Recently, the MotoACTV has received a lot of heat for looking an awful lot like an iPod nano. While these two devices look very much the same on the surface, how far do the similarities actually go? Is the MotoACTV set to compete head-to-head with the iPod nano, or is it another copycat destined to fade into obscurity?
Surprisingly, the MotoACTV actually operates on Android, making it one of the first small-form Android devices. Though it may not be capable of running all of your favorite Android apps, it’s interesting to note that the open OS is finding its way on more and more devices that sit opposite iOS products.
The iPod nano run
iOS an iOS-like operating system, and has only recently started to embrace the smartwatch form factor that so many users have taken advantage of.
The iPod nano allows you to track your workouts through Nike+ using the built-in accelerometer. No additional devices or gadgets are needed to make this feature work. You can even sync your stats on the Nike+ site after your workout.
The MotoACTV has a built-in GPS and Accusense technology. This means that in addition to tracking your steps and pace using an accelerometer, the MotoACTV also tracks your pace and path of your workout. This allows you to accurately compare one workout to another, find out where your trouble areas are, and where you are improving.
The iPod nano syncs via iTunes and uses Genius playlist creation technology. This allows you to dynamically generate a playlist based on a particular song and/or artist. In a sense, it acts like a Pandora radio that uses your existing music to select what it plays. In addition, an FM radio is included that allows you to listen to your favorite station while out and about. In addition, the iPod nano has a few extra accessibility options such as VoiceOver, which allows you to control the device without even looking at it, and Mono Audio which routes both channels to each earbud so you can listen to your music with one earbud.
The MotoACTV does sync with iTunes, but it doesn’t use its own built-in genius playlist system. It does, however, have what Motorola calls a Smart Music Player. By learning what songs motivate you (tracking the intensity of your workout when certain songs play), it can dynamically select music based on your current workout performance. The company is marketing it as a musical fitness coach, and the idea behind it would support that description.
The MotoACTV has wired and wireless earphones with built-in heart rate monitoring that sync directly to the device. Keeping your heart rate in check during a workout is a great way to gauge whether or not you’re setting the right pace for yourself. These monitors aren’t bulky or cumbersome, and they attach through the same earbuds you’d wear to listen to music, anyway.
The MotoACTV can also connect you directly to your Android-based smart phone using Bluetooth. This allows you to receive text message, make and take calls, and more without breaking your stride to pull out your smart phone. In addition, you can sync your device to the MotoACTV site using Wi-Fi.
The iPod nano comes in a variety of colors to match your overall style. In addition, a large selection of watch faces recently added by Apple gives you the ability to stay stylish no matter what you’re wearing.
Both devices include a built-in clip touch-controlled capacitive screen.
Where these two devices have a big difference is in the price. The MotoACTV will be available at $249 for the 8 GB version and $299 for 16 GB. The iPod nano is available at a much lower $129 and $149 price point.
So, did the MotoACTV “rip off” the nano? If the company actually created a more feature-rich device, does it really matter? Comments welcome.