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Apple rolls out new iPods, social iTunes

02/09/2010

There were few surprises at Apple’s annual music event Wednesday, but as usual there are new iPods for the holiday season and a new version of Apple TV. Here’s a quick recap of what Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced Wednesday in San Francisco.

• Apple released a new version of iOS–iOS 4.1–that fixes bugs and brings the previously announced Game Center API for developers to use in building social-networking games. Also, iOS 4.2 will be released later this year, which will unify the software on iPhones and iPads as well as stream music to other devices over Wi-Fi.

• Three new iPods were announced: an iPod Shuffle that ditches the previous no-button style in returning to a more classic look; a smaller iPod Nano that now has a touch screen but can no longer play video; and a thinner iPod Touch that has most of the features first introduced on the iPhone 4. The new iPods will be available next week.

• Apple announced iTunes 10, available immediately, which comes with a new logo and a social music service called Ping that lets you see what your friends are listening to and make comments and recommendations.

• A much cheaper and smaller Apple TV will ship later this month as Apple tries to revive interest in what Jobs has long called “a hobby.” It will cost $99, and users can rent HD TV shows from iTunes as well as other partners, such as ABC and Fox. They can also access Netflix’s streaming service from the box.

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