For a long time I have avoided the iPod.
I have used mp3 players from Creative, like the Zen Vision M and a my fair share of various brand mp3/usb memory sticks.
My conversion started with the iphone. The look of the interface is something that I’ve seen Bill Gates touting for years. The difference is that I have seen demonstrations of the Microsoft concept coffee table that doubles as a touch sensitive screen but have never seen it in real life. The iPhone was a first chance to actually get my hands on a slick touch sensitive interface.
The the downsides to the iPhone, for me, was that although the interface was slick the fact that I was restricted to one service provider and the phone is not as ‘state of the art’ as say, a Nokia N series.
Then came the iPod Touch, basically the iPhone without the phone, available with 8GB , 16GB and 32GB of memory.
The Ipod touch provides all the functionality of the rest of the family of players but comes with wireless network capability, web browser, e-mail, diary, notepad and you tube functionality.
The browser is a limited version of Safari. The primary limitation is that you cannot download files.
I suspect that is why there is a separate you tube viewer included, the viewer works well and makes it easy to navigate the you tube site. Being able to connect direct to the iTunes site is another plus of the wireless network.
Having said that the browser is limited it is also incredibly easy to use. Navigation is simple, the on screen keyboard is precise and accurate and the ability to zoom to the level of magnification you want is a matter of stretching the screen with your fingers, kinda hard to explain, but imagine stretching a cloth with your fingers, do the same thing on the Touch and the screen expands and contract as you move. Add to this the way that the Touch senses the orientation of the screen, as you move the iPod Touch from a vertical to a horizontal position the image rotates as well taking you from portrait format to landscape automatically.
I have been using the iPod touch for a month now and this is the pros and cons for me so far.
- Excellent web browser, by far the best PDA style browser I have used.
- Easy set up of e-mail with many popular services set up already, e.g. gmail pop access.
- An interface that works, the on screen keyboard is easy to use, the touch screen is precise and crisp in action
- Video resolution is excellent as is sound quality.
- The browser does not support Macromedia Flash or Windows media player formats which restircts access to a lot of web content such as BBC video content.
- The battery takes a real hammering when the wireless network is active. My Palm Tx is worse though. The Touch only seems to show the high battery drain when files are being transferred i.e. when viewing You Tube content, the Palm suffers drain as soon as you enable wireless whether you are transferring or not.
I would recommend the Touch as a great media player although it does not make it into the category of PDA. The calendar, e-mail and notebook as useful but there are better options available if you are looking for PDA/palm computer.
If you want a more business orientated device the the Palm TX may fit the bill better.