IPod Touch

3.3539215686385 (1020)
Posted by motoman 04/14/2009 @ 13:13

Tags : ipod touch, portable audio, audio and video, technology

News headlines
Apple likely to create bigger iPod Touch instead of netbook ... - Seattle Times
Apple may expand on its iPod Touch player instead of offering a low-cost netbook, a research analyst suggested Thursday. By Connie Guglielmo Apple, pushing deeper into low-cost mobile computers, may release a larger version of its iPod Touch player...
iPod Touch - Third generation version to have camera but no OLED ... - Examiner.com
Now that the announcement of the upcoming third generation iPhone is coming up, rumors about Apple's upcoming iPod touch are starting to come in. The good news: the new iPod touch will have a camera, although it's not known how many megapixels it will...
Direct Movie and TV Downloads Coming to iPhone? - PC World
More supposed details are leaking out about the next version of Apple's 3.0 software update for the iPhone and iPod Touch set to be unveiled next month. The latest buzz, via the site Open Salon, is over direct downloads of TV shows and movies....
Students getting creative with iPod touch at North Rowan High - Salisbury Post
It's the iPod touch, and it's the newest tool for teachers and students at North Rowan High School. Principal Rodney Bass is proud of the new project. "Students now have more knowledge in the palm of their hands then they would ever have through books...
'Terminator: Salvation' Prequel Comics To Hit iPhone And iPod Touch - MTV.com
“Consumers want to extend the print experience to their handheld media devices and the iPhone and iPod touch are ideal platforms for delivering rich, immersive, visual experiences,” said Warner Bros. Digital Distribution President Thomas Gewecke in the...
TimeStream releases Disneyland Park Notescast for iPhone/iPod Touch - prMac (press release)
[prMac.com] Portland, OR - TimeStream Software has announced the release of the powerful new "Disneyland Park Guide" Notescast(R) for the iPhone and iPod touch. With over 120 pages of information with rich in-depth content, the new Disneyland Park...
All about the iPhone, iPod touch, and App Store from the Apple experts - Macworld
If you need access to scholarly research on-the-go, then Papers is certainly the go-to application on the iPhone and iPod touch. Unfortunately, this early release is reminiscent of the initial release desktop cousin—a great start that falls flat in a...
iPod touch 64GB with Final Cut Mobile - MP3 Newswire
A 64GB iPod touch that needs the extra capacity because it is running a mobile version of Final Cut. Now almost all video cameras today can do in-camera editing, and OS X is perfectly capable of running an abridged editing program as long as it doesn't...
Sahil Desai releases TheTumbler - Tumblr Client for iPhone & iPod ... - prMac (press release)
[prMac.com] Palo Alto, CA - iPhone developer Sahil Desai has released TheTumbler, a new application for iPhone and iPod Touch designed to allow users to post and view the posts of their followers on Tumblr. TheTumbler is a fast, full-featured,...
Trip Cubby 2.0 for the iPhone/iPod touch adds predictive text ... - Macsimum
App Cubby has released Trip Cubby 1.1, an update to the mileage log application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The upgrade adds predictive text fields, data entry shortcuts, new charts, online sync/back-up and more. Trip Cubby features predictive input...

IPod Touch

Jailbroken first generation iPod Touch in a red case, running firmware version 1.1.1.

The iPod Touch (trademarked and marketed as iPod touch) is a portable media player, personal digital assistant, and Wi-Fi mobile platform designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The product was launched on September 5, 2007 at an event called The Beat Goes On. The iPod Touch adds the multi-touch graphical user interface to the iPod line and is available with 8, 16, or 32 GB of flash memory. It includes Apple's Safari web browser and is the first iPod with wireless access to the iTunes Store. It also has access to Apple's App Store. The second generation iPod Touch, featuring external volume controls, a built-in speaker, a contoured back and built-in Nike+ support, was unveiled on September 9, 2008 at the Let's Rock keynote presentation.

The iPod Touch has a slim "brick" form factor, with a glass touchscreen display covering most of the top surface and a physical home button off the touchscreen. The display functions similarly to the multi-touch trackpad as implemented in Apple's current line of laptop computers. The home screen has a list of icons for the available applications. All iPod Touch models include such applications as Music, Videos, and Photos (collectively duplicating the standard functions of the iPod Classic), iTunes (providing access to the Wi-Fi Music Store), Safari, YouTube, Calendar, Contacts, Clock, Calculator, and Settings. Later models added Mail (accessing POP/IMAP/SMTP e-mail), Maps, Stocks, Notes, and Weather, which could also be added to the earlier models with the purchase of a software upgrade. The user can add direct links to Web sites, called "Web Clips", to the home screen. All iPod Touch models are equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g.

On July 11, 2008 the iPhone 2.0 Software Update was released for purchase for the iPod Touch. The update allowed first generation iPod Touch devices access to the App Store to download third-party applications, in addition to a host of minor "fixes".

The iPod Touch and the iPhone, a smartphone by Apple, share the same hardware platform and are controlled by the same iPhone OS operating system. The iPod Touch lacks some of the iPhone's features such as access to a phone network, a built-in microphone, a camera, and GPS receiver; as a result, the iPod Touch is slimmer and lighter than the iPhone. Steve Jobs once referred to the iPod Touch as "training wheels for the iPhone".

The second generation iPod Touch has an external volume switch and a built-in speaker, like the iPhone. The second generation also comes with the chrome frame seen on the iPhone 3G, making the two almost identical when viewed from the front. However, there are some notable differences, as there is no speaker above the screen, no silent/ringer switch, and the sleep/wake button is on the other side. The second generation also supports audio input when a headphone or earphone with microphone capabilities is plugged into the audio output jack. The iPod Touch 2.0 Software Update supports WPA2 Enterprise with 802.1X authentication. Apple has announced that the iPhone OS 3.0 update will unlock Bluetooth capability on the second generation iPod Touch, as the included Wi-Fi chip (Broadcom BCM4325) has Bluetooth and FM Radio support.

Second generation iPod Touches are said to have a yellower cast/tint to the display, as compared to the iPhone or the original iPod Touch. Claims have also been made that the applications processor inside the second generation iPod Touch runs faster than the processor inside the iPhone 3G. The first generation iPod Touch works with all "Made for iPod" peripherals, but certain changes that Apple made to the second generation iPod Touch prevent some existing peripherals from recharging the updated player. The Google Street View feature added on iPhone firmware version 2.2 is absent from the same version of firmware released on the iPod Touch.

Apple has received criticism for its allegedly differential treatment of iPhone and iPod Touch owners. Such criticism is primarily targeted towards Apple charging iPod Touch owners for major updates (versions) of the iPhone OS that iPhone owners can obtain at no charge, as well as excluding certain features from the iPod Touch software that are included in the iPhone. Apple has been reported as saying that they can add features for free to the iPhone (and Apple TV) because the revenue from these products is accounted for on a subscription basis under Sarbanes-Oxley Act rules, rather than as a one time payment.

As supplied new, the iPod Touch needs a connection to a computer for initial configuration. Officially, Apple requires iTunes to be installed on either a Mac OS X or Windows operating system based computer for configuring the iPod Touch. On either operating system, the iPod Touch must be connected through a USB port. The first time the iPod Touch is turned on, a "connect cable to iTunes" graphic will be displayed continuously until the iPod Touch is connected to a computer running iTunes.

To use the iPod Touch for buying products at the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store via Wi-Fi, an iTunes Store account must be created in iTunes and the account details then entered into the iPod.

The only official way to obtain third-party applications for the iPod Touch is Apple's iTunes Store. The App Store application, available in all versions of the iPhone OS from version 2.0 (or Software Update 2.0) onwards, allows users to browse and download applications from an online repository with the iTunes Store. To develop such software, a software development kit (SDK) was officially announced on March 6, 2008, at an Apple Town Hall meeting. The iPhone SDK allows developers to make applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch after paying a fee to join the development team. The developer can then set the price for the applications they develop and will receive 70% of the sale price. The developer can also opt to release the application for free and will not pay any additional costs.

Shortly after the iPod Touch was released (firmware version 1.1.1), hackers were able to "jailbreak" the device through a TIFF exploit. The resulting application, "Installer.app", enabled the user to download a selection of unofficial third-party programs. Some of these give the user more control over the iPod Touch than is officially available, and also make it possible to install Linux operating systems. All subsequent versions of the iPhone OS can be jailbroken. Servicing an iPod Touch after jailbreaking or other modifications made by unofficial means is not covered by Apple's warranty (unless the device is restored back to its pre-modification condition).

To the top



Multi-touch

Multi-touch screen

Multi-touch (or multitouch) denotes a set of interaction techniques which allow computer users to control graphical applications with several fingers.

Multi-touch consists of a touch screen (screen, table, wall, etc.) or touchpad, as well as software that recognizes multiple simultaneous touch points, as opposed to the standard touchscreen (e.g. computer touchpad, ATM), which recognizes only one touch point. This effect is achieved through a variety of means, including but not limited to: heat, finger pressure, high capture rate cameras, infrared light, optic capture, tuned electromagnetic induction, ultrasonic receivers, transducer microphones, laser rangefinders, and shadow capture.

Many applications for multi-touch interfaces exist and are being proposed. Multi-touch is often associated with Apple Inc's iPhone and iPod Touch but is also used in many other products such as Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro notebook line. Other products with multi-touch technology include Microsoft Surface, Asus EEE PC, and Meizu M8.

Modern multi touch controllers support Single-Touch and Multi-Touch All-Point touchscreen applications which allow functions such as playing video games on a mobile handset,using GPS to key in multiple locations, etc.

Multi-touch technology dates back to 1982, when Nimish Mehta at the University of Toronto developed the first finger pressure multi-touch display.

In 1983, Bell Labs at Murray Hill published a comprehensive discussion of touch-screen based interfaces.

In 1984 Bell Labs engineered a touch screen that could change images with more than one hand. The group at the University of Toronto stopped working on hardware and moved on to software and interfaces, expecting that they would have access to the Bell Labs work.

A breakthrough occurred in 1991, when Pierre Wellner published a paper on his multi-touch “Digital Desk”, which supported multi-finger and pinching motions.

In 1999, Fingerworks, a Newark-based company run by University of Delaware academics John Elias and Wayne Westerman, produced a line of multi-touch products including the iGesture Pad and the TouchStream keyboard. Westerman published a dissertation in 1999 on the subject. In 2005, after years of maintaining a niche line of keyboards and touchpads, Fingerworks was acquired by Apple Inc.

Various companies expanded upon these discoveries in the beginning of the twenty-first century. Mainstream exposure to multi-touch technology occurred in the year 2007, when Apple unveiled the iPhone and Microsoft debuted surface computing. The iPhone in particular has spawned a wave of interest in multi-touch computing, since it permits greatly increased user interaction on a small scale. More robust and customizable multi-touch and gesture-based solutions are beginning to become available, among them TrueTouch, created by Cypress Semiconductor. The following is a compilation of notable uses of multi-touch technology in recent years.

In 2001 Steve Bathiche and Andy Wilson of Microsoft began work on an idea for an interactive table that mixes both physical and virtual worlds. Research and Development expanded rapidly in 2004, once the idea caught the attention of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. In 2007 Microsoft introduced Microsoft Surface, a functional multi-touch table-top computer based on a standard PC platform including an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Windows Vista, and 2 GB of RAM.

Essentially, Microsoft Surface is a computer embedded in a table with a large, flat, touch-responsive display on the top. The table uses small cameras (as opposed to finger pressure or heat) that enable it to react to the touch of any object. The unit has eight different modes that allow users to perform an array of activities,ranging from organizing pictures and videos to ordering food at a restaurant. Multiple users have the ability to work on the table at one time. The preliminary launch was on April 17, 2008, when Surface became available for customer use in AT&T stores. The price for one unit is said to range somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000.

Windows 7 will support Multi-touch. The operating system is known to have a multi-touch mapping application, photo viewing program, and incorporation in Internet Explorer 8. In January 2009, Microsoft joined with other investors who invested twenty-four million dollars in N-Trig Ltd., which plans to make computer hardware that takes advantage of Windows 7's multi-touch support..

In 2005, Apple acquired Fingerworks. In 2007 they introduced the iPhone, marking the first time multi-touch technology was used on a phone. The iPhone includes such components as a web browser, music player, video player, and a cell phone without the use of a hard keypad or stylus.

Following the release of the iPhone, Apple also expanded its use of multi-touch computing with the new iPod Touch, as well as the new MacBook Air. Multi-touch was later added to the 2008 MacBook Pro line in the form of a trackpad.

The latest revisions of Apple's Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro features a full glass multi-touch trackpad (whilst the MacBook Air features a standard multi-touch trackpad). These enable various gestures such as scrolling, "swiping" between pages or pictures as well as rotating pictures, and launching Expose. Apple has patented “Multi-Touch” technology that already existed as its own and the vapor trademark to the term "Multi-Touch".

TacTable, based in Cambridge, MA, is a spin-off from the graphics company, Near-Life, that specialized in interactive museum exhibits, most notably the virtual fish tank at the Boston Museum of Science. TacTable has extended the Near-Life, camera-based multi-touch technology to large multi-touch tables. Their most notable installations include a large table at the Sprint flagship store in Kansas City MO and the Cirque du Soleil "Beatles Revolution" interactive tables. TacTable tables enable simultaneous interaction by several people.

In late 2006 NUI (Natural User Interface) Group was founded. It is currently the only Open Source Multi-Media group dealing with Multi-Modal Multi-Touch Interfaces. They have pioneered the creation of several Open Source applications that make developing DIY Multi-Touch Hardware very simple, including tBeta and TouchPy.

Perceptive Pixel is a company founded by New York University consulting research scientist Jefferson Y. Han that creates wall displays and tables. The displays use infrared light emitting diodes along with an infrared camera to determine the point of contact. Han envisions large collaborative spaces that will allow multiple users to work and interact. Perceptive Pixel’s technology is currently being utilized, in the form of the Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall, by CNN and an unspecified government contractor.

Asus has included a multi-touch touchpad in the Eee PC 900, which they announced in April 2008. Depending on the installed drivers, it can be used for scrolling, 3 button operation, dragging and resizing and rotating pictures.

In July 2008, Dell released multi-touch touch-screen drivers for the Latitude XT Tablet, claiming the "industry’s first convertible tablet with multi-touch capabilities." Dell has partnered with multi-touch technology startup N-trig to enable multi-touch capabilities for its tablet.

There have been numerous reports of serious problems with the XT multi-touch drivers or hardware interface, which, as of October 2008, remain unresolved by Dell. The major issue is centered around the multi-touch drivers failing when the computer is booted when USB devices are connected at boot, or when certain internal media drives are present. Often, but not always, the issue is resolved if the computer is booted without the USB devices and they are connected after boot. A similar, but not identical, issue may also be caused by interfering software, such as the iTunes helper. Issue resolution is complicated by the possible failure of the driver install program to function in the presence of damaged drivers, requiring manual removal of related files and registry keys.. See External Links for links to user discussions of this issue.

