New Apple entertainment tablet mooted and Spotify iPhone app spotted
It’s being reported that Apple are gearing up towards launching a brand new piece of hardware in time for Christmas that, if it takes off, could leave its own iPod and Amazon’s Kindle in the dust.
It’ll be a portable tablet-sized computer with a screen that may be up to 10 inches diagonally and is believed to have been designed to stimulate sales of CD-length music. New services such as interactive booklets and liner notes that come along with purchases of entire music CDs will be included and naturally the device will connect to the Internet to allow access to Apple’s online stores.
The move should please the entertainment industry as it will signal a shift back towards the purchasing of full length albums rather than the iPod-inspired trend for cherrypicking the best tracks from an album and jettisoning the guff.
Apple are believed to have been in discussions with book publishers over the new device, with a view to taking on Amazon and their Kindle e-reader. One publishing executive is quoted in the FT as saying: “It would be a colour, flat-panel TV to the old-fashioned, black and white TV of the Kindle.”
Early estimates suggest that the new piece of kit would cost between $600 and $1,000. Ooof!
Meanwhile, Wired have had a look at Spotify’s iPhone app, which they hope will be launched when their stand-alone service hits the US later in the year. Whether it will depends solely on if Apple deem it to be an iTunes competitor and put an angry cross on its app application form rather than a nice big tick.
EDIT: In their own blog, Spotify are confident that the app will be launched in a few weeks and will only be available in the territories where they currently operate, which is even better news for UK-based users. It will only be available for subscribers to their premium service.
Wired staff writer Eliot Van Buskirk raves about the app in his piece, saying:
“Whether Apple approves this app for widespread use or not, I have it installed and you’d have to pry it out of my cold, dead iPhone before I’ll delete it from my phone. In the same way that the Spotify on a desktop feels like iTunes with more than 6 million songs, Spotify on an iPhone feels like an iPod with the same ridiculously comprehensive library.”
Spotify works using a song-streaming method but one of the app’s smartest features is its ability to cache entire playlists while you’re hooked up to a fast connection – that means that when you’re out and about and only able to access a 3G or Edge connection, you don’t have to worry about losing your Spotified tunes – they’ve already been stored in your iPhone – as many as 3,333 of them if you’ve got the space.
It looks and sounds fantastic but like the hippopticorn, may end up being a thing of myth and legend, an idea that was never made real because of money and politics. EXACTLY like the hippopoticorn then.