Apple Ships iPod FM Remote, Updates Apps

Among new product announcements made during his Macworld Expo keynote address, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off a new wired remote control for the iPod with an FM Tuner and introduced iLife ’06, a significant update to the company’s digital lifestyle applications including a new program, iWeb, which lets users create and share online photo albums, blogs, podcasts, movies, music, and more.

Apple’s newest iPod accessory, the iPod Radio Remote is a remote control with an integrated FM tuner. Once it’s connected to Apple’s current fifth-generation video-capable iPods, a new FM tuner and configuration screen appears automatically. Users can listen to FM radio, as well as skip between tracks and adjust the volume on their iPod even when it’s tucked away in a bag or pocket. The iPod Radio Remote is available today from Apple for $49. The accessory marks a bit of a departure for Apple, which has always offered a handful of home-grown iPod accessories (primarily sleeves, connectors, and cases), this is the first time Apple has stepped significantly into the now-enormous iPod peripheral market with add-on functionality.

Apple also announced a partnership with automaker Chrysler which will make iPod compatibility available in over 3 million Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles by the end of the year. An optional $175 iPod integration hit can also be retrofitted into 2005 vehicles and enables control of the iPod through either steering-wheel or radio-based controls.

iLife ’06 is the latest update to Apple’s suite of digital lifestyle applications