While the iPhone 5 may have gotten all of the glory at Apple’s recent event in San Francisco, the company also unveiled a few changes in its iPod line, as well as iTunes updates that are worth noting. The company has reportedly sold over 350 million iPods, so they’re not turning their backs on music any time soon.
The iPod Nano isn’t so nano anymore. The seventh generation of the second smallest iPod now features a 2.5-inch multi-touch screen, making it look not unlike Nokia’s Lumia 800. This makes it longer than the previous Nano, but slightly thinner at 5.4 mm. The added length means that you won’t be able to wear it as a watch. The new Nano has volume control and forward/back buttons on the side. It uses the new Lightning connector introduced with the iPhone 5.
As far as features go, the new iPod Nano has an FM tuner with live pause, the ability to stream music via Bluetooth, a pedometer, and Nike+ fitness apps that come pre-installed. Of course, it can still store photos and now offers widescreen video. It also offers the longest battery life out of the entire Nano line at a maximum life of 30 hours. The iPod Nano will only come in 16GB and it will retail for $149.
While the bigger size is less than ideal, as I liked the compactness of the watch-sized Nano, I can appreciate a more fully-featured version.
The camera has been upgraded to a 5-megapixel iSight camera that boasts autofocus, flash, panorama shooting, shared photostreams, and iPhoto. For recording video, it has 1080p video recording and iMovie. There’s also a front-facing camera for use with FaceTime.
The iPod Touch is getting even more iPhone features, like 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi networking. Users can also enable Airplay mirror to Apple TV. The phone will be powered by iOS 6, which means it’ll have Siri. The battery will enable 40 hours of music playback and up to eight hours of video.
The iPod Touch will come in two models, a 16GB version and a 32GB version, for $199 and $249. Like the Nano, I appreciate that Apple is pulling out more of the stops with their hardware. The fifth generation iPod Touch sounds like a beast of a gadget.
And then there’s iTunes, the digital nexus for Apple’s entire operation. Eddy Cue, the head of Apple’s Internet Software and Services, showed off a new iTunes layout for iPad, which integrates Facebook likes and lets you preview music while you browse. There’s also a new version of the software for Windows and Mac. This new iTunes features better integration between your library and the store and the ability to drag and drop songs into a playlist, as well as a few new playlist additions. Movies and other things are now synchronized over iCloud so you can start a movie on one device and finish it on another.
Apple’s event didn’t drop any bombs and there weren’t any surprises–except perhaps the lack of a new iPod shuffle, new colors notwithstanding–but there were a few solid announcements. Some Apple fans seem disappointed, but I don’t know what else they expected.