A number of prototype, simultaneous, multi-input whiteboard techniques have been developed by Promethean Ltd. Many of these ideas were first exhibited at the NECC 2007 trade show in Atlanta as upgrades to their popular Activboard Interactive Whiteboard. New features included collaborative concept mapping and multi user flipcharting. The technology is commonly found in schools with around 200,000 classrooms now equipped with Activboards. The Activboards are currently available in sizes up to 95 inches but larger displays are possible and add little to the cost.

Video of the technology can be seen on YouTube.

Unlike some other multi-touch systems where there is no identification of a particular user or their role, the various Activpen inputs on the Activboard surface can be differentiated, enabling multiple users to operate differing software features and functions simultaneously. This approach is intended for social use of the interactive surfaces where users operating at the same time often need to use different tools or user interface elements to complete a task. When a single user uses two pens, one in each hand, the familiar multi-touch operations such as 'pinching' to scale images and dragging touch points apart to stretch are possible.

Multitouch Research in New Zealand by James Dalton has led to the development of The MPIS and can be bought early in 2009 for $3000 NZD for a 1Mtr by 1Mtr touch surface and later custom solutions will be available as well as units with built in computers, currently implementing a website to advertise these screens. The units will use your existing computer using well known versions of Windows XP and Vista although slightly modified to harness the potential of this technology, so users can use everyday programs with ease and most importantly more than one user can operate the system at any given time.

The French company JazzMutant make multi-touch screen controllers with a proprietary screen interface. They output MIDI or OSC for use with music, light or video software and are connected to a computer via a standard ethernet connection. Artists such as Bjork and Daft Punk have been known to feature them heavily during live concerts.

In February 2009 Neonode presented an optical (IR) touchscreen with full multi-touch support at 3GSM (see video: Neonode multi-touch 6.5" screen). An array of infrared (IR) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on two adjacent bezel edges of the display, coupled with photosensors placed on the two opposite bezel edges, allow the system system to determine multiple concurrent touch events. The LED and photosensor pairs create a grid of light beams across the display. Objects (such as fingers or drumsticks) that touch the screen interrupt the light beams, causing a measured decrease in light at the corresponding photosensors. The measured photosensor outputs are used to locate the multiple touch-point coordinates.

Pop culture has also portrayed potential uses of multi-touch technology in the future. The 2002 Science-Fiction film Minority Report showed different Multi-touch features like enlarging and moving objects around. The television series CSI: Miami introduced both surface and wall displays similar to Microsoft Surface in its sixth season. Another form of a multi-touch computer was seen in the motion picture The Island, where the professor has a multi-touch desktop to organize files, which was based on an early version of Microsoft Surface. This technology can also be seen in the film Quantum of Solace.

A device similar to the Surface was seen in the 1982 movie Tron. It took up an executive's entire desk and was used to communicate with the Master Control computer.

To the top



Apple TV

The Apple TV's software is based on Front Row used on Mac OS X.

Apple TV is a digital media receiver device manufactured, marketed and sold by Apple. It is a network device designed to play digital content originating from the iTunes store, YouTube, Flickr, MobileMe or any Mac OS X or Windows computer running iTunes onto an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen television. Apple TV can function as either a home theater-connected iPod device or a digital media receiver, depending on the needs of the user. It was first announced at a special press event in San Francisco, California on September 12, 2006, by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The devices started shipping on March 21, 2007. This initial version shipped with 40 GB of storage. A second version with a larger 160 GB hard disk started shipping on May 31, 2007.

Apple TV was first announced at a special press event in San Francisco, California on September 12, 2006, at which Apple CEO Steve Jobs also announced enhanced fifth generation iPods, the addition of films to the iTunes Store and the release of version 7 of iTunes. The final product name was not announced at the event, but was instead referred to by its codename iTV.

Jobs again previewed Apple TV during his January 9 keynote speech at the 2007 Macworld Expo, where he announced that Apple would begin taking pre-orders for the device. Apple TV started shipping on March 21, 2007.

A second version with a larger 160 GB hard disk started shipping on May 31, 2007. On January 15, 2008, Jobs announced a major software upgrade to the Apple TV system (dubbed "Take Two") at the 2008 San Francisco Macworld Event. The free update removed the requirement for another computer running the iTunes software client to stream or load content to the device. The update also added the ability to rent and purchase movies and music from the iTunes Store directly from the device, as well as download podcasts and stream photos live from MobileMe (.Mac at the time) and Flickr.

AppleTV is a network device that allows consumers to use an HDTV set to easily view photos, play music and watch video that originates from an Internet media service or a local network. Internet media services include the iTunes Store, YouTube, Flickr, or MobileMe. By connecting directly to the iTunes Store, users can buy and rent movies, buy television shows, songs, albums, and music videos and subscribe to video and audio podcasts, much of the content in HD-quality. Consumers can browse and view YouTube videos and Flickr or MobileMe photo albums. Apple TV can also sync or stream photo, music and video content from a network-connected computer running iTunes. Apple TV includes enhanced remote control and AirTunes capabilities.

Apple plans to continue offering new features through automatic software upgrades, leaving the door open to further utilization of its hardware capabilities and new software developments.

Apple TV connects to a television or other video equipment through either High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) or component video connections. The product does not come with any connecting cables in the box (other than an AC power cable), so the user must supply either a HDMI cable or component video/stereo audio cables.

Although Apple's website states that an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen television is required, Apple confirmed to MacLife that the unit does work with standard definition TVs with component video connectors, but the picture may be vertically stretched if the TV does not support anamorphic widescreen (a video encoding technique used to optimize the vertical picture by aspect ratio). Audio is supported via a digital optical port, analog (RCA connector) audio ports, and through the HDMI port.

The device connects directly to the Internet or other computers either through an Ethernet connection, or wirelessly through the standard IEEE 802.11b, g, and n wireless protocols. A USB port is also included on the device, but is reserved for service and diagnostics. Network connectivity is not required, although Apple TV benefits from Internet media services, software updates, and content stored on the local network.

Apple TV offers basic media services with movie previews and YouTube videos. The Apple TV provides YouTube integration by receiving direct streams from YouTube. A YouTube account is not required to browse and view YouTube videos, but it is good to configure for personalized options, such as viewing favorites. In early December, 2008, YouTube released HD video content, but it is not yet viewable on Apple TV.

With the 'Take 2' software update announced by Steve Jobs at Macworld 2008, Apple TV became capable of acting as a pure stand-alone device, no longer requiring a computer running iTunes on Mac OS X or Windows to stream or sync content to it. Jobs stated, "Apple TV was designed to be an accessory for iTunes and your computer. It was not what people wanted. We learned what people wanted was movies, movies, movies." Users can access the iTunes store directly through Apple TV to purchase movies, music, music videos, and television shows. Customers can also use Apple TV to rent regular or HD-quality movies Until mid-March, 2009, iTunes HD movies could only be purchased from Apple TV.

Consumers can browse and view podcasts from the iTunes store, saving podcasts as favorites.TWiT's Leo Laporte notes that the podcast support in the Apple TV puts podcasts on the same level as other media, and this was substantiated by the fact that the standard podcast subscription process no longer applies with Apple TV. It is seen by some as changing podcasts to video on demand services.

Internet photos can be viewed from MobileMe and Flickr accounts. Apple TV will display the photos in a slide show, with automatic cross-dissolve transitions. The Ken Burns effect can also be configured for transitions.

Parental controls allow consumers to limit access to Internet media service content. Internet media is split into 4 categories: "Internet Photos", "YouTube", "Podcasts", and "Purchase and Rental ". Each of the 4 categories is configured by a parental control of "Show", "Hide" or "Ask" to prompt for a 4-digit preset code. In addition, Movies and TV shows can be restricted based on rating as well as explicit music and podcasts.

AirTunes allows an Apple TV or AirPort-enabled computer with the iTunes music player to send a stream of music to multiple (three to six, in typical conditions) stereos connected to an AirPort Express or Apple TV.

The AirPort Express' streaming media capabilities use Apple's Remote Audio Output Protocol (RAOP), a proprietary variant of RTSP/RTP. Using WDS-bridging, the AirPort Express can allow AirTunes functionality (as well as Internet access, file and print sharing, etc.) across a larger distance in a mixed environment of wired and up to 10 wireless clients.

AirTunes can be controlled by a Keyspan USB-enabled infrared remote control plugged into the USB port, but the Apple Remote's volume buttons cannot control AirTunes. However volume control can be adjusted using the slider within iTunes. AirTunes will not stream a video's audio.

Speakers attached to an AirPort Express can be selected from within the "Remote" iPhone/iPod Touch program, allowing full AirTunes compatibility (see "Remote control" section below).

Several third-party AirPort Express clients can connect an AirPort Express to sources other than iTunes, including Airfoil for Mac OS X, Windows, JustePort for Windows, and raop-play for Linux.

Apple TV comes with the standard Apple Remote, Out of the box, the default setting is unpaired which means any Apple Remote works with the device. Apple TV can optionally be paired with one particular remote to prevent conflicts from other IR-capable devices. The remote control allows for adjustment of playback volume, but for music only.

Because the Apple Remote is a standard infrared remote, mainstream universal remotes have been updated for use with Apple TV and can be used to control volume.The Apple TV also has the ability to be programmed to recognize commands from virtually any infrared remote control.

On July 10, 2008, Apple released, in the App Store, Remote, a free application that allows for a Wi-Fi-based remote control of the iTunes library on the Apple TV and computers of the Mac line using Apple's line of devices with iPhone OS 2.0 (currently the iPhone and iPod Touch).

Although access to computers on a local network is not required, typical reasons for connectivity of Apple TV to a computer might be to maintain a central home media library of legally-ripped CD, DVD or HD content, provide direct connectivity to photo organization software such as iPhoto, limit home video access to a local network only, play Internet radio, or preload content on Apple TV to be used later as a non-networked video player. For users who wish to connect the Apple TV to a computer, synchronization and streaming modes are supported.

In synchronization mode, Apple TV works in a similar way to the iPod. It is paired with an iTunes library on a single computer and can then synchronize with that library, copying content to its own hard drive. After syncing, Apple TV is not required to remain connected to the network for the device to continue functioning. Sync modes include "automatic" for synchronizing all iTunes content to the hard drive (in a specific priority), or "selected content" to only synchronize specified content. Photos can sync from iPhoto, Aperture, or from a hard disk folder on a Mac, or Adobe Photoshop Album, Photoshop Elements, or from a hard disk folder in Windows.

However, syncing iTunes content to Apple TVs hard drive is not required, and Apple TV can also function as a peer-to-peer digital media receiver, streaming content from iTunes libraries and playing the content over the network. Streaming performance of movies and TV shows purchased from the iTunes Store over an 802.11g wireless network was described by CNET's John P. Falcone as "impressive". Apple TV also includes the unapproved wireless-n standard for streaming 720p High-definition video (HD) content. Photos can stream from iPhoto or Aperture on a Mac, or Adobe Photoshop Album or Photoshop Elements in Windows.

Practical Technology comments that using the built-in streaming capabilities of Apple TV negates the need for more storage and Macworld's Christopher Breen says the "cramped" space and slow synchronization on the 40 GB model would be an issue if not for Apple TV's good streaming capabilities. Third-party functionality extends streaming beyond the home network to enable streaming of Apple TV content across the Internet.

Apple TV can stream content from up to five computers/iTunes libraries and five Apple TVs can be linked to the same iTunes library. On a single network, iLounge's Jeremy Horwitz tested "two Apple TVs with one computer, multiple computers with one Apple TV, and multiple computers with multiple Apple TVs" and all tests passed successfully. However Jeremy did note that syncing multiple Apple TVs simultaneously in the same environment might cause network slowdowns.

Apple TV is "simple to operate", and presents an interface based on the Front Row software for Mac OS X 10.4+ computers. Content is organized into six groups (Movies, TV Shows, Music, YouTube, Podcasts, and Photos), and is presented in the initial menu along with a "Settings" options option for Apple TV configuration, including software updates. These initial menu options then lead to other submenus. The included Apple Remote is used to navigate through the menus by using the up or down buttons and selecting options with the play button. The left/right buttons are used to perform rewind and fast-forward functions while viewing video content, but also perform previous song/next song functionality when selecting audio-only content.

Aside from "Movies" and "TV Shows" content, the "TV Shows" options allows the user to sort contents by show or date and the "Movies" option also allows the user to view movie trailers for new releases, just as the Front Row software does on a Mac. All video content, including movies, TV shows, music videos, and video podcasts, includes bookmark functionality. Apple TV automatically bookmarks video content midstream to continue playback at a later time. The "Music" submenu offers similar options to those found on an iPod, presenting the available music sorted by Artist, Album, Songs, Genres, and Composers, as well as offering a shuffle option and listing available audiobooks. As categories are selected with the remote, animated album art is displayed on the side of the display for the contents of the selected category. While playing "audio-only" content such as music and audio podcasts, Apple TV periodically moves album art and content info on the TV display to prevent burn-in on video displays.

Content has to be in certain formats to play on the Apple TV. It supports video encoded with either the H.264 video codec for a maximum resolution of 720p (up to 1280x720 pixels) at 25 frame/s or the MPEG-4 video codec for a maximum resolution of 720x432 (432p) or 640x480 pixels at 30 frame/s. Audio can be encoded with AAC (16-320 kbit/s), MP3 (16-320 kbit/s, with VBR), Apple Lossless, AIFF, or WAV audio codecs. It also has support for files encrypted with the FairPlay Digital Rights Management technology. For photos it supports the JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG image file formats. Attempts to sync unsupported content to Apple TV will result in iTunes error message(s) because iTunes supports more formats than Apple TV.

Apple TV supports content purchased or rented from the iTunes store on Apple TV itself or from a networked computer running the iTunes software client. Both video and audio-only podcasts are supported and media companies are currently producing Apple TV-compatible video podcasts.

Apple TVs audio chip supports 7.1 surround sound, and some High Definition rentals from iTunes are offered with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Aside from content obtained from Internet media services, Apple included an Apple TV export option in an update to their QuickTime software that was released at the same time as Apple TV. This allows content in some formats that the device does not support to be easily re-encoded into accepted formats for playback on the device. Applications which make use of QuickTime to export media also have access to the Apple TV export option, for example iMovie (from the "Share" menu) and iTunes (from the "Advanced" menu). Some third-party content conversion tools also provide Apple TV export options and Macworld has created a guide for using the tools to convert media to Apple TV-compatible formats.

2.0 aka "Take Two" (Feb 12, 2008) Standalone iTunes Store features (directly from Apple TV through the Internet): rent standard and HD movies with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, buy TV Shows, music and music videos. Content automatically syncs back to the user's computer. Podcast directory of over one hundred thousand video and audio podcasts. View photos from .Mac and Flickr galleries. Play iTunes content on the audio system connected to the Apple TV via AirTunes, limited Internet radio support, show everything or only synced content, TV show display tweaks, iPhoto events, and enhanced parental controls.

2.1 (July 10, 2008) Movie Wish List, Support for Remote application, AirTunes receiver, Photo browser, MobileMe protected albums, Podcasts browsable by video and audio, Security fixes.

2.2 (October 2, 2008) HD TV shows, Movie browsing by actor and director, Chapter selection, alternate audio and subtitles, Movie description, Genius playlists, On-The-Go playlists, Music videos in playlists, Apple TV standby mode, Security fixes.

2.3 (November 24, 2008) AirTunes Streaming from Apple TV, Third-party Remote Controls, Playlists, Music Volume Control.

