Along with major OS updates for both OS X Lion (s aapl) and iOS, Apple released a veritable boatload of software today in the form of new apps and updates to old favorites. Here’s a quick look at what’s new, what’s changed, and what we think about what’s new and changed.
1. Cards (Free, iPhone)
Apple put it front and center at its “Let’s talk iPhone” event at the beginning of October, and now the Cards app is officially here and open for all to use. As we covered in detail in a previous post, Cards lets you create and send custom letterpress cards to friends and loved ones, with a fee of $2.99 each in the U.S., or $4.99 worldwide. The app looks good and works well, and once our first greeting arrives, we’ll let you know how it turns out.
2. Find My Friends (Free, iOS Universal)
Not content to just provide the location of all your own devices on a map, Apple now offers the ability to find your friends, too. This app plugs into your iCloud account, and lets you invite friends to share their locations. One of the drawbacks/advantages of this app is that you have to manually add contacts; it can’t parse your Facebook friends, Twitter account or any other source. It’s a plus because it means you can keep your sharing tight; it’s a disadvantage because if you want to share with a lot of people, it’ll take a long time to build your list.
3. Movie Trailers (Free, iOS Universal)
Want to watch movie trailers on your iPhone? There were plenty of third-party apps that let you do that, like Flixster, or you could use Apple’s website, but now there’s an official appified version of the same content found on that site. It looks good, is much easier to navigate than Apple’s website on both iPad and iPhone, provides HD quality video and is also free. What’s not to like?
4. AirPort Utility (Free, iOS Universal)
Just like AirPort Utility for Mac OS X, but tailored to your iPhone or iPad’s screen. If you’re a network admin at an Apple-equipped business, or just the admin for your own household, this is a very welcome addition. So convenient, Apple should market this as a reason to buy an AirPort, Time Machine or AirPort Express.
5. iWork for iOS ($9.99 each, iOS Universal)
Apple’s iWork suite for its mobile devices got an update today which brought iCloud syncing. It’ll keep your documents constant across iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, but not yet for OS X, until updates arrive for those versions of iWork. Other updates include footnote and endnote creation in Pages, iPhone 4S dictation support, improved interface options for Numbers and wireless presentation via Apple TV for Keynote.
Updates to these apps brought Photo Stream support. The new feature of iCloud allows you to automatically sync pictures taken on your iPad, iPod touch or iPhone with other iOS devices or with your Mac. So long as you don’t take a ton of screenshots like me (or even if you do), this is a very useful feature that should really appeal to mobile photographers.
7. Remote, Find My iPhone and iMovie (Free, free and $9.99, respectively. iOS Universal)
These all got small updates today, with mostly bug fixes and iOS 5 compatibility updates. Apple’s mobile video editing software did get some actual improvements in terms of better support for external cameras for iMovie, however. I mostly included these just to point out the sheer volume of software Apple dumped on us today.
8. NHL, Wall Street Journal Live for Apple TV
Apple TV got a ton of new features with its iOS 4.4 update today. We chose to highlight NHL live streaming games and Wall Street Journal live streaming news updates because they constitute proper apps, at least as far as apps are allowed on the device. Also included in the update was Photo Stream compatibility (see above) and AirPlay Mirroring capabilities.
9. Xcode 4.2 (Free, OS X)
Developers and aspiring developers now have a new version of Xcode to play with. This one includes SDKs for 10.7 Lion and iOS 5, as well as a storyboarding feature, and iCloud hooks.
Users are reportedly having trouble getting through to Apple’s servers to complete their iTunes update. Looking at the list above, is it any wonder?