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Apple announces new thinner, lighter, feature-rich iPod Touch and Nano

Consumer Reports News: September 12, 2012 05:08 PM

The iPhone 5 was the big news today from Apple, but the company also announced significant updates to the iPod Touch, the "iPhone without the phone," along with the smaller iPod Nano. Both media players have been redesigned to be thinner and lighter, and also enhanced with a host of promising new features. The company also announced the EarPods, new earbuds that are designed to fit a wide range of ears.

Preorders begin September 14, and Apple says the new iPods will be available in October.

Here are the details on the iPod lineup:

iPod Touch. The anodized-aluminum, fifth-generation Touch looks like an iPhone 5 twin, with the same 4-inch Retina display, a dual-core A5 chip, and iOS 6. And Siri voice command comes to the Touch, complete with the voice-assistant's new capabilities to control apps, including allowing posts via voice to Facebook and Twitter.

The new Touch is just 6 mm thick and weighs 88 grams, and the headphone jack and speaker are located on the bottom of the device, as is Apple's new Lightning USB connector—a thinner plug that replaces the company's 30-pin connector. The company claims battery life of up to 40 hours of music playback and up to 8 hours of video playback.

The Touch also gets a better camera. It appears to be a version of the iPhone 5's new iSight camera that has a resolution of 5 megapixels, rather than the 8 megapixels of the iPhone 5. The Touch's camera has autofocus, support for 1080p video recording with video image stabilization, face detection and an LED flash. The FaceTime HD camera supports 720p video.

Look for fancy new colors for the Touch: pink, yellow, blue, white and silver, and black and slate (plus red, in the Apple Store), each with its own Loop wrist strap, as well as a set of the new EarPods and a Lightning USB cable. Prices are $299 for the 32GB Touch, and $399 for 64GB.

iPod Nano. The new version of Apple's midsized player gets a 2.5-inch Multi-Touch display and a whopping claimed battery life of 30 hours. At 5.4 mm thick, Apple says this is the slimmest iPod ever. It comes in eight colors—the same six as for the Touch, plus citrus (green) and purple. There's just one Nano, a 16 GB model, and it's $149, including the new Earpods and a Lightning USB cable.

iPod Shuffle. Apple's pint-sized player appears to be unchanged, except it get the same new color choices as the Nano—and it ships immediately, at $49. It has a 2GB capacity and uses a supplied USB cable.

Apple iPhone 5 is the radical makeover that Apple fans needed

Carol Mangis

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