NEWS: Apple unveils iTunes movie rentals at Macworld – and five new apps for iPod Touch

There's a host of new announcements coming from Apple at the Macworld conference in California, and our colleagues at are there busily relaying the news.

Highlights so far include movie rentals on iTunes from Fox, Warner Bros, Universal, Paramount, Sony and Disney – but as ever, only in the US at first. Apple supremo Steve Jobs promises international rollout of the service 'later this year'. Let's hope that includes the UK.

iTunes Movie Rentals will offer 1000 films in the US by the end of February, says Jobs, with films available 30 days after the DVD release.

You'll be able to watch them instantly on your Mac or PC, or download them to an iPod. You have 30 days to watch the film, but once you've started you only have 24 hours left. Rentals will cost $3.99 for new films or $2.99 for older ones.

Apple TV gets a makeover in the form of Apple TV Take Two, which doesn't need to be connected to a computer.

You'll be able to rent movies and view them directly to TV, in DVD and HD quality and with surround sound. HD movies cost a dollar more than standard-def ones ($3.99 and $4.99).

You'll also be able to view audio and video podcasts direct from Apple TV Take Two, and download music directly.

There's a neat new touch for the iPod Touch, with five new apps – email, Google maps, stocks, notes and weather – available now from the iTunes store for £12.99.

They work a treat – we know, as we spent last night busily downloading them! – although it does seem a bit cheeky to charge for them, as the iPhone update for the same apps is free.

And talking of the iPhone, Apple says it's sold 4 million of them in 200 days. Mr Jobs will be happy with that.

Technorati Tags: Apple TV, iPhone, iPod Touch, iTunes, MP3, Wi-Fi

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.