Apple Announces New iTunes, Nano, Touch, & iPhone Fix

Three new products are taking center stage from Apple’s music announcement in San Francisco so far today: a new version of iTunes, and new iPod Nano, and a new iPod Touch. Plans have also been confirmed for a long-awaited OS fix for the iPhone, one that promises to repair the host of problems users have seen since the 3G phone’s debut.

ITunes 8

Steve Jobs’ first revelation was the new iTunes 8. The updated program will make songs more accessible with tiled browsing platform that lets you see each track’s album cover. It also introduces an option called “Genius,” a tool that groups similar songs together into playlists. iTunes 8 will also mark the return of NBC content to the platform.

The New Nano

Next, Jobs showed off the new iPod Nano, which — as expected — will be the thinnest model ever made by Apple. It boasts a newly curved screen, a new voice recording function, and an updated interface modeled after the iPhone and iPod Touch. The next-generation Nano can also be flipped onto its side for better video viewing. One of the coolest additions, though, is the “shake to shuffle” ability: You literally shake the thing to advance to the next track, courtesy of its built-in accelerometer.

The new Nanos will be available in eight colors. The 8GB version will be $149 and the 16GB version $199. Both should be available within the next week. Apple is also prepping a new line of headphones to go with the players. They’ll offer controls right on the cord. The headphones will sell for about $80 and will be available next month.

The New Touch

Third, the updated iPod Touch, which cuts back on size and scales up on power. The thinner model, now available, offers integrated volume controls and a built-in speaker. It also has the same Genius playlist option as the new Nano and is now being touted for audiobook usage as well. The Touch will have access to the App Store, with games such as Spore and Real Soccer 2009 being prepared for release. The touch will run $229 for the 8GB, $299 for the 16GB, and $399 for the 32GB model.

OS X 2.1

Apple also announced the release of OS X 2.1 for both the iPhone and iPod Touch. The update is said to fix the bulk of iPhone problems — dropped calls, reception issues, and app-related crashes. The 2.1 release will be available free to any users already on 2.0 and will cost $9.99 for anyone on an earlier version.