However, Apple has successfully incorporated new technologies into its product range, such as the ‘accelerometer’ sensor used in the iPhone and iPod Touch. This technology has now filtered down to the less expensive Nano, giving Apple the ideal solution to the problem of using such a narrow screen: just turn the Nano on its side, so that the screen now appears wide rather than tall. The accelerometer will detect the movement and automatically rotate pictures and video clips so that they're properly displayed in the new ‘widescreen’ mode. The screen is still pretty small, of course, but the image is very clear and sharp so watching photos and videos doesn’t put too much strain on your eyes.
iPod Touch-style screen auto-rotation
We also noticed that turning the Nano onto its side while listening to music made it automatically switch to the Coverflow mode that allows you to quickly flick album artwork across the screen. Coverflow definitely works better with the widescreen orientation, showing you dozens of album covers that quickly ripple across the screen. We also suspect that Apple may have used a more powerful processor to control the new Nano, as the album artwork flicks across the screen much more quickly on this new model than it does on our 3G. And while the larger iPod Touch and iPhone need to be held in both hands when turned on their side like this, the Nnano is so light that you can still hold it in one hand and control it by lightly flicking your thumb over the scrollwheel.
It’s an elegant solution, and one that gives the Nano the best of both worlds: the slim, upright design that you’ll use most of the time for listening to music, and the widescreen option for when you need to look at photos or videos.
Apple hasn’t stopped there, either. It has also taken advantage of the accelerometer to throw in a new feature called ‘shake to shuffle’. When you’re listening to music you can quickly shake the Nano from side to side a couple of times and it will automatically start to pick songs at random.
Nice gadget but 2 things...
One, I've got a 3 year old 20GB iRiver that came with Sennheiser earphones which still has better sound quality and cost about 300 quid (I think, was a while ago) at time of purchase and I can see it for $140. It looks good, although it doesn't have a colour screen or many of the features, but hey, I'm very happy with it.
Two, could you accidentally turn on shuffle while jogging?
I would like to confirm that the new nano and the new touch suffer the same poor sound quality inherent to the change of DAC as the Classic (6G)?
I tried the new touch in Apple Store this weekend, but even with my own (proper) pair of earphones and my 5G, the settings doesn't really allow a proper test:
- No similar file on both device
- Noisy environment (even if the Shure SE530 took a good care of that)
- Probably more important: the Touch battery was nearly dead (hey another great side-effect of putting the earphones jacks at the bottom.... and it's hard to charge it upside down)
So the sound sounds very metallic, a bit of distortion and frankly quite unpleasant. I'm not sure if it's (only) linked to the discharged battery or the cheap DAC.
So, of course it's a flashy gadget, with a great browser (the Touch) but it's still supposed to be a music player.... so sound quality is still for me a important factor!
Do you think....
That given the older generation of iPod tocuhs and iPhones have acclerometers that they'll do a firmware upgrade to filter these features down to the old models?
Re: Decisions, decisions ...
"Correction: An extra £20 buys you an 8 Gb Touch. The 16Gb Touch is a hefty £70 more than the 16 Gb Nano."
Oops ... my bad. <slaps forehead>
For some reason, I thought the 8Gb Touch had been canned. Storage capacity aside (I've got a 1Gb shuffle which is rarely more than 75% full but I still have adequate tunage for when I'm out and about) I think the 8Gb Touch may be a better buy, for me at least. Roll on payday :-D
Paris, 'cos she'd have got it right ...
@ sir toxteth of gravy
my only comment is that the apple standard headphones may be good enough for you, as the intended listener (i won't go into details, but you are wrong - you get what you pay for in the low end, i.e. sub £100, audio area, headphones are no exception) but they sure piss off the people in your locality - they are horrendously audistically leaky - you can hear a very bad tinny redition of the latest and not so greatest pop tunes from any white earlobed applite.