I am trying to figure out how Apple is making money on their latest iPod Nano updates. Yes I know they dropped the price on the seventh-generation Nano [that would be the 2011 version – meaning the one that came out last week] to $129 for 8GB of storage or $149 for 16GB, compared to $149 or $179, respectively, last year. But if you own the sixth-generation Nano like I do, there is no reason to go out and buy the new Nano. If you are in the same situation as me, you’ve already got a sixth-generation iPod Nano; I’ve got great news for you. All you need to do is a simple software update, available when syncing your Nano with iTunes, and you now have a 7th generation Nano.
As I reported earlier in the summer, the software version 1.1 was a great improvement with the ability to hold down the on/off switch to make sure that the Nano would be put to sleep, thereby saving your battery from being runned down by an inadvertent Nano not being paused correctly. Here’s a quick rundown on what’s new in version 1.2 of the software.
-The Nano now displays only a single, much larger icon at a time. Before with Nano software versions 1.0 and 1.1, you had 17 different app-like icons: Playlists, Now Playing, Artists, Genius Mixes, Radio, Podcasts, Photos, Settings, Songs, Albums, Genres, Composers, Fitness, Clock, Audiobooks, iTunes U and Voice Memos. With the new Nano software 1.2, you have 11 or fewer: Now Playing, Music, Radio, Fitness, Clock, Photos, Audiobooks, Podcasts, iTunes U, Voice Memos, and Settings. You now access the Genius Mixes, Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres, and Composers and Compilations.
(You still have the option of using the smaller icon faces on your Nano; you can access this feature in the settings function.)
-New wallpaper and watch faces if you want to use the Nano as a watch in your non-running mode. There are 18 different clock faces: nine analog, four digital, one analog/digital, two Disney analog (Mickey and Minnie Mouse), and two Muppets analog (Kermit and Animal). Most clock faces also display the current date.
-No need for the shoe sensor and white plug-in for your Nano. With the new software, the Nano can now has a built-in accelerometer for the Nike+iPod sensor so you don’t even need a Nike+iPod sensor in your shoe. In other words, you can now use Nike+iPod with any shoe brand and without having to spend more money for the sensor and dongle. Wonder how they got Nike to sign off on that?
All-in-all, to say that I’m extremely pleased with what Apple did with this software update is an understatement. I know they took a lot of grief about not making a structural design change with the new iPhone 4S, but in the case of the Nano, I can’t criticize them in the fact that they didn’t make a design change to force their customers to buy a Nano for the new features. I feel that this is a big reward for being a customer of an Apple product and I cheer their willingness to give us this freebee.