I’ve been waiting for a good while now to see what Apple was going to come up with next. Now we know. My inner tech, geek self gets excited every year for the CES show and the MacWorld show. I posted several months back about the iTV, now officially named Apple TV. I would love to get my hands on one of these to try out. Apple’s website is taking orders now at $299 and they should ship in February. It takes music, videos, movies, photos, and podcasts from your computer and plays them on your tv. It hooks up to the network through wireless or wired home networks. Apple is now supporting 802.11n as well. It comes with a 40 gig hard drive and intel processor. One of the main problems I have with most current media streaming devices is that they won’t play protected or purchased content. Since I use iTunes, this new product would fit perfectly with my home entertainment system.

But the appleTV was not the big announcement, everyone was expecting it. The big announcement was the new iPhone. Man, this thing is sweet. No buttons. A phone that is all screen, and from the looks of the pictures, they nailed the interface. Apple has been known for simplifying the user interface of their products. They take an existing market and make it accessible to the common person who’s not a technology expert. This is not just a phone, it is also a full featured iPod with video and an internet browser. They added an accelerometer that can tell when you rotate the screen and automatically changes the display to landscape mode. They’ve added the cool coverflow scrolling of album titles from iTunes 7 as well. There are so many cool features to this phone. To get the full effect, you really need to check out the demos at Apple’s website. It also supports bluetooth and wifi. Can you tell yet, that I’m really impressed by this thing. I was expecting just another phone with iTunes support, but they really revolutionized the market with this one.

Now the bad news. It is only going to be available through Cingular for now, and not til June. For those of us in CDMA markets, that means it’s going to be a long while, if ever, before we can buy this thing. And it ain’t cheap. $499 or $599 depending on memory, so this thing will definitely set you back a little. Living in the country has great benefits, but the benefits don’t include living on the edge of new technology. Apple is calling the new touch screen interface “multi-touch”. My only thought in watching the preview videos is that the on-screen keyboard looks pretty small. I’m not sure how that will work for most guys with big hands. But it is really cool how the interface responds to your touch.

Here’s the weird part. Apple is able to generate such a buzz with their announcements. I took a short lunch just so I could get back to my computer and hit refresh every minute to see the pics coming live from MacWorld. AND I’M NOT EVEN A MAC FAN. I’ve had PC’s for a long, long time, and I have not been a very big fan of Apple. But they have been able to design products that are easy to use and that fill a void in the marketplace and do it with style. And because of their peripherals, I now am even thinking it would be nice to have a mac computer, especially one of their laptops. So their marketing plan is working, by focusing on the smaller items that people can use everyday, they are able to increase market share and entice people to purchase computers.

I love my iPod, and it has enabled me to listen to a lot of sermons, radio shows, and podcasts, that I would not have had the opportunity to listen to otherwise. Technology can easily become an idol to us in this day and age, but I think we can and should redeem it for God’s Glory!

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