back to article Apple iPod Touch

Apple may be keen to tout the Touch's 3.5in display, but the first thing you notice about the new iPod is how thin it is. Front to back it measures 8mm - on paper not as thin as the 6.5mm thick iPod Nano, but you'd never really know unless you measured them both. The point is, the Touch is supremely skinny. It's hard to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Touch w/ a hack

    I puchased one of these this weekend. Loved it, but really was disappointed by the lack of applications available (I know its a music player, however with this much capability I wanted to push it.)

    Last nightI after verifying that it could be easily restored, I performed the jailbreak on it and was very quickly installing the iPhone apps and of third party apps such as the Apollo IM client. I can actually ssh into my desktop as well.

    Now i have a iPod that is truely fun.

  2. Chris Wood
    Thumb Up

    Probably the best iPod so far

    I've had an iPod Touch for nearly a month now after picking one up on a recent trip to New York and I can't stress enough what an absolute joy it is to use. The user interface is better than anything I've ever experienced. The iPod is slick as ever and the brightness and contrast of the screen really lend themselves to watching videos. I've been watching episodes of 24 on the iPod, a series with a lot of dark scenes, and I've had no issues at all.

    The web browser is simply astonishing when compared to Opera Mini on a mobile phone; it is nearly the equivalent of a desktop browser save for flash support (and let's the honest, you'd only want that for YouTube and there's a dedicated YouTube app anyway).

    Minor niggles: the lack of hardware volume controls, not being able to add calendar events (although you can add contacts despite what this article implies) and some syncing issues with album art in iTunes. 2 out of those 3 can be fixed with firmware updates. Maybe Apple should have included some kind of inline remote to deal with the volume control issue; I'm sure someone else will release one if they don't.

  3. Alan Jenney
    Thumb Down

    Cannot enter contacts? Cannot read/write e-mail?

    There's a massive disappointment. Being able to enter contact information into a PDA is one of the things that lets you show off your latest acquisition. In competitive arenas, it's a bit of a blow to your self esteem when you have to ask somebody for their card or worse still, say that you're going to write down their name and number on a napkin and enter it later.

    Read/write e-mail? I guess you could do that "online" using the web browser, but that would appear to be a particularly heavy way of doing something that's simpler with an application that's designed to work with the Touch's interface.

  4. amike
    IT Angle

    ipod touch : what else ?

    Archos 605 : wifi, opera, 30goHD ?

  5. Simon
    Jobs Horns

    Pointlessly limited

    I was going to buy one of these. I really was. I got as far as the apple shop with money in my hand. But I stopped.

    Why on earth have Apple deliberately crippled some of the functionality of the iPhone in the touch? The touch would be an ideal PDA accompaniment to a Mac if only they hadn't disabled the ability to enter calendar events or contacts. You can do it on the iPhone (which is essentially the same hardware) so this is purely a marketing ploy to try to make you buy an iPhone.

    Come on Steve. I want to give you my money. I really do. But stop pulling stupid stunts like this!

    [I generally dislike the new icons, but this one just seemed too apt...]

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing applications not missing any longer...

    The iPod touch has already been hacked and runs all applications that run on the iPhone, including Mail and Google maps.

    Look at for details.

    It is also vulnerable to a TIFF-exploit in Safari (that was the way they got in). The iPhone, too. As long as Apple hasn't fixed that with an update, every iPhone and iPod touch can theoretically taken over by code hidden in a tiny TIFF file on any website you visit on these devices.

  7. Devil's Refugee

    Nice review.....but out of date already

    ....are you aware that the Touch has been hacked now and you can add all manner of apps, including IM, Mail, etc ??

    Maybe you don't want to play cat and mouse with Apple's developers trying to lock the device a la iPhone, but it's a step in the right direction to make the Touch even more functional.

    Another 5% for hacked Touches for the review score perhaps ?!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    iPod Touch - really nice gadget

    Firstly I am not an apple fanboy, but I do think the touch is a great gadget and really intuitive to use.

    I bought an iPod Touch as an update from my 4G 1st gen nano. I did have a play with an iPhone from the US - but was not impressed by the phone part. I said at the time that if they took the phone out and put more memory in then I would get one - They did and I did.

    Using the touch is simple for all functions, and the speed of the UI is fantastic (when I compare this to the S60 interface on my N95 or the Linux UI on my N800 the touch wins hands-down) - Yes, I am a gadget freak.

    I agree that external volume controls would have been useful, and the price is a little too high for the amount of memory - but on the whole I am very pleased with the purchase.

    I put the same film onto the touch, the N800 and N95 to compare them - the N95 playback was surprisingly good, but the screen is too small for a whole film to be enjoyable. The N800 screen is bigger, but the playback was not as good. The touch wins as a good balance between screen size, playback quality, size and weight.