As soon as the Apple TV was released, users began examining it to see if it could be modified. Hacks were available for Apple TV within days of the release. Apple is not currently preventing users from installing Apple TV hacks, but users are warned that applying hacks will void the product's warranty.

Particular attention was paid to the device's operating system, which had been described by Walt Mossberg before the release as "a modified version of the Mac operating system". Users worked out how to access the device remotely through SSH, how to get Apple TV's version of Front Row running on other Apple computers, and how to install regular versions of Mac OS X v10.4 or Linux on the device. News sites reported that some users had determined how to add support for other codecs and create Front Row plugins.

Initially, hacking required physical changes to the hardware; the bottom rubber panel was removed (which is near impossible to do perfectly) and the hard drive connected to a computer. This leaves the rubber not fully connected and a sticky residue on the bottom metal. It is an aesthetic barrier to modification. Because of this, AppleTVHacks.net and FatWallet.com offered a US$1,000 reward for an external USB drive hack to utilize the USB "service port". Mid-2007, the USB hack was released. The community-created "Patchstick" project enables Apple TV owners to add software modifications using the USB hack. Users can download a Patchstick image to a USB drive and reboot the Apple TV from the drive. Software is then automatically transferred from the USB drive to the Apple TV device. A commercial version of the Patchstick was released mid-2008, the aTV Flash software. This software allows playback of common media files and includes a web browser, RSS reader and ability to download metadata from the IMDB. In a similar way to the open-source Patchstick method, the aTV Flash requires no physical modifications to the Apple TV.

Creating the open-source Patchstick was a manual effort until the Mac atvusb-creator application was released in late 2008 on Google Code. atvusb-creator is noted as the "easiest way" to create the Patchstick and loads a USB drive with dropbear ssh, bin tools including compression and FTP utilities, and two plugins (SoftwareMenu and XBMC Media Center/Boxee Installer/Launcher). Boxee is an open-source "media center application based on XBMC with a social networking spin" and includes its own plugins for Internet media services such as Flickr, Last.fm, Shoutcast, Joost, Comedy Central, MTV, and Hulu. Boxee also includes user-defined RSS audio, video, torrent and text feeds. Boxee installs a Netflix plugin, but Apple TV doesn't have enough processing power to run Microsoft's Silverlight, which Netflix depends on. The promised lower-power requirements of Silverlight 3 may solve this.

The Apple TV software updates typically remove any software hacks that are installed. Major hacks are updated on a regular basis and the Apple TV device can easily be re-hacked. The most common method used to "re-hack" is by using the Patchstick to reload hacks after an Apple TV software update. Although major hacks have been updated, most Front Row plugins have not been updated to work with Apple TV 2.x. AwkwardTV reports 10 plugins out of 32 have been certified to be compatible with the "Take Two" update.

Hardware modifications allow users to expand Apple TVs capabilities. Customers can upgrade the hard drive on their Apple TVs, although a repair company like iResQ can install hard drive upgrades with data transfer. The company offers upgrades to 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, and 250GB hard drives. Another hardware hack allows the Apple TV to output color through composite video This hardware-based hack, which requires inexpensive hardware to trick the built-in operating system, enables users with non-HDTV TV sets, for which the Apple TV was originally designed, to connect Apple TVs to them.

Concerns have been expressed about the lack of personal video recorder capabilities on Apple TV. Apple TV does not contain a TV tuner, but a tuner and PVR capability can be applied on the connected home computer through a third party. The PVR software will connect to iTunes, enabling scheduled HDTV recordings to automatically appear on Apple TV for playback. One such PVR idea says that Apple should buy TiVo and another mentions that Apple should go a step further and turn Apple TV into a fully-functional cable box. Critics against the DVR/TiVo idea mention that the DVR market is dead and call the DVR the "PDA of the living room".

Some people feel that the Front Row interface is lacking standard iTunes functionality, including rating items, synchronizing from more than one computer, full Internet radio support, and games. After the success of the iPhone SDK and the App Store, it has been mentioned that Apple TV should provide the same functionality so that programmers can provide third party applications using Apple TVs interface without having to hack the Apple TV device. The website Apple TV Junkie was created to "list of all new HD & SD rental titles released on a daily basis", something which the Apple TV interface does not provide today. Critics claim that Apple TVs TV-based interface is "cluttered" and difficult to browse or search for a specific movie. Users are asking for Netflix-like functionality, including queues and "watched" flags or dates.

Movie rentals on iTunes can be transferred to any video-enabled iPod, iPhone or Apple TV for playing, but any movie rented on Apple TV must be watched on Apple TV. To copy a movie purchased on Apple TV to a video-enabled iPod or iPhone, the movie must first be transferred to an iTunes-enabled computer on the network.

Apple TV/itunes is "not designed" to sync or stream content from networked drives to Apple TV. Customers have mixed results when using a NAS to store Apple TV content. Content which can be synced or streamed to Apple TV has to be on the local drive or an external drive directly connected to the iTunes-enabled computer.

Critics have stated that content flexibility is weak with Apple TV. For Internet media services, Apple TV doesn't connect to Amazon or Rhapsody for music, movie rental services Jaman and HungryFlix, Internet radio services Shoutcast and Last.fm, Google photo service Picasa (although Google's YouTube is supported), or video services Hulu, Joost, CBS, MTV, CNN, the WB, Comedy Central and TV.com. User-defined RSS audio, video and text feeds are not supported by Apple TV.Audible purchases from audible.com are not compatible with Apple TV, and iTunes U content is desired on Apple TV.

Although Apple TV has a "Closed Captioning" setting, closed captioning/subtitles are not available for most Apple TV/iTunes store content.

Pricing for Apple TV/iTunes store content has been a concern. Content is priced under Apple's standard "pay-per-view" model, while some users have been asking for a subscription-based model (such as Netflix, Blockbuster Total Access or Hollywood Video MVP) or free, ad-supported content (such as Hulu). Reviewers note that Apple TV sales may benefit from a partnership with Netflix or Hulu.

Apple TV is seen by some to have limited out-of-the-box support for video and audio codecs, although Apple TV supports the same MP4 and H.264 codecs the video iPod and iPhone do. Media conversion tools are available, but conversion "almost always" involves a loss of quality as well as the time and effort costs to perform the conversions.

Image quality of Apple TV content has also been noted as a concern. 1080i or 1080p HD content (e.g. content originating from HD cameras) must be downgraded in quality for use on Apple TV. Users without the technical knowledge to convert HD content to lower quality may have to resort to downloading low-quality iTunes Store movie content. Note that iTunes Store 720p HD-quality content is available via video podcasts. Apple also offers 4 Mbit/s H.264 720p HD movies for rental via iTunes. For comparison, broadcast and cable HD movies are up to 19 Mbit/s MPEG2 720p and Blu-ray HD movies are up to 40 Mbit/s H.264 or VC-1 1080p.

Apple TV content cannot be used with older televisions, although 480i is unofficially supported as long as the TV supports component video connectivity. RCA/composite video and F/RF connectors are not included on the Apple TV device. Reviewers have noted that Apple is "future-proofing", and "if you do not have HDTV now, you will in the future".

The Apple Remote can control volume, but only for Music on Apple TV.

Apple TV comes with only a power cable. Apple has teamed up with a third party to provide cables for its customers. A USB port is included on the device, but it is reserved for service use only.

The Apple TV device runs "very hot", sometimes reaching 44° C (111° F). According to Apple, this is normal. There is no off button or function on the Apple TV (although there is a sleep function) so the only way to cool the Apple TV is to unplug it in sleep mode.

In March 2007, reviewers mentioned the lack of expansion options once the hard drive on the 40 GB model fills up. In late May 2007, Apple introduced a version of the Apple TV with 160 GB of storage space. Another former limitation required photos to be synced to the device, but this was fixed in a June 2007 iTunes update.

Many different features were added in the February 2008 release of the 2.0 ("Take 2") software update, features which some of Apple TV's competitors had provided already. Concerns were raised about the Apple TV when it was originally released regarding the dependency on connectivity to a home computer via iTunes. Although users could view YouTube as well as movie and TV previews directly through the Internet, most content had to originate from the connected home computer. An Apple TV user could not purchase or download iTunes content directly from Apple TV. After the update, all Apple TVs can download and purchase content from the iTunes Store directly without connecting to a computer. For audio, Apple TV had only officially supported Dolby Pro Logic simulated 5.1, though unofficially the full 5.1 Surround Sound digital discrete worked if a 5.1-capable receiver was connected via the optical cable to Apple TV and the audio content was encoded as lossless. QuickTime and Apple TV did not ship with an AC-3 codec, and iTunes Store content only supported 4.0 surround sound. News sites were reporting that some users had worked out how to add AC-3 (Dolby Digital) 5.1 channel support by hacking the unit. After the update, users were able to rent movies in standard or high definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Standard iTunes functionality, including shuffling, interrupting a shuffle, and displaying a video timeline were added to the Front Row interface. Yahoo!'s Ben Patterson has criticized Apple for having "lost interest" in the Apple TV with "a full six months passing since the last Apple TV software update". However, this criticism, while warranted, was stated in advance of the Apple TV "Take 2" update.

The 2.2 update added the ability to add songs to On-The-Go playlists as well as the ability to generate Genius playlists. Many users complained about the lack of "Genius" functionality after the release of iTunes 8.0. It also meant that users could buy HD television shows. Before the 2.3 update, the Apple remote could be used on a Macintosh computer for both Front Row navigation as well as volume control, but could not be used the same way on Apple TV.

Within the first week of presales in January 2007, Apple TV was the top selling item at the Apple Store. Orders exceeded 100,000 units by the end of January and Apple began ramping-up to sell over a million units prior to the 2007 holiday season. Analysts began to see the device as a "DVD killer" that has the ability to enable multiple services. Analysts also predicted that Apple could sell up to 1.5 million units in the first year. Besides the Apple Store, Best Buy was one of the first retailers to carry the device; Target and Costco followed shortly thereafter.

Two months into sales, Forrester Research predicted that Apple would only sell a million Apple TV units, since advertisement-supported content would win the war against paid content. Forrester predicted that cable companies would be the clear winners over content providers such as the iTunes Store. Shortly after, Apple released YouTube functionality and Jobs stated that Apple TV was a "DVD player for the Internet". Market analysts immediately saw that YouTube on Apple TV "provides a glimpse of this product's potential and its future evolution", but overall, analysts had mixed reactions regarding the future of Apple TV. Some negative reactions followed after Jobs referred to the device as a "hobby", implying it was less significant than the Macintosh, iPod, and iPhone.

In Apple's first quarter 2009 financial results conference call, acting chief executive Tim Cook stated that Apple TV sales increased three times over the same quarter a year ago. Cook mentioned that the movie rental business was working well for Apple, Apple would continue investment in movie rentals and Apple TV, but Apple TV is still considered a hobby for the company. Due to the growth of digital TV and consumers turning to Internet media services, an analyst predicted sales of 6.6 million Apple TVs by the end of 2009.

To the top



IPhone

IPhone EDGE and 3G.png

The iPhone is an internet-connected multimedia smartphone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. with a flush multi-touch screen and a minimal hardware interface. The device does not have a physical keyboard, so a virtual keyboard is rendered on the touch screen instead. The iPhone functions as a camera phone (including text messaging and visual voicemail), a portable media player (equivalent to an iPod), and an Internet client (with email, web browsing, and local Wi-Fi connectivity). The first-generation phone hardware was quad-band GSM with EDGE; the second generation also adds UMTS with HSDPA.

Apple announced the iPhone on January 9, 2007. The announcement was preceded by rumors and speculation that circulated for several months. The iPhone was initially introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007, and has since been introduced worldwide. It was named Time magazine's "Invention of the Year" in 2007. On July 11, 2008, the iPhone 3G was released. It supports faster 3G data speeds and Assisted GPS. On March 17, 2009, Apple announced the iPhone firmware version 3.0, due to be released in summer 2009.

Development of iPhone began with Apple CEO Steve Jobs' direction that Apple engineers investigate touchscreens. Apple created the device during a secretive and unprecedented collaboration with AT&T Mobility—Cingular Wireless at the time—at an estimated development cost of US$150 million over thirty months. Apple rejected the "design by committee" approach that had yielded the Motorola ROKR E1, a largely unsuccessful collaboration with Motorola. Instead, Cingular gave Apple the liberty to develop the iPhone's hardware and software in-house. Numerous codenames and even fake prototypes were devised to keep the project secret.

Jobs unveiled iPhone to the public on January 9, 2007 in a keynote address. Apple was required to file for operating permits with the FCC, but such filings are available to the public, so the announcement came several months before the iPhone received approval. The iPhone went on sale in the United States on June 29, 2007. Apple closed its stores at 2:00 pm local time to prepare for the 6:00 pm iPhone launch, while hundreds of customers lined up at stores nationwide. On launch weekend, Apple sold 270,000 iPhones in the first thirty hours. The original iPhone was made available in the UK, France, and Germany in November 2007, and Ireland and Austria in the spring of 2008.

On July 11, 2008, Apple released the iPhone 3G in twenty-two countries, including the original six. Apple sold 1 million iPhone 3Gs in its first 3 days on sale, enough to overload Apple's United States iTunes servers. Apple has since released the iPhone 3G in upwards of eighty countries and territories.

Over 3 million units were sold in the first month after the 3G launch, at a "blistering sales pace". The phenomenon of popular willingness to upgrade to the 3G so soon after purchase of an earlier model was attributed to Apple's popularity and its frequent imitators. The anomalously high demand for the first-generation iPhone was reflected in free-market prices for older models that began to rise steadily within days of the 3G launch resetting the price baselines.

On January 21, 2009, Apple announced sales of 4.36 million iPhone 3Gs in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, ending December 2008, totaling 17.4 million iPhones to date. Sales from Q4 2008 surpassed RIM's BlackBerry sales of 5.2 million units, making Apple the third largest mobile phone manufacturer by revenue, after Nokia and Samsung. While iPhone sales constitute a significant portion of Apple's revenue, some of this income is deferred.

Apple publishes a full description of the iPhone 3G's technical specifications. Specifications for the original model were available before the release of the 3G model.

The 9 cm (3.5 in) liquid crystal display (320×480 px at 6.3 px/mm, 160 ppi) HVGA touchscreen with scratch-resistant glass is specifically created for use with a finger, or multiple fingers for multi-touch sensing. Because the screen is a capacitive touchscreen, bare skin is required. Most gloves or a stylus prevent the necessary electrical conductivity. The screen is also capable of rendering up to 262,144 colors.

The display responds to three sensors. A proximity sensor shuts off the display and touchscreen when the iPhone is brought near the face during a call. This is done to save battery power and to prevent inadvertent inputs from the user's face and ears. An ambient light sensor adjusts the display brightness which in turn saves battery power. A 3-axis accelerometer senses the orientation of the phone and changes the screen accordingly. Photo browsing, web browsing, and music playing support both upright and left or right widescreen orientations. Later, a software update allowed the first generation iPhone to use cell towers and Wi-Fi networks for location finding despite lacking a hardware GPS. The iPhone 3G supplements those methods with A-GPS.

