Introduced in 2012, Apple’s seventh-generation iPod nano ($149 from the Apple Store) offers a compromise between its watch-sized predecessor and the iPod touch. Equipped with a 2.5″ screen capable of displaying videos and photos, as well as performing music, podcasts, and FM radio, the nano is sold only in a 16GB storage capacity. Eight different colors are available (including an Apple Store-exclusive Red), each with Bluetooth built in for wireless streaming — the first time this feature has made it into an iPod nano.
The current iPod nano’s screen is Multi-Touch capable, blending the circular icon-based Home screen later used in the Apple Watch with a tweaked version of iPod OS. A tiny Home button, Sleep/Wake button, and volume controls are built into the nano’s front, side and top, while a headphone port and Lightning port are found on the bottom. Apple also includes a pedometer to measure the steps you’ve taken while carrying the nano, similarly estimating running activity via basic Nike+ support.
Right now, the single biggest reason the iPod nano exists is as a fitness accessory, followed by its value as a basic media player for kids. Significantly smaller than the iPod touch, it cannot run apps but is very easy to place inside an armband or pocket. There are hints that the Apple Watch began life as a sequel to the iPod nano. Even so, the nano’s much lower price point continues to keep it somewhat viable as demand for standalone media players continues to dwindle.