handle Apple's latest generation of the iPod touch on Tuesday, our gadget-nerd alarms went clanging like there was a really, really bad fire somewhere. The improvements the company has made in design aren't remarkable, but they are entirely welcome. The new housing is smooth, incredibly thin, and feels like a solid metal brick in your hands. The built-in speaker is a nice addition, as are those volume controls (finally!) -- the screen is incredibly bright (on par with the iPhone 3G), though it also looks like it got the 3G's new color temperature. On the software side, 2.1 is definitely feeling smoother and slicker than previous versions, the Nike+ inclusion is huge if you're a runner, and the implementation is well integrated -- overall, we're leaning towards a thumbs-up on those bug fixes too. Unfortunately, we couldn't seem to get the Genius function working on the device (anyone else having this issue?), though that may be more of a server-side conflict than something funky with the player, as we were getting errors in iTunes when trying to flip the switch. We'll be blowing this out with a full review, but for now you can enjoy the succulent pics in the gallery below!