Backstage Opinion: Is the Click Wheel right for you?
Twenty-four hours ago, it seemed like no one cared whether the iPod mini’s Click Wheel controls were superior to the touch-sensitive Scroll Wheel and button controls of the third-generation iPod. But now that Apple has discarded the Scroll Wheel in the fourth-generation iPod, readers have been asking whether the design change is a good or bad thing.
Dennis and I have talked this one through repeatedly since the release of the iPod mini, and mostly agree that the Click Wheel is great. Dennis has been a strong supporter of the Click Wheel since its inception, citing both its superior ease of use and smaller control footprint on the iPod’s face. It’s the economy of the Click Wheel (and loss of separate buttons), he notes, that could give a future iPod’s face enough space for a larger screen, or permit the casing to be shrunk even more. He seems to have been proved correct in Apple’s fourth-generation iPod design, though not in the way most people were expecting.
I agree with all of Dennis’s points, and both love and admire the Click Wheel’s simplicity, but one thing detracts from its utility in my personal life at night - the actual clicking part. While it’s great that the mini’s buttons are tactile, their clicking sounds have a way of waking up the person sleeping next to you. (Danger Sidekick addicts have reported the same problem with their significant others.) For this reason and this reason only, I don’t use my mini at night, and have my fingers crossed that the 4G’s new Click Wheel will be as whisper quiet as the 3G iPod’s touch-sensitive controls. If the extra sound isn’t an issue where you live, the Click Wheel is unquestionably a slam dunk of a design - one of Apple’s best ever - regardless of whether the company fine tunes it further.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Report: AirPods delay due to problems with wireless audio synchronization
- Apple offering hands-on demos of Super Mario Run in stores
- Report: Apple pursuing studio agreements for early movie rentals
- Apple releases seventh beta of iOS 10.2 to developers
- Apple makes its picks for best iPhone, iPad and Apple TV apps of 2016
- Apple acknowledges Apple Music now includes ‘all the benefits of iTunes Match’
- Apple Music tops 20 million subscribers
- Apple blames ‘external factors’ for iPhone fires in China
- Rumor: 2017 iPhones won’t include glass chassis or wireless charging; will add red color
- Top Apple supplier Foxconn planning U.S. investment
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Sen.se GuardPeanut
- iHome iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker
- Twelve South HiRise Duet for Apple Watch and iPhone
- IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
- JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones
- Edifier e235 Luna E Speaker System
- Clamcase ClamCase+ for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10