Tag Archive for ‘iPod touch’

Apple Discontinues iPod Touch ➝

They’ve finally discontinued the last iPod. It’s the end of an era.

Although I haven’t used an iPod regularly since I bought an iPhone in 2007, I still have an incredible affinity for it. I gifted an iPod touch to my father-in-law, which was his first introduction to personal computing. And the fifth-generation iPod is one of the best gadgets of all time.

I used an iPod to listen to my favorite bands in high school. I spent thousands of hours listening to podcasts on an iPod. And before the Apple TV was released, I used an iPod to power the living room TV in my first apartment — for TV shows, movies, and video podcasts.

It’s a shame there isn’t enough of a market for it anymore.

➝ Source: apple.com

The Gift of Computing

My father-in-law, Bob, has absolutely no interest in traditional computers. There’s been one in his home for nearly fifteen years, but after several failed attempts at learning how to use it, he gave up entirely. His job never required him to use one and he was fine with that — he’d much rather pick up a phone and call someone or grab a book off the shelf than bother with a computer.

Things have changed over the past couple of years, though. He’s now retired and doesn’t get that daily dose of socialization that he become accustomed to over the thirty-five or so years that he worked. He spends most of days doing yard work or various home projects.

When the weather started getting cold this year — and the amount of time spent on yard work diminished — he began to express interest in new forms of communication. Everyone’s so busy these days that they don’t have as much time to pick up the phone and talk with him like they used to. Text-based messaging would be ideal, but again, he has absolutely no interest in using a traditional computer.

Bob hasn’t been quite so hesitant about touch-based interfaces, though. There’s been a handful of times that my wife would sit down with him and they’d tap their way through her iPhone — taking photographs, changing the station in Pandora, sending messages, and initiating FaceTime calls with family members that live out of town. He needed some coaching, but he was able to use the device without too much trouble. And most importantly, the use of direct input methods made the experience much less intimidating to him.

Another one of the hobbies that he’s spent time on since retirement is photography. He doesn’t have an expensive or complicated camera by any means, just an old, digital point-and-shoot. But he loves taking pictures of the wildlife in his backyard — the fox that routinely patrols the neighborhood, the deer that occasionally come off the hill, and the bears that he’s able to spy out the kitchen window. He loves taking pictures and sharing them with anyone who’ll look at them.

The problem with the sharing aspect of his hobby is that, without the use of a computer, he doesn’t have a good way of sending these photos to anyone. If he wants to show someone the fox or how many deer were in the yard yesterday, he has to physically show them the photo on his camera’s display or print them out at the local pharmacy. It’s less than ideal.

Hopefully this will all change next week. My wife, her sister, and I have pooled our money and will be giving him an iPod touch for Christmas this year. The iPod touch seems like the perfect device for introducing computing to his life. It’s pocketable, inexpensive, doesn’t require a monthly service fee like an iPhone, and replaces an existing device for him — his camera.

But we aren’t simply giving him an iPod touch and expecting him to figure it all out on his own. The device is going to be configured for him. Nearly every app on the iPod touch will be hidden inside of a folder on the second Home Screen. The first page of that folder will have nothing but the Settings app in it — making it difficult to find apps he hasn’t learned about yet by stashing them in subsequent pages. The first Home Screen will be completely blank with just two apps in the Dock — Photos and Camera.

Because the iPod touch is going to be pitched to him as a replacement for his camera, Photos and Camera are the first two applications that we will teach him to use. With these he’ll be able to take photos, record video, and share them over iCloud. iOS’s native iCloud Photo Sharing is already my family’s preferred method of sharing photos so he’ll also have access to years worth of photographs by my wife, her sister, and myself that he can like and comment on.

Once he’s mastered the features within these two applications we will slowly start introducing more apps into his Dock and Home Screen. We’ll start with Messages and move on to Weather, Calculator, Google’s PhotoScan, and anything else that he might be interested in.

Even if he never ends up moving past the Camera and Photos apps, it will still be a huge improvement over his previous setup. His photographs will look better and he’ll actually be able to share them and communicate with friends and family through shared photos’ comments. That’s something that isn’t possible for him without the iPod touch. But with any luck, these features alone will spark interest in other applications and he’ll quickly want to learn everything he can about this new, digital world.

iPod Touch, The Best Secure Communicator ➝

Joseph Cox, writing for Wired:

If you want to communicate really securely, you may assume you need some government level spy training, a high tech encrypted phone, or at least a custom operating system. Nope. Not at all. It turns out the most secure communications device available to anyone, anywhere, right now is the humble iPod Touch.

