September 12, 2012
Apple Event Also Had Some iPod Goodness
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Though the iPhone 5 was the big hit of today´s Apple event, the iPod line also got some much deserved attention as Apple announced updates across the board. Well, save the iPod Classic, which has remained the same since 2008, always available to those with massive music libraries and a penchant for nostalgia.
The Nano and Touch lines, however, haven´t seen significant updates since 2010, when the Nano turned into a postage stamp-sized wristwatch and the iPod Touch got Retina´ized. And of course, each new iPod model will now be connectable via the new, Lightening connector.
Since it usually sticks closely to its iPhone sibling, the iPod Touch had two years´ worth of catching up to do. Now, the 5th generation iPod touch will feature the same A5 processor seen in the latest Apple TV as well as the newly re-tooled iPad 2. According to Apple, the A5 chip inside the iPod Touch will enable 7x faster graphics, a great improvement for a device which Apple often touts as a gaming device as much as a music player.
The new Touch also gets the 4-inch screen as well as some camera improvements. Now, the Touch comes with a 5 MP camera capable of shooting 1080p HD video as well as an LED flash. On the front, the iPod Touch maintains its ability to shoot 720p FaceTime videos. Panorama Mode also comes to the iPod Touch, allowing users the ability to take panoramic pictures with the native camera app.
Apple brought some color to the iPod Touch family, adding vibrant hues of blue, green, and red as well as the normal black and white, all wrapped in a 6.1 mm thin and very light device. Finally, Apple brought the same Wi-Fi connectivity from the new iPhone to the iPod Touch, enabling 802.11 a/b/g/n complete with the 5 GHz band. All told, these new Touches can operate for up to 40 hours.
For the 6th time since its conception, the iPod Nano has yet again undergone a major redesign, now resembling something closer to a iPod Touch Nano. Going back to the longer, thinner body style, the new Nano now has a home button and touch screen and will also be available in those vibrant colors seen in older Nano models. The most significant advance to the Nano line, of course, is the 2.5-inch, multi-touch display. Apple showed off this Nano as a fitness device, pointing out its built in pedometer, FM Tuner (a feature which was introduced earlier versions of the Nano) and an integrated Nike Plus app.
These new Nanos not only resemble a smaller iPod Touch, they also share some design cues from the old iPod Mini and even the now defunct Microsoft Zune HD. Though Apple didn´t announce a Wi-Fi antenna in the Nano (a rumor which had been circulating in the weeks leading up to today´s announcement) Apple has installed Bluetooth 4.0 technology into the small player, enabling wireless listening and streaming to speakers. And of course, the new Nanos get the smaller, Lightening port treatment. Adapters for this new dock connector are now available online for $29.99. Another rumor which turned out to be true was the announcement of new headphones. Called EarPods, these new headphones will ship with the new in-ear headphones which are said to fit better in more ears as well as deliver even better sound.
To connect these players to your computer, Apple announced the new iTunes 11 which will be available in October. iTunes 11 brings a new design and even some mobile cues to the desktop, as well as expanded views of your songs. Artists will even be able to add images and photographs to their albums, which will be viewable in this new mode.
The new iPod Touch models start $299 for a 32GB and $399 for 64GB. The old iPod Touches have now been bumped down to $199 for a 16GB and $249 for 32GB. The newly redesigned iPod Nanos come in a 16GB size for $149, while the iPod Shuffle remains at $49.