    As I travel regularly the touch is great on a flight - watching a film on it is good, and it does not take up all the tray space (like using a laptop or portable DVD player) and is much lighter than either option. The only downside is the interuptions from other passengers asking about it, and wanting to have a look at it - but this will stop soon as the uber-hype dies down.

    I am not worried about the lack of e-mail client as I only use webmail anyway. I would have liked bluetooth on the touch so I could use the N95 as a modem and surf with the touch - which I can do with the N800 + N95.

    In conclusion, I would say that as a media device the touch is the best I have used - not perfect, and others are better for some things, but it is still the best overall.

    I will continue using the N95 as a phone, and some of the apps for it (widsets, sports tracker for example) are usefull. I will use the Touch as my primary media playback device and as my preferred portable surfing device - when near a hotspot - and the N95 when I am not.

    My rating: 85%

    PS - when I go to France I stay in the Paris Hilton ;-)

  9. Pierre

    No new contacts?

    Most of the reviews I've read so far about the iPod Touch say that unlike the calendar, you can add contacts manually. (Apple even says so: )

    The lack of a calendar that I can update is the only thing preventing this from becoming my new PDA -- but at least they're halfway there...

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Chris Haynes

    Not entirely true...

    "Not so the Touch, which you have to bring out in full view of all and sundry, disable the screen lock then adjust the volume slider. For those of us living in metropolitan environments, that's just not discreet enough."

    You can double-click the Home button and it displays controls that you can use to adjust the volume, skip tracks etc. But yes, you still need to take it out of your pocket in order to use the controls.

    PS: Where's the picture of Steve Jobs with a halo atop his bonce?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great, when it works

    Well, I pre-ordered a 16Gig Touch on the basis that my venerable iAudio M3 is currently held together with rubber bands.

    Sadly, my iPod Touch has only worked fleetingly. Apple have agreed to replace it; but don't have any stock at the moment.

    When it has worked, it's great. Aside from being a fingerprint magnet, it looks fantastic, and feels very solidly put together. Sound quality is pretty decent, although I too noticed a fair amount of noise when no music is playing -- this with a decent set of Senheissers. Not tried the bundled 'phones... I find it much easier to find the music I want with Coverflow (I'm rubbish at remembering album names, but am good with their covers!); and navigation in general is very good.

    I've not had a chance to try the video player (in between crashes), and the same goes for the web browser.

    The keyboard initially was a disaster. My big navvy like thumbs seemed to be able to 'press' every button but the one I wanted. But, I assume the kayboard has some learning ability, as very rapidly my typing improved. This was definitely not due to a stunning increase in accuracy of thumb stabbing! I've not really been able to use the keyboard long enough to determine where this increase in usability plateaus, nor have I used in in (apparently) harder to use portrait mode.

    So, I think my advise would be: wait until v1.1.2 of the firmware comes out -- mine crashed (heavily) after being forced by iTunes to 'upgrade' the firmware. And wait 'til Apple have some stock. If your's bricks, it's really annoying not to be able to replace it. But, as my first introduction to an iPod, I think it's generally excellent. If only it worked all the time!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little more detail?

    Underneath all the flashy attire that makes fanboys squeal with delight, it is still an mp3 player, and it'd be great to see it reviewed like one.

    What is the battery life like? What audio formats does it play? Does it play them well? Do certain more processor/IO intensive formats (eg OGG/FLAC) cause noticeable slow-down on the device?

    Fine if you're not an audiophile, but it would have been nice to at least see the SNR on the headphone jack -- something a little more concrete than "more background noise than we'd would have liked". It's likely that other people have measured this (and other) audio fidelity stats for the touch; could you have looked around and posted a link?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Tis a lovely gadget

    What is the battery life like?

    He said in the review, 22 hours easy

    What audio formats does it play?

    MP3 and AAC, you can only fill it with iTunes which will convert other format to AAC for transfer.

    As for any background noise, try turning wifi off, it only eats battery anyway when its in your pocket. I can't hear any, best audio quality i've heard in a player.

    And oh, soo shiny

  15. Colin McDonald

    Forget the 8Gb limit - you can stream to it...

    Check out the web app 'iPhone remote' which has been around for the phone for a while, which lets you run a streaming media server on your desktop from which you can stream video to your iTouch over WiFi - suddenly my 8Gb iTouch has a whopping 760Gb of disk space available to it and I no longer feel the need to buy an AppleTV. 8^)

    Couple of things others might have noticed; the keyboard zooms each key as you type to help you know you've hit it, which is great except when you're typing passwords, which suddenly become stupidly easy to read from the next seat over... and on the subject of passwords, get used to typing them as Safari won't remember them for you.

    One major annoyance is that the common URL punctuation isn't on the main keyboard screen, so every time you want :// and . you have to flip to the number pad. It's surprising how often I find I have to do this.

