Macworld 2008: Apple's new gear in a nutshell

Whether or not you think it's the breakthrough Steve Jobs says it is, the highlight of Macworld's big event was undoubtedly the MacBook Air, but what of the other products from the storied Apple portfolio?

First up, the iPhone - sadly for the folk in Japan prepped for a 3G model, no major changes were announced. The most significant is a firmware upgrade (1.1.3) that adds a few features to the Maps application.

Wi-Fi triangulation

In the absence of a GPS chip, known Wi-Fi signals and mobile phone masts combine to give an approximate present location that can be shown on a map. It won't be perfect, but it's a start.

Then, there's a new feature that allows the home screen on the iPhone to spread to nine separate screens, meaning room for plenty more icons. Those icons can now include Safari bookmarks and any native applications added by developers using the new SDK that's due next month.

Touch updated too

Moving on to the iPod touch, Apple has kindly bridged the envy gap between it and the iPhone by providing five new applications and the same customizable home screen. The only snag is the new apps are a £12.99 download away.

If you want to shell out, you'll get a proper email application, Maps, Weather, Notes and the Stocks program. It surely can't be long before new touches ship with these as standard anyway.

Movie downloads

On the hardware front, Jobs unveiled the new version of Apple TV for the US only, with other international versions sure to follow soon. The revamped set-top box drops the need for a link to a computer and focuses on the much more user-friendly option of letting customers connect to iTunes directly.

The result is movie downloads without having to leave the sofa, plus there's a new user interface that should make navigating with Apple's tiny white remote a little easier. More details on the US pricing and content can be found in our earlier story here.

Saved for posterity

Finally, a rather geeky, but useful, product made its debut in the shape of the bombastically named Time Capsule. Essentially, a wireless network disk, the white box works with the existing Time Machine feature of Leopard to suck up back-ups of entire computers (plural) across the ether.

It's available with either 500GB or 1TB of storage inside and even works as a regular Wi-Fi 802.11n base station, which makes the starting price of £199 rather pleasant, if you ask us.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.