Much to write about today with MacWorld going on...
First, the iPhone update. Well, I'm a little disappointed that they didn't announce Flash support and Exchange support for Calendar & Contacts, but the features they did put in are pretty cool. Customizable home screen, locate current position in Maps, create Home icons for web pages, and send SMS to multiple people.
Amazingly, two new pieces of hardware - an ultrathin notebook called MacBook Air and a home backup server and wireless base station called Time Capsule. Time Capsule includes up to 1 terabyte of storage and uses the new, faster wireless standard 802.11n for typical speeds of 74 Mbps (about 3.5x faster than 802.11g). Combining the wireless with the hard drive is a bold move, but 802.11n will last for many years, so it's not as if you will be stuck with an outdated wireless device anytime soon. And guess what, AppleTV has 802.11n as well, and that's fast enough to comfortably stream really nice HD video around the house (802.11a/g can do it, but a low signal or other network activity can break performance), so Time Capsule + AppleTV = happiness for your HDTV screen.
- Movie rentals, both HD- and DVD-quality
- TV show, music, and music video purchases
- Photos from Flickr and .Mac web galleries
- Direct access to over 125,000 podcasts
(BTW, if you are not already using Roxio Popcorn 3 to prep your videos for AppleTV, you should get it - gives you a lot more to watch on AppleTV if you have a large collection.)
Apple finally got the message and is starting movie rentals on iTunes (I doubt any credit will go to Microsoft for offering this on XBox marketplace for the past 18 months). It's a mad dash for the OnDemand world as Comcast, AT&T, Apple, Microsoft and others fight for your "click to buy/rent" dollar.
Apple never ceases to impress, and even with all the noise from CES last week, they put on a good show.