I keep reading posts where I’m told that it’s ok for the iPod Touch to be missing many of the applications from the iPhone, because it really is just a digital music player.
To my mind, the thing that clearly puts the lie to that theory is the inclusion of the Safari web browser. As a music player, they could have included (with the built-in wifi) just the dedicated iTunes Store client, which would have brought them up to par with the Zune. Once they stepped over the line and included a full desktop grade web browsing client, they have clearly made something else. In fact, The iPod Touch is the first, true portable computer of the next generation. *
I’m not exaggerating here.
Apple has done what they almost always do: Looked at a hard problem, and found a thoughtful, elegant, effective solution. In this case, it was turning the wild west that is current web design into something that works on a small, keyboardless, information appliance. For the first time ever, I’m not tempted to look for my laptop to follow a link I heard on the radio — the iPod works just as well, and I’ve got it in my pocket.
In truth, I almost never plug headphones into my iPod. I’ll admit to watching dl.tv on it while waiting to pick up a pizza, but in general I just use it as a conduit to the web.
So, it’s in that context, that I find it so painful that they didn’t include many of the absolutely obvious apps from the iPhone:
- e-mail client
- note taker **
- google maps
And don’t get me started on the disabling of the ability to enter new calendar events.
Let’s be perfectly clear about this: This was not an attempt to keep the Touch true to its primary function; it was a transparent play to differentiate it from the iPhone and thereby maintain the iPhone’s value proposition.
Personally, I’m disappointed.
* Yes, the iPhone fits that category too.
** I’m reduced to using the notes field of a contact named “A A”. (ugh!)