Apple announces major software upgrade for iPod touch; retails for $19.99 via iTunes

Apple today announced a major software upgrade for the iPod touch, making the best iPod into even more — the world’s best Wi-Fi mobile device. iPod touch customers already have the most advanced mobile web browser in the world with Safari(TM), and now Apple is adding five more great mobile applications — Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather and Notes. The iPod touch software upgrade also includes new features such as Web Clips, a customizable home screen and beginning today, the ability to watch iTunes Movie Rentals. New iPod touch products shipping from the factory will include the software upgrade and existing iPod touch customers can get the software upgrade for US$19.99 by purchasing and downloading it from iTunes.

“These amazing new mobile applications make iPod touch not only the best iPod, but the best Wi-Fi mobile device in the world,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “With its revolutionary touch interface and software, plus its stunning 3.5 inch screen, iPod touch is evolving into the first mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform of the 21st century.”

Mail on iPod touch is a rich HTML email client that fetches email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics along with the text of the email. Users can configure Mail for Google’s Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, .Mac Mail or most POP or IMAP based mail services with just a few clicks.

Maps on iPod touch features the ability to automatically find your current location using nearby Wi-Fi base stations*, and use it as a starting or ending point for directions or to find local points of interest. Users can get real-time traffic conditions, and view maps in map or satellite view, or a hybrid view which combines map and satellite views so you can see major street names overlaid on satellite imagery.

Stocks and Weather allow users to access live stock and weather reports at their fingertips, and Notes lets you jot down information on-the-go using the intelligent keyboard.

The iPod touch home screen can now be customized, allowing users to reorder and add new icons, with support for up to nine different home screens which they can easily flick between. With the new Web Clips feature, you can even create custom icons on your home screen for your favorite websites. Web Clips are a great way to easily track web sites that you frequently check such as news, blogs, sports sites, movie listings and more.

With Apple’s new iTunes Movie Rentals, movie fans can rent movies on their computer, easily and quickly transfer them to their iPod touch, and watch them anywhere on iPod touch’s gorgeous 3.5 inch screen. Users can also now navigate forward or backward through their movies by chapters, select alternate language tracks and view subtitles, if available.

The software upgrade for iPod touch is available immediately. New iPod touch products shipping from the factory will include the software upgrade and existing iPod touch customers can get the software upgrade for US$19.99 by purchasing and downloading it from iTunes. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only. Further information for iPod touch can be found at http://www.apple.com/ipod

58 Comments

  1. Apple is not amortizing the revenues of the Touch. So they have to charge for the update because it’s not a bug fix. $20.00 is nothing. iPhone revenues are amortized so they can say it was part of the cost. Just like the Apple TV update.

  2. I love complainers. Seriously, Apple adds TOTALLY NEW abilities to your iPod type of unit and you want to cry about it ??? Seriously, Apple doesn’t owe you anything for nothing. It does what it was advertised to do and the reason you bought it. When 3rd party applications show up with their “Less than Apple” quality software for 29.99 are you going to complain to them also ???

    The new abilities are worth so much more than a 20.00 bill to me….

  3. If that’s the case, Demon, then why isn’t it $5.00? Hell, why isn’t it $.99? 20 DOLLARS?! That’s ridiculous. It’s the stereotypical Apple bullshit you hear about that I always turn a deaf ear to.

  4. Accounting rules require Apple to charge for iPod Touch updates. Revenue for the iPhone and Apple TV are booked on an amortized basis, so updates can be delivered free. That was never the plan for the iPod Touch.

    Apple is charging $5 per application. Now, if they sell them individually that might be better than having them bundled for the $20. But I would have no problem paying for the upgrade for the increased functionality. Don’t be a whinging beotch, expecting everything for free.

  5. I know $20 seems like nothing to you aristocrats currently charging that $3,000 MacBook Air to your American Express cards but it sure means something to a hell of a lot of iPod touch users who don’t bathe in the RDF.

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