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.