Earlier today, Steve Jobs unhinged his jaw to begin the slow digestion of the traditional video store industry by unveiling the new, improved Apple TV—a smaller, cheaper ($99) version of its set-top box for streaming movies and TV shows over the Internet. The new Apple TV will allow people to rent titles for a fee ($4.99 apiece for first-run high-definition films, 99 cents for high-definition TV shows) as well as take advantage of Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” feature. Jobs said he expects it to roll out within the next month, though Apple has not yet announced what studios have agreed to sign over their titles. So far only Fox and ABC have officially agreed to license their TV shows, but you can probably expect others to quickly follow.
Other new products unveiled today included a remodeled iPod Touch with a front-facing camera and video chat capabilities, a new Nano version with touch-screen, and a remodeled iPod Shuffle that brings back the buttons from the second-generation version. Also, because it is vitally important that you share every bit of minutiae of your life with all of your friends at all times, an updated version of iTunes will add the new Ping feature, which allows you to find out what your friends are listening to by “following” them (just like on Facebook and Twitter!), and which reportedly makes use of the Lala software the company acquired and quickly dismantled earlier this year. A new version of the iPhone software is also due next week, which will allow users to wirelessly upload high-definition video, and will enable the camera to save three slightly different copies of every photo you take, which will then combine to create a sharper image (or in the case of we borderline-Luddites still clinging to our laughably outdated iPhone 3Gs, a relatively less shitty one).