The iPhone has three physical switches on the sides: wake/sleep, volume up/down, and ringer on/off. These are made of plastic on the original iPhone and metal on the iPhone 3G. A single "home" hardware button below the display brings up the main menu. The touch screen furnishes the remainder of the user interface.

The back of the original iPhone was made of aluminum with a black plastic accent. The iPhone 3G features a full plastic back to increase GSM signal strength. The plastic is black for the 8 GB model, but the 16 GB version is also available in white.

Loudspeakers are located above the screen and the left side of the bottom of the unit; the microphone is located on the right. Volume controls are located on the left side of the unit and as a slider in the iPod application. Both speakers are used for handsfree operations and media playback.

The 3.5 mm TRRS connector for the headphones is located on the top left corner of the device. The headphone socket on the original iPhone is recessed into the casing, making it incompatible with most headsets without the use of an adapter. The iPhone 3G has a flush mounted headphone socket that eliminates the issue.

The iPhone's headphones are similar to those of most current smartphones, incorporating a microphone. A multipurpose button in the microphone can be used to play or pause music, skip tracks, and answer or end phone calls without touching the iPhone; newer versions also incorporate volume controls. A small number of third-party headsets specifically designed for the iPhone also include a microphone and control button.

The built-in Bluetooth 2.x+EDR supports wireless earpieces, which requires the HSP profile. stereo audio will be added in the 3.0 update for hardware that supports A2DP. Notably, it does not support laptop tethering (requires DUN and SPP), or the OBEX file transfer protocol (requires FTP, GOEP, and OPP). The lack of these profiles prevent iPhone users from exchanging multimedia files with other bluetooth-enabled cell phones, including pictures, music and videos.

Composite or component video at up to 576i and stereo audio can be output from the dock connector using an adapter sold by Apple. Unlike many similar phones, the iPhone requires third party software to support voice recording. Apple is planning such an application for the 3.0 software update.

The iPhone features an internal rechargeable battery. It is not user-replaceable, similar to the batteries of existing iPods, and unlike those of most existing cellular phones. If the battery malfunctions or dies prematurely, the phone can be returned to Apple and replaced for free while still under warranty. The warranty lasts one year from purchase and is extended to two years with AppleCare. The cost of having Apple provide a new battery and replace it when the iPhone is out of warranty is slightly less than half the cost of a new 8 GB iPhone.

Since July 2007 third party battery replacement kits have been available at a much lower price than Apple's own battery replacement program. These kits often include a small screwdriver and an instruction leaflet, but as with many newer iPod models the battery in the original iPhone has been soldered in. Therefore a soldering iron is required to install the new battery. The iPhone 3G uses a different battery fitted with a connector, although replacing the battery oneself still voids the warranty.

The original iPhone's battery was stated to be capable of providing up to seven hours of video, six hours of web browsing, eight hours of talk time, 24 hours of music or up to 250 hours on standby. Apple's site says that the battery life "is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles", which is comparable to the iPod batteries.

The iPhone 3G's battery is stated to be capable of providing up to seven hours of video, six hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi or five on 3G, ten hours of 2G talk time, or five on 3G, 24 hours of music, or 300 hours of standby.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a consumer advocate group, has sent a complaint to Apple and AT&T over the fee that consumers have to pay to have the battery replaced. Though the battery replacement service and its pricing was not made known to buyers until the day the product was launched, a similar service had been well established for the iPods by Apple and various third party service providers.

The SIM card is located in a slot at the top of the device. It can be ejected with a paperclip or a tool included with the iPhone 3G. In most countries, the iPhone is usually sold with a SIM lock, which prevents the iPhone from being used on a different mobile network.

The iPhone was initially released with two options for internal storage size: 4 GB or 8 GB. On September 5, 2007, Apple discontinued the 4 GB models. On February 5, 2008, Apple added a 16 GB model. All data is stored on an internal flash drive; the iPhone does not contain any memory card slots for expanded storage.

Both the iPhone and the iPhone 3G include (or included) written documentation, stereo earbuds with microphone, a dock connector to USB cable, and a cloth for cleaning the screen. The original iPhone also included a dock to hold the iPhone upright; it is not compatible with the iPhone 3G, for which a slightly different dock is sold separately. The iPhone 3G includes a tool to eject the SIM card; the original model required a paperclip for this purpose. Both versions include a USB power adapter, although iPhone 3Gs sold in North America, Japan, Colombia, Ecuador, or Peru include a more compact version than those bundled with iPhone 3Gs sold elsewhere, or the original model.

Like the iPod, the iPhone is managed with iTunes version 7.3 or later, which is compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4.10 or later, and 32-bit or 64-bit Windows XP or Vista. The release of iTunes 7.6 expanded this support to include 64-bit versions of XP and Vista, and a workaround has been discovered for previous 64-bit Windows operating systems. Apple provides free updates to the iPhone's operating system through iTunes, in a similar fashion to the way that iPods are updated. Security patches, as well as new and improved features, are released in this fashion. For example, iPhone 3G users initially experienced dropped calls until an update was issued.

The interface is based around the home screen, a graphical list of available applications. iPhone apps normally run one at a time, although most functionality is still available when making a call or listening to music. The home screen can be accessed at any time by a hardware button below the screen, closing the open application in the process. By default, the Home screen contains the following icons: Text (SMS messaging), Calendar, Photos, Camera, YouTube, Stocks, Maps (Google Maps), Weather, Clock, Calculator, Notes, Settings, iTunes (store), and App Store. Docked at the base of the screen, four icons for Phone, Mail, Safari (Internet), and iPod (music) delineate the iPhone's main purposes. On January 15, 2008, Apple released software update 1.1.3, allowing users to create "Web Clips", home screen icons that resemble apps that open a user-defined page in Safari. After the update, iPhone users can rearrange and place icons on up to nine other adjacent home screens, accessed by a horizontal swipe. Users can also add and delete icons from the dock, which is the same on every home screen. Each home screen holds up to sixteen icons, and the dock holds up to four icons. Users can delete Web Clips and third-party applications at any time, and may select only certain applications for transfer from iTunes. Apple's default programs, however, may not be removed. The 3.0 update will add a system-wide search, known as Spotlight, to the left of the first home screen.

Almost all input is given through the touch screen, which understands complex gestures using multi-touch. The iPhone's interaction techniques enable the user to move the content up or down by a touch-drag motion of the finger. For example, zooming in and out of web pages and photos is done by placing two fingers on the screen and spreading them farther apart or bringing them closer together, an gesture known as "pinching". Scrolling through a long list or menu is achieved by sliding a finger over the display from bottom to top, or vice versa to go back. In either case, the list moves as if it is pasted on the outer surface of a wheel, slowly decelerating as if affected by friction. In this way, the interface simulates the physics of a real object. Other visual effect include horizontally sliding sub-selection, the vertically sliding keyboard and bookmarks menu, and widgets that turn around to allow settings to be configured on the other side. Menu bars are found at the top and bottom of the screen when necessary. Their options vary by program, but always follow a consistent style motif. In menu hierarchies, a "back" button in the top-left corner of the screen displays the name of the parent folder.

The iPhone allows audio conferencing, call holding, call merging, caller ID, and integration with other cellular network features and iPhone functions. For example, if a song is playing while a call is received, it gradually fades out, and fades back when the call has ended. The proximity sensor shuts off the screen and touch-sensitive circuitry when the iPhone is brought close to the face, both to save battery and prevent unintentional touches. The iPhone only supports voice dialing through third party applications and video calling is not supported at all.

The iPhone includes a visual voicemail (in some countries) feature allowing users to view a list of current voicemail messages on-screen without having to call into their voicemail. Unlike most other systems, messages can be listened to and deleted in a non-chronological order by choosing any message from an on-screen list. AT&T, O2, T-Mobile Germany, and Orange modified their voicemail infrastructure to accommodate this new feature designed by Apple.

A music ringtone feature was introduced in the United States on September 5, 2007. Users can create custom ringtones from songs purchased from the iTunes Store for a small additional fee. The ringtones can be 3 to 30 seconds long from any part of a song, can fade in and out, pause from half a second to five seconds when looped, or loop continuously. All customizing can be done in iTunes, and the synced ringtones can also be used for alarms. Custom ringtones can also be created using Apple's GarageBand software 4.1.1 or later (available only on Mac OS X) and third-party tools. Custom ringtones are not supported in some countries.

The layout of the music library is similar to that of an iPod or current Symbian S60 phones. The iPhone can sort its media library by songs, artists, albums, videos, playlists, genres, composers, podcasts, audiobooks, and compilations. Options are always presented alphabetically, except in playlists, which retain their order from iTunes. The iPhone uses a large font that allows users plenty of room to touch their selection. Users can rotate their device horizontally to landscape mode to access Cover Flow. Like on iTunes, this feature shows the different album covers in a scroll-through photo library. Scrolling is achieved by swiping a finger across the screen.

The iPhone supports gapless playback. Like the fifth generation iPods introduced in 2005, the iPhone can play digital video, allowing users to watch TV shows and movies in widescreen. Unlike other image-related content, video on the iPhone plays only in the landscape orientation, when the phone is turned sideways. Double-tapping switches between widescreen and fullscreen video playback.

The iPhone allows users to purchase and download songs from the iTunes Store directly to their iPhone. The feature originally required a Wi-Fi network, but now can use the cellular data network if one is not available.

External TV tuner cards are available for watching mobile TV, via TV stations on 1seg in Japan (SoftBank), and for soon for the proprietary subscription-based FLO TV in the U.S. (Qualcomm). There is also a "converter" for watching DVB-H in Europe and elsewhere via WiFi streaming video (PacketVideo).

Internet access is available when the iPhone is connected to a local area Wi-Fi or a wide area GSM or EDGE network, both second-generation (2G) wireless data standards. The iPhone 3G also supports third-generation UMTS and HSDPA 3.6, but not HSDPA 7.2 or HSUPA networks. AT&T introduced 3G in July 2004, but as late as 2007 Steve Jobs felt that it was still not widespread enough in the US, and the chipsets not energy efficient enough, to be included in the iPhone. The iPhone 3G has a maximum download rate of 1.4 Mbp/s in the US, although faster speeds are available in Europe (T-Mobile in The Netherlands, for instance, provides 2048 kbyte/s down/384kbit/s up). Support for 802.1X, an authentication system commonly used by university and corporate Wi-Fi networks, was added in the 2.0 version update.

By default, the iPhone will ask to join newly discovered Wi-Fi networks and prompt for the password when required. Alternatively, it can join closed Wi-Fi networks manually. The iPhone will automatically choose the strongest network, connecting to Wi-Fi instead of EDGE when it is available. Similarly, the iPhone 3G prefers 3G to 2G, and Wi-Fi to either. Users can disable all wireless connections by activating Airplane Mode.

Safari is the iPhone's native web browser, and it displays pages similar to its Mac OS X counterpart. Web pages may be viewed in portrait or landscape mode and supports automatic zooming by pinching together or spreading apart fingertips on the screen, or by double-tapping text or images. The iPhone supports neither Flash nor Java. Consequently, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority adjudicated that an advertisement claiming the iPhone could access "all parts of the internet" should be withdrawn in its current form, on grounds of false advertising. The iPhone supports SVG, CSS, HTML Canvas, and Bonjour.

The maps application can access Google Maps in map, satellite, or hybrid form. It can also generate directions between two locations, while providing optional real-time traffic information. Support for walking directions, public transit, and street view was added in the version 2.2 software update. During the iPhone's announcement, Jobs demonstrated this feature by searching for nearby Starbucks locations and then placing a prank call to one with a single tap. Apple also developed a separate application to view YouTube videos on the iPhone, which streams videos after encoding them using the open H.264 codec. Simple weather and stock quotes also tap in to the Internet.

For text input, the iPhone implements a virtual keyboard on the touchscreen. It has automatic spell checking and correction, predictive word capabilities, and a dynamic dictionary that learns new words. The keyboard can predict what word the user is typing and complete it, and correct for the accidental pressing of keys adjacent to the presumed desired key. The keys are somewhat larger and spaced farther apart when in landscape mode, which is supported by only a limited number of applications. Holding a finger over a section of text brings up a magnifying glass, allowing users to place the cursor in the middle of existing text. The virtual keyboard can accommodate 21 languages, including character recognition for Chinese. The iPhone does not currently support cut, copy, or pasting text, but the feature is planned for the 3.0 update.

The iPhone also features an e-mail program that supports HTML e-mail, which enables the user to embed photos in an e-mail message. PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint attachments to mail messages can be viewed on the phone. Apple's MobileMe platform offers push email, which emulates the functionality of the popular BlackBerry email solution, for an annual subscription. Yahoo! offers a free push-email service for the iPhone. IMAP (although not Push-IMAP) and POP3 mail standards are also supported, including Microsoft Exchange and Kerio MailServer. In the first versions of the iPhone firmware, this was accomplished by opening up IMAP on the Exchange server. Apple has also licensed Microsoft ActiveSync and now supports the platform (including push email) with the release of iPhone 2.0 firmware. The iPhone will sync e-mail account settings over from Apple's own Mail application, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Entourage, or it can be manually configured on the device itself. With the correct settings, the e-mail program can access almost any IMAP or POP3 account.

Text messages are presented chronologically in a mailbox format similar to Mail, which places all text from recipients together with replies. Text messages are displayed in speech bubbles (similar to iChat) under each recipient's name. The iPhone currently has built-in support for e-mail message forwarding, drafts, and direct internal camera-to-e-mail picture sending. Support for multi-recipient SMS was added in the 1.1.3 software update. Support for MMS is planned for the 3.0 update for the iPhone 3G only. A lack of focus on text-messaging is widely considered a chief weakness of the iPhone, although a large number of users evidently have no issue using the device for this purpose.

The iPhone features a built in 2.0 megapixel camera located on the back for still digital photos. It has no optical zoom, flash or autofocus, and does not support video recording. Version 2.0 of iPhone OS introduced the capability to embed location data in the pictures, producing geocoded photographs.

The iPhone includes software that allows the user to upload, view, and e-mail photos. The user zooms in and out of photos by sliding two fingers further apart or closer together, much like Safari. The Camera application also lets users view the camera roll, the pictures that have been taken with the iPhone's camera. Those pictures are also available in the Photos application, along with any transferred from iPhoto or Aperture on a Mac, or Photoshop in Windows.

At WWDC 2007 on June 11, 2007 Apple announced that the iPhone would support third-party "web applications" written in AJAX that share the look and feel of the iPhone interface. On October 17, 2007, Steve Jobs, in an open letter posted to Apple's "Hot News" weblog, announced that a software development kit (SDK) would be made available to third-party developers in February 2008. The iPhone SDK was officially announced on March 6, 2008, at the Apple Town Hall facility. It allows developers to develop native applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as test them in an "iPhone simulator". However, loading an application onto the devices is only possible after paying a Apple Developer Connection membership fee. Developers are free to set any price for their applications to be distributed through the App Store, of which they will receive a 70 percent share. Developers can also opt to release the application for free and will not pay any costs to release or distribute the application beyond the membership fee. The SDK was made available immediately, while the launch of applications had to wait until the firmware update which was released on July 11, 2008. The update was free for iPhone users, but not for iPod Touch owners, whose devices can run iPhone applications only after paying a small fee.

