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The iPod Touch is Sublime But…

iPod Touch
After pining for an iPod Touch for months, I finally pulled the trigger recently – and now wonder why I waited so long.

In short, the Touch is sublime. It is a wonderfully designed and multi-functional product that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves because of the obsession with the iPhone. Sure, it doesn’t have a phone or camera but Wi-Fi connectivity and ever-growing bounty of applications makes the Touch an interesting and useful device.

Since getting the Touch a couple of weeks ago, I’ve not only rediscovered my digital music collection but spent a lot of time on iTunes App Store downloading applications (mostly free ones) – everything from travel and food apps (Hotels.com, UrbanSpoon, BlackBook Guides and What the Locals Like) to utilities (Zenbe – a list-making app) and social media services (WordPress, Twitterific). Using the iTunes store, you can customize the Touch or iPhone to meet your personal or professional interests.

As for why I decided to buy a Touch rather than an iPhone, it came down to economics. Buying the Touch meant a one-time cost while getting an iPhone from Rogers meant locking into a three-year contract that would have cost $1,080 just for data. It wasn’t something I could justify. CBC suggests the three-year contract is the second most expensive in the world.

While I don’t pine for always-on access to the Web, it would be nice if the Touch had a camera and the ability to use VoIP. You could easily see a company such as Belkin make a camera peripheral that would plug into the Touch’s input jack or the dock connector, while VoIP seems like a remote possibility so Apple doesn’t piss of the carriers. (Check out petitinvention what an iPod Touch camera would look like.)

As well, Kevin Purdy makes a strong case for the Touch vs. the iPhone with a post entitled “Forget the iPhone–The iPod Touch is Good Enough”.

Before signing off, this is the first in a series of posts this week about the wireless Web. My thesis is while the iPhone and other smartphones such as the Blackberry Bold are amazing devices, they are not going to have as much of an impact on the mobile economy than most people think.

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  • http://skypejoirnal.com Jim Courtney

    Re VoIP- iPod Touch would also need a mic.

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    Jim,

    I wonder if there would be someway to re-engineer the input jack with a software update. Probably unlikely, I guess.

  • http://www.matthewbigelow.com Matt

    While I don’t pine for always-on access to the Web, it would be nice if the Touch had a camera and the ability to use VoIP.

    Agreed. If the iPod Touch offered VoIP, I’d be in line to buy one right now…

  • http://www.prworks.ca David Jones

    I’m in the same boat. I got a touch a few weeks ago with the same idea you had: check out the wifi and the apps. It’s too light an storage to replace my 60g iPod. Funny, with it’s seamless integration of Microsoft outlook through the webmail feature, I’m now looking more seriously at getting an iPhone.

    Another point is Belkin made a device for recording on a regular iPod called a tunetalk. I’d imagine it wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to make a mix and software to turn the touch into a voip phone.

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  • http://www.shumizzle.com Shumizzle

    Is there such a product as the “iPhone Touch”? I thought it was just called iPhone?

    I think you’ve a typo epidemic going, being that the intro sentence leads with “pining for an iPhone Touch”, as does the URL and title of the first link…

  • http://romej.com Steven Romej

    I’m going to get one of these “free” with a laptop purchase and use it to start developing iPhone/Touch apps. I’m pretty excited and look forward to using it.

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    Shumizzle,

    My bad – just edited first sentence to read iPod Touch.

    Steve Romej: That’s what I did; spent the extra $100 to upgrade to the 16GB model.

  • http://markmckay.ca Mark McKay

    Someone did make a mic for the touch. TUAW had it on their site like 6 months ago.

  • http://scrawledinwax.com Nav

    I’d disagree. To me, the reason I’m so excited about my recently purchased iPhone is precisely that I never have to worry about finding wi-fi – whether I’m on the bus, walking down the street or in a store (like the LCBO, where I can look at wines I’ve noted down in Evernote) I’m always connected. The point, to me anyway, is that I have constant access not only to ‘the Web’ but to all my information floating around in the cloud. I think the Touch is great but I don’t think that wi-fi can replace the ubiquity of cellular coverage.

    Still, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on why mobile is being over-hyped.

  • http://markmckay.ca Mark McKay

    I agree with Nav. That is why I want an iPhone (but will wait for one with a better camera and more storage).

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    @ Mark McKay: I think this what you saw on TUAW: http://touchmods.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/scope-with-line-in/

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  • http://www.reallygoodfriend.com Tari Akpodiete

    actually, you can ‘jailbreak’ your iTouch and get Skype or another VOIP solution working, and YES, there’s also a microphone hack. actually, there’s more than one. Google is your friend. one place to start is touchmods.wordpress.com, but there are other sites with alternate solutions and details. did Apple really think that someone – or several someone’s – wouldn’t find a way to soup up the Touch?

  • http://www.myspace.com/kreia Jay

    I wonder why you waited so long too…since the iPod touch got updated today! :P

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    Jay,

    I guess I should have waited. Then, I could have taken advantage of the student discount and got a newer iPod.

    Mark

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  • Mike

    New iphone speculation aside, as long as I can access my banking info it’ll be good.

    MTHIRTY has just shared a widget with you on behalf of CIBC