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Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple offers $20 software upgrade for iPod touch

Apple on Tuesday announced a $20 software upgrade for its iPod touch digital media player that adds Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather and Notes applications to the touch-screen-based device.

The iPod touch software upgrade also includes new features such as Web Clips, a customizable home screen and beginning today, the ability to watch iTunes Movie Rentals. New iPod touch products shipping from the factory will include the software upgrade and existing iPod touch customers can get the software upgrade for $19.99 by purchasing and downloading it from iTunes, Apple said.

“These amazing new mobile applications make iPod touch not only the best iPod, but the best Wi-Fi mobile device in the world,” said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. “With its revolutionary touch interface and software, plus its stunning 3.5 inch screen, iPod touch is evolving into the first mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform of the 21st century.”

Mail on iPod touch is a rich HTML email client that fetches email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics along with the text of the email. Users can configure Mail for Google’s Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, .Mac Mail or most POP or IMAP based mail services with just a few clicks.

Maps on iPod touch features the ability to automatically find your current location using nearby Wi-Fi base stations, and use it as a starting or ending point for directions or to find local points of interest. Users can get real-time traffic conditions, and view maps in map or satellite view, or a hybrid view which combines map and satellite views so you can see major street names overlaid on satellite imagery.

iPod touch apps


Stocks and Weather allow users to access live stock and weather reports at their fingertips, and Notes lets you jot down information on-the-go using the intelligent keyboard.

In addition, the iPod touch home screen can now be customized, allowing users to reorder and add new icons, with support for up to nine different home screens which they can easily flick between. With the new Web Clips feature, you can even create custom icons on your home screen for your favorite websites. Web Clips are a great way to easily track web sites that you frequently check such as news, blogs, sports sites, movie listings and more.

With Apple’s new iTunes Movie Rentals, movie fans can rent movies on their computer, easily and quickly transfer them to their iPod touch, and watch them anywhere on iPod touch’s 3.5 inch screen. Users can also now navigate forward or backward through their movies by chapters, select alternate language tracks and view subtitles, if available.

Pricing & Availability

The software upgrade for iPod touch is available immediately. New iPod touch products shipping from the factory will include the software upgrade and existing iPod touch customers can get the software upgrade for $19.99 by purchasing and downloading it from iTunes. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only.