New Features & Enhancements
As shown in Figure 9, all ports and controls are on the bottom. This makes access more convenient than in some other iPods. In this 3rd generation nano, Apple goes back to having the headphone and the docking port in close proximity on the bottom of the device. With that change, several good add-ons like Apple’s lanyard headphones, which worked with the 1st generation iPod nano but did not work with the 2nd generation nano, will now work again.
This nanos screen has been enhanced. The brightness of this nano has been improved by more than 60% over previous nanos. At a resolution of 320×240 pixels and a 2 inch diagonal liquid crystal display with LED backlight, the screen is wonderfully clear and bright. Even in bright sunlight, the screen, although washed out, is viewable. The screen improvements showcase the biggest new feature – the ability to play videos. Videos run smoothly on the nano and display quite well on the small screen. Colors appear vibrant and none of the videos we tried had any flickering. One caveat is that if the format of the video creates a letterbox effect with a black border on the top and the bottom, the video itself becomes quite small. Running it full screen, makes it larger, but cuts off part of the picture.
This new nano also has a feature that is called Cover Flow, which is a popular method for browsing a music library by scrolling
through the album covers. The new split-screen menu interface, (shown in Figure 11) is no more useful than the old full-screen menu, but it is visually appealing. There is also a new Search feature, shown in Figure 12. This screen lets you use the scroll wheel to select the letter corresponding to what you want to find. This is very useful for those who have large collections of music.
The new nano also comes with several games including Vortex, iQuiz, and Klondike solitaire. Other games can be purchased at the iTunes store. Although we felt that using the scroll wheel for gaming was a bit cumbersome, we have been told that you can get used to it.
Another added plus for this third generation nano is that turning it off by pressing and holding the Play button on the scroll wheel actually works quite well. In previous nanos, this feature worked sporadically, at best. Also, this nano doesn’t seem to be quite as prone to freezes (locked screens) as previous versions. We did encounter some instances where the center button did not respond properly, but this was only an intermittent problem.