    There are a few obscure bugs like if you pause a video and the screen goes to sleep, I find it wakes up in music mode for no obvious reason, but these will get fixed eventually, as will the calendar events thing I'm told. My unit had the negative black screen problem mentioned in the review but the firmware update fixed it. I still find the video a little weird on the eyes as the color shift from the slight difference in angle for each eye is noticeable.

    Worst thing about the iTouch (and all the new iPods) is Apple's move to put video out through the dock connector rather than the headphone jack (as in older iPods), meaning £35 for an Apple cable (and another £35 for the new Apple universal dock to go with it if you want to use a remote) until Belkin and others bring out their own.

    The lack of apps is a shame, although I might look at the hack mentioned above if it genuinely is reversible painlessly, but there are some reasonable web apps appearing if you have a WiFi connection, and it's also worth knowing that The Cloud has introduced a special £3.99 per month no contract rate for the iPod Touch, if you happen to live or work or commute through one of their hotspots regularly.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few points about it.....

    1. "which you have to bring out in full view of all and sundry, disable the screen lock then adjust the volume slider" The amount of people that I have seen with older ipods do this anyway I don't think this is that big a problem. Some people just hold it out in the open while walking. If your using those rubbish white earphones, people will know you're probably using an iPod anyway.

    2. If you know anyone going to the US get them to buy you 1 or 5 to sell for a profit ;)

    3. You HAVE to get an invisibleSHIELD it's not an option, trust me. The back gets so scratched too easily I've had to polish the back of mine and put an invisibleSHIELD on to it. It's worth the money and you'll hold its resale value better for a probable 32Gb flash version next year. If your going to get this for someone for Christmas order yours now cause they can't ship them out the door quick enough at the moment! Without the shield it's a fingerprint magnet which gets grubby with everyones hands getting all over it.

    4. Join FON

    5. Hack it and add the missing iPhone apps and defy such an obviously cynical Apple act

  17. tranquil

    Shall be trying to explain my so-called conversion for the next few minutes.go, go go,

    First Apple product I've ever brought mostly because I always said that I'd never buy an ipod when it didn't do anything I could get on another companies machine for less.

    It is a lil bit awesome, its hard to over-state how good the web-browser works, I use it when I don't have time for my PC to boot-up, to check how late my trains going to be, for example. But more and more I use it when I don't want to exit out of a game or a film, and this is after a week and a half, I'm sure it's usage will only increase.

    Apple have undeniably crippled it, and should feel ashamed of themselves. But every feature they've not thought of, or shamelessly deliberately denied, will be added/re-added by third parties until Apple has no choice but to add them in a firmware update.

    Maybe it is a little style of substance, but go-darn it, I'm hooked.

  18. Simon
    Thumb Up


    Damn I can't justify why I would buy one of these, but I know i'm going to be clicking a Buy button any day now.

    It just looks soooo nice.

  19. Angus

    90% is about right.

    I have had one for 2 weeks now and generally I am pleased with it. The sound (once I got rid of the basic ear buds) is very good and mostly the controls are nice. I do however have some niggles with it.

    1. The lack of specific Volume buttons to me is quite annoying, I really would prefer having dedicated buttons for that.

    2. The screen for me while watching video is on the whole very nice, as long as the video is bright. Dark colours seem to be a bit muddy on my one.

    3. Itunes. Unfortunatly I am not a big fan. Just a personal preference thing but not that thrilled being forced to use it.

    4. Safari. On the whole it renders pages very nicely and with little issue, however it seems to have problems with pages that have frames that have a set viewable resolution and are very long. You find yourself having to scroll a looong way down sometimes as it wants to render the whole frame and not just the visible part it seems.

    Also would like to be able to set the page width/rendered resolution manually. That is a wish however and not really a complaint.

    5. It's soo shiny.. Too bloody shiny.. not to worry tho.. the back of mine will very soon be a mat finish from all the scratches. :P

    6. Why the cut down version of the calendar? Minor issue but annoying.

    On the whole tho a nice item that does what it says well.

  20. Ascylto

    Where's Cade Metz when you need him?


    An article praising an Apple product?

    You must really want tickets to the next Apple bonanza! But be careful ... you are at risk of getting a reputation for fairness and that would never do!

    Nice, one Apple (and El Reg, for once).

  21. Kim Rasmussen

    iPod Touch != N800

    They're rather different devices.

    The iPod is a good media player, but 320x480 just ain't gonna cut it for websurfing, IMHO.

    The N800 is a geek-toy for developers, with a good (800x480) screen for some quick surfing, but it's too bulky to really be a good replacement for the iPod as a portable media player.

    I love (not carnally, mind) my N800, and use the Navicore GPS kit quite a bit, but it's not something I'd recommend to non-propellerheads.

    The iPod Touch, however, would be of little use to me.

    Different strokes...

  22. Angus
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    So when you praise an apple product you are being fair and if you criticise one you are being what... unfair? biased??

    /shakes head.

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