Jobs returns to announce new iTunes, iPhone OS, and Nano with video

nano annce.JPG

Steve Jobs made a surprise comeback at the Apple event in San Francisco today, announcing an upgraded operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch, a new version of iTunes, and new generations and pricing for the Touch, the Shuffle, and the Nano.

Much to the disappointment of many fans, none of the new products include a still camera; however, the fifth generation Nano, which goes on sale today, has an integrated video camera with speakers so you can shoot and watch videos instantly. Two other key announcements made today were the iPhone and iPod Touch’s new OS 3.1 and iTunes 9, both available online now.

In addition to the video camera, the new Nano has a pedometer that can be synced with Nike Plus, an FM radio, and a voice recorder. It’s available in seven colors at $149 for the 8GB version and $179 for the 16GB. Apple also unveiled a new and improved Shuffle in five new colors with the option for multiple playlists, a voice that speaks to you about battery life, and controls integrated into headphone wires. The new Shuffle comes in a $59 2GB version, a $79 4GB version, and a limited edition stainless steel 4GB version sells for $99. Also announced were new pricing and a faster graphics for the iPod Touch (8GB at $199, 32GB at $299, and 64GB at $399). The original iPod retains its $249 price point, but now holds 160GB instead of the previous 120GB.

iTunes 9 has several new exciting features including media sharing, an on-screen app manager, and a redesigned Store. Genius Mixes, an extension of the music recommending Genius function, creates playlists from the iTunes library based on songs that go great together. Syncing has been improved, and a new interface for managing iPhone and iPod Touch apps allows users to drag and drop and rearrange apps on-screen from the iTunes app. Media can be shared through Home Sharing, which allows up to five computers in one house to copy the contents of their iTunes libraries freely. Finally, the new Store has a cleaner looks and and two new features, iTunes LP and iTunes Extra, which provide photos, liner notes, exclusive interviews, etc for music and movies, respectively.

The iPhone’s new OS 3.1, which is available today at the iTunes store, will include a Genius function for Apps that recommends apps much like how Genius in iTunes recommends music. It also includes Genius Mixes, peer to peer gaming, and ring tone downloads.

Jobs, who has been absent from the last couple of Apple events due to health problems, prefaced the announcements by confirming that he had had a liver transplant five months ago. He thanked the donor — a twenty-something year old who died in a car crash — for his generosity.

Apple has sold 30 million iPhones in just over two years, with 1. 8 billion apps downloaded from the App Store. Jobs claimed the Nano is “by far the most popular music player in the world” with over $100 million units sold. Similarly, iTunes, which is now available in 23 countries, is the number one music retailer in the world, with 8.5 billion songs sold on 100 million accounts with credit cards.

About Lisa Katayama

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.
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12 Responses to Jobs returns to announce new iTunes, iPhone OS, and Nano with video

  1. dculberson says:

    Enoch, that is an excellent question. $400 is well past my mp3 player comfort level nowadays.

  2. matt_w says:

    wtf? why have a video camera and not allow it to take still’s?

  3. Enochrewt says:

    You are a polyp on the rectum of evil Stallare. Shut up about your video converter.

    Anyway, Why don’t they make iPods with a decent amount of storage AND all of the goodies? I would consider buying a touch if they had something that was larger than 16GB. If that’s all they’re going to offer, I’ll keep putting music on the 8GB micro SD card for my phone so I don’t two gadgets in my pockets.

  4. stone says:

    steve jobs is the hero.. salute

  5. This is good news and we’re excited to how our Gladiator fans respond, because, interestingly enough, they’ve told us that they use the ipod in different ways with our Workbenches and Tool Storage units. For many it’s a big part of working on projects in the garage, too!

  6. dculberson says:

    Enochrewt, they do have a 64gb touch. I suspect the smaller size is just physical space limitations – they’re frequently bumping up against what they can physically fit in their players, and every generation or two they’re able to put more.

    64gb is pretty stinkin’ good. I’m not going to buy a touch, but can’t see really needing much more than that for a while. I do wish they would see the light and put micro SD slots on their hardware.

  7. Ladyfingers says:

    I love how Apple has “features” like “allowing sharing media over up to 5 devices”.

    As opposed to, you know, not using iTunes and copy-pasting/drag-dropping your universally playable media files to your heart’s content on any storage device.

    Apple: we take the simple things away and grudgingly give them back in tiny fractions of their former selves as our captives start looking over the fence.

  8. “Syncing has been improved”
    Does that mean it can sync with non-Apple devices like, say, the Palm Pre? Or any generic MP3 player?

  9. Anonymous says:

    “by far the most popular music player in the world” with over $100 million units sold.

    Huh?

  10. Enochrewt says:

    Hmm, I thought they didn’t come that large. Now the question is, do I want to spend $400 for the extra apps and features of the touch, or do I just buy a 120GB zune or Archos for around half the price?

  11. Scary_UK says:

    Wow an FM radio and a voice recorder!

    Well done Apple on getting features that even the cheapest MP3 players have had for the last 5 years.

  12. jeve stobs says:

    Who needs radio anyway?…it’s commercial and boring, btw the iPod nano is like a cellphone with the difference…you can’t call anoyone with it…muhahaha BORING GADGET!

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