iPod Nano Software Update Enhances Sleep Button Controls

Apple yesterday released a software update (Version 1.1) for the current sixth-generation iPod nano, adding new functionality to the device's sleep/wake button to allow users to turn the device completely off and to customize the double-click functionality of the sleep/wake button to control audio playback. The changes are detailed in a new support document.

With the update, users can now turn the iPod nano off by holding down the sleep/wake button for several seconds. Previously, users could only put the device to sleep by pressing the button, and the new functionality would obviously allow users to save battery life by shutting the device down entirely.

Turning iPod nano off completely causes the following to occur::

- Music or other audio that's playing on the device stops.
- Paused radio clears.
- If a slideshow is playing on the device, it stops.
- If a voice memo is being recorded, it stops and saves.
- The pedometer stops.
- Nike + workout data stops and saves.

Apple notes that if the device is turned back on again within five minutes, the music playlist and current track will be remembered. Otherwise, users will have to reselect a playlist and manually select the track to be played.

Double-clicking the iPod nano's sleep/wake button can now also be used for music controls, with users able to customize the functionality from the device's Settings menu. The button can be used to skip to the next track in a playlist, play/pause audio, or offer similar functionality for radio stations.