTunes, and a refreshed Apple TV.  He also talked about the next two iOS4 software updates.  Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

iPod shuffle: The redesigned fourth generation iPod shuffle brings back the clickable front-facing ring buttons (play/pause, previous, next, volume up, volume down) and keeps VoiceOver control (it speaks artist and song name, multiple playlists, and battery status in 25 different languages) and the back clip.  It now supports playlists and Genius Mixes.  The tiny sqaure casing includes the on/off/play in order/shuffle switch, a VoiceOver button, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio and USB charging.  The battery holds up to 15 hours of audio playback.  The shuffle will be available in 5 different colors (grey, blue, green, orange, and pink).  A 2GB model will start shipping in one week for $49.

iPod nano: The redesigned sixth generation iPod nano does away with the click wheel and adds a 1.54 inch (240×240) multitouch display.  It adopts the tiny iPod shuffle aesthetic; it’s even got the built-in back clip.  It is 46 percent smaller and 42 percent lighter than the previous nano model.  To navigate around the iOS-like touch interface, swipe left and right to access different pages of icons, up and down to scroll through lists, double tap to zoom in on photos (there is no pinch-to-zoom), and tap to access other areas.  Any time you want to go back to the home screen simply tap and hold anywhere on the screen (there is no home button).  You can even rotate the screen using two fingers.  You can customize the pages of icons by touching and holding an icon down until it jiggles then dragging it to the desired position.  Everything here should be very familiar to iPhone and iPod touch users; it’s all just miniturized.  The home screen gives you access to playlists, now playing, artists, and Genius Mixes.  Also available is an FM radio, Nike+, a clock, Voice Memo, and access to Photos, Podcasts, Settings, and music categorized by song, album, genre, and composer.  The small enclosure includes a sleep/wake switch and volume up and down buttons on top and the 30-pin dock connector and 3.5mm headphone jack on bottom.  It also has a built-in accelerometer and supports VoiceOver in 29 different languages.  The battery holds up to 24 hours of audio playback.  The nano will be available in 7 different colors (grey, blue, green, orange, pink, charcoal, and Product (RED)).  8GB ($149) and 16GB ($179) models will start shipping in one week.

iPod touch: The fourth generation iPod touch gets even closer in design and functionality to its iPhone cousin.  The new touch features the same 3.5 inch (960×640) Retina Display, Apple A4 processor, back camera, and  front-facing camera, and three-axis gyro sensor as the iPhone 4.  The back camera shoots HD (720p, up to 30fps) video that can be edited on the device with simple trimming (included) or with more advanced editing (the $4.99 iMovie app now supports the iPod touch); it can also shoot stills.  The front-facing camera can shoot stills and supports FaceTime chats over WiFi with other iPod touches and iPhone 4s.  The external buttons and input/output holes remain the same: sleep/wake switch, volume up and volume down, the home button, 30-pin dock connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, build-in speaker and microphone.  802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, Nike+, accelerometer, ambient light sensor are still there as well.  The battery holds up to 40 hours of audio and 7 hours of video playback.  The touch will be available in polished aluminium on black only.  8GB ($229), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399) will start shipping in one week.

iTunes 10, Apple TV, iOS4 after the break ::   READ MORE Apple September event roundup: New iPods, iTunes 10, refreshed Apple TV, iOS4 updates

Netflix finds a home in iPhone & iPod touch

Netflix on the iPhone and iPod touch is no surprise; the free app was demoed at WWDC back in June and the iPad has been enjoying its company since launch.  On August 26 the Netflix app was updated (to version 1.1.0) to support all iOS4 devices.  The app will stream movies and TV shows over WiFi and 3G.  Within the app you have access to your personal Instant Queue (which is managable right on the device) and you can search and add new content to your queue using a standard search method or viewing content by genre.  You also have the ability to resume watching a show or movie right where you left off on your TV or computer.  The app itself is free, but remember you must be signed up for a Netflix membership (which starts at $8.99/month) to login and start streaming.  Download the app here and happy streaming!  Look after the break for a brief video preview of the app in action.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE Netflix finds a home in iPhone & iPod touch

Apple details iPhone OS 4: Multitasking! & more

Today Apple unveiled the developer preview of iPhone OS 4, the next major release of the iPhone operating system.  OS 4 includes over 1500 new APIs for developers and over 100 new user features.  Of these new features, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall talked about seven “tentpole” features.  Let’s dive right in, shall we?

1. Multitasking: Apple has finally figured out a way to implement multitasking for third-party apps that preserves battery life and overall performance of the iPhone.  The user interface for multitasking is simple.  When you are inside an app, just double tap the home button to raise the window and reveal a new dock at the bottom of the screen.  This dock houses all of your running apps, and you can jump in and out of them by clicking on them.  When asked about how to close applications, Forstall replied, “You don’t have to.  The user just uses things and doesn’t ever have to worry about it.”  Though that sounds nice and cheery, there actually is a way to close out of an app if you are not using it.  Tap and hold an app in the multitask dock and tap the minus button that appears; this confirms the app is now closed.  Seven multitasking services were detailed:

Background audio – Now you can listen to third-party music players in the background just like you could with iPod.  At the keynote, Pandora was demoed and worked without a hitch.  While listening to your custom playlist in Pandora you can jump into Safari to browse a site or jump into Mail to check your inbox for new messages.  Also, if you are in the lock screen you can double tap the home button and use the audio buttons to control Pandora.