I had never thought of the hyper-security-conscious when it comes to who the iPod Touch appeals to, but it makes perfect sense. It has all the conveniences of a smartphone without the inherently insecure cellular radio that’s constantly broadcasting your location to the nearest cell towers. I’ll keep this in mind if I ever become a secret agent.

Is the New iPod touch a Harbinger of a 4-inch iPhone 6c? ➝

Jason Snell:

The new iPod touch, for all its advancements, still sports the same 4-inch Retina display as the iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c. And it makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, it’s the first hint that we’ll be seeing an updated 4-inch iPhone–let’s call it the 6c–this fall.

It’s possible that Apple has moved into a comfortable tic-toc development cycle for iPhones — releasing a new industrial design for the top-tier devices every two years with a new, low-end model coming out on the years when the 5s, 6s, etc. are released. This was the case with the iPhone 5c two years ago and could be the case with an iPhone 6c this Fall.

I think it’s important for Apple to continue developing 4-inch iPhones. It gives them a clear differentiator between device tiers — it feels like the extra $100 is going towards more than just internals. And, there’s still plenty of users that prefer the 4-inch form factor.

Imagine how clean the iPhone lineup would be if it consisted of a 4-inch iPhone 6c, a 4.7-inch iPhone 6s, and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. With those models alone Apple could span every price point from $99 all the way to $499 with a 2-year contract. And I suppose if they wanted to continue offering an iPhone at no cost with a 2-year contract, they could continue selling the iPhone 5s.

To take it back to the iPod touch, it didn’t strike me, just how much the new iPod touch looks like an iPhone, until I was browsing The Verge’s hands-on gallery — it clearly looks like a younger sibling to the iPhone 6. And, I’m sure Apple is clever enough to see how advantageous it would be for them to share parts between the iPod touch and iPhone 6c. Apple loves manufacturing efficiencies and and the new iPod touch feels like it was designed with that in mind — between the A8 processor, 8MP camera, 1GB of RAM, and 4-inch display there’s plenty for it to share with a potential iPhone 6c.

If Apple doesn’t release a new 4-inch iPhone this Fall that features hardware specs that are eerily similar to the new iPod touch, I’ll be astonished.

Apple’s iPod Lineup to See Refresh This Year ➝

Neil Hughes, reporting for AppleInsider:

A source familiar with Apple’s future product plans indicated that Apple’s iPods — specifically the largest-screened model, the iPod touch — are expected to see an update later this year.

The source suggested that Apple could retain the same 4-inch screen size as the current iPod touch model, though they didn’t offer any certainty on that front.

He goes on to suggest that Apple is likely to reuse parts from the iPhone lineup in the new iPod touch. But, what if the iPod touch is to the Apple Watch what the iPad is to the iPhone? What if, instead of reusing parts from the iPhone, Apple builds a beefier version of the S1 (maybe call it the S1X) that’s intended to run a full installation of iOS?

There’s no need to worry about Apple having economies of scale with the iPhone, they’re going to continue selling enough units to be able to maintain inexpensive manufacturing costs. But, building efficiencies in the manufacturing of the Watch is a little more difficult. Even if the Watch is a smash-hit it’s unlikely to ever outsell the iPhone.

Sharing parts (or similar parts, as the case may be) between the Apple Watch and iPod touch could be a clever way to get the manufacturing of both products combined up to a scale that’s closer to that of the iPhone. This, of course, would help lower the cost to manufacture those parts and help keep their margins high while maintaining a price point that doesn’t have the benefit of beingobfuscated by cellular contract subsidies.

Or, they could just continue designing the iPod touch with the same parts they’ve used in previous iPhone models. But, thinking about the iPod touch as more of a peer to the Apple Watch than the iPhone makes a lot of sense to me.

iWork for iOS to Come Free with iOS Device Purchase ➝

Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, and iMovie will all come free with the purchase of any iOS device. That’s huge news.

I’ve always used iPhoto as an incredible selling point when trying to convince a friend or family member to switch to the Mac. This is a great way to convince anyone on the fence to finally make the switch to iOS.

The New iPod touch ➝

4-inch display (the same as the iPhone 5), 5-megapixel camera, A5 processor, a brand new super-thin design, and starts at $299 for 32GB.

What if Apple marketed this as a point-and-shoot camera? Like their old ad campaign that positioned the iPod touch as a competitor in the handheld gaming market.

A Charlie Brown Christmas ➝

What a wonderful way to relive your childhood. Each new “page” pops open like a pop-up book and most objects react when you tap on them. I was a huge fan of A Charlie Brown Christmas when I was a child and actually own a hard-cover copy of The Joy of A Peanuts Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas was developed by Loud Crow Interactive and I hope to see a lot more like this from them in the future.