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MP3 Players

New iPod nano watch craze explodes, straps already available

It seems that the brainiacs at Apple had a particularly good reason for the radical redesign of the iPod nano -- to turn into a rather cool geek watch

Whether by accident or more likely part of an ingenious master plan, Apple has set off a new craze -- the iPod nano watch.

At Apple's recent launch we were a little confused by the radical nano redesign, until we realised something that should have been obvious from the start -- connecting a strap accessory to the new nano can turn it into a watch. Of course!

Steve Jobs cleverly floated the idea, and commentators from respected publications such as our sister site ZDNet.com agreed, calling it the perfect 'geek watch'. The nano is 46 per cent smaller and 42 per cent lighter than the 2009 version, has a full multi-touch display and four application buttons on screen at once. It also has new hardware buttons for the volume.

There is the problem that connecting a pair of headphones to the nano while using it as a watch looks stupid -- we hanker for one with Bluetooth. Then again, watches with a fraction of the nano's functionality go for much more than the £129 the nano is priced at, so if even if you never hear music from it you're quids in. We wouldn't be surprised at all if hardened Apple fanatics who already had iPods and iPhones simply bought it for use as a watch.

With this in mind, a bunch of companies have brought out their own watch strap accessories, and we've had a little trawl around the web to show you a couple of these.

An impressive strap that's just been announced is a design from Apple case maker Incipio called the Linq. It uses a polymer case to house the nano, connected with a nylon and velcro interchangeable strap. This will be available at the beginning of October, for about $25 (£16).

Here's another way to turn your nano into a watch, which simply uses a nylon band slipping through the nano's pocket clip. Doing it this way doesn't afford it much protection, but it does scream, "Look! I have a nano on my wrist!" more than the Linq.

Do you think this a worthwhile use of a device that's supposed to be music player, or merely a frightening symptom of Apple fanaticism? We would love to know what you think.