Once a developer has submitted an application to the App Store, Apple holds firm control over its distribution. For example, Apple can halt the distribution of applications it deems inappropriate as has happened with a US$1000 program that has as sole purpose to demonstrate the wealth of its user. Apple has been criticized for banning third party applications that enable a functionality that Apple doesn't want the iPhone to have. In 2008, Apple rejected Podcaster, which allowed iPhone users to download podcasts directly to the iPhone claiming it duplicated the functionality of iTunes. Apple has since released a software update that grants this capability. NetShare, another rejected app, would have enabled users to tether iPhones to laptop (or desktop) computers and thereby use the iPhone as an Internet modem.

Before the SDK was released, third-parties were permitted to design "Web Apps" that would run through Safari. Unsigned native applications are also available. The ability to install native applications onto the iPhone outside of the App Store will not be supported by Apple. Such native applications could be broken by any software update, but Apple has stated it will not design software updates specifically to break native applications other than applications that perform SIM unlocking. As of March 13, 2009, iPhone software version 2.2.1 is still "exploitable" by the same method that enabled unsigned applications in software versions as early as version 1.0.1.

The iPhone can enlarge text to make it more accessible for vision-impaired users, and can accommodate hearing-impaired users with closed captioning and external TTY devices. Nevertheless, Apple states that "ffective use of the iPhone requires a minimal level of visual acuity, motor skills, and an ability to operate a few mechanical buttons. Use of iPhone by someone who relies solely on audible and tactile input is not recommended." The iPhone 3G has not been rated under the United States Federal Communication Commission guidelines for hearing aid compatibility at either level M3 or T3.

Apple has filed more than 200 patents related to the technology behind the iPhone.

On September 3, 1993, Infogear filed for the U.S. trademark "I PHONE" and on March 20, 1996 applied for the trademark "IPhone". "I Phone" was registered in March 1998, and "IPhone" was registered in 1999. Since then, the I PHONE mark had been abandoned. Infogear's trademarks cover "communications terminals comprising computer hardware and software providing integrated telephone, data communications and personal computer functions" (1993 filing), and "computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks" (1996 filing). Infogear released a telephone with an integrated web browser under the name iPhone in 1998. In 2000, Infogear won an infringement claim against the owners of the iphones.com domain name. In June 2000, Cisco Systems acquired Infogear, including the iPhone trademark. On December 18, 2006 they released a range of re-branded Voice over IP (VoIP) sets under the name iPhone.

In October 2002, Apple applied for the "iPhone" trademark in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and the European Union. A Canadian application followed in October 2004 and a New Zealand application in September 2006. As of October 2006 only the Singapore and Australian applications had been granted. In September 2006, a company called Ocean Telecom Services applied for an "iPhone" trademark in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong, following a filing in Trinidad and Tobago. As the Ocean Telecom trademark applications use exactly the same wording as Apple's New Zealand application, it is assumed that Ocean Telecom is applying on behalf of Apple. The Canadian application was opposed in August 2005 by a Canadian company called Comwave who themselves applied for the trademark three months later. Comwave have been selling VoIP devices called iPhone since 2004.

Shortly after Steve Jobs' January 9, 2007 announcement that Apple would be selling a product called iPhone in June 2007, Cisco issued a statement that it had been negotiating trademark licensing with Apple and expected Apple to agree to the final documents that had been submitted the night before. On January 10, 2007 Cisco announced it had filed a lawsuit against Apple over the infringement of the trademark iPhone, seeking an injunction in federal court to prohibit Apple from using the name. More recently, Cisco claimed that the trademark lawsuit was a "minor skirmish" that was not about money, but about interoperability.

On February 2, 2007, Apple and Cisco announced that they had agreed to temporarily suspend litigation while they hold settlement talks, and subsequently announced on February 20, 2007 that they had reached an agreement. Both companies will be allowed to use the "iPhone" name in exchange for "exploring interoperability" between their security, consumer, and business communications products.

The iPhone has also inspired several leading high-tech clones, driving both Apple's popularity and consumer willingness to upgrade iPhones quickly.

While initially iPhones were only sold on the AT&T network with a SIM lock in place, various hackers have found methods to "unlock" the phone; more recently some carriers have started to sell unlocked iPhones. Although AT&T is the only authorized iPhone carrier in the United States, the older, "hackable" iPhones can thus be used with an unauthorized carrier or a Wi-Fi connection after unlocking. More than a quarter of iPhones sold in the United States were not registered with AT&T. Apple speculates that they were likely shipped overseas and unlocked. AT&T has stated that the "iPhone cannot be unlocked, even if you are out of contract". The iPhone 3G has resisted being reliably unlockable for some months.

On November 21, 2007, T-Mobile in Germany announced it would sell the phone unlocked and without a T-Mobile contract, caused by a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile put in place by their competitor, Vodafone. On December 4, 2007, a German court decided to grant T-Mobile exclusive rights to sell the iPhone with SIM lock, overturning the temporary injunction. In addition, T-Mobile will voluntarily offer to unlock customers' iPhone after the termination of the contract.

On carriers where removal of the iPhone's SIM lock is allowed, the carrier can submit a request to Apple which will then remove the carrier locking on the next restore of the iPhone through iTunes. Note that in certain countries, where unlocked phones are required to be available by law, the iPhone is sold without a contract and without a SIM lock; on average, such units carry prices of US$700+ for the 8 GB model. Examples include Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, and Russia. In Australia, all three carriers (Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone) will also provide an unlock after requesting it from the carrier.

The iPhone normally prevents access to its media player and web features unless it has also been activated as a phone with an authorized carrier. On July 3, 2007, Jon Lech Johansen reported on his blog that he had successfully bypassed this requirement and unlocked the iPhone's other features with a combination of custom software and modification of the iTunes binary. He published the software and offsets for others to use.

Unlike the original, the 3G iPhone must be activated in the store in most countries. This need for in-store activation, as well as the huge number of first-generation iPhone and iPod Touch users upgrading to iPhone OS 2.0, caused a worldwide overload of Apple's servers on July 11, 2008, the day on which both the iPhone 3G and iPhone OS 2.0 updates were released. After the update, devices were required to connect to Apple's servers to authenticate the update, causing many devices to be temporarily unusable.

Users on the O2 network in the United Kingdom, however, can buy the phone online and activate it via iTunes as with the previous model. iPhones purchased in Australia as a pre-paid kit likewise do not require in-store activation, but require activation online at the Optus website and iTunes. Buyers can also activate iPhones via iTunes on Spain's Movistar network. Shops usually offer activation for the buyer's convenience. On March 26, 2009 AT&T in the United States will begin selling the iPhone without a contract for $599 for the 8GB and $699 for the 16GB model. In-store phone activation will be optional.

The iPhone's operating system is designed to only run software that has an Apple-approved cryptographic signature. This restriction can be overcome by "jailbreaking" the phone, which involves replacing the iPhone's firmware with a slightly modified version that does not enforce the signature check. Doing so may be a circumvention of Apple's technical protection measures. Apple, in a statement to the United States Copyright Office in response to EFF lobbying for a DMCA exception for this kind of hacking, claimed that jailbreaking the iPhone would be copyright infringement due to the modification of system software needed to jailbreak the iPhone.

To the top



ITunes Store

ITunes Store screenshot.png

The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc. Opening as the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003, it proved the viability of online music sales and is now the number-one music vendor in the United States. As of January 2009, the store has sold 6 billion songs, accounting for more than 70% of worldwide online digital music sales and making the service the largest legal music retailer. While most downloaded files have previously included restrictions on their use, enforced by FairPlay, Apple's implementation of digital rights management, iTunes has initiated a retroactive shift into selling DRM-free music, marketed as iTunes Plus. On Jan 6, 2009, Apple announced that DRM will be removed from 80% of the entire music catalog, progressing to 100% by April 2009. 100% iTunes Plus availability was achieved on 7 April 2009, coinciding with the introduction of variable pricing, with the removal of songs not available in iTunes Plus from the store altogether. It is unclear whether these songs will be offered again at a later date.

Since the introduction of the iTunes Store, individual songs were all sold for the same price with no subscription fee (in contrast to most existing online music stores at the time of introduction, which charged a monthly fee for access to their catalog). In the keynote at the 2009 Macworld Expo, two new prices were introduced. Currently, music may be priced $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29 (USD). Music in the store is in the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format, which is the MPEG-4-specified successor to MP3. Songs with DRM are encoded at 128 kilobits per second (kbit/s). As of the January 2009 Macworld Expo, Apple has announced that all music in iTunes will be available without DRM, and encoded at the higher-quality rate of 256 kbit/s. Previously, this model, known as "iTunes Plus", had been available only for music from EMI and some independent labels. Previews, thirty seconds in length, are available free, prior to buying a song. iTunes had the option between fully loading previews before playing, or simply streaming the preview; the former feature was removed with the release of iTunes 8. Complete albums are also available for a flat rate regardless of the number of songs on that album; albums on sale are typically at half-price. Podcasts are free. In addition, volume discounts of up to 20% are available for purchases of more than 25,000 songs.

Feature length movies and television episodes are available for purchase. Movies tend to be priced below a DVD of the same film while television episodes are approximately double the cost of a song.

Finally, some games are available for some models of iPods for various prices, but none as expensive as a feature length film. In addition, the iTunes Store now offers Apps, which are applications used for various purposes (games, maps, movie showtimes, etc.) that are compatible with the iPod Touch and iPhone, although some Apps are specifically for the iPhone only. Some Apps cost money (called "Paid Apps") and some are free (called "Free Apps"). Generally, games are paid apps, while other various apps (i.e. movie showtimes and demos of paid apps) are free.

At the Macworld 2008 keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced iTunes movie rentals. Movies are available for rent in the iTunes Store 30 days after they have been released on DVD and are available for a cheaper rate. However, they only are accessible for 24 hours after users begin viewing them. This feature is not yet available in all countries.

There is also a weekly promotion in which one to three songs are available to download for free to logged-in users. Free downloads are available on Tuesdays, and remain free until the following Tuesday. Some artists choose to have select songs available for no charge. This is not available at all iTunes Stores worldwide. Some iTunes television programs have begun the same technique to encourage brand loyalty; although those stay longer. In fact, the iTunes Store used to have a link to "Free TV" on its home page and the TV Shows section's home page which links to a complete listing of free TV shows, however it has disappeared (the page has remained online). Apple still sells free TV episodes; some channels, such as ABC and NBC, have their own pages of "Free Season Premieres".

There are usually three different types of free songs on the United States iTunes Store: the regular featured free song, the Discovery Download (featuring songs from different genres), and the Canción de la Semana (Latino free single of the week). Most recently, iTunes has been weekly offering free music videos.

To buy files through the store, a user must pay with an iTunes gift card or a credit card with a billing address in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (although gift cards may not be used in the App Store), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or the United States. Apple also offers other payment methods (like Paypal), which differ from country to country. Residents in other countries can only buy a gift card from a merchant or download free podcasts and previews. If someone buys a gift card, an address in the country of the gift card must also be provided.

The release of the iPhone and iPod Touch brought the introduction of the iTunes Music Store. This version of the iTunes Store allows owners of the iPod Touch and iPhone to purchase music and download podcasts directly on the portable music device. Originally to access the store the user had to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in order to enter the store, hence its original name: the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. However, at Macworld 2009, Apple issued a software update which automatically allowed 3G and EDGE users to access the store's full functionality for files smaller than 10MB.

Apple provides customer support for the iTunes Store over the phone through AppleCare; Timothy Noah of Slate has also found a customer service line. Most customer service inquiries are handled online, via Report a Problem link in iTunes Application.

Debuting on April 28, 2003, the iTunes Music Store was the first online music store to gain widespread media attention. Apple's store allows the user to purchase songs and transfer them easily to the iPod through iTunes. A software update released on November 21, 2008 allowed users to download or stream podcasts to an iPod Touch or iPhone. Unlike music, podcasts can be downloaded or streamed through a cellular network, though a size limitation exists. The iPod is the only digital music player (besides some Motorola mobile phones and the iPhone) that is intended to work with the iTunes Store, although some other digital music players will work with iTunes. The iTunes Music Store launched initially with about 200,000 files available for download.

On 5 September 2007, Apple introduced the iPod Touch which included the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. An update for the iPhone which included the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store was released on 28 September 2007.

The store began after Apple signed deals with the five major record labels at the time, EMI, Universal, Warner, Sony Music Entertainment, and BMG (the last two would later merge to form Sony BMG). Music from more than 2,000 independent labels was added later, the first from Moby on July 29, 2003.

The store has more than 10,000,000 songs, including exclusive tracks from numerous popular artists. Not all artists are available on iTunes, including some popular ones such as The Beatles, AC/DC, Kid Rock, Garth Brooks, Tool, pre-1985 Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, and Bob Seger.

New songs are added to the iTunes catalog every day, while the iTunes Store is updated each Tuesday. Apple also releases a 'Single of the Week' in both English and sometimes Spanish and usually a 'Discovery Download' on Tuesdays, which are available for free for one week.

Perhaps the most notable case of music being removed is of Frank Zappa; a significant portion of his music was added to the iTunes Store in August 2005 though it was later removed in August 2006.

Downloaded songs come with song information (name, artist, album) already filled out, though iTunes provides a free service by Gracenote to do this for songs not purchased from the store, although they must be imported with iTunes. Songs that have an entry in the iTunes Store also come with album artwork (Artwork is embedded in the metadata). As of the release of iTunes 7, the artwork can be obtained for songs not purchased from the store for free if the user has an iTunes Store account. Purchased songs do not come with lyrics already typed in to the application's window for them; nor does iTunes provide a service for acquiring the missing lyrics. However, several third-party applications exist to locate and automatically add lyrics to the user's music.

Some songs are available from the store by "Album Only", meaning the song can only be acquired through the purchase of the entire album, whereas most songs can be downloaded separately from the album they belong to. Most songs above ten minutes in length are automatically album-only songs. Soundtracks also often have many Album Only tracks. Movie soundtracks normally include songs owned by many different labels, making licensing more complex. For example, Forrest Gump: The Soundtrack includes songs from Peacock Records, Argo Records, and Capitol Records, among many others. Greatest Hits by Red Hot Chili Peppers has only one song, "Higher Ground," that is not available for download on a per song basis. The easiest way around this is for the user to search for the artist and find the particular song(s) they want on another release, which is sometimes available without having to purchase an entire album.

When entering the U.S. music store, there are multiple sub-divided stores that one can go into. These stores are either found under ‘More In Music,’ ‘Genres,’ ‘Pre-Orders,’ ‘Celebrity Playlists’ and ‘Free Downloads.’ Within ‘More In Music,’ one can enter various stores such as Starbucks Entertainment and iTunes Essentials. iTunes Essentials contains groupings of music based upon the artist of the music (Artist Essentials), the genre or history of the music (Genres and History), or any other similarities (My Groove). Each grouping of music is essentially a pre-made playlist. The songs in the playlist are all listed in order of their importance, starting with the artist's most well-known song. These playlists usually contain either 45 or 75 songs equally distributed in three sections: The Basics (the biggest, best, and most important songs), Next Steps (usually composed of popular songs just beyond the hits) and Deep Cuts (under-appreciated songs). Occasionally, specific Artist Essentials do not have a Deep Cuts section. This usually depends on how many releases the artist has completed over the years. Within ‘Genres,’ one can enter music stores that only have one genre such as blues or reggae. There are a total of 20 genres in the U.S. music store. ‘Pre-Orders’ lists albums that one can pre-order before the album is released. ‘Celebrity Playlists’ contains lists of songs chosen and described by celebrities. ‘Free Downloads’ are songs that subscribed iTunes Store users can obtain for free.

