Sunday, February 08, 2009

Not Gonna Wear A Black Turtleneck

My family gave me an iPod Touch for my birthday back in December. That's some pretty extravagant schwag for me since I'm usually the guy imploring folks to save thier dough when it comes to gift-giving. This approach is just my passive/agressive way of saying, "Anything I really want costs way too much.".

Nonetheless, an iPod Touch is what I got as a sort of restitution for last Summer's unfortunate alignment of JediBoy, my backpack full of gizmos, and Rose Point Marina's murky waters. The Touch is something I'd never get for myself, but it's pretty cool in that Apple-ly way of being pretty cool. I'll not be fellating a life-sized cutout of Steve Jobs anytime soon, but for listening to my Disney podcasts, the Touch beats my ancient Shuffle by a country mile.

But the Touch is more than a Shuffle on steroids. It does a bunch of other stuff really well, and is kind of mediocre in other areas.

The Good:
  • Built-in wi-fi with excellent web browsing and email support
  • Loads of applications - many of them free. Example: one free app shows all the nearest Tim Horton's via a Google Map mashup
  • includes Calendar and Contact List applications
  • includes iPod-specific versions of popular services, including: YouTube, Google Maps, Facebook, The Weather Network, etc.
  • 32Gb holds a lot of music and videos (a friend of mine has one and walks around with Buffy Season 1 comfortably in his pocket)
  • It's small, slim, and the touch screen is simply amazing
  • The touchscreen keyboard works quite well - even for fumble fingered folks like me
The Meh:
  • The Calendar and Contact List apps can't hold a candle to what Palm provided many years ago (the Touch is not quite yet what I'd call a PDA)
  • Applications - free or not - can only be loaded through the Apple iTunes biosphere
  • No support (yet) for copy/paste when you create text
  • The browser does not support Flash - allegedly due to on-going negotiations between Apple and Adobe
  • Battery size was lost at the expense of keeping the device slimmed down
  • no built-in Bluetooth, GPS, or camera (like it's big brother the iPhone)
  • No external keyboard or Ethernet support (would really make this a portable netbook-ish device)
So that's my review, I guess. It's an awesome little gadget - and I do love gadgets. In the interest of full disclosure, I did type this post using my Touch while sitting in my favourite TV-watching comfy chair. It took a solid 20 minutes of hunting and pecking on the touchscreen keyboard - and I shan't be doing that too often.


Adam Kantor said...

I made up a Christmas/birthday list of things that were way too expensive in the hopes that my wife would look at it, say, "everything on this list is too expensive" and then go ahead and get me nothing at all... which is what I wanted anyway since everything I want IS too expensive (ex. mac book pro, PS3, iPod touch, etc.)

It backfired, and ended up getting the PS3, 4 games, and the Dark Night on Blu-ray.

I'm torn on the touch though. I really want one but I hate iTunes with a passion. It's my one sticking point with most of Apple products. Similarly I want a mac book pro, but part of me knows what kind of PC I could get with the same money.

Crazylegs said...

I hear ya, man. I hate iTunes big-time - but I admire the fact that Apple is just as evil as Microsoft, but they seem to get a pass.

And I would *hardly* call a PS3, etc. as 'backfiring'. ;)

David said...

A PS3? Sucks to be you Adam (insert smiely face here). My wife really did think my Christmas list was too full of expensive stuff and bought me the 1mb Shuffle. You know, the one CL calls ancient and useless. Oh well, at least I am not continually hunting for AAA batteries.

Kid Dork said...

I'm afraid I have nothing to say, since I think all technology is just magic wrapped in plastic by disgruntled wizards.

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