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With a dwindling market share that gets smaller each year, the future doesn't seem bright for the iPod range anymore. Most people already have a smartphone of some description, and the need for a dedicated music playing app just isn't there.
There's still a use for a lightweight media player like the nano though – and that's exercise. An iPhone is a bit cumbersome to strap to your body while running and at the bottom end of the market the iPod shuffle can't control what you're listening to as well, because it doesn't have a screen, and it doesn't have the fitness features built-in.
The new iPod nano feels more like a refinement on an already great idea, rather than something radically new. We'd have liked to have seen more apps on the device, but we appreciate that without an Internet connection what the iPod nano could do with more apps would be limited. It would have been nice for Apple to have included some games though, especially since they did this on the nano once before. The new colours give it a nice bit of personality, and it's a great size for carrying around, since it weighs virtually nothing.
The iPod nano is a convenient size and shape. The multi-touch display performs well and video playback is a welcome addition. The most functional app is the Fitness app, but the most effort has been put into the Music app, which is the one you'll use the most. The Apple EarPods are a good upgrade from the previous Apple earphones, and the new Home button is natural for anybody who has used an iPhone or iPod touch before.
We thought the Radio app was a bit weak – reception wasn't great and something needs to be done to make stations easier to discover. As mentioned, the new Lightning connector means your old accessories no longer fit. We'd have liked the ability to shoot pictures and video, but we don't see that as a deal-breaker on a device this small.
An improvement on last year's iPod nano, mainly thanks to the inclusion of video playback. We found the general design and shape more pleasing too, and we can live without the clip that the last generation had – the nano is so lightweight that slipping it into a pocket while exercising is easy.
Of course, if you haven't got a free pocket in your exercise hear you may have to invest in a case that attaches it to your body in some way.
Bluetooth for wireless audio is a good addition, and provides the first opportunity to engage in some wire-free exercise for the first time, when used with Bluetooth earphones. The nano is really the perfect device for fitness fanatics.
Runners will love the Fitness app, and we really like the way everything you need for your workout is included. While the iPod touch's place in Apple's line-up has suddenly been thrown into doubt by the iPad mini, the iPod nano at the £129 price point has carved out a nice little niche for itself, and we can see this one running and running.