9/1/10 Apple Press Conference Live-Blog

We’ve taken our seats in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and are listening to Layla while we wait for the show to start. You may be watching at home, but follow our live-streaming thoughts here.

Here we go, internet connection or not. Steve Jobs takes the stage. Steve Woz is here, too!

Retail

Apple retail update: New stores in Paris, Shanghai, London. 300 stores around the world. 1 million visitors to Apple stores some days.

iOS

‘A revolution in touch and apps’, made iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad possible. 120 million iOS devices shipped so far. Activating 230,000 new iOS devices a day.

6.5 Billion downloads from the App Store. 200 apps every second!

iOS 4.1: Bugs fixed: proximity, Bluetooth, iPhone 3G performance. High Dynamic Range photos. Standard in 4.1. HD video upload over Wi-Fi. Game Center debut.

HDR demo: Washed out photo looks clear and sharp. Photo focus suggest to us the next iPod Touch will have cameras.

Game Center

Game Center demo: All about multi-player games. Challenge friends. Auto-matching if you don’t have any friends. Compare scores, discover new games.

Demo: ‘Thor’ has 19 games. Leaderboards, achievements, App Store icon. Inviting friends to multiplayer for ‘Angry Birds’ (?) and Dungeon Hunter 2 (multi co-op already confirmed at E3). New game from Epic Games, Mike Capps, President now takes the stage.

Epic

New game: Project Sword. Action-RPG with sword battles. 3D world with ‘intricate levels of detail’. Navigating using two joysticks. Mike sends invitation, message pops up on screen. Versus mode starts. ‘Same lighting and animation you see in top CG films’

Swiping back and forth to create different moves. Stomps boot on face. Is this turn-based? Achievement unlocked. Slicing and dicing. Impales the bigger knight.

And that’s Game Center. Available next week as part of 4.1 , free download. Moving on. iOS 4.2 is around the corner, coming later this year. It’s all about iPad.

iOS 4.2

Wireless printing for iPad, “AirPlay”.

AirTunes is now AirPlay. Stream audio, video, and photos via Wi-Fi. Here’s a demo of 4.2 running on iPad.

Multitasking on iPad- listening to Pandora, email, web surfing. Stop/start music from bottom taskbar. 4.2 coming in November.

iPods

275 million iPod sold worldwide. All-new designs for every model. iPod Shuffle combines generations 2 and 3. Has buttons and voice control. 5 colors, $49 price.

New iPod Nano has multi-touch. Looks like a tiny little box. Nearly half as light and small. Has a clip, so you can wear it like a lapel pin. Steve’s onstage demo is hard to see– this thing is practically microscopic. Turn the screen with two finger touch, no accelerometer from what we can tell. Comes in a variety of colors, including charity-donation red.

iPod Touch

iPhone without the phone/contract. #1 portable game player in the world. Outsells Sony and Nintendo combined! Take that, Marcus PSP. 50%+ US and worldwide market share. 1.5 billion games/entertainment apps downloaded just for iPod Touch.

New iPod Touch has Retina display. A4 chip. Gyro. iOS 4.1 with Game Center. Front-facing camera and FaceTime. Rear camera and HD video recording. Available next week! Pre-order today.

New iPod Touch ads feature games like Street Fighter IV, Angry Birds, and Iron Man 2 prominently.

iTunes

New logo! Ditches the CD. iTunes introduces ‘Ping’, social network for music. ‘Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes’

Ping Recent activity: Follow artists, post news about purchases. Custom top 10 chart of songs and albums that are based on what your friends are downloading. Artist page by Lady Gaga.

Privacy settings: exclusive, or all-inclusive. ‘As private or public as you want’.

iTunes 10/ Ping demo begins. Lady Gaga posted a video announcing her new page on iTunes Ping. Ping will also be available on your iPhone or iPod. Tagline: “A social network for music”. iTunes 10 is available today.

One more thing, actually hobby. Apple TV!

Apple TV

Not popular, but well-liked. What has Apple learned since Sept 2006? ‘They want Hollywood movies and TV shows whenever they want. They don’t want amateur hour. They want everything in HD.’

Long list of things consumers wants/don’t want. Now Apple will reveal how they took all this into account with the new Apple TV. It’s tiny and black.

One-fourth the size, fits in your hand. No power brick. HDMI out. Ethernet port. Wi-Fi built in. Remote with circular D-pad and couple buttons.

No storage management. All rentals, no purchases. Cheap prices. Streams from your computer. Rent $4.99 first-run HD movies the day they come out on DVD. 99 cents for movies. Netflix streaming, Youtube, mobileme and Flickr photos.

UI looks like a DVD menu. Movies, TV Shows, Internet, Computers, Settings. Steve performs an onstage demo. What will the price be? Our guess is between $100-200. Steve plays Iron Man 2 and Glee rentals. Now watching a Netflix movie.

Slideshows look extremely entertaining– music + snazzy transitions. Not boring at all! iPad integration coming. AirPlay revealed now.

Button on video player of iPad instantly streams video to Apple TV. Neat!

Price: 99 bucks! Available in 4 weeks, pre-orders accepted today.

Recap

New iPod shuffle, nano, touch. New iTunes, with Ping, “a social network for music”. iOS 4.2 with Game Center. Apple TV.

Now, a concert for the press! Coldplay is going to rock the house.

As Chris Martin croons “Yellow”, let’s take a moment to reflect on what we saw today (typing as quietly as possible). We think the Game Center reveal and demo was very short, although we liked that we got to see a new game from Epic. We’re not sold on the combat, but navigating the streets in Project Sword looks amazing. Also, that name is just silly.

The new iPod Touch is exactly what we expected– like the iPhone 4 in just about every way. Retina, gyroscope, two cameras, FaceTime support, and A4 chip. The surprise is that they’ll be available today.

Ping was a nice surprise– iTunes challenging Facebook. It doesn’t affect us much at Slide To Play or Padvance, but it’s always nice to see iTunes continue to grow and change with the times.

The big headlines for tomorrow will all be about Apple TV, but we find it hard to get excited about a rental machine, even if it does fit in your pocket. The 99 dollar price point is great, but since we’re already paying for cable, Netflix, and Xbox Live, Apple TV is redundant. If we didn’t have those things, though, a buck for each episode of Glee might seem a bit more palatable.

Meanwhile, Chris Martin sings “When I Ruled The World”. Crowd calls for an encore. I call encore just to annoy Jeff from 148 Apps– he’s not a fan.

Concert’s over, press conference is about to wrap up. Follow us on Twitter to air your questions and we’ll answer them best we can. Now, on to the hands-on demo room!

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