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New iPod touch sports Retina Display, A4 chip, FaceTime, more

Apple has announced the new iPod touch that sports such new features as the Retina Display introduced with the iPhone 4, FaceTime video calling, HD video recording, Apple’s A4 chip, 3-axis gyro, iOS 4.1 and Game Center — all combined in what CEO Steve Jobs says is the thinnest and lightest iPod touch ever.

The new iPod touch features up to 40 hours of music playback and seven hours of video playback on a single battery charge. The Retina Display has 960 x 640 pixels — four times as many pixels than before. The resulting 326 pixels per inch is so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when iPod touch is held at a normal distance, making text, images and video look sharper, smoother and more realistic, says Jobs.

With the new front-facing camera and mic, iPod touch users can make FaceTime video calls over Wi-Fi. With just one tap of the new FaceTime app, iPod touch users can call other new iPod touch or iPhone 4 users.

The rear-facing camera on iPod touch is built for HD video recording. Users can capture HD video wherever they are and share it via email, MobileMe and YouTube. With the iMovie app, users can combine movie clips, add dynamic transitions and themes and include photos and music right on their iPod touch. Users can buy and download the app for US$4.99 through the Apple App Store.

In Apple’s special event Wednesday announcing new iPods, Jobs said the iPod touch is the world’s most popular portable game player with over 50% of the worldwide market (more than Nintendo and Sony’s offerings combined). Now with Game Center, iPod touch users can challenge and play friends or be matched automatically with new opponents.

Game Center lets iPod touch users showcase their scores and achievements and discover new games their friends are playing. With the Apple App Store on iPod touch, users have access to the world’s largest catalog of apps with over 250,000 apps, including over 65,000 game and entertainment titles to choose fro, sys Jobs.

Music and entertainment lovers can now easily access iTunes Ping (see separate article) directly from their new iPod touch. iTunes Ping lets you follow your favorite artists and friends to discover the music they’re talking about, listening to and downloading.

The new iPod touch comes with iOS 4.1, the newest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. iOS 4.1 enables new features like FaceTime video calling, multitasking, folders and Game Center.

The new iPod touch will be available next week for a suggested price of $229 for the 8GB model, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model through the Apple Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. iPod touch requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X10.5.8 or later and iTunes 10 or later; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 3) or later and iTunes 10 or later. Existing second and third generation iPod touch users can update to iOS 4.1 free of charge on Sept. 8 to enjoy new features including Game Center.

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