Apple has finally made iTunes movie rentals official, as Steve Jobs made the announcement in his MacWorld 2008 keynote address. The studios taking part in the festivities include Disney, MGM, Touchstone, Miramax, Lions Gate, Warner Brothers, Fox, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. Rentals will be available starting today alongside an iTunes 7.6 update, and you can expect 1,000 movies to be available be the end of February. Rentals will cost $2.99 USD for a standard movie, $3.99 for new releases. If you want the HD version, it will cost you $1.00 more. You have 30 days to begin watching the movie, and once you’ve started, you get 24 hours to watch it as many times as you like. Rented movies can be transferred to a video-capable iPod or iPhone, and can also be viewed on Apple TV.
Read More | iTunes Movies
During this morning’s MacWorld keynote, Steve Jobs announced the new MacBook Air notebook. We’ve all been expecting some sort of Apple sub-notebook, and this one looks amazing. Apple it touting this as the “world’s thinnest notebook”. The MacBook Air is 0.16-inches to 0.76-inches. The thickest part of the Air is thinner than the thinnest part of a Sony TZ series notebook. That is impressive. The device features an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive, with a 64 GB SSD drive as an option. It ships standard with 2 GB of RAM and a 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chip, with the option to switch to 1.8 GHz. Other features include a 45-watt MagSafe, 1 USB 2.0 port, a Micro-DVI port, and audio out. There is no Ethernet port (otherwise they couldn’t have gotten it this thin) so you will have to rely on the built-in 802.11n WiFI and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The MacBook Air also leaves out the optical drive, but you can purchase an external SuperDrive accessory for $99 USD. It also ships with software that allows it to “borrow” the optical drive of another Mac or PC. Expect 5 hours of battery life out of this one - or more if you opt for the SSD drive. The MacBook Air will hit retail in about two weeks, and will cost $1799. Pre-orders start today.
Read More | MacBook Air Product Page
This morning, Steve Jobs demoed the iPhone 1.1.3 firmware, which looked strangely similar to the one we showed you guys a few weeks back that many were calling fake. Well as it turns out, the leak was real, but we did miss a few things, such as chapter options and language compatibility in iPod mode. The 1.1.3 firmware also features lyrics support for music. Rounding out the features are all the things we showed you in our iPhone 1.1.3 video - Web clips (web bookmarks on home screen), Maps with location finder, Home Screen customization, and SMS multiple people.
By the way, if you are looking for an excellent program to create custom ringtones for your iPhone, check out iPhone RingToneMaker.
Read More | iPhone 1.1.3 Video Walkthrough
During this morning’s MacWorld keynote, Apple announced a brand new router specifically meant for those of us running Leopard on Apple notebooks, called Time Capsule. Basically an Airport Extreme NAS, the Time Capsule router allows those running Leopard while connected over WiFi to run Time Machine. Currently, unless you use a back-end hack to enable WiFi backups, you have to plug and unplug your laptop to an external drive to run Time Machine backups. Time Capsule removes that requirement, thus making WiFi Time Machine backups simple. Of course, it comes at a price. A 500 GB Time Capsule retails for $299 USD, which a 1 TB version costs $499.
Read More | Time Capsule Product Page
Gear Live’s live coverage of the 2008 CES keynote! Refresh this page to keep track of the announcements!
6:39 The lights are up, and Bill has walked on stage!
6:40 Bill is talking about the last decade. Photos and music have made a huge transformation from analog to digital. “Information anywhere” seems to be a major theme.
6:42 Lots of partners have contributed to this digital decade - While this is Bill’s last CES keynote he thinks technology is just getting rolling
6:44 Video spoof of Bill Gates last day at Microsoft - Bill driving a Chevy Malibu to work and cleaning out his desk. Very funny stuff!
Check out the rest of the coverage after the jump
Continuing with all of today’s iPod announcements, Apple has announced the new third generation iPod nano. This time it gets a complete redesign, starting with the size - just 6.5mm thin. It also sports a new 2-inch QVGA 320x240 screen that is 65% brighter than the second generation nano, and is 204 dpi - the highest pixel density screen that Apple has ever shipped. The new iPod nano also has a new UI which includes Cover Flow, has support for playing videos, and ships with three games as well (Vortex, iQuiz, and Klondike.) Battery life has been extended as well, as Apple says the nano will play music for 24 hours, and video for 5 hours. It will be available in five colors: (PRODUCT) RED, light blue, black, pastel green, and silver. As far as price goes, the 4GB model (only available in silver) will retail for $149 USD, while the 8GB version will sell for $199. Both will be in stores by this weekend.
We’ve heard it was coming, and today Apple made it official - the iPod touch is now a reality. Those of you hoping for what would essentially be an “iPhone without the phone” have gotten your wish. The iPod touch has the same 3.5-inch screen size and resolution as the iPhone, and even has WiFi built-in. Safari is included as an application, as is YouTube. It even has that multitouch goodness we’ve come to know and love. As for the differences between the iPod touch and the iPhone, those are more hardware related rather than software related. The iPod touch is just 8mm thick, down from 11.5mm for the iPhone. It also comes in two storage capacity sizes - 16GB and 8GB - which means you get double the storage that you’d get on the iPhone if you go with the top model. You will be able to pick up a 16GB iPod touch for $399 USD, while and 8GB version will sell for $299. It ships “in a few weeks” and will be available worldwide. No more waiting until Apple finds an iPhone distribution partner to get your multitouch on!
UPDATE: Here is a supposed image of the “iPod touch”.
We just got a couple of images sent to us from an anonymous source who claims that this is the new iPod nano that we can expect Steve Jobs to announce at the Apple Special Event taking place this Wednesday, September 5th. Since we’ve seen so many photoshop mockups floating around the Internet recently, we are not saying these are the real deal by any stretch of the imagination - however, we love how these look, and a guy can dream, can’t he?
I guess we will see how it all pans out on Wednesday. We have another image of the supposed new nano after the break.
We told you new iMacs were coming, and this morning, Apple delivered. With a heavy emphasis on aluminum and glass, the new iMacs have received their first major redesign since August 2004, and are now available in 20- and 24-inch screen sizes. So what can you expect with the new iMacs? Howzabout four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 400 and a FireWire 800 port, ethernet, video out, and the like? Not enough? Well, they also throw in a slot loading SuperDrive, built-in iSight camera, and a glossy screen finish. The iMacs also ship with the newly redesigned Apple keyboards which sport two USB 2.0 ports. On the inside, you get up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Extreme processor, an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics card, 1 terabyte of storage space, 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.0, and 1GB of RAM (the new iMacs support up to 4GB RAM). As for pricing, you can pick up the low-end 20-incher for $1,199, a higher end 20-inch model for $1,499 (better processor and graphics card), while the 24-inch iMac now runs for $1,799. According to Apple, they are available today.
Read More | iMac Product Page
It always seems a bit silly to declare a “winner” of E3. It’s just so juvenile. This is a complex industry that can’t be distilled down to the simple question of “who beat whom.”
But we just can’t help it, can we?
Comparing the three keynotes this year, however, really is a grab-bag of possible outcomes. All three offered something interesting, and picking a single “winner” this year more than ever depends how you define “winning.”
My rundown is after the break.
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