AppleTV – Take 2

Today Apple released it’s second version of it’s AppleTV product.

To go along with the new iTunes movie rental service, Apple’s new version of the AppleTV has had a nice update.
A quick feature rundown:

  • No computer required
  • Rent movies directly from the AppleTV (HD movies for $3.99; $4.99 for new releases)
  • DVD quality and HD quality + Dolby 5.1
  • Buy music directly from AppleTV
  • Browse podcasts (audio and video)
  • Browse photos from Flickr and .Mac
  • Sync with iTunes
  • Preview movies and see what other users have rented
  • Run photo screensavers pulled from .Mac web galleries

There has also been minor price drop from $299 to $229.
All of these features will be available as a free software update in about 2 weeks. Good news is that you don’t need to purchase a new AppleTV to get all of the new stuff!

iTunes Movie Rentals Available Today

The much rumored iTunes Movie Rental service is indeed becoming a reality…today!

Today Steve Jobs announced that every major studio is on board: Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, Fox, WB, Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony.
Initially there will be over 1000 movies and in general movie rentals will be available 30 days after DVD release.
It will cost $2.99 for “library titles” (movies that are not new releases) and $3.99 for new releases. HD rentals will be $3.99 for library titles and $4.99 for new releases (only 100 titles available today in HD). You will have 30 days to start watching the movie after purchase and 24 hours to finish it once you have started.
Movies can be viewed on Mac or PC as well as on all current iPods and the iPhone. Movies will be streaming…meaning you don’t have to wait and download the full movie…you can begin watching instantly.
Available today in the US. Available internationally later this year.

iPhone Software Updates Today

Today during the Macworld 2008 keynote, Jobs announced quite a few new pieces of software for the iPhone.

  • Maps with wi-fi locations
  • Webclips – Lets you bookmark pages (and their zoom/pan state) and save them to your main screen
  • Customizable home screen
  • SMS to multiple people
  • Lyrics support (for iPod mode)

These software updates will be available today as a free upgrade.

Macworld 2008 Keynote Today

Today marks one of the most anticipated days of every year. At 9AM CST, Steve Jobs will give his annual Macworld keynote where he’ll talk about Apple’s accomplishments for the past year as well as plans for the upcoming year. But more importantly, he’ll be announcing new products.
Macworld is an event that causes more speculation than probably any other even Apple participates in.
The two biggest rumors revolve around the possibility that Apple will begin offering movie rentals via iTunes and the possibility of a new ultra-thin MacBook.
The movie rental rumor is probably one of the only rumors in the past years that seems almost a shoe-in for happening. Many major film studios have reportedly confirmed their involvement with Apple on a rental service and on top of that…it just makes sense.
The ultra-thing MacBook rumor, however, is a bit more speculation. Supposedly this ultra-thin laptop will supposedly be almost completely cable-free (supported by Apple’s “There’s something in the air. banner).
I’m just not so sure Apple would release something like this. I do think Apple could release something like a 12″ MacBook (a size that’s currently missing from their lineup), but just releasing a thinner version something in their lineup just doesn’t add up for me. I don’t think the average consumer is really ready for something that “doesn’t use any cables”. The idea just feels a bit too gimmicky to me.
What do you think Apple’s “There’s something in the air.” banner means?

There’s something in the air…

There’s something in the air…

Today, Apple updated their home page with the graphic above showing what appears to be Apple’s main slogan for Macworld 2008.

Many readers are predicting that “air” is the name of a new line of MacBooks from Apple that will be released tomorrow. Other’s are guessing it has something to do with wireless networking or WiFi. I’m guessing no one really has a clue.
Tomorrow at 9am PST, Steve Jobs will deliver his infamous keynote speech and is sure to release and announce things that will make your head explode.
Tune in tomorrow for commentary and updates on new announcements related to all things Macworld.