At the end of last year, in San Francisco, Apple announced its new family of products. The new iPhone 5, iPod touch and iPod Nano stole the show. Apples third iPod product was the new iPod Shuffle but most may have noticed just how familiar it was, the simple square design, the click-button wheel, the handy clip back on the back. It’s seems Apple is happy for the Shuffle to stay as-is, either the design was a complete triumph and has received great feedback, or the company has focused more on the bigger products such as the iPod touch and iPod Nano, which has left the iPod Shuffle hardly “new” but more refreshed. The current 4th generation design we have now was first release way back in 2010, when Apple made a shocking U-turn from the super-small 3rd generation they had raved about only a year earlier.
The slim third generation had no circle buttons, or play button, in fact it had no buttons, as all the buttons where migrated to the ear bud cable. The current 4th generation combines the return of the buttons and in-line buttons with an extra one. iPod Shuffles have always been popular in the iPod range because of their size and the only reason any iPod Shuffle fan might upgrade to a Nano or Touch, is because of the lack of a screen, at a very basic level a screen allows the user to see and select the music they want to play instead of having to listen to a song because its next in the list or because it has been randomly selected.
The new additional button on the iPod Shuffle, unlocks way to change that, it uses VoiceOver to tell users what the track name is by literally reading it out. Simple, but effective. So, aside from the already new features added to the 4th generation, did the late September conference bring absolutely nothing new to the table? Well, no, not exactly, the “refresh” was all down to the colours with a new silver, slate, purple, pink, yellow, green and blue models and you can pick your favourite new iPod Shuffle colour to win in the Velvet Vault online bingo room at dream bingo. Based on the timeline, this is the longest we have gone without seeing a new Shuffle from Apple. Predictions are that the Shuffle won’t change again, others say that it will be phased out or replaced by the small sixth generation, square shaped iPod Nano which features a screen and shares the same clip as the Shuffle. This will be a case of wait and see.