Apple today announced the next generation of iPods, along with a $200 drop for the 8 GB iPhone and the rollout of the iPod touch.
The iPod touch is an iPhone without the cell phone or camera features.
As soon as I saw the description of the iPod touch, I decided we needed to buy one of those for either my business partner (Luke) or me. It seemed about as close as we can come to the Gphone until that tantalizingly-rumored mobile computing wonder becomes real. Luke enjoys having his phone separate from his PDA-type portable computing device. And the iTouch (full name is too long) seems to fit the bill for him.
After reading a few more articles about the newest iDevice from Apple, however, I'm starting to wonder what PDA-apps come with the iTouch and how locked-down they'll keep it. A quick look at the Apple website didn't reveal a detailed description of the unit, so we'll have to go to an Apple store and try it out for ourselves.
The pictures I saw indicate the iTouch has at least Contacts and Calendar (the two biggies), as well as Calculator and Clock (two nice-to-haves). Won't that be cool when someone figures out how to synch the iTouch Calendar with Gcal! The primary PDA mini-app it seems to be missing, based on the screenshots I've seen, is Notes. It is my sincere hope the iTouch either has a Notes feature or that Apple will add it or allow others to add some type of a mini-wordprocessor.
Other features of the iTouch are the standard iPod features for playing songs or videos and showing photos on the lovely 3.5" widescreen display. The b/g wireless connection will let you surf the web using Safari (which as all NEW NET people know, allows you access to all your essential web apps such as Gdocs, Gspreadsheets, Gmail, Gchat?, and soon-to-be-added, Gpresentation and Gwiki; when you're online, that is; or offline, as soon as Ggears or AIR or the other solutions for offline instances of web apps are available and compatible with the OS X version on the iTouch.) Although the previous sentence was a tad convoluted in a run-on way, the point was that we're getting closer to a converged mobile world.
Hmmm...the 8 GB model is $300, and the 16 GB is $400; both should be available this month (September). Since the version 1.0 unit (without GPS and without VoIP phone capability) will most likely be used by Luke, then inherited by me when 2.0 or 3.0 comes out with those other two features, we'll probably settle for the 8 GB iTouch. We'll also wait until closer to Christmas to buy ours, after the version 1.0 shakedown clears out the bugs. Although with nearly one million iPhones having been sold, there will be many less iBugs in the initial iTouch model than might otherwise be expected.
This post, obviously, reflects a bit of over-enthusiastic tech lust which comes as the result of having been played with an iPhone and learning that we can get most of its features for the same price as a high quality wireless PDA without having to pay the two years of AT&T's exclusive contract for the iPhone. The next 24 hours may find the iTouch fervor cooling off a bit at myDigitechnician, or it might find us wishing for an Apple store somewhere nearby to play with the new device in person.