The iPod Nano as a Watch

  For the past couple of weeks, I've been wearing my new iPod nano as a watch. Full time. It's been awesome. I've decided to break it down into a bit of a review because I can EASILY see this as the way that all wearable electronics are going in the near future.

Last September, Steve Jobs introduced the new iPod line just in time so that we all could buy them up before Christmas. Isn't that convenient? Since the iPod touch came out, that event hasn't provided as many rumors as say, the iPhone events or that event back in January of 2010. However, for people who don't want to pay for a Mac, the iPod line is the easiest and cheapest way to enter the Apple world.

The new iPod nano was a new design, with some notable changes.  The iPod nano (6th generation) no longer had a video camera on it (like its predecessor) or even a camera on it at all. It did, however, employ a touch screen (Apple's famous "multitouch") and a new user interface. The thing was tiny. It also had a clip on the back so that we were no longer buying armbands etc in order to exercise with them.  It was quite a different concept and has seemed to be very successful thus far.

While Steve was introducing it, he mentioned that one of Apple's Board of Directors had commented that he would like to wear it as a watch. What a brilliant idea. When Steve says something like that from the stage, it doesn't take long for the fanboys (myself easily included) to get going.

Enter, TikTok. You can read all of the information there. After seeing it, I knew I had to have one.

Long story short, I now own two TikToks and Allison and I each have our own iPod nanos.

So what do I think of it?


  • It's about the perfect size.
    • If I were a woman, it would be gigantic. But I'm not.
    • With this TikTok watch band, it doesn't appear bulky or annoying
  • It holds my music, and I can listen to it from my watch.
    • I wanted to use this iPod nano to listen to all my podcasts on.  The problem was, if I listened to part of them on my iPhone and then later on my iPod, I'd have to sync both devices in order to pick up where I left on on the other device. This is something I think Apple is working on, but an annoyance nonetheless.
    • I can sync up playlists (like my playlist for the pre-service loop on Sunday mornings) and have them with me wherever I go. This also allows me to leave my iPod (before: my iPhone) at the sound booth or what have you and still have my phone for, you know, communicating.
  • It stores my photos.
    • Need to show a slideshow of pictures you took on your last trip? You can carry them with you wherever you go (because you are always going to have your watch). Of course, you have to have Apple's 30-pin component cable, etc. But...still...does your watch do that?
    • It is a nice feeling that I can have my photos wherever I go and easily access them.  You're probably saying, "Doesn't your phone do that?" Yes, it does. But my phone also has apps. And music. Being able to split these things up onto other devices always has its advantages.
  • Built in Radio
    • Radio is always good.  And now, always available.  Want to listen to the Duke game on the radio?  In Cameron and they won't let you take anything in?  Don't worry. You have it on your watch. Now...for those noise canceling earbuds...
  • Built in Pedometer
    • All you runners know the advantages of having this at your beckon call at any given point. To be clear, I think it is only the software for the pedometer (still need Nike+) but I don't run, so I honestly don't know.
  • It's an iPod. As a watch.
    • Given, there is lots of nerd factor here...but come on.  It's at least an intriguing idea.
  • Has a "wake to clock" feature.
    • Let's be honest.  There wouldn't be much point of this if Apple has not enabled this.
  • LOTS of battery life
    • I only charge this like once a week, if that.
  • Apple Unity
    • I can charge it from the same devices as my iPhone and iPad (and so I always have one with me) and it will dock with the same docks I already have.  As annoying as their 30pin connectors seem to be, everyone know what an iPod cable is and most people have several spare. I keep one on my keychain so I am never without. The world is flooded with iPod cables and that works to the consumer's advantage.
  • Functions as a Flash Drive
    • Plug it into any computer, and it will mount as a flash drive. You don't even have to go through iTunes. GREAT idea and I just wish they'd open the phone up to this too.











  • To see the time, you have press the "on" button.
    • Fortunately, the TikTok's design allows for the buttons to be on one side and the dock connector to be on the other.  To use it, you never have to take it out of the TikTok. That is a huge advantage of other watch cases for this iPod.  HOWEVER, there is a noticeable lag (1 second or less) from when you press the button to when you see the screen.  The iPod never turns "off" so this is perhaps waking it from a deep sleep.  If it has been illuminated recently, the screen appears nearly instantaneously (but when you are looking at the time, you generally haven't looked at it within the past two minutes). It's not the end of the world because I don't check my watch THAT often, but I could see how some people wouldn't be able to take it.
  • Turns out, plugging headphones into your wrist and actually trying to function is awkward.
    • It's not impossible and if you are just walking to class, it's not bad at all.  But, if you're trying to accomplish something, the cord can get in the way (not to mention if you have a really short ear bud cord). Thankfully, it is extremely easy to pop the iPod out of the TikTik and clip it to something.  Problem solved.
  • "Multi-Touch" is a bit of a stretch.
    • When people think of multitouch, they think of "pinch to zoom".  The ONLY multi-touch on the iPod is the function that allows you to twist the screen to better orient how you are looking at it.  Even in the pictures "app," you can't pinch to zoom in, just double touch to zoom. I wouldn't quite say that Apple lies, because it does recognize two point of touch input at once, but the term "multi-touch" is not to be understood in the way that Apple has allowed you to understand it previously.
  • No Digital Clock
    • This has got to have been an oversight.  The only clock face is analog. I'm used to analog watches, so that isn't a huge deal (and definitely worth having music on my wrist at any given point) but it would have been nice to have had a digital clock.  Maybe an update Apple?

So, is it worth it? I guess that's up to the individual. However, I'm never going back to a watch that doesn't hold my music. I use it more for music than I use my iPhone.

It is great. I can't wait to see some updates that make it even better.