Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Apple Shows Off Improved iPod Nano, Retina-Display iPod Touch With Siri

Apple today unveiled a new line of iPod devices, punching up its popular music-playing hardware with improved battery life, displays and cameras.

Siri is coming to the iPod touch, as well, with Apple’s new EarPod headphones thrown in.

The new iPod nano features a bigger, 2.5-inch multitouch display. Apple showed off how widescreen video can be viewed when the nano is turned on its side. It’s 5.4mm thick, 38 percent thinner than the previous, or sixth generation, nano device. It comes in seven different colors, with the color of the iPod’s interface now matching the color of the device itself.

Fitness features and a pedometer are built into the new nano, too, with Nike+ integration. But most notable is probably the new nano’s oft-requested Bluetooth capabilities.

The new iPod touch has a four-inch Retina display — the same display as the iPhone 5 — and is powered by iOS 6. It features a five-megapixel iSight camera and shoots video in 1080 HD, with a 720p FaceTime HD camera with image-stabilization tech; and has “LE” (low-energy) Bluetooth.

The new devices will hit the market in October, with the 16 gigabyte model of the new iPod nano priced at $149. The new iPod touch, at 32GB, is $299.

The previous generation of the 32GB iPod Touch is $249. A 2GB iPod Shuffle can still be purchased for $49.

Apple last refreshed its iPod line last October, at the same time it announced the iPhone 4S. The new iPod touch shipped running iOS 5, and the nano got a price cut, while oldies-but-goodies like the iPod shuffle and iPod classic remained the same models at the same price.

Apple says it has sold more than 350 million iPods to date. Still, over the past couple of years, Apple has seen sales of its popular iPod decline as more consumers have turned to smartphones — like the iPhone.

This has positioned iPods as in-between devices — offering capabilities beyond just storing and playing music, but not having the cellular calling functions and some other features of smartphones.

In addition to touting the iPod touch as “the world’s most popular music player,” Apple said it was also the world’s most popular portable game-playing device, demonstrating a game of Clumsy Ninja on the device as an example. The new iPod touch will also run on an Apple A5 dual-core processor that the company says will improve gaming graphics.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald