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iPod nano

The iPod nano’s design has more or less been the same ever since it was launched. They may not look identical but it has always looked like a slimmed down iPod classic. This year, however, Apple gave the nano its biggest design change ever.

Enter the touch screen. Yes, the multi-touch, capacitive touch screen has finally made its way into the cheaper iPods and the nano is the first and perhaps the only iPod to get it. Since the click wheel is gone, the nano is much smaller than before, 46 percent smaller and 42 percent lighter to be precise. All you see in the front now is the 1.54-inch display with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. The new nano is now closer than ever to matching the definition of its name.

On the top of the nano you will find the sleep/wake and volume buttons, and on the bottom is the dock connector and the earphone jack. On the back is a clip, so you can attach it to your shirt or bag. Visually, the new nano looks almost exactly like the shuffle, except it has a touchscreen instead of buttons and a dock connector.

The interface of the new nano is based on the iOS devices. You will see four icons at a time on the screen and to see more you need to swipe left. To get back you swipe right and to jump to the first screen you press and hold anywhere on the screen. You can rearrange the icons on the screen any time. Just press and hold on the icons until it jiggles and then move it to wherever you want. You can also rotate the orientation of the display by just using your two fingers on the screen and doing a twisting gesture. I wonder why one has to do this manually though; why can’t the accelerometer do it on its own?

When you go into the music playback screen, you will see that the album art takes the entire screen in the background. On the front you will see the track info on the top, the playback buttons in the middle. To get more options such as repeat, shuffle or Genius, just swipe left on the screen to get them.

The new iPod nano comes with a built-in FM radio (with Live Pause) and can also display photos. However, due to the smaller display size video playback is no longer an option. This is a major omission compared to the previous generation model, which cannot playback video but also record it using its built-in camera.

Other features include shake to shuffle and a pedometer for fitness freaks as well as support for the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. The new nano will be available in six colors, plus a (PRODUCT) RED version, available exclusively through the iTunes Store. The battery life is rated at 24 hours for audio playback, which is the same as the previous generation models. The new nano will be sold in two capacities, 8GB and 16GB for Rs. 10,700 and Rs. 12,700.

The Good:

  • Really small
  • Multi-touch display
  • Interface looks well designed
  • Built-in clip
  • Only iPod to have built-in FM radio

The Bad:

  • The screen looks bit too small
  • No more video recording and playback


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