Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Apple Makes Sweeping Changes to Entire iPod Line
Apple unveils its updated iPod line today in a special event in San Francisco. The changes are being herald as the most sweeping refresh of the iPod line in years. All three models of the iPod were updated: Shuffle, nano, and Touch.
The nano received the most significant update, jettisoning the current design and collapsing into a small square no bigger than the face of a watch. Of course, this leaves no room for a click wheel, and so the new nano features a multi-touch screen for navigation. The nano also borrows the general navigation of the iDevices, with a scrolling menu interface and icons for accessing your media library – music and photos. The new screen is 1.5-inches with 240x240 resolution.
The nano also comes standard with a clip on the back so it can be snapped anywhere on your person. I was kind of kidding before about the size of the nano resembling a watch face, but I can easily see a market for nano watchbands that turn this elegant little device into a timepiece. The new iPod nanos drop next week. The 8GB model is $149 and the 16GB model is $179. There will be seven color choices, including a (Product) Red model exclusive to Apple Stores.
But it's not just the exterior of the Touch that changes. The new Touch models now sport the powerful A4 processor found inside the iPhone 4 and iPad, which Apple believes makes it the most powerful portable gaming rig on the planet. And to make sure gaming is very much a core feature of the Touch, it has added the iPhone 4's gyroscope for increased tilt control accuracy. The change in internal architecture allowed Apple to shrink the iPod Touch even more, too. The new Touch is now just 7.2 millimeters thick (the svelte iPhone 4 is only 9.3mm). It retains the curved edge design of the previous iPod Touch and iPhone models – it does not use the flat design of the iPhone 4. The new iPod Touch models are priced at 8GB for $229, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399.
The new iPod Shuffle comes in five colors but only one size: 2GB. When it goes on sale next week, it will be $49.
The new iPods arrive just in time for today's update of iTunes. The new version 10 of iTunes is a major upgrade for the storefront and media manager, which includes an all-new social network for music called Ping.