Alongside the announcement yesterday of the iPhone 5, Apple also revealed a refreshed iPod lineup, together with new versions of the iconic iTunes software for both iOS 6 and OS X. The iOS 6 variant of the app has been completely redesigned, with improved performance and a different layout that allows you to preview while browsing. The desktop version also gets a makeover, due late October, that will feature a dramatically simplified, grid-based user interface, with easier playlist management and DJ-friendly ‘Coming Next’ feature. There’s also iCloud integration for remembering movie positions between devices, so you can start watching a film on your Mac or Apple TV and pick up later where you left off on your iPhone or iPad.
The new, 7th generation iPod Nano is 38% thinner than its predecessor at just 5.4mm thick. It resembles a miniature iPod Touch, with a home button and 2.5″ multitouch display dominating the front. Available in seven colours, it has an FM radio with fast forward and rewind functions, and it does widescreen video too. It can stream audio wirelessly over Bluetooth and uses the Lightning connector for charging and syncing. Battery life is a claimed 30 hours for music, and it ships solely in 16GB capacity for £129 ($149USD).
The new, 5th generation iPod Touch is 6.1mm thick and weighs just 88 grams. It features a brushed aluminium rear casing and a 4″ Retina display, as found on the iPhone 5. Also like the iPhone it uses the Lightning connector for charging and syncing, but unlike its smartphone stablemate it has an A5 processor at its heart. This still claims a 7x faster graphics performance over the old version, with a touted 40-hour battery life on music playback and 8 hours of video playback. The new Touch also features a 5-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with a 5-element lens and a sapphire crystal lens cover. It boasts 1080p HD video with stabilization and you can now run iMovie on the device. There’s a popout button on the back for attaching a wrist strap, and the feature set is rounded off with Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Siri support in iOS 6. There are five colour schemes to choose from when selecting your iPod Touch; white and silver, black and slate, blue, yellow and pink.
UK prices start at £249 for the new 32GB model, rising to £329 for the 64GB version, all available sometime in October. You can also still pick up a 4th generation 16GB model for £169, or a 32GB model for £199.
The iPod Shuffle and iPod Classic ranges remain largely unchanged, with the 2GB Shuffle now £40 and the 160GB Classic available for £199.
The iPhone 5, iPod Touch and iPod Nano also come with new Apple EarPods, featuring a breakthrough design for a more natural fit, increased durability and the kind of acoustic quality typically reserved for higher-end earphones. The new earbuds feature a directional speaker port that points into the user’s ear canal, but they don’t create a seal the way coventional in-ear earphones do. They also feature a port in the stem and a third port in the rear, a remote for controlling media playback and a mic for hands-free phone operation. These will be shipping from today and available for purchase as a standalone item for £25.