New Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the post Steve Jobs era keynote this morning. “Good morning, this is my first product launch since being named CEO,” Cook said. “It is a pleasure to host you today. I love Apple.”
Meanwhile, while Cook got his address rolling, tech bloch Gizmodo pointed to a Sprint log being hosted on the Apple Store website, basically confirming news reports that the telecom company would be the next platform to launch iPhone support.
Earlier in the morning, the Japanese Apple Store site briefly put up an image of an iPhone 4S, giving indication of where the keynote will go in terms of phone announcements. Cook opened the presentation with photos an video showing two new, legitimate Apple Stores opening in China. Widespread reports showed fake Apple Stores over the summer selling counterfeit computers, iPhones and iPads.
In addressing the recent success of Apple’s computer line and operating system, OS X Lion, 6 million times since realease. Lion is available only by download.
iPod line update
In the 10 years since iPod was first introduced, Apple has sold 300 million of the MP3 players. Cook offered that it took Sony 30 years to sell 230,000 Walkmen.
He also pointed to more than 16 billion music downloads from the iTunes Store, which was only introduced eightyears ago, helping to push the iPod line to 70 percent market penetration in the U.S. for MP3 players.
Cook touted the growing market dominance of iPad, Apple’s wildly successful tablet device, particularly in an educational setting.
“They’re showing up everywhere. In schools they’re helping kids learn in amazing new ways. Every state in the U.S. now has an iPad deployment or pilot in place,” Cook said, referring to programs that allow K-12 students to use iPads.
He also pointed to the inroads in higher education, with programs at the University of Chicago and Notre Dame as prominent examples.
Apple has now sold 250 million iOS devices, giving the mobile operating system a 43 percent ownership share of the market, according to iOS chief architect Scott Forstall, who joined Cook on stage.
The first feature touted in iOS 5, is the notification structure, long a sore spot for iPhone users in particula. Instead of pop-up notification, there will now be a notification center. To get notifications, which will be denoted by a red bubble number, users swipe from the top for a display of notices. The new systems promises to elimnate screen-blocking messages.
The notifications will take you straight to whichever app they generated from by swiping across the notification.
Forstall also displayed iMessage, a free sercvice between iOS users. Built like an SMS text feature, it supports iPad, iPhone and ipod Touch and can send text, photos and video without using your cellphone plan minutes. The messages are pushed to all iOS devices allowing for them to be picked up on any supported device.
He also pointed to the deep Twitter integration now available built in to the operating system. Users will be able to tweet straight from apps like Photos, Maps, YouTube and Safari after an initial sign in to their Twitter account.
iOS 5, will be available Oct. 12 for the iPhone 4 and 3GS, both iPad models and later versions of the iPod Touch.
The Camera app
A list of new features for the Camaera app focuses on in-app editing and ease-of-use upgrades.
The volume button will now function as a shutter release, allowing for easier framing and photo taking without having to rach for the home button.
In-App editing will allow for color and red eye correction, Cropping and a grid system for lining up photos are new to the app as well.
The new iPhone 4S, which comes with 16, 32 or 64GB of storage, will be released in seven countries, including Britain, on October 14th.
The new handset looks the same as the iPhone 4 but contains considerable upgrades to its components.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, introduced the new iPhone 4S saying: “Don’t be deceived because inside it is all new.”
The iPhone 4S runs on the same A5 processor that powers the iPad 2 and has an improved camera. It offers 8-megapixels, compared with the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixels and, Apple says, will deliver sharper pictures with better colours.
The new iPhone also has improved wireless performance, which Apple says allows it to switch between cellphone towers, during a call, to ensure the best quality. Schiller also said the iPhone 4S has faster data upload and download times.
However, Schiller said Apple had saved the best feature of the new iPhone for last. Siri, a voice-activated assistant, brings voice control to the iPhone 4S. “What we really want to do is talk to our device,” Schiller said, adding that previous voice control applications had required the user to learn specific commands.
Siri, Schiller said, allows you to ask questions in natural language. It can also do dictation. A short technology demonstration appeared to prove him correct but the proof will come when some time has been devoted to testing the new functions.
The iPhone 4S will run Apple’s new iOS 5 operating system, which will be released on October 12. iOS 5, which includes a new iMessage messaging system, improved notifications and a Newsstand app for newspapers and magazines, will also be available for iPhone 4 and 3GS, as well as the iPad and recent iPod touch models.