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Hands-on: iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, September 9, 2008
News Categories: iPod

The hands-on area for the new iPods and iTunes 8 was crowded, but we had the opportunity to test the new iPod nanos and iPod touches. Pictures, videos showing the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G interfaces, and impressions are below.

Colors: We had the chance to do straight color comparisons between all of the new iPod nanos and the older second- and third-generation colors. The new shades have reverted to the second-generation colors, but with only slight differences. Most different is the silver version, which has gone a little darker; the black one (shown in the room, not in Steve Jobs’ demo) is almost identical to the charcoal one from the third-generation family. The yellow and purple shades are stronger than the old iPod mini gold and most recent iPod shuffle purple tones, while the orange is extremely similar to the iPod shuffle orange that was released and then replaced. For pictures showing how the colors compare, see our comparison article.

Interfaces: You can see the new interfaces for yourself in the videos we’re about to post. They’re nothing special; the single most interesting new addition to the iPod touch is the Nike + iPod functionality, which we couldn’t get to work with our prior Nike + iPod Sensor, but we’ll obviously be testing more extensively when we have the new touch. The iPod nano interface is responsive, and there’s a new game—Maze—included this time. No word yet on whether prior Click Wheel iPod games will play on the new iPod nano, but our guess is yes.

Classic: iPod classic, having received only a hard drive tweak (and then to compete with the Zune, it appears), wasn’t being actively shown on the demo floor. It appears to have received no major changes, but it’s possible that it now offers Genius playlist support in addition to the obvious features it preserves from before.

Overall Thoughts on the Event: A few people commented on the way out that the event was lackluster—there weren’t any major surprises. We’ll add some more thoughts as the day progresses.

We’ll have more on the new iPods soon.

« App Store downloads hit 100 million mark

Apple releases iTunes 8 with Genius auto-playlists »

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Comments

1

Apple fell flat on their faces in regards to the Classic.

DUMB move guys.

Posted by pooba on September 9, 2008 at 12:29 PM (PDT)

2

The new iPod Classic does have the Genius feature, it is now shown at the Apple web site. I have to say, having Genius right on the Classic iPod with its 120GB capacity seems pretty compelling.

The new Classic is also listed as being compatible with the new headphones with the mic and control (along with the new Nano and 2nd gen Touch.)

Posted by Steve Lang on September 9, 2008 at 12:30 PM (PDT)

3

In my opinion, the best new addition to the touch is the volume buttons and internal speaker!  How can anyone suggest that the most interesting addition is the Nike+?  You getting paid to say that?

With an internal speaker, I can finally sit on my couch and use it to watch YouTube videos, Podcasts etc. without having to don earphones.  Also makes showing other people stuff a ton easier.

I just sold my 8GB touch and ordered the new 16GB model.  8GB was enough storage, but for the extra few bucks it’s worth the upgrade in memory.

Posted by Tim on September 9, 2008 at 12:52 PM (PDT)

4

I was hoping (though not expecting) the Touch to get Bluetooth. I really wish it could tether through my existing non-AT&T;phone for Internet access; I don’t want an iPhone, because I don’t want to have to deal with AT&T;(nor do I want “my iPod’s batteries ran out” to mean “I can’t make phone calls”). Alas.

The speaker’s nice, but Bluetooth would have been a much bigger deal for me. (My dream Touch? 64GB or more, Bluetooth w/tethering, GPS, built-in speaker. Keep dreaming.)

Posted by ckd on September 9, 2008 at 1:10 PM (PDT)

5

I’m dreaming with ya ckd. I’d pay $499-599 for that. Talk about a potentially powerful productivity tool. Who really wants an iPhone that gives monthly kickbacks to Apple? Who really wants an iBook, either?

Posted by Just for Quix on September 9, 2008 at 1:25 PM (PDT)

6

Nope. No surprises. Almost everything was leaked in advance, and the biggest news is that the Touch just became a much better deal. A small but important step for a platform that ALREADY was huge news.

Don’t see how that’s really a negative, except in the “Apple can do no right” sense.

Posted by Nagromme on September 9, 2008 at 2:21 PM (PDT)

7

I know this isn’t the “wow” announcement everyone was expecting, but it’s a really sexy update to the Nano nonetheless. This is the design/interface they should’ve released last round.

Posted by thelottery on September 9, 2008 at 3:35 PM (PDT)

8

The announcements seem a little dull: the longer nano appears to have the same screen size as the last gen fat one; dropping the price on the iTouch is nice; and making the Classic bigger was a yawn.

An iTouch with Classic disk capacity is needed. Okay, it ain’t gonna be razor thin, but it would have utility. With or without WIFI doesn’t matter as it becomes an issue of paying various ISPs as you move around. The iPhone solves that. (Put a disk in that as well.)

Posted by drakebullet on September 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM (PDT)

9

Everyone following iLounge and MacRumors already read and knew about all the dozens of leaks 2 weeks in advance.  How in the hell would there be any “surprises” left?  Do you people ever listen to yourselves?

The only possible way Apple Inc. could ever “keep secrets” is to threaten every key designer, engineer, distributor and product manager with the DEATH PENALTY each time they are suspected of leaking rumors and corporate secrets.  And that’s obviously not going to happen.

Posted by Roman Holiday on September 9, 2008 at 8:17 PM (PDT)

10

R.H.: what’s the big deal? The devices are now official and people want to comment. Is there really anything wrong with that? So what if Engadget, CNET, Slashdot, MacRumors, iLounge, etc., etc., etc. already provided coverage of all of the rumors (and generally weren’t all that far off)...now that the iPods are officially here and there’s no longer any doubt.

It’s like the bloody car companies and their neverending fight with the spy photographers and inside moles (and big-mouthed execs as well) who leak “privileged” information to the world. Heck, if it creates a buzz then how do you know that these sorts of ‘leaks’ weren’t intentional to begin with?

Actually what amazes me is how few posts there are here on ilounge. Perhaps new iPod releases are losing their drawing star power? Seems hard to entice when one’s old nano is still working great and the new one really does seem to be nothing more than an update. I mean, c’mon…shake yer music? How juvie is that?

(yawn)...

Posted by flatline response on September 9, 2008 at 9:35 PM (PDT)

11

I’m a BIG Nano fan and passed on the 3rd gen. The 4th gen one is a welcome addition, and I just ordered mine. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Now, I do wish the touch/iPhone devices would get SOME sort of expandable memory slot like microSD. A simple microSD slot would open them up so much more! Bluetooth would be NICE, but wait until Spring of next year for any changes such as that.

Posted by My03Tundra on September 10, 2008 at 1:58 AM (PDT)

12

Does anyone know if the iPod Nano 4G is compatible with the Logitech AudioStation Soundsystem für Apple iPod? I am owning a Nano 1G which is docked into that Logitech AudioStation. Don’t want to throw this one away after buying a 4G.

Posted by Mark on September 10, 2008 at 7:34 AM (PDT)

13

For all the naysayers, I also wished the the iPod Touch was upgraded for autosuck. That would make it worlds more enjoyable. But Apple knows that good design includes what you leave out.  Having that feature would have enlarged the iPod Touch excessively and would make it too messy.  Consumables such as microSD similarly complicate matters. Thus what we have is a very slick and slim iPod Touch platform - which with games completely destroys the Nintendo DS and Playstation portable.

Posted by George Me on September 10, 2008 at 7:54 AM (PDT)

14

Told you all the iPod Touch would be thinner smile

Posted by snave on September 11, 2008 at 1:32 AM (PDT)

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