New iPod Touch an iPhone without the phone

6 September 2007 No Comment Mike Evans

Apple iPod Touch MP3 player
Apple have announced a raft of new iPods, with the most drool-worthy version being this, the iPod Touch. The interesting thing about the new Touch is that it’s really just an iPhone without the phone. It’s got the same interface, the same Safari browser, CoverFlow, and even Wi-Fi connectivity – they both even share the same operating system.

More details on the iPod Touch after the jump.
Apple iPod Touch showing video
In fact, the only thing you can’t do with the Touch is make a phone call. Given that the iPhone only comes with GSM and EDGE connectivity, which aren’t exactly cutting edge technologies, it seems that all Apple has done is cut out the GSM radio from the iPhone and repackaged it as an iPod.

Perhaps this is their way of hedging their bets – if the iPhone fails against beefy competition such as Nokia and Samsung, the iPhone technology will live on in the shape of the iPod Touch, which has much weedier competitors.

Equally, the iPhone gives Apple the added complication of having to play nicely with the mobile operators, whereas the Touch has no such problems, and so if Apple falls out with AT&T it can discontinue the iPhone without having to throw away the billions in R&D it’s spent on the iPhone’s innards and interface.

iPod Touch Specification

Apple iPod Touch showing user interface
OK, enough with speculation, let’s look at the specs!

The first thing you’ll note about the iPod Touch is the familiar iPhone interface. The Touch uses the same Multi-touch user interface, which lets you interact with the content by sliding your fingers all over the shiny new screen. You can scroll around a web site in the Safari browser, for example, simply by sliding your finger and moving the web site around with it, and select tunes from the glorious CoverFlow app ina similar way.

The big news with the iPod touch is that it comes with Wi-Fi built-in. Not only does this let you browse the web using Safari, you can also use it to stream videos from YouTube, and download Tunes directly from iTunes via the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.

As far as battery life is concerned, the iPod Touch will give you 22 hours of listening pleasure, and 5 hours of viewing pleasure when you’re playing videos on its 3.5″ widescreen display.

The iPod touch also comes with a host of applications, and will also run any application that an iPhone will run (they’re the same underneath, remember). As you can see from this pic (below), that includes Facebook’s new iPhone application, plus all the Google Maps wizardry that comes with the iPhone.
Apple iPod Touch with FaceBook Application
Two models will be available: the iPod Touch 8GB, which should retail for $299 (or $100 less than the iPhone – hmmm, GSM radios are considerably cheaper than that!), and the iPod Touch 16GB, which will retail for $399.

So you’re left with a choice now – go for the iPhone with half the memory, or the iTouch with no phone. Personally I think I’d go for the iTouch and get myself a decent phone! You get the best of both worlds then – a cool media player with the famous (and, it has to be said, deeply cool) iPhone user interface, and a decent phone with features that are somewhat more recent than the iPhone’s weedy 2004-like offerings.

More iPod Touch Details

From the Press Release:

Apple® today introduced the new iPod® touch featuring Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch user interface that enables users to find and enjoy all of their music, videos and more on its gorgeous widescreen display with just the touch of a finger. First introduced on iPhone™, the multi-touch interface uses pioneering new software to present the perfect user interface for each application. The iPod touch also includes Wi-Fi wireless networking, the first on any iPod, and three amazing applications that use it–Safari™, the most advanced browser on any mobile device, lets users wirelessly view web pages just as they look on their computer, and features Google Search or Yahoo! oneSearch; Apple’s YouTube application lets users wirelessly watch over 10 million free videos from the Internet’s most popular video website; and the new iTunes® Wi-Fi Music Store lets users wirelessly browse, preview and buy songs and albums from the most popular online music store in the world. The iPod touch is an unbelievable 8 mm thin, and is priced starting at just $299.

“The iPod touch is a landmark iPod, ushering in a whole new generation of features based on its revolutionary multi-touch interface and built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “People are going to be amazed at how thin it is and how much it does.”

With its gorgeous 3.5-inch widescreen display, iPod touch is perfect for watching movies and TV shows, as well as viewing photos and album art. iPod touch has a built-in accelerometer that automatically senses when you rotate it into its landscape position. When you’re in music, it automatically switches to Cover Flow™ so you can browse your music collection by album cover artwork with just a flick of a finger. When in Photos, it automatically displays the photo in its landscape aspect ratio; and when in Safari it displays the web page horizontally. iPod touch also has a built-in ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the display’s brightness. iPod touch features up to 22 hours of audio playback and up to five hours of video playback.

The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store lets you browse the iTunes Top Ten lists of songs and albums overall or by genre, check out new releases and “What’s Hot,” or search for your favorite songs, albums or artists. You can preview any song for free, then purchase and download the ones you like directly onto your iPod touch over Wi-Fi. The music you download will be automatically uploaded into your iTunes library the next time you sync your iPod touch with your computer.

With Safari, the most advanced web browser ever on a portable device, you can see web pages the way they were meant to be seen, with the ability to zoom into any webpage with a tap of your finger. The Safari web browser includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! oneSearch so you can quickly and easily find information you need. iPod touch also includes Apple’s incredible YouTube application that allows you to access, browse and search for millions of free YouTube videos over Wi-Fi.

Apple today also announced an exclusive agreement with Starbucks that allows you to access the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store for free in participating US Starbucks stores starting next month. When you enter a participating Starbucks location, your iPod touch, iPhone, or PC or Mac® running iTunes will automatically recognize the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. You can see what song is currently playing or has recently played in the store, and immediately preview, buy and download it over Wi-Fi.

The iPod is the world’s most popular family of digital music players with over 100 million sold. Today, Apple released its most exciting iPod lineup ever with the iPod shuffle in five new colors; iPod classic holding up to 40,000 songs; the incredible all new iPod nano with video playback; and the breakthrough iPod touch with a revolutionary multi-touch user interface. iPod owners can choose from a vast ecosystem of accessories with over 4,000 products made specifically for the iPod including cases, fitness accessories, speaker systems and iPod connectivity in over 70 percent of US automobiles.

Pricing & Availability The new iPod touch is scheduled to be available later this month. The 8GB iPod touch model is $299 (US) and the 16GB iPod model is $399 (US). iPod touch requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS® X 10.4.10 or later and iTunes 7.4; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2) or later and iTunes 7.4. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended, fees may apply. The iTunes Store is not available in all countries.

[Source: Gizmodo]


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