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The New Nano: Camera for Touchscreen, Good Trade?

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The new iPod nano was announced today alongside upgrades of all other iPods (besides the notably absent classic). It got a touchscreen display with the multitouch features Apple (s aapl) is known for. If you turn it around expecting to find a camera lens, though, you’ll be disappointed. The nano’s traded that in for a clip.

The new form factor is quite small (only marginally larger than the shuffle, in fact, at around 1.5 inches square). The 1.54-inch TFT touchscreen boasts a resolution of 240×240, which should be plenty for showing off the album artwork or even getting a look at some of your favorite pics. It could also work well as fancy watch, as one Apple exec is planning on using it, according to Jobs.

Despite the presence of the touchscreen, the new nano is not without physical buttons. There’s a sleep/wake one on top, along with who physical volume +/- controls. Ports on the bottom include a 3.5mm headphone jack and the standard 30-pin dock connector.

Multitouch features include swiping to navigate the home screen, and to return from the home screen from anywhere. You can also swipe up and down to browse through lists, and rotate using the two-finger gesture iOS users are used to. Double-tap on photos to zoom, and touch and hold to re-arrange your home screen app icons.

Shake to shuffle, Genius mixes and playlists are also all included, as is FM radio with Live Pause. VoieOver is also included, as is built-in Nike+ support. As Jobs pointed out, the nano is probably the best option for those looking for a fitness-specific portable music device.

I probably shouldn’t even dare to dream, but if Apple eventually allows third-party devs to create mini-apps for the new nano, I’ll grab one in a second. It would make an awesome feature watch clipped to a wristband, though it would be even better with Bluetooth A2DP support for stereo headsets.

The new nano comes in seven colors, including a (PRODUCT)RED special edition, for $149 for the 8GB version, or $179.00 for double the storage capacity at 16GB.

Anyone getting one of these?

24 Responses to “The New Nano: Camera for Touchscreen, Good Trade?”

  1. hey ok u wanna hear my opioion…..i LOVE IT but wat the HECK no camera dats the da best part how the HECK can u take out the best part u need to rethink dat an make one w/ out the stupid clip nd put the camera back cuz who needs a clip when some guy made pockets…rethink this and TRUST ME ull get more ipods buy one then…not now doe so sorry

  2. I’m crushed. Last year, after debating for the previous 2 or 3, I chose the new iPod nano “video”. Since then it’s been a love affair of epic proportions! The girlfriend and I took over 200 videos while in Vegas. We whip it out and capture cutsey moments in the store or video scenery while traveling. It’s not the best quality but it beats no video memories. I think the new design of the Nano sucks. There is a reason it sold a ton more than Apple predicted, it’s because the 5th gen was so cute and functional! Why have the Nano compete with the iPod touch? I dunno, all I know is that I was eagerly anticipating a new iPod nano video with perhaps better quality but now I’m stuck having to buy the iPod touch, if anything. I don’t want a Touch!!!!!

  3. Matt Adams

    I like the size, however to make me buy it they would need to make three changes.

    1. Add video back (not necessarily the camera), just vid so I can watch stuff on the train / bus
    2. Ideally widescreen not square (see 1 for why)
    3. Add a skip button, so you can skip tracks when jogging without having to unlock, then finger swipe with a sweat dripping off you.

    • My thoughts exactly.

      I wouldn’t miss the camera that much but thats because I have an iphone.
      But I was just thinking of a teen relative of mine; doesn’t have a fancy expensive phone, nor a digital camera, but likes taking photos and loves the 5th gen nano for that reason. The new nanos “retro” clock display would not impress her for a nano second :)

  4. Since I have an iPhone, trading a camera for a clip is a good trade for me. I am now more likely to trade my second generation Nano for this latest one, just for the reason Jobs said, fitness.

  5. Will I buy one?

    Yes… If I had just crawled out from underneath the rock I had been hiding under for the past several years, I’d actually have two iPods on my list. One would be the new 32GB iPhone (fancy!) and the second one would have to be the new Nano. Having two iPods almost makes sense these days. One big one you can use to watch videos, record video, play games, surf the net, download apps, and maybe (occasionally) make a call on the thing. The smaller one I’d use for well… Music! Better that thing bites the dust than my brand new (and expensive) iPhone. And it’s not just the money… I lose or break my iPhone while out for a jog, I’m well… As the kids like to say these days… completely screwed.

