Jobs the star attraction as Apple disappoints

Steve Jobs made his first public appearance since returning to Apple after his liver transplant – but there was little else to celebrate at Apple’s event in San Francisco last night.

There had been speculation that Apple may use the event to launch its much-hyped tablet device or, more likely, announce a deal to put Beatles albums online for the first time.

Instead, the company merely announced a minor shake-up of its iPod line-up and delivered new versions of the iTunes and iPod software.

I probably need to gain about 30 pounds, but I feel really good. I’m eating like crazy. A lot of ice cream

A frail-looking Jobs made an emotional return to the limelight. He was given a standing ovation as he walked on to the stage and was visibly moved by the reception he received from the crowd.

“I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs,” Jobs told the audience. “I wouldn’t be here without such generosity.”

He later told the New York Times that he was still trying to regain the weight he lost in the run-up to his liver transplant. “I feel great,” he told the newspaper. “I probably need to gain about 30 pounds, but I feel really good. I’m eating like crazy. A lot of ice cream.”

New nano

iPod nanoThe standout new product from a rather humdrum set of announcements was the revamped iPod nano. The company has squeezed a video camera into the slender iPod nano frame without increasing the size of the device.

The nano has no wireless connectivity, meaning owners will have to synchronise the device with their computer to access and edit video clips, and upload them to sites such as YouTube.

The iPod nano’s screen has been slightly boosted from 2in to 2.2in. The device will also include an FM tuner for the first time.

The new 8GB iPod nano costs £115 inc VAT, while the 16GB version is priced at £135.

iPod touch price cuts

iPod touchApple also announced a minor revamp of its iPod touch range. The price of the 8GB model has been dropped to £150, while the company has added a new 64GB version for £299.

Version 3.1 of the iPhone and iPod software was unveiled alongside the new devices. New features include recommendations for new applications based on Apple’s Genius service, and the option to remotely lock down stolen iPhones over the air using MobileMe.

iTunes 9

Finally, Jobs revealed details of a new version of Apple’s iTunes software. The new iTunes makes it possible to drag and drop applications on to multiple iPhone/iPod touch homescreens.

iTunes 9

Another new feature called Home Sharing allows iTunes store users to synchronise purchases across multiple computers in the home, eradicating the inconvenience of manual synchronisation.

iTunes LP, meanwhile, will offer additional extras such as liner notes, photographs, videos and lyrics alongside iTunes purchases.

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