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Apple Unveils New iPods; Ultra Slims

Apple today unveiled a brand new iPod Nano. The new ultra-portable music player is essentially the same size as the first and second generation Nano but now has a wider aspect ratio screen, full aluminum metal body and a full glass screen.

The new Nano body also has rounded edges, making it feel ultra slim in the hands, and looks quite elegant for a music player. The motif of the new Nano definitely takes some queues from Apple’s MacBook Air and iPhone 3G.

Within the Nano itself, Apple has now integrated an accelerometer, allowing horizontal viewing of album in Cover Flow mode. The Nano also uses the accelerometer to enable or disable shuffle mode — simple shake the Nano in your hands and songs will shuffle. Our take on this is that it’s a novel way to enable shuffling, and time will tell how well the unit will work this way for those on exercise machines or those who jog with their iPods strapped to their arms.

Also included is a voice recording feature. The new iPod Nano will automatically enable voice recording when it detects a microphone attached. No microphone is integrated into the body of the Nano itself.

The user interface for the new iPod Nano also brings along cues from the iPhone and iPod touch interface.

With battery life, Steve Jobs indicated that the new Nano will be able to sustain 24-hours of continuous audio playback, and deliver 4-hours of continuous video playback — just enough for 2 average movies. At this point, we’re hoping that the new Nanos will have high quality batteries that don’t flake out after a few months of usage. The battery itself is non-user replaceable again.

The new Nano will sell for $149 for the 8 GB model and $199 for the 16 GB model. Jobs indicated that the 8 GB model will be available today.

Jobs also unveiled the new iPod Touch, which essentially is the same as the current iPod Touch, except with a revised body. The new Touch is thinner than the current Touch and also has a curved shape much like the iPhone 3G. The new Touch also has a steel body design and now features an integrated volume control on the side, a build in speaker Genius playlist creation, which creates custom playlists based on your listening style. Apple has also integrated the a built in Apple+Nike! receiver, for those who use the Nike sports accessory. All other features remain the same.

Also being introduced is a new pair of headphones, that are supposedly superior to the current white ear buds iPods are so famous for. The new headphones are in-canal type phones and come with not one, but two drivers: a woofer and a tweeter. Like the iPhone headset, the new headphones also come with an in-band volume and playback control nub and features a built in microphone to work with the voice recording app on the Nano.