The 2010 version of the iPod Nano is quite a sight to behold. Although it was released last September, waves are still being made. In fact, it has turned out to be such a desirable upgrade that the tech enthusiasts are still buzzing about it.
Perhaps that is because the new design is so interesting. It seemingly mixes and matches elements from both the iPod shuffle and the most recent iPod touch. You may have heard a lot about the small size of this new device. However, it’s not until you actually hold one in the palm of your hand that you get a clear idea of just how small this new ‘small’ is.
Is the world ready for more form factor changing devices? After the impact the iPad had on the world, the nano was certainly overdue for an iOS style upgrade, and it needed a new look. Of course, the iPod Nano doesn’t sport an actual iOS, but it does have a very smooth interface that works a lot like the iPod Touch and iPhone.
The New Nano comes in a range of six colors, weighs a mere 21.1 grams, and sports a 240 by 240 pixel 1.54 inch color square screen. Though getting the multiple fingers onto the thing to take advantage of it may be hard, the nano nevertheless sports multi-touch. The usual shake for shuffle feature is in there, as well as support for the sporty add-ons and step counters. The big thing Apple’s advertising plays up is the new clip that has been added. Being so small it’s definitely something you want to clip securely onto your person to ensure it doesn’t get lost, and being so diverse, Nano users have no shortage of places to clip them – pockets, jackets, bag straps and so forth. Apple likes to play up that diversity. The worry though, is losing it, because it really is tiny.
While the package is a diminutive one there’s no need to worry about not getting value for the money. The second you pick it up and start fiddling around with the touch screen the high quality jumps out. The overall user experience speaks volumes for the device. Indeed being so like an iPhone or iPod touch it’s a good alternative for those who were wishing for one of those devices but couldn’t quite come up with enough spare cash to be able to afford them. Still, it has to be remembered that the nano is purely an MP3 player rather than a multi-purpose device like its bigger cousins, so expect nothing overly fancy. Added to that, the ability to play movies has been removed since it’s previous incarnation. Pity.
It does have a few great tricks to make it usable at its new small scale. There is a voice over mode that speaks out the contents of tracks or playlists in order to better aide navigation during those occasions that fiddling with the screen isn’t practical. It also has a bright screen to ensure it’s always easy enough to see what’s going on.
Though it has radio, this can only be accessed using the apple ear-buds plugged in, presumably as they aid the reception. Outwardly the rest of the nano is very stylishly finished, with the aluminum giving it a solid feel. It also has a rocker to control the volume just like the latest iPhone. A music player isn’t much good without a mechanism for getting great music. The device supports iTunes 10. There’s plenty of room to place all the music bought from iTunes too, with both 8 Gigabyte and 16 Gigabyte versions being available.
Gone are the relics of the previous iPod generations, with the click wheel consigned to history, and oddly enough the video camera that only just saw its addition into the range in the previous generation absent as well. The new touch screen though does offer the tantalizing possibility that apple might give it its own app store. Speculation on this point is naturally vigorous.
Overall the Nano is a very desirable MP3 player, though many may decide that the disappearance of movie playback makes the jump up to the iPod touch more pragmatic.