Apple Announces New iPods

Apple today announced new versions of the iPod Shuffle, Nano, and Touch, revamping just about its entire iPod product line. Only the iPod Classic remains untouched. In addition to the new iPods, Apple announced iTunes 10 that incorporates a new social network called Ping, and a new version of Apple TV. Apple is also releasing an upgrade to iOS (4.1) for the iPhone and iPod Touch that fixes many of the bugs that users have been complaining about, including the proximity sensor bug plaguing Todd. Finally, Apple announced that iOS 4.2, which will bring multitasking and folder support to the iPad, will be available in November.

Apple has essentially consolidated the designs of the last two iPod Shuffles to produce this new version. It has the buttons from the second generation Shuffle and the VoiceOver and playlist capabilities of the current version. The new Shuffles have 2 GB of storage and 15 hours of battery life, will come in a variety of pastel colors, and cost only $49.

The Nano is the iPod that has had the most radical design changes over the years. The new Nano is no different in that it is a square with a multitouch touchscreen and comes in multiple colors, with a clip to connect it to a sleeve, jacket, or bag. It has a built-in FM radio, supports the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, has hardware volume and on/off buttons, and an accelerometer. There will be 8 GB and 16 GB versions of the Nano that cost $149 and $179 respectively. What I find lacking with the new Nano is the support for wireless headsets and transferring of music. Connecting wires to such a small and beautiful device seems inelegant.

In my opinion the new iPod Touch is the least surprising of the changes Apple made to the iPods because it incorporates most of the new features introduced with the iPhone 4. The new iPod Touch has the iPhone’s Retina display, A4 processor, front and rear facing cameras, supports Apple’s Facetime video chat application, and records HD video. Incredibly, Apple has made the new iPod Touch even thinner at .28 of an inch. The new iPod Touch comes in 8 GB ($229), 16 GB ($299), and 64 GB ($399) versions.

All of the new iPods are available now for pre-order and will start shipping next week.