It's that time of year again when Apple updates their iPod models. And while I'm no Apple fanatic, I think Apple is a pretty good innovator that sets the standards for other items. Here is my opinion of Apple's latest gadgets.
iPod touch 4th Generation
The new iPod touch is actually not much of a surprise to me. I guessed that it would have the Retina display (the ridiculously high-resolution IPS display on the iPhone 4), dual cameras for FaceTime chat, faster hardware, a glass back like the iPhone 4, and a thinner form factor. I was right for the most part.
Sadly for me, the iPod does not have the glass back of the iPhone 4, but rather the old scratch-prone polished chrome back that looks amazing out of the box but ends up looking terrible within a few weeks of owning the device. I'm also disappointed at the relative lack of storage capacity; with a freakin' video camera, high-res display, and more, 8 gigabytes is simply unacceptably small. (That, and the 8GB model's price went up by $30.)
All I can say about the Nano in general is that Apple should really consider branching the product line. The original Nanos were simply smaller versions of the iPod. The previous generation added a camera and FM radio, and the latest one adds a multi-touch capable touchscreen, which is a huge change from previous Nanos.
Besides that, I think the latest Nano is the coolest one yet. It's small, it has a touchscreen, and it has a radio. However, it's the RAZR equivalent to the Droid; it does not run iOS and does not support 3rd-party applications. Price-wise, $149 for 8 gigs and $199 for 16 gigs. (Keep in mind that I bought my 8GB iPod touch for $160 nearly a year ago, so I'd reconsider before jumping on one of these Nanos.)
I've never liked the iPod shuffle, and the latest model doesn't change my opinion. One improvement is the return of the click wheel. Price-wise, $49 for a 2-gigabyte player with no screen seems preposterous. You can buy a 4GB Sansa (with a screen, microSD card slot, and FM radio I might add) for less than that.
A new version of iTunes is usually required for newer iPods, thus iTunes 10 was born. One immediately noticeable difference is the icon; it is no longer in the shape of a CD. Ping, a social-networking service for iTunes, also makes its debut in this version.
So, what are your thoughts about the latest Apple stuff? Will you be the one run to the nearest Apple store, wallet in hand, out to buy the latest and the greatest? Or will you resist the urge to junk your perfectly good current player?
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