The iPod Touch is not an iPod.

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 … Continue reading “The iPod Touch is not an iPod.”

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!)

2 thoughts on “The iPod Touch is not an iPod.”

  1. Its pretty clear to me, though I don’t own one, that the iPod Touch is a connected media device. I’m not sure I’d quite say “portable computer” since that implies the widest range of usages which I don’t think is what they’re going for. And I don’t view that as a bad thing. I think Apple is clever in understanding that devices focused to certain tasks, that do those tasks very well, are extremely powerful both as pieces of electronics and more deeply as personal artifacts of a media rich world. Being connected is just the next logical step.

  2. re: “I don’t think is what they’re going for”.

    I have to agree that they weren’t thinking in terms of a typical personal computer, but step back and ask you what you usually do with your laptop — browse the web, read email, keep track of your schedule, maybe make a little music 😉 — all these things are potentially doable on an iPod Touch. And as the distinctions between “local” applications and web apps get more and more blurred, the range of capabilities will only increase.

    We’re talking about an honest to god, OS X machine here. One that’s only a couple of hacks and a recompile away from running anything from SSH to Apache, and that has a rich, modern, usable UI. It’s the beginning of the star trek future, man: LCARS pads lying around on the desk that have the full power of the Enterprise behind them.

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