Just watched the Apple event today. Quick thoughts:
- Shuffle – good update, bringing back the physical controls on the device itself.
- Nano – WHAT?! Doesn’t look very intuitive at all! Screen’s smaller and doesn’t play video I hear? Seems like a downgrade to me. Also, the lack of accelerometer make rotating the display extremely annoying when you’re on the go. They should’ve instead made it more like the Zune HD and preserved the nice screen they had on the previous generation.
- Touch – nice! Retina display is pretty gorgeous and has very good color integrity. I like the fact that it’s thinner too. Cameras are very welcome and the addition of FaceTime makes it worthwhile. I wish the price was lower, however.
- iOS – good to see that HDR photography is a part of the 4.1 release. Don’t know if the photography pros are going to gawk at this or not; will have to wait and see. Glad to see that Game Center is finally making its debut, although it seems to copy many of the things that a social gaming network such as OpenFeint already does. I wonder what the future is for OpenFeint and other such “unofficial” networks.
- Apple TV – good update on the hardware, great price drop to the sub-$100 market. Glad to see integration with Netflix too. I can’t decide if the switch to a rental-only model is a good thing or not. Price on renting (HD-res) TV shows is pretty much as good as we can expect. Sad to see that only Fox and ABC are on-board right now. Also, doesn’t Amazon already offer the exact same setup? Except with purchase, not rental? HD movie rentals are still too expensive, I feel. With Netflix (prepaid, unlimited) and Redbox ($1/movie), you can get a far better deal. Of course, Apple does have advantage of offering movies the day they are released on DVD, but that still does not constitute enough reason to have the price be five or more times as expensive as competition – in addition to the cost of hardware. Also, no native Pandora/Last.FM support?
- iTunes – decent small visual refresh of icon and UI, although I’m not sure how popular the addition of Ping will be. (Also, lawsuits about the name coming in 3, 2, 1…).
- Coldplay – well that was interesting. Enjoyed his humor quite a bit (“brand new song, introducing seven new chords, even one called iMinor!”). I wonder if a live artist will be a standard at future Music Events.
Finally, just got the Epic Citadel demo for my phone (iPhone 4) and it’s pretty amazing. Unbelievable graphics for a phone and great controls too. Right now all you can do is walk around and stuff, but it’s still pretty cool. One thing I noticed is that the character (you) doesn’t cast a shadow! I found this interesting and figure that all the textures are baked. That explains some of why the performance is so good, although it almost looks like it’s mega-textured (didn’t Carmack say he got a mega-textured map playing without lag too?). For such a large and complex map as that castle, its very impressive.