At yesterday's event from Apple, perhaps the most unanticipated announcement was Ping, the main new feature of iTunes 10, which is now available for download via iTunes or the Apple website. Steve Jobs described Ping as a cross between Twitter, Facebook, and iTunes. You can read more about in on the Ping website or in the New York Times. Ping lets you connect with your friends and see what music they're listening to or buying.
Some of the biggest news today at the Apple event today was the new iPod touch. It was hardly a surprise, since everyone had pretty much guessed the new features. Still, it's fun to see Apple always moving ahead. As expected, it has a camera (including HD video), a front-facing camera for videoconferencing, the FaceTime software first offered in iPhone 4, and the new and very impressive 960 x 640 retina display. The new iPod touch starts at $229 for the 8GB model. It's amazing how far this device has come.
Change of Address.org has posted a great top-10 list of apps that will make your life easier if you're faced with a big move. The list includes Move planner ($1.99), which they describe as "must-see" for people moving. It comes with a range of very handy checklists — and they seem to have thought of everything. The app lets you modify these lists or create your own.
Apple does things differently. Other companies find out what people want and then give it to them. Apple's Steve Jobs imagines what he thinks people will like — and need — once they see it, and then Apple creates it. So out comes the iPad, a gizmo that was largely sui generis. And now Resolve Market Research has conducted a survey to find out what people like about it and are using it for. The results are fascinating. According to their article on Mashable, manufacturers of gaming devices and ebook readers ought to be worried.
Yesterday Apple release iOS updates for both the iPad and iPhone. (Read the details on Yahoo for iPad and iPhone.) The iPad upgrade may be the more important, in that it fixes the WiFi issues. The iPhone upgrade fixes the issue with the signal-strength bars.
According to a short article in the New York Times, Apple will be holding a press conference on Friday to address the complaints about the reception of the iPhone 4 if you hold it in a particular way. No word on who will speak. A recall is doubtful. I'm hoping they'll send a free Bumper case to everyone. Apparently having such a case resolves the problem.
Download Meter for Wi-Fi/ 3G/ EDGE/ GPRS is a great idea. It lets you conveniently track your data usage -- which is important now that AT&T no longer offers unlimited data. I've never found it that convenient to access my usage on the iPad, and it takes forever to get the info over my Edge connection. This app simply tracks it at the level of your device, so you don't need to long into your AT&T account. It has features such as meters that give you a sense for your usage at a glance. Very useful app, with quite a few good reviews.
CNET is selecting their 100 favorite iPhone apps in 10 installments. Starting today, each day for the next 10 business days CNET writers and bloggers will take turns identifying their 10 favorite apps. Today's first installment is by Kent German, senior editor at CNET Reviews. The 10 selections are presented in slide-show fashion. Among his favorites is Photoshop.com Mobile, the free photo editing app.
The App Store celebrated its second birthday last Saturday, and what an amazing run it's had: 250,000 apps and over 5 billion downloads. CNET has a great article on this success and how it's influenced the industry. AND it talks about what Apple can do to maintain and build on its success. Meanwhile, how do you find what you want in this sea of 250,000 apps? PCMag has a very helpful article on their favorite apps. They group them into topical themes, such as Top 40 Free Apps and 6 Great Travel Apps.
Macworld has an article about a new offering from Metaio that excites me: image-basd augmented reality. The whole idea of augmented reality is so cool: point your phone's camera at something, and when you view the live image on your iPhone you'll see related information or content superimposed on that image. Think of how useful this would be to tourists: you point your phone at the Eiffel Tower, and your phone superimposes information about it. Augmented reality has already been available, but it was GPS-based.