According to Apple’s pages, the three-button remotes that were previously integrated into the headphones packaged with the iPod shuffle and iPod touch are now gone; all of the iPods are shown as coming with the same plain old earbuds, which would mean that the iPod touch now needs to rely on its rear-mounted microphone for audio input unless there’s something else hidden inside, or attached as an accessory. Apple’s base model Earphones with Remote + Mic sells for $29 as an upgrade.
Wow, that sucks. It isn’t absurd to make you buy a new set of earphones if you want to use your iPod touch for Skype (although, well, it’s a little absurd in that Apple wants you to use FaceTime), but it’s particularly annoying for the Nano.
In my writeup of the keynote, I was going to say that the new Shuffle had become the only iPod you can conveniently use without looking — whether in your pocket, or while doing something else. Then I edited the words out when I figured that the Nano would have a remote on the earphone cord. Without it, the touch-screen iPods offer terrible UI for real-world usage.
(And I can’t check right now because apple.com is hammered by people who desperately want to play with the new iTunes.)