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Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Macworld Expo Update

Software Updates Bring Email to the iPod touch, GPS-Like Function to the iPhone

The Macworld Expo has just begun, and Steve Jobs has used part of his keynote address to announce that in the 200 days the iPhone has been available, 4 million of them have been sold.

He then went on to unveil a pair of system software updates for the iPhone and iPod touch, and the iTunes movie rental service.


Apple is bringing a number of new features to the iPhone, possibly the most significant of which is support for Google's "My Location" service. This uses the location of the cell tower the phone is connected with to come up with the general area the device is in. This is then displayed in Google maps.

To make the area potentially more accurate, Apple is using a database of the locations of 23 million Wi-Fi networks compiled by Skyhook Wireless. However, Jobs did not announce support for external GPS receivers.

Another feature coming to the iPhone in this new system software update is the ability to send SMS messages to multiple people simultaneously. There is still no ability to send and receive MMS messages, though.

In addition, users will be able to create up to nine different home screens for this smartphone.

Jobs says iPhone 1.1.3 will be available today on Apple's web site.

iPod touch

The iPod touch will become more of PDA as Apple is releasing an email application for this handheld.

This device is also getting all the software updates the iPhone is, though of course the location service will depend on Wi-Fi locating.

The bad news for iPod touch users is that, unlike the iPhone users, they will have to pay $20 for their system software upgrade.

iTunes Movie Rentals

Both iPhone and iPod touch users will be able to take advantage of Apple's new iTunes movie rental service.

People to go to iTunes and download a movie to watch later. Once it has been downloaded, the user has 30 days to start watching it, and once they've started they will have 24 hours to finish. They can watch the film as many times as they wish in that day.

This will cost $4 for new movies or $3 for older ones.

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