Tech Talk: The latest from Apple

Published in the September 9 2010 issue of The NAIT Nugget. Tech Talk

The latest from Apple

Issues Editor

At the beginning of the month, Steve Jobs unveiled the latest generation of Apple products – products that I assure you are all beautiful, shiny and impressive enough to get you forking over your last paycheque.

In fact, people should really just get their paycheque sent to Apple automatically, it would just save you time.

The new iPod Touch is basically your iPhone 4 without the phoning capabilities.

Getting the latest iPod Touch means you get the best feature that comes in an iPhone 4 – and that is FaceTime.

If you’ve been missing all of the overly dramatic and sappy FaceTime commercials on TV since the iPhone 4 made its debut in Canada and therefore have no idea what FaceTime is, it’s basically video calling through your phone.

Think The Jetsons, but way cooler.

Completely free – FaceTime gives users the ability to video chat with anyone, get this, around the world – as long as you’re both on a wireless network. It doesn’t matter where you are, if you have an iPhone 4 – and now, if you have the newest iPod touch, you can FaceTime.

Essentially, Android-based phone users or Blackberry users or even non-smartphone owners who have been hearing great things about FaceTime now need not switch over to the iPhone to get the chance to use the video calling – they can just get a new iPod touch.

The new touch also features high definition video recording and of course, access to the vast iTunes app store.

While the touch’s physical appearance hasn’t changed that much from the previous model, the new iPod nano has been completely re-designed.

It’s a whole lot teenier.

Apple says it’s “been remixed for fingertips” but I’m not a fan of the re-design.

While cute, it’s too small – 46 per cent smaller than its predecessor, to be exact.

Can you imagine watching music videos or movies on the 1.5-inch screen on that thing? It wouldn’t be fun. And it’s probably not healthy for your eyes.

But the one cool thing is that the new iPod Nanos are now touch screen. It joins its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad siblings in the multi-touch technology world that help make those products so irresistible.

Finally the last thing I’d like to touch on from Jobs’ product announcement is the new Apple TV.

The newest Apple TV is 80 per cent smaller than the previous model, which is nice for keeping a tidy home entertainment area I suppose.

This Apple TV is also streaming-only, streaming movies and television shows wirelessly, “all you have to do is click and play.” Which is pretty cool, but not groundbreaking since if you’re anything like me, I usually stream movies and television shows from my computer onto my TV already.

And while our neighbours down south will be able to rent U.S. television shows for 99 cents through Apple TV, we won’t be getting that option, at least for now.

Still with vast movie rental features, products like the Apple TV make it understandable why movie rental company Blockbuster is set to file for bankruptcy later this month – understandable yes, but still very sad that the coming generation won’t know of actual movie rental stores.

But that’s probably another Tech Talk discussion.

Canadian prices for the above products are as follows and every product is set to become available this month:

Apple TV: $119

iPod nano: 8GB: $159; 16GB : $189

iPod touch: 8GB: $249; 32GB: $319; 64GB: 429.

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