Jobs under pressure yet again to launch spectacular new iPod
There’s also talk of the iPod nano being upgraded to play video, appearing as a squat, wide version of the nano to accommodate a small wide screen, making the iPod Shuffle the only ‘iPod’ not capable of playing video, given that it lacks a screen.
Although there’s been no mention of it, perhaps the iPod Shuffle will get a facelift too, and will come sporting a small screen, like some of its competitors.
But all the real attention is on the new iPod. Given that Steve Jobs already proclaimed the iPhone to be the ‘best iPod ever’ just two months ago, not launching a touch screen iPod and instead giving us another flagship iPod with scroll wheel seems completely inconceivable.
After all, if the iPhone is the ‘best iPod ever’, surely the next iPod will contain many of the iPhone’s features. The question is which features won’t make the cut, besides the phone technology.
Concern that Apple might not include Wi-Fi or a browser in the iPod to appease AT&T and ensure the iPhone remains the connected Internet device has some wondering if the new iPod will simply feature the music, video and photo features of the iPhone, and leaving out the rest, leaving you with a powerful device that runs OS X but is strictly a media player and nothing more.
That naturally leaves open the possibility of both official and unofficial third party apps that could open up all kinds of new possibilities for the iPod touch, whether it has many of the iPhone features, or only the media capabilities at launch.
The iPhone itself is a mesmerizing piece of technology, something that’s even more evident once you become an iPhone owner, as I have. The sophisticated elegance of the operating system and its simple touch control system that works so very smoothly exudes a true feeling of 21st century technology at work.
While I love my Nokia N95, and actually use it all the time as a ‘multimedia computer’ in addition to a phone, listening to streaming radio, surfing the Internet, using Gmail, taking photos and videos, using the GPS navigation feature (which now locks on in under a minute thanks to the new V.12 firmware), using Skype and running other software, including connecting it to my PC over Bluetooth or USB to access the Internet at 3.5G speeds of 550k to 1.5Mbps, it’s clear that the current Nokia interface is simply a really advanced version of the black and white interface of phones from the 90s.
The iPhone’s interface is clearly a step above, with the simplest and arguably best example being the way you simply swipe your finger over the screen to flick from one photo to the next, use the pinch movement to zoom into and out of photos, and turn the iPhone around to immediately change the orientation of the photo.
That said, Nokia have been reported to have seen the light and are working on their own iPhone-esque design with similar features for release sometime in 2008, coupled most likely with their new Ovi online music store, letting you purchase songs over the air and immediately download them to your phone.
What else might Nokia's potential iPhone-killer have installed? And more importantly, what other features should the new iPod have if Apple hopes to fend off all competitors and retain the gadget crown? Please read onto page 2 for the conclusion...
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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.