I wasn’t a huge fan of the third-generation iPod shuffle. The lack of proper controls was just not my thing. Today, with the release of the fourth-generation shuffle, Apple seems to have seen the light and gone back on itself (something it doesn’t do often).
The new shuffle brings back the buttons found on the second-generation model, but the body is squared-off rather than rectangular, so it’s smaller. How much smaller? The new one is 1.14″ high, 1.24″ wide, and .34″ deep. Compare that to the size of the second-generation, which was 1.07 x 1.62 x 0.41 inches, and it turns out to be about 15 percent smaller.
The new shuffle comes in five colors: gray, blue, pink, green, and gold. Battery life is bumped up to 15 hours from 10 for the previous model. The price is $50 and there’s only a 2GB model available, which is a bummer.
You could speculate on why Apple didn’t just replace the shuffle with the new iPod Nano, since they both have similar form factors, and I think the reason is that the shuffle is perceived as the iPod you take to the gym, and Apple isn’t sure how people will react to using a touchscreen when they’re working out.
Did you prefer the buttonless third-generation shuffle? Should Apple just replace the shuffle with the new nano? Tell us what you think in the comments.