Apple’s fifth generation iPod Touch has a new design that makes it look like less of an iPhone-clone look. We like it. Image: Apple
Apple’s iPod touch and iPod nano received some much-needed remixes on Wednesday alongside the introduction of the eagerly anticipated iPhone 5.
While the iPhone 5 has all the hype, the changes to the iPod set are far from incremental. The new fifth-generation iPod Touch moves up from a 3.5-inch display seen on previous models to the same 4-inch, 1136 x 640-pixel Retina display found on the iPhone 5. That’s not exactly proper HD resolution (that’d be 1,280 x 720 or higher), but the new iPod touch’s camera is getting a boost to a 5-megapixel “iSight” shooter out back that can record up to 1080p, full-HD video.
On the inside, the Touch gets Apple’s A5 dual-core chipset, which makes the new model the first two-core iPod Touch to see the light of day. Apple is promising that the A5 chip will make the iPod Touch up to seven times faster than the outgoing A4-powered model, meaning this should be one hell of a mobile gaming platform, especially given the larger screen.
And make no mistake, Apple knows that the iPod touch will get heavy use as a replacement for point-and-shoot cameras. Each iPod touch ships with its own “loop” wristband that will prevent the device from falling if ever it slips out of your hands.
Apple is improving productivity on the iPod touch, as well, by shipping it with iOS 6, the latest version of its mobile operating system, and by including Siri, the voice-activated assistant app previously confined to the iPhone 4S. The new iPod touch is also thinner and lighter than before, coming in at 6 millimeters thick and weighing 88 grams, or just 3.1 ounces.
And the iPod Touch a no longer a simple chrome-backed iPhone clone. It now gets a distinctive-brushed aluminum unibody chassis and comes in different anodized colors — blue, yellow, red or silver — each with white faceplates. There’s also a blacked-out model. And Apple has coordinated the colors to the accompanying iPod touch loops. Sir Jony Ive wouldn’t want us clashing, right?
Pre-orders for the new iPod touch start on Sept. 14 and ship sometime in October at a price of $299 for 32GB of storage and $399 for 64GB of storage. We should note that the 64GB iPod touch is selling for the same price as an iPad 2. “Cheap” is not the first word that comes to mind here.
Apple’s new iPod Nano’s return to a rectangular design and sport a new version of iOS with a custom user interface. Image: Apple
The seventh-generation iPod nano is an entirely new device. At a barely-there 5 millimeters thin, it’s the thinnest iPod Apple’s ever made. Most notably, Apple has dumped the Triscuit-cracker shape of the outgoing Nano for a rectangular design that reminds us of the old Microsoft Zune media players. (May they rest in peace.) The design change means heartbreak for accessory makers who were banking on the old iPod nano selling as a wristwatch alternative.
The new nanos feature a 2.5-inch multi-touch display and a body that has the length and width of a baseball card. Oddly, Apple has re-skinned iOS into a new user interface, featuring one-color wallpapers to match the Nano’s aluminum body, and circular app icons that make the software look like Nokia’s failed Symbian operating system. There’s Bluetooth for connecting to wireless headphones and speakers, and Apple is promising an iPod-best 30 hour battery life. The new nano also features a built-in pedometer and Nike+ app for tracking runs and comparing your distances and run times with friends.
Like the new iPod touch, the iPod nano will ship sometime in October; Apple isn’t saying exactly when yet. The new nano will also be offered in a rainbow of colors: pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver and black. The new Nano will sell for $149 with 16GB of storage.