    Now… Assuming that I didn’t just crawl out of a hole… (And trust me, I didn’t) I’m not so sure I’ll be so quick to ditch my 5th generation Nano I just bought at the end of last year? Sure, it may not have the fancy-smancy touch screen (more on that in a moment) but jeez. No video? No camera? Isn’t that what we forward thinking people like to call… Going backwards? I’m all for losing that touch wheel (It’s about time!) but losing the stuff I like more than the stuff I gain… Not for me. Sure, it’s a tiny screen on the 5th Gen, but it was perfect for watching a video in bed while trying to fall asleep… And not waking up my partner with a bigger brighter screen.

    Now… Speaking of that tiny little 240px by 240px screen… And let me be the first to say it. Car Accident Waiting to Happen. It’s bad enough there’s teenagers out there texting their BFF’s, BBFFs, and BBFBF whatevers, I certainly don’t want to give them something else that takes their eyes off the road for more than three seconds.

    Oops. A screen you now not only WANT to look at, you now HAVE to. :(

    Oh, and I’m just guessing here…

    Seven minutes. That’s the amount of time that it will take the first person to go from the Apple Store, to their car, to unwrapping it, to starting the car, to the first accident on Earth caused by the new 6th Gen Nano.

    Seven minutes. Anyone want in?

  6. No video now, and no camera, it’s a conflict with the shuffle. Basically, the new nano is a “screened” shuffle. Form factor almost same with shuffle. Not a pretty good investment for now. Maybe I’ll just wait for the widescreen video nano release.

    • True, it does have voice control..? I doubt people want to be speaking to their ipods while in the gym though.. And again, limited headphone choice.

      hmm supposedly the iPod nano “features VoiceOver, the world’s first gesture-based screen reader. Touch the screen to hear a description of the item under your finger, then double-tap, drag, or flick to control iPod nano.”
      So do you have to hold your finger there till the description starts playing, THEN flick to the next track? This seems like a lot of hassle. To be fair, the feature is intended for people with disabilities so I’m sure it could be very useful to some.

      However, it says “the item under your finger”.. soo.. you still have to look at the screen. And I don’t want to know the artist/song in 29 different languages I just want to pause/play/skip without looking.

      But yes, if you could skip tracks by swiping/flicking across the touch screen rather than hitting a little “>>” icon, that would be progress. Even better, if you could physically “click” the whole screen like the macbook trackpad- for instance left for going back a track and right for skipping a track.. that would fix the problem.
      But poking at the “>>” icon while the nano is dancing around on my sleeve while running? No thanks.

      • I believe it allows you to use the remote on the headphones to switch playlists and songs. Similar to the Shuffle. It takes a little bit to get used to, but I prefer using the remote over touching my iPhone screen or Ipod.

      • re:Rex Liu

        ok, true. However, then you are limited to apple compatible earbuds. And as far as I’ve read, the ipod nano ships with the plain old apple ‘buds that don’t have the in-line controller.

  7. How does the 24 hour battery compare with other nanos? Anybody?

    Ok so they took away the camera- but we already have one of those on our phones, why pay to have it twice?

    What I’ll REALLY miss is finding my nano in my pocket and using the scroll wheel to switch tracks and change volume seamlessly, instantly and without looking at the screen. You physically feel the click so even if the track has silence at the beginning, you know that it worked **WITHOUT LOOKING** at the screen. You can even scroll through a track without looking.

    Suuure, you can use the apple headphones with the little in-line controller, but that seriously limits your choice of headphones, and it is slow and clumsy in comparison to the click wheel.

    Yes, the new nano touch has volume buttons. But to switch tracks or play/pause/scroll we now have to look at it and hit the little icons on the touch screen.
    Hitting tiny icons with sweaty and/or numb-from-the-cold fingers while running? On a device that is supposedly designed for just that sort of usage?

    .. seriously?

    I originally said the same thing about the iphone. No physical keyboard, therefore no walking and texting. Turns out, it is quite possible to go through life without walking and texting at the same time. Not to mention the touch screen gives you many advantages besides.

    However, switching / pausing / pausing / scrolling tracks and adjusting volume on a small portable mp3 players should- no, MUST be possible instantly and without looking at the screen. Full stop. No excuses. Otherwise I say a big fat FAIL, no matter what other fancy features it has.

  8. If Steve Jobs believes this is the best option for fitness, what is the purpose of the shuffle? I canned my Nano for a shuffle and haven’t looked back. It’s cheap and basically disposable for the those accidental drops on a jog or weight lifting mishaps. I honestly think there is some overlap in the Apple product line up.

  9. “The new form factor is quite small…”

    OK, OK. Enough with the overuse and misuse of the phrase “form factor.” What you’re referring to above is size. This can also be referred to as design, shape, dimensions. But not form factor unless you’re providing information about other factors, such as the mass factor, the alloy factor, the COGS factor. Form factor is one of those extremely overused and misused technical buzzwords and you blog writers ought to move on and use more traditional (and descriptively more correct) terms.