New details on iPod nano 6G software 1.2

The updated user interface for the sixth-generation iPod nano has just been released through iTunes, and we’ve had the opportunity to test it out. Here’s what’s changed between versions 1.1 and 1.2:

Home Screen: Previously, the iPod nano presented users with a set of four icons at a time, allowing you to swipe between multiple Home Screens like an iPod touch or iPhone, and rearrange the icons to move them from screen to screen. The new iPod nano interface presents users with much larger icons that are viewed one at a time with the edges of two additional icons off to the sides of the screen. You can still hold down on an icon to make all of the icons jiggle, re-arranging them in your preferred order.

There’s less need to do that than before, as Apple has removed all of the useless filler icons that were previously in the interface—Playlists, Artists, Songs, Albums, and Genius Mixes—by default, and a new Home Screen settings feature now gives you the ability to turn almost all of these and the other icons on or off. Additionally, you can restore the old user interface with a new feature called “Small Icons,” which turns the prior interface back on.

Fitness: Previously, the iPod nano’s Fitness application had a generic running icon, and included the menu choices Nike + iPod, Pedometer, and History. The new Fitness application has a Nike+ icon, with the choices Walk, Run, and History. Walk is a slightly redesigned version of Pedometer, with additional statistical details now accessible via a horizontal swipe rather than a vertical one. Run contains prior Nike+ options.

Clock: Previously, the Clock application had only two watch faces to choose from; it now has 18 different clock faces. Tapping on the screen brings up a translucent pane with arrows that let you see all 18, which we’ve gathered in this news story. Some of the faces look considerably better than one might expect from still images; one features moving gears, others feature extremely detailed, high-resolution hands, and some offer nice hybrids of digital and analog time. Swiping from right to left brings up stopwatch and timer features.

Wallpaper: Three additional pieces of wallpaper have been added in the new software, bringing the total to 12.

  1. #2. It is simply the current 6th Generation Nano with updated software and a new, lower price. Seems some of the updates are pretty nice, though and nice that Apple is providing the software updates to current Nano users.

  2. Am I reading it correctly that you no longer need to plug the sensor into your nano to use the Nike+? If yes, I wish I realized it was coming before I went and bought the whole kit for $39 a month ago!

  3. I’m surprised how little these iPods got updated. For example, if Apple really wanted to support iPod Nanos as watches, you’d think they’d have added Bluetooth support, or done something (motion activated using the gyroscope?) to deal with the issue of having to touch the watch to check the time. Or made it possible to remove the clip so watches could be thinner.

    Or something…

    The new watch faces are cute though.

  4. @ #6. Perhaps this year is the year of the updates (with the iPhone 4S not making huge leaps and bounds either), and I would predict that next year you will see those changes in the Nano – it does make sense, and there are already companies doing similar things (like the Fossil Meta Watch).

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see 7th gen Nano’s carrying a wireless and BT chip, especially now that iOS 5 is carrying wireless update capabilities!

  5. #5. If you are a serious runner, you may be better off using the kit instead of relying on the built-in functionality. I am pretty certain the separate shoe-mounted sensor will be much more accurate. Since you already got it, might as well use it anyway.

    It seems that the 5th generation iPod Nano was pretty much the ultimate, with a camera, support for video. Much better photo viewing, built-in FM reciever, and a host of other features. To bad that Apple stripped quite a bit of that out in the 6th generation Nano.

    I wonder if they will eventually come out with an updated version, with wireless/bluetooth capabilites and so forth. Would be sweet if Apple also released an SDK to allow app development for the Nano as well.

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