Does the next iPod Nano really need a camera?

Apple iPod Nano Camera PrototypeWhen the touchscreen sixth-generation iPod Nano replaced the fifth-gen, it not only lost the click wheel but the video camera mounted on the rear of the wafer-thin device too. Now, a series of images have leaked out showing the familiar sixth-gen Nano with a camera lens on the rear; suggesting the feature could make a return on the next model.

Similar to the images seen last year, the new snaps show a green Nano with not only a mini lens, but a hole in the clip on the rear too. The camera is said to have a 1.3 megapixel sensor and use an auto iris lens, which is designed to balance the exposure of a picture to get the best possible quality, no matter the lighting conditions.

According to Micgadget.com, the pictured device is a 2-month old prototype that closely resembles the final product, but has problems with the operation of the auto iris lens, as it’s producing over-exposed pictures.

Apple are fixing the issue, apparently with the intention of launching the new iPod Nano sometime after April, but the question is; does anyone really want another camera on their iPod Nano?

Camera

The fifth-generation Nano’s video camera shot movies in 640 x 480 VGA quality at 30fps, but didn’t take still images. There were a few cool filters for fun, and it was incredibly easy to use and to transfer video back to your computer too. Despite the low resolution, it shot perfectly adequate film.

Except it always felt entirely superfluous, like an odd add-on there for the hell of it. Of course, at the time the third-generation iPod Touch didn’t have a camera, but that’s changed now too.

The tiny touchscreen Nano already feels fiddly enough just changing tracks, let alone steadying it for taking video. The thought of saying ‘hey everyone, gather round and see what I just shot’, then squinting at the 1.5-inch screen is also almost to ridiculous to contemplate.

Alternatives

Obviously, Apple doesn’t want to leave the iPod Nano alone, and the sixth-generation design still has a lot of life left in it. So how can they differentiate — read convince us to buy — a new model over the old one.

Instead of the camera for example, wouldn’t it be great if the new Nano had 32GB of memory? The size of the player is perfect for using out-and-about, but 16GB can be too restrictive, especially when there’s nothing in-between it and a much bigger iPod Touch or a Classic.

Also, as the Nano has found a home on many wrists thanks to the watch strap craze, why not fit it with Bluetooth so the headphone cable can be dispensed with?

Wishful thinking aside, if the next iPod Nano’s only upgrade is a camera, would you consider upgrading from your current model?

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