VoIP – Now you can receive and hold onto VoIP conversations even if you jump out of the VoIP third-party app.  At the keynote, Skype was demoed.  Once a call is initiated, you can leave the app and jump into another without losing the call.  A double-high status bar appears at the top of the screen that shows your still on the call.  Also, you can still receive Skype calls even if you are in the lock screen; a notification bubble alerts an incoming call.

Background location – Apple says there are two classes of applications that like to use your location in the background:  turn-by-turn direction apps (like TomTom) and social networking apps (like Loopt).  With an app like TomTom becoming location-aware in the background, now you can leave the app and still receive turn-by-turn directions.  For example, you can set and begin your route, jump into iPod to select a song, and TomTom will still read aloud the directions using GPS.  Turn-by-turn direction apps are fairly power intensive apps, but most users have them running in the car when their device is connected to a power source.  An app like Loopt, which is used more often when an external power source is not charging the device, will use cell towers rather than GPS to find your location.  Privacy concerns are also addressed.  Today, whenever an app wants to use location services, a notification bubble asks you to approve the service.  In OS 4, a new status icon (shaped like an arrow) will appear in the status bar at the top of the screen to inform you exactly when an app is tracking your location.  In the settings menu you can enable or disable location services per app.  Also, an icon will appear next to the app name in the settings menu if that app has tried to access location services within the last 24 hours.

Push notifications – We already know all about Apple’s Push Notification service.  A third-party sets up a server, they send their notification to Apple’s Push Notification server, then Apple sends it to the phone.  Building on push notifications is a new service called…

Local notifications – These are just like push notifications except you do not need a server.  The notifications can come right from the phone.  For example, a TV Guide app can alert you to the premiere of a new TV program you wanted to be reminded of, and all this can be done right on the phone instead of going through back-end servers.

Task completion – This service works just like Xbox’s Active Downloads feature.  Say you are uploading photos to your Flickr account.  Today if you were to exit the Flickr app, the upload would stop immediately.  With OS 4, if you leave the app the photos will continue to upload in the background.

Fast app switching – This is what allows an app to pause and save its state in the background when you leave it for another app.  When you return to it, the app will resume exactly where you left off.  So if you are playing a game of Tap Tap Revenge and decide to check your missed calls, when you return to the game it will start right where you left off.  All this is done without using any CPU power. READ MORE Apple details iPhone OS 4: Multitasking! & more

SkiFree is back! On the iPhone!

This itty bit of news has just made my week.  Remember that game SkiFree that came preloaded on Windows 3.1?  It was a very simple game; you used the arrow keys to direct the skier speck to the bottom of a hill, trying your best to not run into obstacles like trees and rocks.  Today gameplay utilizes iPhone goodies like the built-in accelerometer for steering and the touchscreen for jumping.  The developer promises a future update will add a new slalom mode, easter eggs from the original SkiFree, and the absent and totally necessary Snow Monster.  That little basterd would always get me once I reached near the bottom of the hill!  Download SkiFree here; it’s free!

[Via BusinessInsider; Gizmodo]

The Creepy La-La-La Guy gets an app

We all knew this was coming.  The latest Internet meme is now featured in an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch.  Edward Anatolevich Hill is ‘The Creepy La-La-La Guy’ you’ve seen belt out those lalala’s and get impersonated by the great Christoph Waltz.  You can now bring the nightmare-inducing man to your iPhone with the Trololo app.  In it Hill sings his tune over and over again as you try to unlock the following powers: Applause, Funny Hat, Tone Invasion, Lava, Earthquake, and Chicken Of Death.  Normally priced at $1.99, the app is free today!  So go on and download it.  Or don’t.

[Via Krapps; Gizmodo]

Voice Band app turns your voice into a myriad of instruments (freakin’ awesome!)

From WaveMachineLabs comes a new innovative app for the iPhone called Voice Band.  Simply put, the app turns your voice into an instrument in real time.  Instruments include 2 guitars, a bass, sax, 2 synths, drums, and a mic.  Basically you make sounds with your voice and the app converts and records these sounds into instrument sounds, allowing you to layer them on top of each other to create a final product that may actually sound like an intricate, well thought out song.  In mic mode you can even top it all off with your own vocals; don’t worry, a built-in auto pitch helps you stay on key.  You also have the option to play your iPod library in the background and “play along with your favorite music.”  Songs can be saved and emailed to friends within the app.  Voice Band is available in the App Store today for $2.99.  It works with all iPhones and the 2nd gen iPod touch; you must have OS 3.0 or later installed.  One more stipulation–a pair of headphones (with a built-in mic) is required for iPod touch and original iPhone users.  See it in action in the video above.  Definitely one of the coolest apps I’ve come by in a while.

[Via Gizmodo]

Unreal Engine 3 running on iPhone/iPod touch (watch out PSP, DS)

Thanks to the iPhone’s internal OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics capability, Epic has no reason to hold back from porting their Unreal Engine 3 (the same engine that runs mega-games BioShock, Gears of War and Mass Effect) to the iPhone 3Gs and iPod touch (3rd gen).  Do you know what this means!?  Soon Apple’s little genius devices will turn into real portable game machines.  Not that they aren’t already gaming machines; but the integration of such a powerful graphics engine backing future games should definitely give the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS a chill down their spines.  Check out the video above for a quick snippet of  Unreal gameplay and look forward to the iPhone and iPod touch becoming synonymous with “portable gaming machines.”

[Via Engadget; Gizmodo]