By Andrew Liszewski
I still hold the iPod Shuffle in high regard as one of Apple’s greatest creations. It immediately replaced my larger iPod which had taught me the novelty and joy of just randomly shuffling through my music. But as these diminutive players grew in capacity, allowing us to carry larger chunks of our music collections, being able to occasionally call up a specific track was a missed feature. So that’s why I’m really enthralled by the new iPod nano which is kind of a fantastic hybrid between the Shuffle and the iPod Touch.
Gone is the previous generation Nano’s buttons, vertically oriented landscape display and camera (which I’m pretty sure won’t be missed) and in its place is a square multi-touch capable screen large enough to accommodate 4 icons. While it’s a bit larger than the new iPod Shuffle (also announced today) it’s 46% smaller and 42% lighter than the previous generation Nano, which always seemed odd and out of place to me. Also gone is the ability to watch videos which makes sense given the tiny display, and again, it’s another feature that probably won’t be missed. The multi-touch display gives you full access to your music as well as other useful functionality like an FM radio, connectivity with Nike’s accessories and even the ability to view tiny photo slideshows. And instead of a gyro inside to detect when you’ve rotated the device, you can manually spin the screen’s orientation with a couple of fingers and a twisting gesture.