Release Date: 9/9/2009
I know I’m late to the iPod scene, but Apple is finally starting to catch their products up to date software-wise. While Apple’s touch products (maybe Steve Jobs wasn’t hugged enough as a kid?) are ahead of their time hardware wise the Apple OS has always been lacking. With touch products like the Blackberry, and Android phones out they really show how old the Apple OS is getting. Before I start serving out what’s wrong with the device let’s go into Steve Jobs land (I don’t want to either) and see what the new 3G line of Apple products has to offer.
Apple has always been famous for making its products look the sleekest and most sexiest on the market and the iPod Touch 3G is right up there. If you compare this to the older models there are huge differences. It’s lighter, has a more rounded back, the touch screen is more responsive, there are external speakers (thank you!), the wi-fi is improved, and has external volume buttons (hallelujah!). While the 3G Touch may have only gotten a nip-tuck it’s enough to make you upgrade. While the looks of the hardware are enough to make anyone gawk the bright screen is lovely and the OS is nice for what it does. So, for the looks department, the 3G Touch is looking more like an iPhone and the changes are grand and welcomed.
There’s an App for That
No really, the iPod/iPhone set the standard for apps so this is the king of apps. You won’t find any apps as awesome as the ones on iTunes. There are apps for everything from ordering pizza, and checking your bank, to fart soundboards. Punch random keys into the search and you’re bound to find something. asdflwkje may come up as a Hooked on Phonics type app or may a word game. The app store is grand and huge and feels like the New York City of apps. Like NYC you have to watch out where you go because there are a lot of rotten apples. I, of course, picked up the 3G Touch is mainly another handheld gaming device because the games are getting really amazing on the Touch devices and are up there with the PSP and DS. While there are more bad ones than good the good stand out on their own.
Of course, the Apple OS was designed to see and use all these apps so that’s why the “dashboard”, as I like to call it, looks like a giant checkerboard…exciting. With app icons on a black background doesn’t sound exciting it gets the job done of keeping all the apps organized for you. You can manage an organization in iTunes by dragging the icons around or on the device itself. However, I hate the fact that you can’t delete built-in apps that you won’t even use as the voice recorder? There’s no mic! Why is it there? Maybe to make you so tired of seeing it that you go buy a 32 or 64-GB model with a mic.
Other than that the Apple OS has a nice on-screen keyboard, but you can’t always use it landscape style and this drives me nuts. The Safari browser works and does its job, but it’s nothing really special. All the default apps do their job well and that’s what truly counts.
Under the Hood
If you take a look under the hood (ok you won’t) you will see that the Touch devices have some of the fastest and most powerful processing hardware on the mobile market. The Touch has a powerful ARM Cortex A8 processor clocked at 600 MHz. Realize this is underclocked to conserve battery life, but if you jailbreak (hack) your iPod you can get up to 833 MHz. To compare this the original Xbox has a 733 MHz processor. Of course, this s really unnecessary since most apps and games don’t push the Touch devices this far…yet. The 3G has a more powerful processor than the previous Touch devices as well as more RAM. In fact, the 3G has 33% more RAM at 256MB while previous devices have only 128MB. This, of course, will allow for faster multitasking once the Apple OS 4.0 comes out. While it has a more powerful graphics card and Bluetooth and all that good stuff it makes for a powerful device.
The resolution isn’t as high as I’d like. Even the Motorola DROID has a higher resolution about double in fact. The 3G only has a 320×480 resolution and a 3.5″ screen. The screen could stand to be a bit bigger. A 4″ screen would be phenomenal, but for an MP3 player, we’re getting quite a bit.
It’s Still an MP3 Player
Despite all the other stuff, this thing can do it’s still essentially an MP3 player. The sound is amazing and even sounds great plugged up to an external audio source. The iPod has a lot of equalization options, playlist options, shake-to-shuffle, and so on. If you are a music nut the iPod Touch is the perfect thing for you even if you don’t want apps or games. If you even like the video the iPod does a great job of displaying video in HD.
What’s Wrong With It?
Well, it’s mainly the Apple OS’s limitations, iTunes itself with all its weird copyright protection quirks, and the fact that the device can do so much more, but requires user modded jailbreaking. My biggest gripe is the fact that there’s no external memory option so you’re stuck with expensive device choices. Other than that the Touch is perfect for anybody hardcore users or casual.