The iPod touch is a very misunderstood mobile device. When many people talk about it, it’s usually in the context of playing music. I think that has more to do with the name “iPod” than anything else. Given the product’s illustrious history, it’s totally understandable that it has become synonymous with music. Sometimes I wonder though if Apple needs to think about changing the name and giving it more of a separate identity from the other music-focused iPod products.
The iPod touch goes far beyond being just a music player, it’s a pocket computer that can do virtually anything an iPhone or iPad can do (minus phone calls or cellular connections). I’ve found that the iPod touch works better for me as a handheld computer than any version of the iPad or iPhone. And it all has to do with how thin and light the iPod touch is in comparison to other devices.
Why I bought a 16GB iPod touch
I recently bought a 16GB iPod touch fifth generation to use around the house. I used to own an iPad 3, then I bought an iPad Air which I sold, and finally I got an iPad mini retina and I also sold that. Why didn’t I keep any of the iPads that I bought?
Well no matter how hard I tried, I could never enjoy any of my iPads for long. They were all – even the iPad mini – just too darn big for me to use for any length of time. I like to read ebooks, browse Reddit in Alien Blue and do a bit of journaling on my iOS devices. But none of the iPads were light or small enough to comfortably hold for long with just one hand, and the larger screens just didn’t make a difference for me.
I also already have an iPhone 5, but even that didn’t suit my tastes to use for long periods of time when I’m at home. I don’t care for the sharp edges on the iPhone 5, or its weight. So I finally took a look at the iPod touch. I considered which one to buy, and finally opted for a 16GB model with no back camera. I opted for the cheapest model since I didn’t need extra storage or a camera.
Also, the 32GB and 64GB iPod touches were about 2 grams heavier than the 16GB. I know, I know. Who cares about 2 grams? Well I do, I wanted the absolute lightest device I could find that fit comfortably in my hand and the 16GB iPod touch was just right for me. Why hold an extra 2 grams of weight in your hand if you don’t need to?
And don’t get me started about the weight of the other iOS devices. The iPad mini retina wi-fi edition weighs 331 grams, and the iPad Air is a chunky 469 grams. None of these is nearly as pleasant to hold as my iPod touch.
Plus, I have iTunes Match so I don’t need to store a lot of music on my iPod touch. And I generally use one of my computers for music at home, not a mobile device. It’s rather ironic that I’m not using an iPod touch for music, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who bought an iPod touch for reasons that had nothing to do with playing music.
Lighter really is better
When the iPod Touch arrived from Apple, I was pleased to find that it was indeed much lighter than my iPhone 5. You barely feel like you are holding anything when you have the iPod touch in your hand. The model I got weighs about 86 grams versus around 112 grams for the iPhone 5.
But I wondered how well it would run iOS 7. After all the iPod touch fifth generation has an A5 processor and 512MB of RAM, it’s not exactly a speed demon these days. But I needn’t have worried because for my needs I didn’t see much of a difference between my iPhone 5 and my iPod touch. Both of them run iOS 7.1 very well.
Ebooks in Amazon’s Kindle app are a more pleasant experience on the smaller iPod touch screen than they ever were on the larger iPads. The iPads are fine devices too, you can certainly read plenty of ebooks on them and I have done so in the past. But the larger sizes of the iPads just didn’t suit me as well in terms of comfort as the iPod touch.
I actually walk around sometimes while I’m reading as I sit a lot during the day while I’m working. So it’s nice to be able to move around while enjoying an ebook, and the iPod touch is incredibly easy to use with one hand while I walk back and forth in my kitchen. I can thumb through pages without missing a beat.
I noted the sharper edges of the iPhone 5 above, and I was very happy to find that the iPod touch has rounded, smoother edges. You can really feel the difference if you hold an iPhone 5 in one hand and the iPod touch in the other. Just hold either one for a long time or do a lot of thumb typing and you’ll notice the difference.
It’s also nice not to have to worry about charging the iPhone 5 before I leave the house, since I use the iPod touch at home exclusively. When I do go out the iPhone 5 is pretty much always charged up and ready to go. So that’s a rather nice benefit of having both devices.
As much as I like the other iOS devices, none of them really worked well for my needs at home. However, your mileage may vary. I know a number of people who love their iPads and iPhones, and more power to them and to you if you’re like them. They are all great devices, and I’m glad that they are an option for those who prefer them.
The iPod touch is alive and well!
All of this has made me realize that not all of us really need a tablet device with a larger screen or a souped up iPhone with a mega-fast processor. Sometimes less really is more and, for me, that’s definitely the case with the iPod touch.
Unfortunately, I see a fair amount of articles predicting the doom of the iPod. Perhaps this might someday be true, but I don’t see it happening in the short term at all. iPod sales might be down from their glory days, but there are plenty of people who want an entrance into the iOS system but prefer not to get an iPhone or iPod.
And there are even rumors swirling right now that the iPhone 6 will be quite like the iPod touch in its design, with it being thinner and having rounded edges. It remains to be seen if these rumors are true, but if they are then the iPod touch may be the basis for the latest iPhone. Talk about irony!
For me the iPod touch is something akin to an iPad nano (even though it runs iPhone apps and not iPad apps). It gives me everything I need, but in the palm of my hand. The iPod touch’s functionality far exceeds the roots of its name. It ceased being just a music player a long, long time ago.
Long live the iPod touch!
What’s your take on the iPod touch? Tell me in the comments below.