Steven Jobs’ address to the WWDC or Apple Worldwide Developers Conference took place today and became the dominating technological story of the morning during his address. In typical Steve Jobs-ahem- I mean Apple fashion the address was designed to be a flurry of information and tantalizing tidbits sure to get geeks, not to mention Apple shareholders, all hot and bothered. The hot topic of the day was, of course, the iPhone 4 running iOS 4, however that news came after one special announcement; Netflix streaming on the iPhone 3GS (and iPhone 4 of course).
Netflix streaming has been a huge hit on the iPad since the App’s release last month (apologies but the App was not available at the time of our iPad review) and both Apple and Netflix are primed to expand on its success by offering the same functionality on the iPhone. The App is a free download via Apple’s App Store, which is accessible via iTunes. The Netflix App requires the user to have a Netflix unlimited membership account (prices start at $8.99 per month and max out at $47.99), which gives them access to Netflix’s ever-expanding library of streaming titles. If you’re already a Netflix customer than all you need to do is download the App for your iPad and later iPhone to begin watching your favorite movies and television shows right on your iPad or iPhone’s screen.
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Check out our other articles for more information, including An Insider’s Guide to DVD/Blu-ray Rental Services Like Netflix, Blockbuster & Redbox and Netflix Goes Live On Viera Cast. There is also a Netflix Streaming On iPhone Thread on our sister site hometheaterequipment.com. You can also find more information in our Movie News section.
The Netflix App for the iPhone when it launches this summer will be 3G ready (as well as WiFi) and will feature an optimized version of Netflix’s browser for the iPhone for easier browsing and downloading. Another neat feature of the Netflix App is that you’ll be able to pause your film or television show on one device, say your iPhone, and resume it on your iPad or other Netflix streaming device.
Aside from Netflix streaming on the iPhone 3GS (iPhone 3G has been discontinued) and iPhone 4 there was little in the way of home theater related news coming out of Apple at this year’s WWDC. I was hoping for some more information about Apple’s upcoming re-designed AppleTV but alas it was not to be.
For you gadget freaks out there the WWDC address was pretty much dedicated to the new iPhone 4, which will be released later this month on June 24 starting at $199 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB. The iPhone 4 isn’t so much an update on the 3GS as it is a whole other animal; running Apple’s iOS 4 (previously named OS 4) and featuring a host of new features most notably for us home theater aficionados a new backside-illuminated five-megapixel camera censor complete with an LED flash that can capture still images as well as 720p/30fps video. Pocket videographers will be able to edit their footage right on the iPhone 4 itself courtesy of a new iMovie App ($4.99) and instantly send it to their friends or upload it to sites like YouTube with little effort. Personally, I cannot wait to test the iPhone 4’s pocket production suite (that’s what I’m calling it) at this year’s CEDIA show in Atlanta, GA.
The announcement of full motion video on the iPhone 4 was just the appetizer to Apple’s finale; Apple’s FaceTime video chat feature, which will allow iPhone 4 users to video-chat with one another over WiFi networks. The announcement was made followed by a gorgeous advertisement shot by Academy Award Winner, Sam Mendes featuring every day folks using the FaceTime feature in ways that are sure to tug at one’s heartstrings.
There was even more iPhone 4 news and oohs and ahhs over Apple’s renamed iOS 4 and developer network but in terms of information pertinent to us home theater buffs, this year’s WWDC left me wanting for more. Though I must admit, the iPhone 4 looks very impressive, oh and its new 960×640 pixel, three and a half inch screen should leave all other smart phones in the dust.