On November 1, 2006, Apple created a new category for Latino or Hispanic content, “iTunes Latino”. Telemundo and Mun2 made some of their popular programs available for purchase, becoming the first Hispanic television content in the store. It offers music, music videos, audiobooks, podcasts and television shows in Spanish in a single concentrated area. The brief descriptions given to the content is in Spanish as well as several sub-categories. Gibraltarian Flamenco Metal band Breed 77, released an exclusive album called Un Encuentro to coincide with the launch of “iTunes Latino”. It features 11 songs, all from previous albums, but all sung in Spanish.

If the iTunes Store deems that the lyrics to a song are offensive, it will be marked "explicit" next to the song title. If a song is marked "explicit" it is unavailable for purchase if "restrict explicit content" is checked under the parental controls preference. Often there will be a "clean" mark next to the title of some songs, meaning the lyrics have been censored, and is available to purchase on all accounts. Generally if a song is marked "clean" there is an explicit version available as well.

The iTunes Store also includes over 20,000 audiobooks, encoded at 32 kilobits per second. Ninety-second previews are offered for every book. These books are provided by Audible.com. This is the same format available if the user signs up directly with Audible.com and chose the "iPod" format. The main difference is that it is unnecessary to sign up for a subscription to get audiobooks as is the case with Audible. A small discount is provided through buying audiobooks through the iTunes Store, but on a selective basis by Apple in comparison to an "always on member discount" if one has an Audible subscription.

In October 2005, Apple announced the latest iPod would be capable of playing video files, which would be sold online through the iTunes Store in the U.S. These videos included 2000 music videos and episodes of popular television programs. Apple made a deal with Disney to be the first supplier of TV shows, the first shows available included episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives with each episode becoming available the day after it originally aired on broadcast TV. Several short animated films by Pixar are also available.

The selling of videos on iTunes sparked considerable debate as to whether there was a paying audience for programming available for free on TV. As MP3 Newswire pointed out, users are not so much paying for the TV programs themselves. Instead they are really paying for a service that offers the convenience of someone else digitizing free broadcast episodes for them for their portable device, each episode in commercial-free form, and a convenient place to select and download individual shows. Through an updated version of QuickTime Pro, users can create their own videos for the iPod, including digitized versions of programs recorded on their VCR if they wish to take the time and effort to save the cost.

With the launch of iTunes 8, many TV shows, such as The Office and Heroes, have begun offering their programing in High Definition (HD). The pricing model for this content is usually $1 more ($2.99) than standard definition versions ($1.99) of episodes. Season passes vary in pricing for their high definition versions.

In addition to the launch of high definition TV shows, iTunes 8 allowed for the rental of movies through the iTunes Store. Movie rentals must begin within 30 days of purchase and must be completed within 24 hours of having been started. Movie rentals cost $3.99 for new releases and $2.99 for older releases in the movie catalog. Several movie rentals are also available in HD, priced at $1 higher than their respective standard definition versions. HD movie rentals are currently only available for purchase and playback on the Apple TV.

An advantage iTunes U has over traditional podcasting tools is that access to content can be restricted because of the use of the iTunes infrastructure end-to-end. Authentication is handled by member college and university who prompts a visitor for information (like an account and password specific to that institution) and then passed a token onto the iTunes U site that contains the access level for that visitor. An example might be a class podcast that can only be accessed by student enrolled in the class.

Since making changes to individual iTunes U sites may be difficult to users not well-versed in XML tools (ie. XQuery), Apple has created the Woolamaloo Automator to aid users in the editing of sites. The Woolamaloo Automator makes it easy for non-programmers to use the iTunes U web services. By using the workflow tool on Apple’s desktop, Automator, the Woolamaloo actions can not only be configured but can then be combined to help with any routine iTunes U administrative tasks. The Woolamaloo Automator has become increasingly popular because of its easy design.

On 12 September 2006, the iTunes Store began to offer additional games for purchase with the launch of iTunes 7, compatible with the iPod Classic or iPod Nano with video playback. Launch titles included: Bejeweled, Cubis, Mini Golf, Mahjong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Texas Hold 'Em, Vortex, and Zuma. Though they are downloaded through iTunes, the games cannot be played within the application itself; they can only be played on an iPod Classic or iPod Nano.

With the launch of iPhone 3G and the 2.0 iPhone OS firmware for iPod Touch and iPhone owners, the App Store allows people to download applications through the iTunes desktop software or the App Store on their iPhones. As of March 17, 2009, there are over 25,000 third-party applications available. The applications can only be run on iPhones or iPod Touch. Each application is also protected with iTunes FairPlay DRM. Developers of these applications receive 70 percent of the income and free applications are distributed without charge to the developer.

Since its launch, the iTunes Store has crossed many milestones. In the first 18 hours, the store sold about 275,000 tracks and more than 1,000,000 in its first 5 days. When released for Windows in October 2003, iTunes was downloaded more than 1,000,000 times in the first 3 days, selling more than 1,000,000 songs in that period. On December 15, 2003 Apple announced that it had crossed 25 million songs sold.

In January 2004 at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced (Sellers, 2004) that an unnamed person had purchased US$29,500 worth of music. On March 15, 2004, Apple announced that iTunes Music Store customers had purchased and downloaded 50 million songs from the iTunes Music Store. They also reported that customers were purchasing 2.5 million songs a week which translates to a projected annual run rate of 130 million songs a year. The 50 millionth song was "The Path of Thorns" by Sarah McLachlan.

On April 28, 2004, the iTunes Music Store marked its first anniversary with 70 million songs sold, clear dominance in the paid online music market and a slight profit. The store also offers hundreds of movie trailers and music videos, in an attempt to boost soundtrack sales. In the conference, Steve Jobs reiterated that a subscription service is still not in the interest of customers and reported that only 5 million of the 100 million songs offered in the Pepsi giveaway campaign were redeemed, which he blamed on technical problems in Pepsi distribution. According to an Apple Press Release released on August 10, 2004, the iTunes Music Store is the first store to have a catalog of more than one million songs. Also, the iTunes Music Store at that point maintained an over 70 percent market share of legal music downloads.

On July 5, 2005 Apple announced a promotion counting down to half a billion songs sold.

TV Shows were added to the Australian iTunes on June 24 starting with 21 titles from ABC in the US, ABC Australia, the Disney Channel, MTV, and Channel 9. Shows included Summer Heights High, Scrubs, The Hills, Lost, Hannah Montana, and Desperate Housewives.

Note that only the French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and parts of the Austrian and Japanese store have been translated into their respective official or de facto languages, the remainder of the stores are in English but the content is localized to the respective country. Also, iTunes has a very western-centric view as music in all non-west European languages are classified under the genre "World." For example, songs from African musicians and songs from Indian musicians are all classified as World.

As of the 2009 Macworld Conference & Expo, Apple has given no news or information whatsoever of the (possible; read future) inclusion of music videos, TV Shows and Movies in other European countries beyond the current availability of such, in the iTunes Store's of the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Originally, songs were encoded using FairPlay-encrypted 128 kbit/s AAC streams in an mp4 wrapper, using the .m4p extension.

While licenses to the AAC compression and the mp4 file format are readily available, Apple generally has not agreed to license its proprietary FairPlay encryption scheme to other mobile device manufacturers, so only devices from Apple are able to play the Fairplay-encrypted songs sold at the iTunes Store. The only exceptions were three mobile phones sold by Motorola in the years 2005–6: the Motorola ROKR E1, the Motorola RAZR V3i, and the Motorola SLVR L7.

Currently the digital booklets included with some albums are in PDF. With the present iPod software, these files are not readable on iPods.

As of May 29, 2007 tracks on the EMI label have been made available in a DRM-less format called iTunes Plus. These files are unprotected and are encoded in the AAC format at 256 kbit/s, twice the bitrate of standard tracks bought through the service. They are labelled as "purchased AAC audio file" (.m4a) rather than "protected AAC audio file" (.m4p) in iTunes and the context menu obtained by right-clicking the song includes an option to convert to MP3. In January, 2009, Apple announced that all music would be available in the iTunes Plus format, bringing an end to the sale of music with DRM on iTunes.

There are no restrictions on number of iPods to which a purchased song can be transferred nor the number of times any individual song can be burned to CD.

When Apple initially introduced FairPlay, songs purchased through iTunes had limits of three simultaneous machines and ten CD copies of a playlist. The adjustment to the current limits was implemented with the introduction of iTunes 4.5 in April 2004, presumably as the result of re-negotiations Apple had with major labels.

Apple's DRM technology is breakable. Various programs have been written to remove the FairPlay wrapper and allow the AAC files to be used without technological restriction. More simply, a user can convert protected files to unprotected MP3 format by burning them to an audio CD, then ripping them back to iTunes. (Some audio quality is lost in this transcoding from one lossy format to another.) An alternative, though equally lossy, way of transcoding the files is to record the "Wave Out Mix" using an audio recording program (such as Audacity or Audio Hijack Pro) while playing the song on iTunes — and then encoding it to a format of the user's choice.

In July 2004, RealNetworks debuted an application named Harmony, which converted files purchased from RealNetworks' RealRhapsody service into a FairPlay-compatible format that an iPod could play. In response, Apple accused RealNetworks of "adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod." and released a firmware upgrade that rendered iPods incapable of playing such files. On January 3, 2005, an iTunes Music Store customer sued Apple, alleging the company broke U.S. antitrust laws by freezing out competitors.

In 2006, a controversy erupted about a French draft law aimed at reinforcing the protection of works of art against "piracy", or illegal copying; some clauses of the law could possibly be used to request Apple to provide information about its FairPlay system to manufacturers of competing players. Apple and associated lobbying groups protested the draft law, going as far as to suggest that it condoned "state-sponsored piracy." Some U.S. commentators claimed that the law was a protectionistic measure against the iPod.

On January 6, 2009 at the Macworld Expo, Apple announced a significant overhaul of the iTunes Plus catalog with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI offering all their music in iTunes Plus immediately. As of the announcement, 8 million songs were available in Apple's DRM-free format. As of April 2009, all songs are now available in the iTunes Plus format.

On February 6, 2007, Steve Jobs called on the Big Four record labels to allow their music to be sold DRM-free. On April 2, 2007, Apple and the record label EMI announced that the iTunes Store would begin offering, as an additional purchasing option, tracks from EMI's catalog encoded as 256 kbit/s AAC without FairPlay or any other DRM.

On May 29, 2007, Apple released version 7.2 of its iTunes software, allowing users to purchase DRM-free music and music videos from participating labels. These new files, available through the iTunes Store, have been called iTunes Plus music by Apple.

In October 2007, iTunes Plus ceased to be a purchasing option. It instead became automatic for all iTunes Plus licensed content. In addition, the price of iTunes Plus reverted to the DRM price.

Almost immediately after the launch of iTunes Plus, reports surfaced that the DRM-free tracks sold by the iTunes Store contained identifying information about the customer, embedding the purchasing account's full name and e-mail address as metadata in the file. While this information has always been in iTunes downloads both with and without Fairplay DRM, it is thought that it remains in the tracks as a measure to trace the source of tracks shared illegally online, which the absence of DRM now facilitates. Privacy groups expressed concerns that this data could be misused if possessions carrying the files were stolen, and potentially wrongly incriminate a user for copyright infringement.

On Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, 2004, Apple launched a promotion with Pepsi in which they gave away 100 million songs, through tokens on selected soft drink bottle caps. Unfortunately for Apple, Pepsi failed to properly distribute the bottles to major metropolitan areas until only weeks before the promotion ended, despite a one-month extension of the deadline by Apple. The promotion was repeated beginning January 31, 2005, with 200 million songs available, and an iPod Mini given away every hour.

On July 1, 2004, Apple announced that, starting with the sale of the 95 millionth song, an iPod would be given away to the buyer of each 100 thousandth song, for a total of 50 iPods. The buyer of the 100 millionth song would receive a PowerBook, iPod, and US$10,000 gift certificate to the iTunes Music Store.

Ten days later, on July 11, Apple announced that 100 million songs had been sold through the iTunes Music Store. The 100 millionth song was titled "Somersault (Dangermouse Remix)" by Zero 7, purchased by Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas. He then received a phone call from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who offered his congratulations, as well as a 40 GB 3rd Generation iPod laser-engraved with a message of thanks.

Inspired by Pepsi's marketing success with iTunes giveaways, Coca-Cola partnered with 7-Eleven to give away a free iTunes song with every 32 oz. Slurpee frozen beverage until July 31, 2005. Songs could be redeemed until August 31, 2005 by entering a code printed on the Slurpee cup into the iTunes Music Store application. Coca-Cola did this in spite of having its own music store, myCokeMusic.com, that competed with the iTunes Music Store in Europe. myCokeMusic.com ceased business on July 31, 2006.

On July 5, 2005 Apple announced that they were counting down to half a billion songs. The buyer of every 100 thousandth song up to 500 million would receive an iPod Mini and a 50-song gift card. The grand prize for the person who downloads the 500 millionth song was 10 iPods of their choice, a 10,000-song gift card, 10 50-song gift cards or 4 tickets to the Coldplay world tour. Twelve days later, on July 17, Apple announced that 500 million songs had been sold through the iTunes Music Store. The 500 millionth song, purchased by Amy Greer of Lafayette, Indiana, was "Mississippi Girl" by Faith Hill.

On July 28, 2005, Apple and The Gap announced a promotion to award iTunes music downloads to Gap customers who tried on a pair of Gap jeans. From August 8 to August 31, 2005, each customer who tried on any pair of Gap jeans could receive a free download for a song of their choice from the iTunes Music Store.

On February 7, 2006, Apple announced that they were counting down to the billionth song download and began a promotion similar to the previous 100 million and 500 million countdown. Whoever downloaded the billionth song would receive a 20-inch (510 mm) iMac, ten 60 GB iPods, and a US$10,000 iTunes Music Card. The billionth song was purchased on February 23, 2006 by Alex Ostrovsky of West Bloomfield, Michigan. The purchased song was "Speed of Sound" as part of Coldplay's X&Y album.

On July 25, 2006, Facebook and iTunes began offering a promotion where members of the Apple Students group would receive a free 25 song sampler each week until September 30 in various music genres. The idea behind the promotion was to get students more familiar and enthusiastic with each service as Autumn classes approached. However in order to prevent abuse of the promotion, the weekly code that Facebook provided stopped working after it was redeemed one million times. In addition, the promotion caused discontent among international students, as the code was only valid in the U.S. iTunes Music Store.

Although iTunes is only supported on Mac OS X and Windows operating systems and devices, users of other platforms have been able to buy music from the iTunes Store by a variety of methods. iTunes is known to run passably well using the Wine compatibility layer, but this method only works with x86 PCs. There have been alternative programs developed to access the iTunes Store, including SharpMusique (which is no longer functional).

