Apple’s Live Media Event Round Up and product Accessibility

Today, Apple announced many new products at its annual September media event. Here are some highlights, with emphasis on accessibility. More details regarding access features will likely be forthcoming.

  • The iPod shuffle models have been physically redesigned, but still include VoiceOver navigation of their playlists and content. Buttons have been re-introduced. Pricing begins at $49 USD.
  • The iPod nano lineup has been drastically redesigned with a 3X3 CM touch screen and iOS-like interface. It has dropped video and camera support, but still includes VoiceOver. The nanos are available in 8 and 16GB capacities for $149 or $179 USD, respectively.
  • The iPod touch has been updated to a slimmer form factor, sports a retina display like its iPhone 4 cousin, includes front and rear cameras, will support FaceTime video calling, and will run iOS 4.1. Prices range from $229 for 8GB to $399 for 64GB capacities.
  • iTunes version 10 will be released today, with support for Apple’s new music-based social networking platform, Ping. It will be available as a free download for both Mac and Windows users.
  • iOS 4.1 will be released to users next week, and includes many bug fixes, including those for reported iPhone 4 proximity sensor issues, BlueTooth connectivity, and more. 4.1 includes GameCenter support for competing with friends on iOS games. The update will be available as a free update via iTunes.
  • iOS 4.2, the next successive update after next week’s 4.1, will arrive in November. The update will bring parity across all iOS devices. Features such as multi-tasking, folders, etc, will finally be available on the iPad. The update will also provide wireless printing from iOS devices for the first time. iOS 4.2 will be a free update for all iOS 4 capable devices, including the iPad.
  • The second generation AppleTV has been entirely redesigned from the ground up. It includes a much smaller form factor, support for Netflix streaming, and iTunes rentals. Episodes of television series will be offered for $.99 USD to rent on the device. Video, audio, and photographic content can be streamed directly to the AppleTV from other iOS devices, as well as from iTunes on your Mac or PC. Will the Apple TV include VOiceOver support? We don’t know for sure. When we asked Apple Accessibility, they said they could not comment on features for products that are not yet shipping. This deflection gives us hope. The AppleTV will be priced at $99 USD.