Apple's new iPod nano has built-in pedometer

Apple took the wraps off its new iPod nanos and iPod touches at an event in San Francisco

Apple's new iPhone 5 got most of the attention at a launch event in San Francisco on Wednesday but the company also showed off a new iPod touch and a redesigned iPod nano that has a built-in pedometer for joggers.

The new nano is rectangular rather than square and looks a bit like a mini iPhone, with a 2.5-inch multitouch display, according to Macworld's live blog of the event, which ended with a performance by the Foo Fighters.

The new nano is 40 percent thinner than its predecessor, at 5.4 millimeters, and it has a home button to get back to the home screen more easily. And since nanos are so widely used by runners, Apple has built in a pedometer and support for Nike's Nike+ software.

It gives 30 hours of playback, according to Apple, and will go on sale in October for US$149 with 16GB of storage.

Apple also showed a new iPod touch that's thinner than its predecessor, at 6.1mm, and lighter too. Like the iPhone 5, it will have the larger, 4-inch retina display.

A new processor, the dual-core A5, will double the compute speed for some applications and improve the graphics for better gaming, according to Apple.

The touch also gets a new, 5-megapixel camera that has autofocus and can shoot 1080p video. It also has face detection and an LED flash, and software for shooting panoramas easily, Apple said.

The touch now comes in colors, which is a first -- pink, yellow, blue, white and silver, and black and slate -- and it comes with a wrist strap. It's due in October priced at $299 for the 32GB version and $399 for the 64GB versions, Apple said.

Apple has also redesigned its iconic white headphones, which are now supposed to give better sound and fit more comfortably. The new headphones go on sale Wednesday and also ship with the new iPhone and iPods, but apparently not the iPod shuffle.

Its iTunes software also gets a makeover with a "simplified" user interface that's coming to Macs and PCs in October. It has an "edge to edge" design that fills the screen with thumbnails of album art. Double-clicking expands the album to show the songs.

It's also supposed to make it easier for people to find their favorite music, and artists can share photos through the music library. Apple said it had also improved the integration with iCloud, which lets music on an iPhone or other iOS device be played on the desktop in iTunes.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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