Sweept: iPod nano with Multi-Touch. | Apple


Shawn Blanc points out the new homepage for the iPod nano with its animated Mickey Mouse watch face.

Worth noting is that the second hand is swept (i.e., it moves in less-than-one-second increments—5Hz, I think—just like a real mechanical movement watch) and that the minute and hour hands’ motions emulate that of a geartrain. That is, they, too, move with each tiny tick of the second hand, just as a real watch does. The motion is beautifully imperceptible, just like a real watch. It’s stunning.

On the other hand (ahem), the clocks on the Mac OS X Dashboard have driven me nuts for years. The programmers went to all the trouble to simulate the bounce in the second hand’s quartz-driven motion, but then update the minute and hour hands only at the top of the minute. That that detail made it through the scrutiny of other folks in the shop, or maybe even Steve himself, is surprising.

These nano guys got it right. Finally.

[via ShawnBlanc.net]

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Update - 10/11/2011

Correspondent Steve McDonald has this unfortunate bit of news:

Hi Bill and Shawn,

I thought you guys would be interested to know that while the iPod nano website guys got it right with the sweeping hour and minute hands, the iPod nano application guys did not: the hour and minute hands only update at the top of the minute on the nano itself. (So you don’t have to ask, yeah, this is with the brand new nano).

Seems odd to make the effort to have the second hand sweep and then just not bother with the other hands.


Sorely disappointed, I am.

However, this hint over at Mac OS X Hints tells us how to make a web clipping for the dashboard of the Mickey Mouse watch, complete with smoothly-moving hands. Give it a try. (I haven’t yet, so you’ll be the first!)

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