Tony Fadell on the iPod, Kickstarter, Nest, Steve Jobs and more

Tony Fadell has a very interesting background, and he’s very knowledgeable about the process of creating great hardware and gadgets. In this excellent interview with Kevin Rose, Fadell discusses a wide variety of topics that would be helpful and interesting to entrpreneurs or anyone who loves gadgets.

He explains the value of Nest and where the company is going in the future. He gives some background on his role in the creation of the iPod and his work with Steve Jobs. And he also addresses some of the challenges of trying to create a hardware company using Kickstarter. Listen to his discussion of the power of saying no and the need for simplicity in products.

Check it out, and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Apple Owners Rejoice! Free Apps Are on the Way

Since spearheading the Android App Market and launching the Kindle Fire, Amazon has seemingly been on a mission to promote themselves as the kinder, gentler Apple alternative. While stopping shy of ever viciously calling out their rival, the message is clear that they believe themselves to be more of a service “of the people” than their counterpart. One of the ways they have done this is by offering a Free App of the Day service that allows its users to snag a free download of an app selected by Amazon. Ranging from games to useful services, it’s a must have feature that, until now, has provided Android owners with another feature to rub in the face of the iMasses.

I say “until now” because it looks like the empire has caught on to the rebel plans.

Yes, its happy days again Apple owners. Apple is now offering its own free app service, only this one will be a free app of the week and not of the day. The good news is that the first app of this service is the brilliant and addictive “Cut The Rope: Experiments“ game, which went from “should be essential” to “no conceivable reason not to download” courtesy of the new promotion. Not content to just borrow from one rival, though, Apple has also introduced an “Editor’s Choice” feature (seemingly a replacement for their staff picks and game of the week features) that highlights the newest and best apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The initial showcases are Facebook Camera, “Extreme Skater,” “Air Mail” and Sketchbook Ink.

Of course, all jokes about theft are actually jokes. Developers have been running their own free app promotions since the start of the market, and independent sites have been offering the same, as well as highlighting the best new apps for the same period of time. In truth it is refreshing to see Apple offer these services on their own, and considering that the Apple app market is richer and fuller than that of its rivals, even an app a week instead of one a day is an astoundingly good deal that should produce something of must have quality each outing.

Although it should be noted that the “App of the Week” feature hasn’t officially been confirmed as a permanent addition. However since they’ve launched a new Twitter tag for it, not to mention those large banners for the service on their site, things look good. It’s going to be interesting to see if Apple looks at the success of this initial offering to judge if it will continue in the future. It’ll be interesting because we can’t know if Apple will look at giving away lots of free merchandise as a positive marketing ploy, or the root of all known evil.

Again, joking.

New iPod Touch is slimmer, boasts FaceTime

iPod Touch.I was actually a little surprised to see all of the information about the iPod Touch at this week’s Apple music event. The most popular handheld in the world? The sheer number of downloads? It was impressive, to say the least, and now the device is coming in line with the amazing feats it has already accomplished.

Apple gave the iPod Touch the same treatment as the iPhone 4 – it’s slimmer, has a front-facing camera for FaceTime, a rear camera, it got the Retina Display upgrade and the whole thing is powered by the A4 chip. I have to give it to Apple, it’s a hell of a device for $250.

It is a little surprising that Apple decided to stick with the same basic body shape. It’s not a big deal, an odd deviation from previous trends. The only other bummer is that the sensor in the rear camera isn’t the full-on goodness of the iPhone 4. It can only shot pictures at the 960 x 720 resolution it takes video in. Still, it’s better than nothing.

Apple Keynote reveals new iPod Touch, Nano, Shuffle, and AppleTV

iPod family.

Apple’s media event today brought a lot of big news, the biggest of which was probably the update to AppleTV. The new iPod Nano looks pretty cool, though, and I’m glad to see the return of physical buttons to the iPod Shuffle. If I were on a more reliable connection, I’d dig up one of those stupid VoiceOver ads, just so you could laugh at it with me.

Instead I’m leaving you with this cute little picture, courtesy of Engadget, of the new iPod family. I’ll have more thoughts and impressions on the full lineup of Apple changes tomorrow (yay home internet connection).

New iPod Nano will be more ‘nano’ than ever

iPod Nano comparison.Do you remember your reaction when you saw the first iPod Nano commercial? Those two hands fought over something that seemed, at the time, ‘impossibly small.’ By today’s standards, that first Nano would look commonplace – some people might even mistake it for a new iPhone. All signs point to a Nano announcement at this week’s Apple event, and from all the leaked pictures and accessories, we know it’s going to be small.

This picture, which comes from Apple Insider, shows an old Nano up against a render of the new, touchscreen version. There have been some concerns raised about controls – that screen is awfully small to comfortably navigate your music library. Apple could be headed toward an inline control system, similar to that of the iPod Shuffle. Personally, I hate the idea. I want to be able to use my own headphones without worrying about a stupid control dongle.

From the looks of things, I’d say Apple also scrapped the crappy little camera it added to the most recent generation of the Nano. Thank god. That thing was the laughing stock of Flip SD owners everywhere, to say nothing of all the portable HD handcam owners of the world.