The Ipod Nano – Part 2 – What I’d Like to See Improved

Bad Ipod!

Just in case any of you thought that I’d become an Apple Fanboy after basically saying how amazing this device is in the last post, here’s a few things that I would like to see improved.

#1 – Being able to make apps for the Nano.  Sure, it may seem like a limited platform and there’s not nearly as many people that use it compared to the Ipod Touch or Iphone.  However, there are many things that could be done with it, such as:

  • Better accelerometer use – say, measure your car’s acceleration with it or, if possible, give some estimation of altitude change during a walk or run.*
  • More ways to track your workouts
  • More clock faces
  • Simple games

Ok, you're still a pretty good device...

#2 – Bluetooth.  Sure, you’re asking one more piece of hardware, but syncing everything wirelessly would be awesome.  Also, using it as a sort of smart-watch device to interface with your phone etc would be interesting.

#3 – Software.  Apple, seriously – anyone who owns a Mac just brags continuously about how they never freeze, is easy to use, etc.  I don’t have a great computer by any means, but the Itunes software has frozen on me and registering everything was actually pretty hard.  Yes, I realize that Macs are good pieces of equipment (if way more expensive), but if you were to judge them by their PC software, not many would buy one.  Also, it couldn’t figure out on it’s own that a couple of CDs were compilations and split the songs up.  Eventually I figured out how to fix it, but for a company that seems to pride themselves on user interface, I’m not too impressed.

#4 – This is a stretch, but the ability to play videos on it.  Yes, the screen is small and the videos would be hard to see.  But, and this is reaaallly a stretch, what if you could mount one in a pair of glasses, making a sort of heads-up display.  The image would appear huge, and it would be great for plane trips, etc.

Nano holo glasses "Holopod??"

What the new Ipod Nano glasses might look like... Holopod?


Stretch that idea just a bit further, and what if you were able to link two Nanos (via bluetooth perhaps) and allow them to transmit the same image to each eye…  Or, you could make each image slightly different allowing for a 3D movie effect!  As expensive as the shutter glasses are, this might not seem like such a bad deal.  Maybe the sound could be linked for quadraphonic surround sound.  Yes, crazy idea.  Who knows though?

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So that’s it.  Seriously though, a great device.  If you want to know where I got my awesome photo-editing skills featured in three of the pictures above (can you guess which ones?), check out my GIMP tutorials here.

*I think the altitude change could be measured based on some combination of acceleration and how long it takes to put your foot down.  Would be incredibly complicated, and probably inaccurate, but some estimation would be good for tracking workouts.  A car’s acceleration should be able to be used to back out horsepower to the wheels based on the weight of the vehicle.  Here’s an article about Ipod apps that do what I’m talking about.


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