October 4, 2011

∴ iCloud, Day Zero

Notes from Tim Cook's product launch in Cupertino, today. Just highlights of the new stuff:

  • iOS 5 will be available October 12.
  • iTunes Match, which matches all of your songs with high-fidelity versions in iCloud, or uploads your copy if a match isn't available, goes live by the end of October for $25/year.
  • iPod Touch will be available in 8, 16 and 32 GB models, black or white, priced at $199, $299 and $399, respectively. Still available: iPod Nano in 8 and 16 GB for $129 and $149, respectively, and iPod Shuffle in 2 GB for $49. No mention of the aging, 160 GB hard drive-based iPod Classic.
  • Follow-up to iPhone 4 is the new iPhone 4S. Same A5 CPU as the iPad 2, retina display, dual-core graphics processor. Same form factor as the existing iPhone 4. Available in 16, 32 and 64 GB, black or white, for $199, $299 and $399, respectively. Available October 14 for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint customers. All prices are with a two-year wireless service contract.
  • iPhone 4S adds diverse antennas for send vs. receive. Data bandwidth double the previous model.
  • iPhone 4S is a "world phone," containing radio chips for both GSM (AT&T and the rest of the world) and CDMA (Verizon, Sprint) wireless capability.
  • iPhone 4S has an 8 megapixel camera. f2.4, five element lens. Face detection. Fast startup. 1080p video recording with image stabilization. Throw away your point-and-shoot camera, this will likely be better, and more likely to be in your pocket when you need a camera.
  • Siri: intelligent assistant is part of iOS 5 on iPhone 4S (not previous phones running iOS 5). Command your phone with your voice. Ask how is the weather, get a forecast. Ask for Greek restaurants, get a list of five. Tell Siri to schedule a reminder, it does. This feature must be seen to be believed. Slick.
  • Existing iPhone 4, in 8 GB, will be $99, and the existing iPhone 3GS in 8 GB will be free (with contract).
  • No iPhone 5 … like the Red Sox, wait 'til next year.