The iTunes Store is delivered using a custom XML format that describes the position of all of the elements, boxes, album art and all of their properties - including whether a reference link can be dragged out of iTunes and into another document. The store itself is written in WebObjects - Apple's own application server it acquired from Next. Content is uploaded to the iTunes data store using an internal Apple program called iTunes Producer - that automatically encodes and adds metadata to uploaded files.

For three years, The Beatles' record company Apple Records was in a legal dispute, Apple Corps v. Apple Computer, with Apple Computer over the name "Apple." On May 8, 2006, a ruling was declared in favor of Apple Computer, but Apple Records said it would appeal the ruling. Despite this, plans were announced by Neil Aspinall in April 2006 to completely remaster and release the entire Beatles catalog on an unspecified online music service, as well as release some previously unheard work by the band. No date has been set as of yet. It has also been reported that the Beatles' music catalog might initially be appearing on iTunes only, as Apple is reported to be negotiating with Britain's EMI group over an online distribution deal that might be exclusive for a limited time. During his January 9, 2007 Macworld Keynote address, Apple CEO Steve Jobs used the band's song "Lovely Rita" to introduce the music-playing capabilities of the company's new iPhone. This was regarded by industry observers as further evidence that the Beatles catalog would be introduced to the iTunes Music Store catalog in the near future. On February 5, 2007, Apple Corps and Apple Inc. announced they had reached a settlement in their legal dispute. In a related development, Apple announced on August 14, 2007 that the entire solo catalog of John Lennon would be available on iTunes. The solo catalogs of the other three Beatles, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, are also available on iTunes. While The Beatles' official catalog is not yet available, their songs made by different artists (Studio 99, The Beat-less, etc.) are available.

On June 6, 2006, The Consumer Ombudsmen in Norway, Sweden and Denmark launched a common open letter to Apple regarding the EULA of iTunes through the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Bjørn Erik Thon. The iTunes case is based upon an official complaint filed by The Consumer Council of Norway on January 25, 2006.

Apple responded July 31, 2006.

On July 1, 2007, it was reported that Universal (currently the world's biggest music corporation) would not renew its annual contract to sell music through iTunes. Instead, Universal said that it would market music to Apple at will, allowing it to remove its songs from the iTunes service on short notice if the two sides did not agree on pricing or other terms.

On August 9, 2007, UMG announced a plan to sell some songs in MP3 format, without Digital rights management, through a variety of online services such as Amazon MP3 and the newly-created gBox. While these tracks continue to be available through the iTunes Store, Universal chose to license these songs in DRM-free formats only through other services.

On August 31, 2007, Apple announced that programs on NBC's 2007-08 television schedule would not be available on iTunes. NBC had informed Apple the previous day that it would not be renewing its contract. It was later clarified that this change only applied to series produced by NBC Universal-owned Universal Media Studios, including Universal-produced shows on other networks such as House. NBC programs produced by other studios, such as Chuck (Warner Bros.) and Journeyman (20th Century Fox), remain available on iTunes.

Apple has publicly asserted that NBC would only renew their contract if Apple agreed to a price increase of US$4.99 per episode, which they did not. NBC disputes that claim, claiming that Apple balked at NBC's request to package shows together and make wholesale pricing more flexible. NBC claims that they never asked to double the wholesale price and insisted that their shows would be sold by the iTunes Store through early December. As of September 17, 2007, other networks who sell their shows via iTunes have not followed suit, as some predicted would happen. On December 1, 2007 NBC shows were pulled from iTunes.

On September 9, 2008, Apple and NBC Universal announced that NBC's TV shows were once again available on the US iTunes Store.

The UK iTunes Store has many shows from NBC available, though they are distributed by Universal Studios. The pricing for these seasons are higher than what they were on the US store, an example being, Season 3 of The Office is priced at UK£43.47 (roughly US$63) vs. $52.99 (US Store HD).

To the top



IPod

IPod family.png

Apple's iTunes software can be used to transfer music to the devices from computers using certain versions of Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems. For users who choose not to use Apple's software or whose computers cannot run iTunes software, several open source alternatives to iTunes are also available. iTunes and its alternatives may also transfer photos, videos, games, contact information, e-mail settings, Web bookmarks, and calendars to iPod models supporting those features. As of September 2008, more than 173,000,000 iPods had been sold worldwide, making it the best-selling digital audio player series in history.

Apple did not develop the iPod software entirely in-house, instead using PortalPlayer's reference platform based on 2 ARM cores. The platform had rudimentary software running on a commercial microkernel embedded operating system. PortalPlayer had previously been working on an IBM-branded MP3 player with Bluetooth headphones. Apple contracted another company, Pixo, to help design and implement the user interface under the direct supervision of Steve Jobs. As development progressed, Apple continued to refine the software's look and feel. Starting with the iPod Mini, the Chicago font was replaced with Espy Sans. Later iPods switched fonts again to Podium Sans—a font similar to Apple's corporate font, Myriad. iPods with color displays then adopted some Mac OS X themes like Aqua progress bars, and brushed metal meant to evoke a combination lock. In 2007, Apple modified the iPod interface again with the introduction of the sixth-generation iPod Classic and third-generation iPod Nano by changing the font to Helvetica and, in most cases, splitting the screen in half by displaying the menus on the left and album artwork, photos, or videos on the right (whichever was appropriate for the selected item).

In September 2007, during the course of a lawsuit with patent holding company Burst.com, Apple drew attention to a patent for a similar device that was developed in 1979. Kane Kramer patented the idea of a "plastic music box" in 1979, which he called the IXI. He was unable to secure funding to renew the US$ 120,000 worldwide patent, so it lapsed and Kramer never profited from his idea. Kramer is now in talks with the company to discuss how he will be reimbursed.

The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase "Open the pod bay door, Hal!", which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship. Apple researched the trademark and found that it was already in use. Joseph N. Grasso of New Jersey had originally listed an "iPod" trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in July 2000 for Internet kiosks. The first iPod kiosks had been demonstrated to the public in New Jersey in March 1998, and commercial use began in January 2000, but had apparently been discontinued by 2001. The trademark was registered by the USPTO in November 2003, and Grasso assigned it to Apple Computer, Inc. in 2005.

The iPod line can play several audio file formats including MP3, AAC/M4A, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless. The iPod Photo introduced the ability to display JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG image file formats. Fifth and sixth generation iPod Classics, as well as third generation iPod Nanos, can additionally play MPEG-4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) and QuickTime video formats, with restrictions on video dimensions, encoding techniques and data-rates. Originally, iPod software only worked with Mac OS; iPod software for Microsoft Windows was launched with the second generation model. Unlike most other media players, Apple does not support Microsoft's WMA audio format—but a converter for WMA files without Digital Rights Management (DRM) is provided with the Windows version of iTunes. MIDI files also cannot be played, but can be converted to audio files using the "Advanced" menu in iTunes. Alternative open-source audio formats, such as Ogg Vorbis and FLAC, are not supported without installing custom firmware onto an iPod (e.g. Rockbox).

During installation, an iPod is associated with one host computer. Each time an iPod connects to its host computer, iTunes can synchronize entire music libraries or music playlists either automatically or manually. Song ratings can be set on an iPod and synchronized later to the iTunes library, and vice versa. A user can access, play, and add music on a second computer if an iPod is set to manual and not automatic sync, but anything added or edited will be reversed upon connecting and syncing with the main computer and its library. If a user wishes to automatically sync music with another computer, an iPod's library will be entirely wiped and replaced with the other computer's library.

The iTunes Store is an online media store run by Apple and accessed via iTunes. It was introduced on 29 April 2003 and it sells individual songs, with typical prices being US$0.99, AU$1.69 (inc. GST), NZ$1.79 (inc. GST), €0.99 (inc. VAT), or £0.79 (inc. VAT) per song. Since no other portable player supports the DRM used, only iPods can play protected content from the iTunes Store. The store became the market leader soon after its launch and Apple announced the sale of videos through the store on 12 October 2005. Full-length movies became available on 12 September 2006.

Purchased audio files use the AAC format with added encryption. The encryption is based on the FairPlay DRM system. Up to five authorized computers and an unlimited number of iPods can play the files. Burning the files onto an audio CD, then re-compressing can create music files without the DRM, although this results in reduced quality. The DRM can also be removed using third-party software. However, in a deal with Apple, EMI began selling DRM-free, higher-quality songs on the iTunes Stores, in a category called "iTunes Plus." While individual songs were made available at a cost of US$1.29, 30¢ more than the cost of a regular DRM song, entire albums were available for the same price, US$9.99, as DRM encoded albums. On 17 October 2007, Apple lowered the cost of individual iTunes Plus songs to US$0.99 per song, the same as DRM encoded tracks. On January 6, 2009, Apple announced that DRM has been removed from 80% of the music catalog, and that it will be removed from all music by April, 2009.

Universal Music Group decided not to renew their contract with the iTunes Music Store on 3 July 2007. Universal will now supply iTunes in an 'at will' capacity.

Apple debuted the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store on 5 September 2007, in its Media Event entitled "The Beat Goes On..." This service allows users to access the Music Store from either an iPhone or an iPod Touch and download songs directly to the device that can be synced to the user's iTunes Library.

Video games are playable on various versions of iPods. The original iPod had the game Brick (originally invented by Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak) included as an easter egg hidden feature; later firmware versions added it as a menu option. Later revisions of the iPod added three more games in addition to Brick: Parachute, Solitaire, and Music Quiz.

In September 2006 the iTunes Store began to offer additional games for purchase with the launch of iTunes 7, compatible with the fifth generation iPod with iPod software 1.2 or later. Those games were: Bejeweled, Cubis 2, Mahjong, Mini Golf, Pac-Man, Tetris, Texas Hold 'Em, Vortex, and Zuma. Additional games have since been added. These games work on current and immediate previous generation of the iPod Nano and iPod Classic.

With third parties like Namco, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Sega, and Hudson Soft all making games for the iPod, Apple's MP3 player has taken great steps towards entering the video game handheld console market. Even video game magazines like GamePro and EGM have reviewed and rated most of their games as of late.

The games are in the form of .ipg files, which are actually .zip archives in disguise. When unzipped, they reveal executable files along with common audio and image files, leading to the possibility of third party games. Apple has not publicly released a software development kit (SDK) for iPod-specific development. Apps produced with the iPhone SDK are compatible only the iPhone OS on the iPod Touch and iPhone, which cannot run clickwheel-based games.

All iPods except for the iPod Touch can function in "disk mode" as a mass storage devices to store data files. If an iPod is formatted on a Mac OS X computer it uses the HFS+ file system format, which allows it to serve as a boot disk for a Mac computer. If it is formatted on Windows, the FAT32 format is used. With the advent of the Windows-compatible iPod, the default file system used on the iPod line switched from HFS+ to FAT32, although it can be reformatted to either file system (excluding the iPod Shuffle which is strictly FAT32). Generally, if a new iPod (excluding the iPod Shuffle) is initially plugged into a computer running Windows, it will be formatted with FAT32, and if initially plugged into a Mac running Mac OS X it will be formatted with HFS+.

Unlike many other MP3 players, simply copying audio or video files to the drive with a typical file management application will not allow an iPod to properly access them. The user must use software that has been specifically designed to transfer media files to iPods, so that the files are playable and viewable. Usually iTunes is used to transfer media to an iPod, though several alternative third-party applications are available on a number of different platforms.

Media files are stored on an iPod in a hidden folder, along with a proprietary database file. The hidden content can be accessed on the host operating system by enabling hidden files to be shown. The media files can then be recovered manually by copying the files or folders off the iPod. Many third-party applications also allow easy copying of media files off of an iPod.

Originally, a FireWire connection to the host computer was used to update songs or recharge the battery. The battery could also be charged with a power adapter that was included with the first four generations. The third generation began including a dock connector, allowing for FireWire or USB connectivity. This provided better compatibility with non-Apple machines, as most of them did not have FireWire ports at the time. The dock connector also brought opportunities to exchange data, sound and power with an iPod, which ultimately created a large market of accessories, manufactured by third parties such as Belkin and Griffin. The second generation iPod Shuffle uses a single 3.5 mm jack which acts as both a headphone jack and a data port for the dock.

Eventually Apple began shipping iPods with USB cables instead of FireWire, although the latter was available separately. As of the first generation iPod Nano and the fifth generation iPod Classic, Apple discontinued using FireWire for data transfer (while still allowing for use of FireWire to charge the device) in an attempt to reduce cost and form factor. As of the second-generation iPod Touch and the fourth-generation iPod Nano, FireWire charging ability has been removed.

Introduced in the third-generation iPod, a 30-pin dock connector allows iPods to be connected to a variety of accessories, which can range from televisions to speaker systems. Some peripherals utilize their own interface, while others use an iPod's own screen for access. Such accessories may be used for music, video, and photo playback. Because the dock connector is a proprietary interface, the implementation of the interface requires paying royalties to Apple.

Many accessories have been made for the iPod line. A large number are made by third party companies, although many, such as the late iPod Hi-Fi, are made by Apple. This market is sometimes described as the iPod ecosystem. Some accessories add extra features that other music players have, such as sound recorders, FM radio tuners, wired remote controls, and audio/visual cables for TV connections. Other accessories offer unique features like the Nike+iPod pedometer and the iPod Camera Connector. Other notable accessories include external speakers, wireless remote controls, protective cases/films and wireless earphones. Among the first accessory manufacturers were Griffin Technology, Belkin, JBL, Bose, Monster Cable, and SendStation.

The white earphones (or "earbuds") that ship with all iPods have become symbolic of the brand. Advertisements feature them prominently, often contrasting the white earphones (and cords) with people shown as dark silhouettes. The original earphones came with the first generation iPod. They were revised to be smaller after Apple received complaints of the earbuds being too large. The revised earphones were shipped with second through early fifth generation iPods, the iPod Mini, and the first generation Nanos. The earbuds were revised again in 2006, featuring an even smaller and more streamlined design. This third design was shipped with late fifth generation iPods and the second-generation nanos. All first generation iPod Shuffles and the second generation up until 30 January 2007 (when color models were introduced) were shipped with the second design; those that shipped after that date were distributed with the third design of the earbuds. The fourth generation Nano, the second generation Touch and the 120 GB iPod Classic come with headphones made from a slightly different material, which makes it anti-tangle, but more prone to damage, leading some users with issues, such as volume imbalance. The third generation iPod Shuffle came with headphones with the controls on the right ear.

In 2005, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority placed advertisements on the subways warning passengers that "Earphones are a giveaway. Protect your device", after iPod thefts on the subway rose from zero in 2004 to 50 in the first three months of 2005.

BMW released the first iPod automobile interface, allowing drivers of newer BMW vehicles to control an iPod using either the built-in steering wheel controls or the radio head-unit buttons. Apple announced in 2005 that similar systems would be available for other vehicle brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Toyota, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Acura, Audi, Honda, Renault, Infiniti and Volkswagen. Scion offers standard iPod connectivity on all their cars.

Some independent stereo manufacturers including JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine, Sony, and Harman Kardon also have iPod-specific integration solutions. Alternative connection methods include adaptor kits (that use the cassette deck or the CD changer port), audio input jacks, and FM transmitters such as the iTrip—although personal FM transmitters are illegal in some countries. Many car manufacturers have added audio input jacks as standard.

