iPod Touch Not So Handy

Dennis Faas's picture

News of the iPod's success...is not news. It's not even up for debate, given the worldwide popularity of the device. However, as the globe's most iconic digital music player enters old age (by technology standards), updates to the formula are on the way. But, is the fan-dangled iPod "Touch" really worthwhile?

According to BusinessWeek's Cliff Edwards, not so much. The tech journalist recently wrote in a review that "the Touch seems mostly an interim gesture," a way to tide over would-be iPhone buyers not amused with unavoidable provider AT&T. (Source: businessweek.com)

So, why keep our hands off the new Touch?

Unlike some of its iPod brothers and sisters, the Touch fails to incorporate features most of us assume to be standard within the Apple family. Since WiFi is so hot right now, it's disappointing that a Touch user must be near a hot-spot in order to download YouTube videos and other online materials. Contrast that with the iPhone, which boasts a slower cellular connection just in case a hot-spot isn't nearby. The one feature that most grinds Edwards' gears, however, is the lack of a built-in speaker, meaning you're stuck with those headphones forever. There's also no dedicated volume button for music, an oversight to be sure.

Other irks are equally hard to ignore. When one first buys a Touch, they can't simply launch songs onto the device. Instead, they'll need to sync all information with a live iTunes account, one that may or may not have money available for wireless music downloads. It's also difficult to switch between accounts when connecting wirelessly.

Of course, the mere existence of WiFi is a great improvement over previous iPods, integrating a measure Microsoft hoped would make its Zune music player popular. It hasn't really panned out for 'ol MS, but considering Apple's dominance in the market, the addition of wireless support should be welcomed by all.

In the end, Edwards admits the new Touch shares many of the same qualities that make all iPods popular, including cool colors, a big screen, and a lightweight but sturdy frame.

It's just no heir to the throne, that's all.

Note: Others share a different opinion of the Touch. South Africa's The Times called it "a standout device". (Source: thetimes.co.za)

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