Apple has created a pocket-sized companion that (theoretically) can do everything: music, videos, and books.
Apple sketched out such a device in a recent patent application published by the US Patent Office, a headphone-case-meets-pocket-computer with a touchscreen display and the necessary guts for flicking through songs, watching movies, checking the weather, or even navigating somewhere via a mapping app. Time is a flat circle, and Apple invented the iPod all over again.
According to the filing, Apple’s intention was to patent something resembling a tiny iPod Touch or iPod Nano, but with a charging nook for a pair of wireless earbuds. This is just a patent application, so there’s currently no indication that a supercharged AirPods case like this will exist beyond some doodles.
Given its long-standing interest in smarter earbuds, the company could be investigating such a device. However, Apple may be using this filing to erect some metaphorical roadblocks for the competition. In any case, an iPod revival? Sounds lovely to me.
“The coolest thing about iPod is that you can take your entire music library with you, right in your pocket,” Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said a millennia ago, in 2001. In the years since everything and nothing has changed; music is arguably still the coolest thing about the iPhone, and it’s one reason why iPod nostalgia bubbles up time and time again — in the form of an unauthorized, iPod-inspired app; wistful tweets; a silly smartwatch accessory; movie cameos; letters to an editor; and so on.
The iPod has died, but what about our great desire for devices that do less? That is still going on.
Regardless of the direction Apple takes, reinventing the iPod could help the company stay competitive in the music player market and attract new customers who are looking for a modern and innovative device to enjoy their music.