Apple’s latest press event on Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco packed a punch, unveiling a new iPhone, new iTunes software, and… new iPods! Greg Jozwiak of Apple took the stage, energetically noting that there have been over 350 million iPods sold.
Shortly thereafter, he unveiled the new seventh generation iPod Nano, which reverted to the older, vertical design. A few reporters said it looks like the lovechild of the iPod Touch and Nokia Lumia.
The Nano features a 2.5-inch screen and is only 5.4mm thick – 40 percent thinner than the previous generation iPod Nano. The volume rocker on the side is used as the Play/Pause buttons, in addition to a scroll wheel. Plus, it has built-in Bluetooth, so you can stream music to compatible devices.
The 2.5 inch touch screen features built-in apps, oddly shaped – and colored – like Skittles. The apps are not your typical App Store apps, and include a built-in Pedometer app and Nike+ , among others. The Nano comes in a variety of bright colors, including purple, green, blue, yellow, red, black, and silver.
With the Nano out of the way, Joswiak unveils the latest iPod Touch, featuring the same 4-inch screen found on the iPhone 5. It’s even thinner than the 4th-generation device, if that’s possible, measuring 6.1mm thick and only weighing 88 grams. While the back still uses aluminum, it isn’t glossy, rather matte.
Like the iPhone 5, the iPod Touch and Nano use the Lightning connector. Inside the iPod Touch is the A5 chip, which is 7x faster than the previous iPod Touch in terms of graphics performance. While it isn’t as fast as the iPhone 5, it’s a respectable dual-core powerhouse.
Featuring eight hours of video and 40 hours of music playback, the battery life is on par with former generations. The camera was also upgraded, featuring a 5-megapixel shooter with backside illumination, a hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, f/2.4 aperture, and Sapphire Crystal like the iPhone 5. The camera also supports Panorama mode, too. In many ways, it is a hybrid of the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5’s camera. The front-facing camera was also upgraded to support FaceTime HD.
Other features include advanced wireless technology with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 a/b/g/n, in addition to AirPlay support. Apple also included Siri on the latest iPod Touch, which will presumably only work over Wi-Fi.
Interestingly, Apple includes a hidden button on the back of the iPod Touch, referred to as the iPod Touch Loop, which let’s you attach a wristband to the device. Combined with the fact that the iPod Touch now comes in silver, black, blue, yellow, and red, they are targeting a much younger demographic.
Apple redefines headphones with EarPods
As Apple’s 2012 iPhone press conference was winding down, Cupertino had one last trick up their sleeve. Their included earbuds, until now, were relatively uncomfortable and lousy quality. That’s about to change with the introduction of EarPods.
Apple’s Greg Jozwiak says “Apple is one of the biggest providers – if not the biggest provider – of speakers. Speakers are integrated into MacBooks, iMacs, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.” He adds they’re also included in headphones – over 600 million headphones. That’s 1.2 billion little speakers.
Jozwiak noted creating a pair of great headphones is difficult, “Everybody's ears are different, but you have to make one size fit all.” Apparently, EarPods were three years in the making. The remote on the headphones was also bumped up in size.
Johnny Ive, Apple’s lead designer, claims it’s “like trying to make a pair of shoes for everybody.” To accomplish this, Ive says they took a bunch of 3D scans of ears to find the common fit. The device appears to be a genuine upgrade from the original earbuds.