What’s different from older iPod Nanos and iPod Shuffles?
The revamped OS—which is not iOS, sez Apple—doesn’t offer much in the way of new capabilities over the old Nano, since it’s focused on a streamlined control scheme. You navigate just the way you’d expect, by poking around with your finger, and twisting two fingers rotates the screen (if you happen to have it upsidedown?). There’s a home screen which you can populate with your most-used items, rearranged by tapping and holding, just like on iOS devices.
But, alas, gone are the older Nano’s video camera and video playback capabilities—the true multimedia iPod now is the iPod Touch—but the new Nano does photos, which you can manipulate with multitouch.
In iPod Shuffles:
In a lot of ways this Shuffle is a hybrid of previous generations, which is good! It’s got the buttons and squareish form of two Shuffles ago, while sharing features like VoiceOver and Genius with the most recent Shuffle. The biggest difference from any previous Shuffle, though, is the size: at 1.14 x 1.24 inches, it’s the teeniest iPod yet.
What’s cool, what’s not?
In iPod Nano:
Nixing video altogether is a bummer, and you have to wonder how easy it will be to scroll through your music when your thumb is, you know, covering the whole screen. It’s hard to shit on multitouch, but it’s also hard to imagine what it could be useful for on such a tiny display. Rotating the screen? Why not just, you know, turn the tiny iPod?.
Still, I find the little guy irrationally adorable. That fake bezel makes it look like a tiny little iPad. The nanoest iPad in all the land. And rearrangeable icons for quick access to the stuff you use most is pretty neat, too.
and in iPod Shuffles:
I like a small PMP as much as anybody, but having control over your playlist is essential, especially if you’re using it to exercise. So hooray for the return of those buttons. And the $50 price is pretty sweet. In fact, the only not cool thing about the Shuffle is that you can get the similarly sized but much, much more capable iPod Nano for a hundred bucks more—which might well actually be worth it.