While the iPhone and Siri were unquestionably in Apple’s Keynote main event on Tuesday, the undercard was perhaps occupied by slight upgrades to the iPod Touch and iPod Nano lines.
First the iPod Nano, which as we predicted, isn’t going anywhere.
Phil Schiller handled the iPod portion of the keynote and kicked things off with another reaffirmation of Apple’s love for music. “We introduced the iPod because we loved music, and that hasn’t changed,” Schiller said.
The new iPod Nano maintains its squarish form factor, but Apple has put in a host of new features that will keep it moderately fresh in the collective mind of consumers.
First, the Nano’s multitouch display can now showcase big icons instead of solely a grid of 4. This is a much welcome change as we feel it makes navigation a heck of a lot easier.
Another addition is an improved fitness experience. iPod Nano users can now go for a run or walk “right out of the box” and have pertinent information sent right to Nike+.
The built-in accelerometer in iPod nano gives you real-time feedback on your workout, and you can upload data to the Nike+ website. There’s no need to connect a receiver or use a shoe sensor to track your steps, distance, pace, and time. Just clip on iPod nano and go. In the gym, connect iPod nano to a Nike + iPod compatible cardio machine to keep track of every workout. Back at your computer, upload all your data to the Nike+ website to create personal goals, check your progress, and challenge your friends to top your results.
One of the more intriguing features, and a clear-cut sign that Apple isn’t entirely insular and that it does, in fact, pay attention to the marketplace is the addition of watch accessories. Since the current form factor of the iPod Nano launched last Fall, folks have been using them quite extensively as watch pieces.
That being the case, the new iPod Nano sports 16 new clock faces. “We thought that was really fun,” Schiller said, referring to the Nano’s use as a watch. “Why not, right?”
You can check out all the different clock faces here on Apple’s website. There are some cool ones, for sure, along with some random ones like Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog. And while we’re not sure if these accessories are new to Apple’s online store, but you can now pick up Nano watchbands in a range of styles and colors as well.
As for battery life, the new iPod Nano has 24 hours of non-stop music playback.
Lastly, Schiller touted the next-gen iPod Nano as the most affordable Nano ever. The 8GB model checks in at $129 while the 16GB model checks in at $149.
As for the iPod Touch, new models will come with iOS 5 pre-loaded and will now come in white as well. Both black and white models of the iPod Touch will be available starting on October 12. The 8GB model will retail for $199 while the 32GB and 64GB models will retail for $299 and $399 respectively.