Apple shrinks iPod Shuffle, loses buttons

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The launch of a new iPod Shuffle came totally unexpected. There weren’t any rumors about this new device. Perhaps because it is too small already. Macrumors only found out that Apple is launching a new iPod Shuffle when they discovered that the Apple Store has gone down for updates. (A sign that something new is coming up)

The new iPod Shuffle is even smaller than the Gen2 iPod Shuffle, just when we all thought it can’t get any smaller. (1.8 inches by 0.3 inches) Apple achieved this record breaking size by removing almost everything except the clip, on/off switch and a 3.5mm port. Like the previous Shuffle, the 3.5mm port is also use for data transfer and charging. Interesting. Since there is no buttons, you can only control the iPod Shuffle using the 3 control buttons on the earpiece. (Volume up, Volume down and center button) Press the center button once to start playing and press again to pause. Double click to move to the next track. Press and hold to hear the voice over of the track name. Yes, this iPod Shuffle talks to you when you press and hold the middle button. You can even access the playlist on this new iPod Shuffle. Check out the guided tour on Apple website.

The new iPod Shuffle received mixed reactions online. I was checking out the online reaction to the new iPod Shuffle using twitterfall. Most people like the new form factor, but some dislike the fact that all the controls is on the earphone. It means that you have to use a earphone made for iPod Shuffle or you can’t control the volume. But knowing that this is Apple, the iPod Shuffle will still sell like hot cakes.

The 3rd Gen iPod Shuffle is available in Black and Silver colour and comes with 4gb memory (That’s actually a pretty good improvement).It’s selling at S$128 and will ship within 3-5 business days. I doubt we will be able to see it at the IT Show at Suntec tomorrow (today) though.

PS: I personally feel that the girl in the guided tour look more hot than the new iPod Shuffle. Just a personal comment.

Addition from Daniel: One thing to note about the new shuffle is that because its controls are on the earphones, there’s no way you’re going to be able to use your own headphones until some 3rd party company comes up with an “adapter” or “wired remote” like the SmartTalk adapter by Griffin. I guess losing the buttons was more important than letting people use their own earphones.

Justin Lee
A weird, passionate geek for technology with an undying love to pick at every flaw that will hopefully improve technology all around. Owns a lovely MacBook Pro with 8gigs of ram, involved intimately with Linux and works closely with Microsoft technologies. Wants to own an iPhone 4, owns an HTC Hero Android phone, Nexus One, once owned an iPhone 3g, still owns a 1st gen Sony Ericsson W800i. A coder of many languages, from Haskell to C#, from F# to Ruby. A jack of all technology, a master of one. Motto is "Taking over the world with every line of code". To contact me, email justin at tech65 dot org or check out my site justinlee.sg.
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