some iPod touch thoughts

I got an iPod touch for Christmas and using it has brought home a few things to me. These are all from the department of the bleeding obvious but for what it’s worth here they are:

Firstly the interface is just lovely to use. It makes me want to pick it up and play with it. This goes beyond mere practicality – I could probably find other devices that offer me the same functionality, but I wouldn’t feel the same impulse to use them as I do with the touch.

Next, being wi-fi enabled has really brought home the "web as platform" concept. I’ve talked about this lots of times but having a tool with a locked operating system makes it real. My first instinct was to think "I need to install some apps" but of course I didn’t. With wi-fi I can access docs, organizer, spreadsheet, etc

Following on from this some sites are better than others. A few have specially designed iphone sites which offer reduced functionality but with neater design. Mentions go to remember the milk, google reader, facebook and typepad.

Now a negative – no Flash in Safari and from what I can gather no way of installing it. You can do a Jailbreak hack which allows you to install a couple of the apps that are on the iPhone, but it seems Adobe and Apple haven’t worked out a version of Flash that functions with the pinch and drag interface. It’s not clear if this is technical or political.

Lastly it has made me appreciate the value of instant start-up and access. Often I just want to check something quickly but my laptop has gone into hibernation, takes ages to reboot and then freezes, by which time I’ve lost the will to do it. With the touch it’s there straight away. This makes certain types of activity easier – for instance twittering, so expect to see more updates.

Oh, it’s taught me one more thing too – my wife gets me better presents than I get her.
(This post was produced on an iPod touch)


  • AJ Cann

    Does yours keep losing the network connection? After 10 minutes or so we seem to need to reconnect to our network.
    The iPod Touch reminds me of the first VHS recorder I bought. I’d sit in meetings thinking “I wish I could fast forward this bit”. Now, whenever I’m out of the house, I’m thinking about wireless access.
    Apart from that, breathtaking piece of disruptive technology. I’m still torn between the Aesus eePC and an iPod Touch, and I’m waiting to see what is announced on 15th January.

  • Martin

    No, mine seems to hold the network connection – but I’ve only used it at home, not on someone else’s network yet. The Asus also has that quick start-up benefit which really changes the way you use the net – in the same way that having an always on wireless connection changed it from having to go through dial-up. If I didn’t have a laptop then I’d go for the Asus, but the Touch performs a different function for me. Strangely, I don’t really think of it as an iPod, ie a music player, but more of a very portable, cool wi-fi access device.

  • John Connell

    Happy New Year, Martin.
    Like you, I tend to see the Touch as ‘not-an-iPod’. I always carry an iPod Video with me on my travels, and now that I find myself carrying both, I tend to still depend on the Video iPod for music and video, with the Touch mainly used for the many other things it can do.

  • Gill

    Agree with all comments, although I don’t lose the network connection either. I never imagined that accessing email via outlook web access on a handheld could ever be easy, but the itouch has transformed that. It has been a great wrench, but I forced myself to hand over my iPod video to one of my children. With the iPod touch, I just don’t need the two devices, although I miss the lovely dial. But then, I have still kept my iPod nano – well, one of them 🙂 .
    One of the failings I feel is the lack of a little sleeve, like the one supplied with the iPod video. I don’t want to put beautiful Ipod Touch in a bulky leather case, but I’d like something to protect the screen from the keys in my handbag. I’ve ended up carrying the thing in an old Acer N30 sleeve which is a bit big but which does the job. Oh, and I’ve bought a stick-on screen protector which I hate.

  • Janet Tokerud

    @Martin. Thanks for your good blog post on the touch. I agree, the touch is special and I love just having it with me — all the time. And it’s proven to me that even though I have a MacBook Pro in the room nearby, I often use the touch to surf or check email because it is so light and less cumbersome to handle.
    @AJ Cann. You shouldn’t be losing your connection every 10 minutes. My friend, Bob, had a problem a little like that and eventually he figured out what was wrong. I never get dropped on my home wifi network or any other typical hotspot cafe. I’m lucky, my favorite local coffee place has free wifi. I love having the easy access to the Net and read the NY Times, Engadget, check stocks, etc. (yeah I did jailbreak).
    @John C. I did keep my 80 gig iPod which is great for longer trips and nice to know it is there. But I don’t carry it with me all the time now that I have a 16 gig iPod touch. That’s enough room although I do fill up quite a lot of space with video podcasts because they are fun when you have a spare bit of time to watch.
    @Gill I think the sleeve is a good idea. But you don’t need a screen protector on the touch or the iPhone. You can’t scratch even trying with keys scraping across. I’ve had mine a couple weeks. I did get a case for Christmas that does not cover the screen. Apparently the chrome back can scratch.

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