New iPod Touch A Bust

I went to the Apple store today to check out all the new products that came out a few weeks ago.  It was cool to see the new iPod lineup, but I have to admit, it was quite underwhelming.

First, with the new iPod Touch, Apple set a pretty high bar as far as features go with the new iPhone 4.  Apple has always created artificial parity between the iPhone and the Touch, but this time I really think they sold themselves short.  First off is the camera.  New to the Touch line, the front camera is about the same as in the iPhone, but the rear facing camera (you know the one you'll actually use to take pictures) is quite a bit inferior.  The iPhone 4 boasts a 5MP, while the Touch has a paltry 1MP camera.  Huh?  I know one guy (who doesn't own any Apple products) was pretty pumped to get the Touch until he learned about the fast move pulled by Apple.  He was excited to now only be able to listen to music and watch videos, but he was hoping that this could fill a need for a point and shoot camera.

Second, the shape of the device itself is off.  I've always been happy with how iThings (as I've come to call them) sit in your hand and the easy access of buttons.  The iPod Touch is very, very thin (even compared to the iPhone 4) and its side button are very difficult to push, if for no other reason that the button sit on the side curve of the back.  The iPhone 4, meanwhile, has few angular curves that gives a solid feel.  Pressing the volume buttons on the Touch is very difficult and I could not do it without compromising the strong hold on the device.

Performance wise, the Touch is spot on, playing games like Angry Birds almost too well.  If you're using this to listen to music or play some games, the Touch has always been a great platform to do so, but the design of the device really left me wanting.  This coming from someone who owns a first generation iPod Touch, iPhone 3Gs, and an iPad.

I really think Apple could have done better, but the cynic in me says that they gimped it on purpose.  I know at least a couple of people that were in a 'buy' mode until all the let downs I explained.  Oh well.  There's always next year.

Posted on Sep 18
Written by Wayne Hartman