It seems nearly every year in mid-September, right after all the new college students claim their free iPod when buying a Mac for college, Apple releases some new iPod model. It’s usually no big deal, though this year everything has been revamped, because instead of one – we have three.
First off, we’ve got the iPod Shuffle: It’s always been portable, and easy to use for anyone. It’s interesting to see how the Shuffle has changed shape in the past, and anybody who’s kept up with Apple hardware will recognize the design of the new fourth generation. It’s styled oddly similar to the second generation design…you know, before they got rid of the buttons? Yet the revival of touchable buttons not only saves it from shrinking, it also adds a button for using Apple’s ‘VoiceOver’ technology, which can tell users the name of the current song as well as switching between songs, playlists, or Genius Mixes. The VoiceOver will also give an alert when the battery is low, even though the little guy can pack up to 15 hours of playback.
With 2GB of memory, the options of silver, blue, green, orange, and pink for color, and all priced at $49, it’s an affordable choice for entering the iPod family, or it could make a great spare iPod for exercise.
Next in line is the iPod Nano. Now, not a whole lot has changed for the Nano since it’s release, except for the shape and the material of the casings. However, Apple’s new rendition has completely changed this line of iPods. The click-wheel is gone, and has been replaced by a Multi-Touch display!
Yes, that’s right, iPod Nano is now touch-based! The display features a ‘homescreen’ and functions much like an iPod Touch or iPhone. It can even be rotated with the use of two fingers, to orient the screen to face the proper way no matter how you clip it to your clothing.
Those revisions alone make up for a great new product, but Apple’s thrown in a few more goodies. A built-in FM receiver to listen to the radio on the go…and gives the ability to pause live broadcasts! Nike+ is nothing too new for the Nano, but to go along with it, there’s now a built-in pedometer. Prices have been set at $149 (8GB) and $179 (16GB).
Finally, we have the anticipated updates to the iPod Touch. After the release of the iPhone4, it was only a matter of time before some of those new features would be carried over to the iPod Touch. The display has been upgraded to use Apple’s new Retina Display, which features 4x the number of pixels, 326ppi, 24-bit color, and a LED backlight. Two cameras have been added (why two is anyone’s guess) A front and rear, just like the iPhone4. The rear camera can capture HD video, and the front allows use for FaceTime. The FaceTime feature is able to connect to both iPod Touches, and iPhones, allowing the use with tons of people.
Other notable features include the addition of a 3-axis gyro, and the A4 chip which has already been onboard the iPad and iPhone4. All of this, and Apple’s even made the entire iPod thinner than before! Thinner? I thought the last models felt like it’d snap in half like a eucharist. Prices are set for $229 (8GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB). Odd not to see a 16GB option, but hey, who’s to complain since the 32GB costs as much as the previous generation’s 16GB?