Apple has just introduced a few new products:
• The new iPod, which is capable of playing video
• The new iMac, which is slimmer than the old and has an integrated iSight camera
But to me the most interesting part of the announcement was something called Front Row.
Front Row is a remote control for the new iMac that looks a lot like an iPod shuffle in that it has no display and the same button configuration. What’s the big deal about this new remote? Well, it’s really the software that comes with it. It’s what appears to be the first hint of a Media Center Mac. The software allows you to easily browse music, movies and photos as well as control the iMac’s internal DVD player. Now all Apple has to do is add an FM radio tuner and video in capabilities and allow us to record those sources and we’d have a very easy to use Media Center Mac.
If and when they do that, the next step would be to release an iMac with 1920×1080 resolution so that it could be used to watch full resolution High Definition television and it would completely replace my bedroom TV… add a few features to the Mac Mini and it could replace the TiVo in my living room… and then come out with a new version of Airport Express that includes an IR port for the remote control and video out and then I could watch and listen to things from any TV set. Then allow me to control it all over the internet from my PowerBook and play content from my home systems remotely while I travel and I’d be absolutely hooked. I see little hints of Apple heading in this direction, but they’ve always said they aren’t into convergence… then again look at how many things have converged in the new iPod (video, audio, calendar, contacts, etc, etc, etc.)