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The New Multitouch iPod Nano (and How You Use It)

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The new iPod Nano hardly bigger than an oversized stamp. It does away with the click wheel (and the video camera) in favor of a multitouch screen. But how do you use it?

The official presentation

iPod nano


The tiny, 1.54" touchscreen iPod Nano is 46% smaller and 42% lighter than its predecessor, and scarcely larger than the new iPod Shuffle. It has hard volume buttons, Voiceover (with 29 languages), FM radio, NIke+ support, and a pedometer, and Apple's saying it has 24 hour battery life. There's a clip, too, so you can attach it right to your clothes.


It comes in the same four colors as the new Shuffle, as well as graphite red and a Global Fund-sponsored red. $149 for 8GB; $179 for the 16GB version.

What's different from older iPod Nanos?

The revamped OS—which is not iOS, sez Apple—doesn't offer much in the way of new capabilities over the old Nano, since it's focused on a streamlined control scheme. You navigate just the way you'd expect, by poking around with your finger, and twisting two fingers rotates the screen (if you happen to have it upsidedown?). There's a home screen which you can populate with your most-used items, rearranged by tapping and holding, just like on iOS devices.


But, alas, gone are the older Nano's video camera and video playback capabilities—the true multimedia iPod now is the iPod Touch—but the new Nano does photos, which you can manipulate with multitouch.

What's cool, what's not?

Nixing video altogether is a bummer, and you have to wonder how easy it will be to scroll through your music when your thumb is, you know, covering the whole screen. It's hard to shit on multitouch, but it's also hard to imagine what it could be useful for on such a tiny display. Rotating the screen? Why not just, you know, turn the tiny iPod?.


Still, I find the little guy irrationally adorable. That fake bezel makes it look like a tiny little iPad. The nanoest iPad in all the land. And rearrangeable icons for quick access to the stuff you use most is pretty neat, too.

Hands-On Impressions

Engadget says:

Super thin, super light, and really, the capacitive multitouch works very well. The screen is crisp and top menu navigation is smooth


Ars says:

The new nano is indeed cool. It's just a bit bigger than the new iPod shuffle and the clip mechanism is the same. An Apple spokesperson told me that the new iPod nano does not run iOS and that you can't sync apps to it-it only looks like iOS. Indeed, you can swipe around the screen and tap on icons just like you would on an iPhone, and if you press and hold on the screen while it's playing a song, the main screen will come back.


Wired says:

One screen on the Nano shows ‘Artists', ‘Playlists', ‘Genius Mixes' and ‘Now playing.' Swipe your finger and you get a few more apps: radio, photo, podcasts and settings. There's no home button, so you have to hold your finger down on the screen to exit an app, which is simple enough. You can also rearrange the icons by holding your finger on an app until it jiggles, then move it to wherever you'd like–just like on the iPhone.

The question remains as to whether or not the iPod Nano is running iOS and if we'll be able to jailbreak it to run different apps. Apple hasn't disclosed whether the operating system was iOS but it sure looks like it.


Boing Boing says:

It's really sweet, so small. I wanna eat it. It's as big as maybe four keyboard keys. It's like a pill you might swallow. The clip's snug.



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