At Apple’s Wednesday music event, Steve Jobs introduced a new iPod lineup, iTunes 10, and a new Apple TV. The company’s new iPod nano is a radical departure from previous models. The long-standard Click Wheel has been removed in favor of a touch interface, and the device’s size has been reduced dramatically. Indeed, this new iPod seems like a hybrid of the touch and shuffle.
The nano’s interface is essentially a very-stripped-down version of iOS. Four home screens can each hold four icons: they can be rearranged, but new ones cannot be added. Instead of a home button, a tap-and-hold anywhere will return to the home screen; the entire interface can be rotated with two fingers. Unfortunately, some important functionality has been removed, including the ability to watch and record video. (The new iPod touch, with its dual cameras, fills that gap, however.) Also, the price is the same, at $149 for the 8GB model and $179 for the 16GB.
We have yet to discover if the new interface is as user-friendly as the previous one. It certainly has strengths, but seems incredibly tiny compared to an iPhone (or iPad). We’ll find out when the new iPods go on sale next week.