Along with a new iPhone and iPod Touch, Apple announced a new iPod Nano. It has a larger, 2.5 inch multi-touch display; a home button, a thinner, rectangular profile and Lightning, Apple’s new dock connector. The new iPod Nano supports video playback, a feature dropped from the last Nano, and has an FM radio and new Bluetooth audio support. Apple announced just one memory size, 16 GB, that will sell for $149. If you plan on getting the Nano, you will have to wait a little while, it won’t be on sale until September.
One thing Apple didn’t add was Wi-Fi, some news sites published rumors that it was on the way, but the omission is understandable. Despite a superficial resemblance to iOS, the Nano’s software is actually a unique iPod distribution. The iPod software stack doesn’t support wireless drivers and networking standards, and building them in would have been cost prohibitive. A new software build based on iOS could have brought along Wi-Fi, but that would have required a more powerful processor that would have drained the battery faster and raised prices. Apple may be working on a new iPod Nano with Wi-Fi, but if they are don’t count on it coming out any time soon. The software engineering problems are formidable, and WiFi just doesn’t add that much value on a smaller device.