Beginning in mid-2007, four major airlines, United, Continental, Delta, and Emirates reached agreements to install iPod seat connections. The free service will allow passengers to power and charge an iPod, and view video and music libraries on individual seat-back displays. Originally KLM and Air France were reported to be part of the deal with Apple, but they later released statements explaining that they were only contemplating the possibility of incorporating such systems.

The third generation iPod had a weak bass response, as shown in audio tests. The combination of the undersized DC-blocking capacitors and the typical low-impedance of most consumer headphones form a high-pass filter, which attenuates the low-frequency bass output. Similar capacitors were used in the fourth generation iPods. The problem is reduced when using high-impedance headphones and is completely masked when driving high-impedance (line level) loads, such as an external headphone amplifier. The first generation iPod Shuffle uses a dual-transistor output stage, rather than a single capacitor-coupled output, and does not exhibit reduced bass response for any load.

From the 5th generation iPod on, Apple introduced a user-configurable volume limit in response to concerns about hearing loss. Users report that in the 6th generation iPod, the maximum volume output level is limited to 100dB in EU markets. Apple previously had to remove iPods from shelves in France.

In 2005, Apple faced two lawsuits claiming patent infringement by the iPod line and its associated technologies: Advanced Audio Devices claimed the iPod line breached its patent on a "music jukebox", while a Hong Kong-based IP portfolio company called Pat-rights filed a suit claiming that Apple's FairPlay technology breached a patent issued to inventor Ho Keung Tse. The latter case also includes the online music stores of Sony, RealNetworks, Napster, and Musicmatch as defendants.

Apple's application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a patent on "rotational user inputs", as used on the iPod interface, received a third "non-final rejection" (NFR) in August 2005. Also in August 2005, Creative Technology, one of Apple's main rivals in the MP3 player market, announced that it held a patent on part of the music selection interface used by the iPod line, which Creative dubbed the "Zen Patent", granted on 9 August 2005. On 15 May 2006, Creative filed another suit against Apple with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Creative also asked the United States International Trade Commission to investigate whether Apple was breaching U.S. trade laws by importing iPods into the United States.

On 24 August 2006, Apple and Creative announced a broad settlement to end their legal disputes. Apple will pay Creative US$100 million for a paid-up license, to use Creative's awarded patent in all Apple products. As part of the agreement, Apple will recoup part of its payment, if Creative is successful in licensing the patent. Creative then announced its intention to produce iPod accessories by joining the Made for iPod program.

Since October 2004, the iPod line has dominated digital music player sales in the United States, with over 90% of the market for hard drive-based players and over 70% of the market for all types of players. During the year from January 2004 to January 2005, the high rate of sales caused its U.S. market share to increase from 31% to 65% and in July 2005, this market share was measured at 74%. In January 2007 the iPod market share reached 72.7% according to Bloomberg Online.

The release of the iPod Mini helped to ensure this success at a time when competing flash-based music players were once dominant. On 8 January 2004, Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced that they would sell HP-branded iPods under a license agreement from Apple. Several new retail channels were used—including Wal-Mart—and these iPods eventually made up 5% of all iPod sales. In July 2005, HP stopped selling iPods due to unfavorable terms and conditions imposed by Apple.

In January 2007, Apple reported record quarterly revenue of US$7.1 billion, of which 48% was made from iPod sales.

On 9 April 2007, it was announced that Apple had sold its one-hundred millionth iPod, making it the biggest selling digital music player of all time. In April 2007, Apple reported second quarter revenue of US$5.2 billion, of which 32% was made from iPod sales. Apple and several industry analysts suggest that iPod users are likely to purchase other Apple products such as Mac computers.

On 5 September 2007, during their "The Beat Goes On" event, Apple announced that the iPod line had surpassed 110 million units sold.

On 22 October 2007, Apple reported quarterly revenue of US$6.22 billion, of which 30.69% came from Apple notebook sales, 19.22% from desktop sales and 26% from iPod sales. Apple's 2007 year revenue increased to US$24.01 billion with US$3.5 billion in profits. Apple ended the fiscal year 2007 with US$15.4 billion in cash and no debt.

On 22 January 2008, Apple reported the best quarter revenue and earnings in Apple's history so far. Apple posted record revenue of US$9.6 billion and record net quarterly profit of US$1.58 billion. 42% of Apple's revenue for the First fiscal quarter of 2008 came from iPod sales, followed by 21% from notebook sales and 16% from desktop sales. Apple has sold over 163 million iPods to date (see chart).

On 21 October 2008, Apple reported that only 14.21% of total revenue for fiscal quarter 4 of year 2008 came from iPods.

In addition to its reputation as a respected entertainment device, iPods have also become accepted as business devices. Government departments, major institutions and international organisations have turned to the iPod line as a delivery mechanism for business communication and training, such as the Royal and Western Infirmaries in Glasgow, Scotland where iPods are used to train new staff.

The advertised battery life on most models is different from the real-world achievable life. For example, the fifth generation 30 GB iPod is advertised as having up to 14 hours of music playback. An MP3.com report stated that this was virtually unachievable under real-life usage conditions, with a writer for MP3.com getting on average less than 8 hours from an iPod. In 2003, class action lawsuits were brought against Apple complaining that the battery charges lasted for shorter lengths of time than stated and that the battery degraded over time. The lawsuits were settled by offering individuals either US$50 store credit or a free battery replacement.

Apple announced a battery replacement program on 14 November 2003, a week before a high publicity stunt and website by the Neistat Brothers. The initial cost was US$99, and it was lowered to US$59 in 2005. One week later, Apple offered an extended iPod warranty for US$59. For the iPod Nano, soldering tools are needed because the battery is soldered onto the main board. Fifth generation iPods have their battery attached to the backplate with adhesive.

On 11 June 2006, the British newspaper Mail on Sunday reported that iPods are mainly manufactured by workers who earn no more than US$50 per month and work 15-hour shifts. Apple investigated the case with independent auditors and found that, while some of the plant's labour practices met Apple's Code of Conduct, others did not: Employees worked over 60 hours a week for 35% of the time, and worked more than six consecutive days for 25% of the time.

Foxconn, Apple's manufacturer, initially denied the abuses, but when an auditing team from Apple found that workers had been working longer hours than were allowed under Chinese law, they promised to prevent workers working more hours than the code allowed. Apple hired a workplace standards auditing company, Verité, and joined the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct Implementation Group to oversee the measures. On 31 December 2006, workers at the Longhua, Shenzhen factory (owned by Foxconn) formed a union. The union is affiliated with the world's largest and most powerful federation of trade unions, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

Tara Brabazon, professor of media studies at the University of Brighton, is concerned that iPods may cause social isolation. A school in Sydney, Australia banned MP3 players to encourage students to communicate with others.

To the top



IPhone OS

iPhone SDK included in Xcode 3.1 final.

The iPhone OS or OS X iPhone is the operating system developed by Apple Inc. for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Like Mac OS X, from which it was derived, it uses the Darwin foundation. iPhone OS has four abstraction layers: the Core OS layer, the Core Services layer, the Media layer, and the Cocoa Touch layer. The operating system takes less than half a gigabyte (GB) of the device's total memory storage.

This operating system did not have an official name until the release of the first beta version of the iPhone SDK on March 6, 2008. Before then, Apple marketing literature simply stated that the "iPhone uses OS X," a reference to Apple's desktop operating system, Mac OS X.

As of 17 March 2009 (2009 -03-17), there are over 25,000 applications officially available for the iPhone and Apple's App Store has provided more than 900 million application downloads.

The iPhone OS's user interface is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements consist of sliders, switches, and buttons. The response to user input is supposed to be immediate to provide a fluid interface. Interaction with the OS includes gestures such as swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching. Additionally, using internal accelerometers, rotating the device on its y-axis alters the screen orientation in some applications.

The central processing unit used in the iPhone and iPod Touch is an ARM-based processor instead of the x86 (and previous PowerPC or MC680x0) processors used in Apple's Macintosh computers, and it uses OpenGL ES 1.1 rendering by the PowerVR 3D graphics hardware accelerator co-processor. Mac OS X applications cannot be copied to and run on an iPhone OS device. They need to be written and compiled specifically for the iPhone OS and the ARM architecture. However, the Safari web browser supports "web applications," as noted below. Authorized third-party native applications are available for devices with iPhone OS 2.0 through Apple's App Store.

In version 2.2, the iPhone home screen contains these default applications: SMS (Text messaging), Calendar, Photos, Camera, YouTube, Stocks, Maps (Google Maps with Assisted GPS), Weather, Clock, Calculator, Notes, Settings, iTunes (with access to the iTunes Music Store and iTunes Podcast Directory), App Store and Contacts. Four other applications delineate the iPhone's main purposes: Phone, Mail, Safari, and iPod.

The iPod Touch retains many of the same applications that are present by default on the iPhone, with the exception of the Phone, SMS, and Camera apps. The "iPod" App present on the iPhone is split into two apps on the iPod Touch: Music, and Videos. The bottom row of applications is also used to delineate the iPod Touch's main purposes: Music, Videos, Photos, and iTunes.

At the 2007 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Apple announced that the iPhone and iPod Touch will support third-party "applications" via the Safari web browser, referred to as web applications. The applications can be created using web technologies such as AJAX.

Currently, the iPhone and iPod Touch can only officially install full programs through the App Store. However, from version 1.0 unauthorized third-party native applications are available. Such applications face the possibility of being broken by any iPhone OS update, though Apple has stated it will not design software updates specifically to break native applications (other than applications that perform SIM unlocking). The main distribution methods for these applications are the Installer and Cydia utilities, which can be installed on the iPhone after major methods of jailbreaking.

On October 17, 2007, in an open letter posted to Apple's "Hot News" weblog, Steve Jobs announced that a software development kit (SDK) would be made available to third-party developers in February 2008. The SDK was released on March 6th, 2008, and allows developers to make applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as test them in an "iPhone simulator". However, loading an application onto the devices is only possible after paying an iPhone Developer Program fee. Since the release of Xcode 3.1, Xcode is the development environment for the iPhone SDK.

Developers are able to set any price above a set minimum for their applications to be distributed through the App Store, of which they will receive a 70% share. Alternately, they may opt to release the application for free and need not pay any costs to release or distribute the application except for the membership fee.

The iPhone SDK was officially announced on March 6, 2008, at an Apple Town Hall meeting. The first Beta release of the SDK, with iPhone OS version 1.2b1 (build 5A147p), was made available immediately, while the launch of the App Store required a firmware update which was released on July 11, 2008. This update was free for iPhone users; however, the update costs $9.99 for iPod Touch owners.

As the iPhone is based on a variant of the same XNU kernel that is found in Mac OS X, the tool chain used for developing on the iPhone is also based on Xcode.

Along with the Xcode toolchain, the SDK contains the iPhone Simulator, a program used to emulate the look and feel of the iPhone on the developer's desktop. Originally called the Aspen Simulator, it was renamed with the Beta 2 release of the SDK. Note that the iPhone Simulator is not an emulator and runs code generated for an x86 target.

The SDK requires an Intel Mac running Mac OS X Leopard. Other operating systems, including Microsoft Windows and older versions of Mac OS X, are not supported.

The SDK itself is a free download, but in order to release software, one must enroll in the iPhone Developer Program, a step requiring payment and Apple's approval. As of March 2009, cost of enrollment in the iPhone development program is 99$US (this cost varies from country to country). Signed keys are given to upload the application to Apple's App Store. Applications can be distributed in three ways: through the App Store, through enterprise deployment to a company's employees only, and on an "Ad-hoc" basis to up to 100 iPhones. Once distributed through the App Store, a developer can request up to 50 promotional codes that can be used to freely distribute a commercial application he has developed.

This distribution model for iPhone software appears to make it impossible to release software based upon code licensed with GPLv3. Any code that modifies code licensed under GPLv3 must also be licensed as GPLv3. Also, a developer is not able to distribute an application licensed under the GPLv3 without also distributing the signing keys (which Apple owns) to allow upload of modified versions of that software to be run.

Core Location is a software framework in Mac OS X. It is primarily used by applications on the iPhone OS 2.0 for detection of the device's location.

It was announced as part of the iPhone Software Roadmap event on March 6, 2008, and was made available as part of the iPhone SDK.

Apple has not announced any plans to enable Java to run on the iPhone. Sun Microsystems announced plans to release a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for iPhone OS, based on the Java Platform, Micro Edition version of Java. This would enable Java applications to run on iPhone and iPod Touch.

3.3.2 — An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).

However, some iPhone users have shown that it was possible to install and use a J2ME stack on a iPhone, though it involved jailbreaking.

It has also been revealed that there were talks between Sun and Apple concerning the availability of Java on the iPhone, and that Sun was working in that intent with a company called Innaworks. Curiously, the ARM processor used in the iPhone includes an environment for accelerated Java execution built into the hardware.

The iPhone OS does not support Flash. Adobe has announced plans to release a version of its Flash Lite software as a third-party application for the iPhone, though it has not yet launched. Furthermore, Flash Lite supports only a subset of the features of standard Flash. Unofficially, Flash videos can be viewed by using a jailbroken iPhone with certain third-party applications.

Mobile Safari supports SVG starting with the iPhone firmware 2.1. The SVG support features scripting and most of the static parts of the SVG 1.1. specification. SMIL animation is not yet supported for SVG graphics. It will be delivered after the Webkit SMIL implementation is mature enough. In addition to SVG, the HTML Canvas is supported.

The iPhone OS has been subject to a variety of different hacks for a variety of reasons, centered around adding functionality not supported by Apple.

With the advent of iPhone OS 2.0, the focus of the jailbreaking community has shifted somewhat. Prior to iPhone 2.0's release, jailbreaking was the only way to allow third-party applications on the device. Now with iPhone 2.0, native applications are allowed under certain rules imposed by Apple. This has lead to the jailbreaking community focusing on providing functionality disallowed on the device, under Apple's SDK terms. These functions include background applications, or the ability for third-party applications to run after appearing to have closed, and the ability to alter the applications written for the device by Apple. Some began attempts to disable Apple's kill switch, although these efforts were largely abandoned once the kill switch was proven to only disable Core Location.

There has been a notable shift away from jailbreaking with the new App Store's debut, in most part due to users' acceptance of Apple's compromise on opening up the platform, although there has still been substantial interest from the jailbreaking community, especially with the release of Pwnage Tool from the "iPhone Dev Team" which was released soon after firmware 2.0 for the iPod Touch and iPhone. Some jailbreakers also attempt to pirate paid App Store applications; this new focus has caused some strife within the jailbreaking community.

The other major focus of jailbreaking since 2.0 has been to reverse the SIM Lock that is forced onto most iPhones. The first generation iPhone can be fully unlocked with the iPhone Dev Team's BootNeuter application, and the iPhone 3G can be unlocked with a new beta effort dubbed "yellowsn0w" and quickPWN 2.2.1.

More recently, many efforts have been focused on broadening the Bluetooth capabilites of the iPhone. However, many of the efforts stopped due to the preview of the iPhone 3.0 OS on March 17, 2009, which included among other features, enhanced Bluetooth capabilities.

The version history of iPhone OS spans from its release on June 29, 2007 to the present day.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia