Apple just completed its March 7 media event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. If you want the full coverage, please visit the usual suspects such as Engadget, MacWorld etc websites. For those in a hurry, here are the quick summary:
- iOS 5.1 will be available later today. Those with iOS 5 can update directly from within Settings app.
- As part of iOS 5.1, Siri will add Japanese language support.
- iTunes in iCloud now support movies with the ability to re-download movies you’ve purchased on any device. iTunes movie now come in 1080p.
- Apple unveils third generation Apple TV with 1080p support with a streamlined new user interface. The price is the same as existing model at $99. Available next week March 16th, order starts today.
- Apple launches new iPad. It is not iPad 3 or iPad HD, just iPad. Or the new iPad. Or third generation iPad.
- New iPad comes with 264ppi 2048×1536 resolution Retina Display. This is twice the resolution of existing iPad and more than 1 million pixel more than HDTV 1080p (1920×1080) standard. The new screen also boasts 44% greater saturation.
- New iPad has a new A5X processor with quad-core graphics and is twice as fast as Tegra 3.
- New iPad has a 5M pixel iSight camera with backside illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, Hybrid IR filter, face detection and ISP (signal processor) module built into the A5X chip. It can record video at 1080p with video stabilization and temporal noise deduction features.
- There is no Siri for the new iPad. Instead it comes with voice dictation for US English, British, Australian, French, German and Japanese.
- The new iPad supports World Ready 3G and next-generation 4G LTE wireless. It is capable of 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps, and LTE at 73Mbps. (Compare with iPad 2 which is capable of 3.1Mbps on EV-DO and 7.2Mbps on HSPA).
- The new iPad has a 10 hours battery life. The battery life is 9 hours on 4G LTE. It is 9.4mm thin and weights 1.4lbs, which is slightly heavier than iPad 2.
- The new iPad has the same pricing as iPad 2: $499 for 16GB Wi-Fi, $599 for 32GB Wi-Fi and $699 for 64GB Wi-Fi. The price for 4G LTE version is $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.
- The new iPad will be available March 16 for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Pre-orders starts today.
- The new iPad will be available March 23 for Austria, belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
- Apple updates iOS apps: iWorks, iMovie, Garage Band. Free update for existing users.
- Apple releases new iPhoto for iOS with photo editing and organization features. $4.99 available today.
- iPad 2 16GB will be made available at $399, a price drop of $100.
Apple TV is now at $89.99 at Amazon and Best Buy, a price drop of about $10. At Apple’s online store, Apple TV is still listed at the usual $99.
The price drop might be an indication that retailers are making room for a newer model. Mid-November is unusually late for a product launch ahead of Christmas shopping season. But it is nevertheless good bargain if Apple TV is in your shopping wish list.
Apple TV at Amazon.com
Apple has canceled TV show rental on iTunes and Apple TV, as “iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows”.
“iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. “iTunes in the Cloud lets customers download and watch their past TV purchases from their iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac or PC allowing them to enjoy their programming whenever and however they choose.”
Priced mostly at 99-cent per episode, TV rental debuted as an option when Apple launched its second generation Apple TV last September. With only ABC and Fox joining the program, Apple has not been able to get other studios such as Warner, NBC and Viacom to offer their programming on TV rental.
All Things D: Apple Pulls the Plug on TV Rentals
Apple has pushed out a new version 4.3 firmware update to Apple TV. New in this update is the ability to purchase TV shows. This is a shift in direction as 99 cents rental-only approach is the only option when Apple released second-generation Apple TV back in September 2010.
You can now buy TV episodes directly from Apple TV and your purchase will appear under the “Purchased” section of iTunes on both desktop and iOS devices. You can redownload and restream the purchased shows for repeat viewing.
TV shows is generally $2.99 a pop but most will welcome there is such an option. Fox and ABC remains the only two major networks offered in Apple TV, with CBS and NBC missing. With the offering for purchase option, lets hope more studio willl offer their contents in Apple TV.
The new update also adds Vimeo as a service accessible directly from Apple TV. A strong endorsement for Vimeo video site.
iLounge has published a comprehensive look at software update 4.1 for second generation Apple TV. The software update is released on Monday to coincide with iOS 4.2 release on iPhone/iPod touch/iPad. The article goes through the update process, look at AirPlay, new VoiceOver accessibility feature and miscellaneous changes and fixes in 4.1 software update.
Secrets & Features of Apple TV 4.1
The second generation AppleTV gets its first software update in version 4.1, which adds AirPlay functionality to play along with iOS 4.2 devices. With this update, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad running iOS 4.2 or Mac/PC with iTunes 10.1 is able to stream video and music to Apple TV.
Beside AirPlay, software update 4.1 also adds VoiceOver accessibility feature to Apple TV which will reads the menu and video/music metadata.
Courtesy of iFixit, we now can have an inside look at the parts and components of Apple TV internals:
- 8GB flash memory – Samsung K9LCG08U1M 8GB NAND Flash chip.
- A4 processor with 256MB ram, same as iPad and 4th generation iPod touch.
- Wi-Fi chipset from Panasonic
- Includes an FM radio chip but is not used
Apple has released firmware for the new Apple TV at its download server for public consumption. This download is meant for Apple TV owner who wants to restore their Apple TV to its default factory state. This release also confirms the rumor that new Apple TV runs a flavor of iOS. It will be also a matter of time before someone jailbreak this firmware, looking at how active the iOS jailbreak hackers community are.
One notable missing feature in the Apple TV announcement on September 1 by Steve Jobs is the ability for Apple TV to run the thousands of iOS apps. Many people are predicting that Apple will add this feature back into Apple TV. Imagine the possibility: you sit on your couch with your iPhone, select the game you want to play, use AirPlay to push the game to AppleTV. And play the game on the big screen in front of you using your iPhone as the controller.