With a wide range of iPhone and iPad models to choose from, why would you use an iPod touch today? Apple isn’t trying to sell it; they have hidden the device. You won’t find the iPod touch on any of its main pages; you have to search for it if you want one. When you get there, you see that you can have “Fun at full speed.” This is the slogan Apple used the last time they updated the iPod touch, back in May 2019. The 7th generation device sports an A10 Fusion chip, and was updated from the previous 2015 model, which had an A8 processor.
That update did more than just increment the processor, which moved from 2 cores to 4 cores and nearly doubled the clock speed. It increased the RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB; it includes a better graphics chip; and it has four cores instead of two. It also ensured that the device runs with more recent versions of iOS. The 6th generation iPod touch is limited to iOS 12; the 7th generation runs the current iOS 15.
Starting at $199, it is the cheapest iOS device. It comes with 32 GB storage, and you can increase it to 128 GB ($299) or 256 GB ($399). For comparison, the low-end iPhone SE (2nd generation) costs $429 with 64GB and the 256 GB model costs $579. So if you want a portable device with a lot of storage, the iPod touch is the cheapest.
But why use the iPod touch today? Here are 17 reasons you might want to use this device.
n 2001, Apple was just getting out of the rut it had been in for many years. Steve Jobs’ return in 1997 led to the iMac, released the following year, that changed the way people looked at personal computers. When the 1999 iMac came in “5 flavors,” computers could be fun.
Financially, the company was starting to come back from a fallow period. Microsoft’s $150 million investment in Apple, in 1997, partly a settlement of patent infringements, bolstered the company for a while, but Apple’s ambitions were big. Apple started selling products through the company’s own online store in November of that year, a decision that would prove profitable, leading to the juggernaut that is Apple’s current direct-to-customer retail machine.
2001 saw the introduction of iTunes (January), the creation of Apple retail stores (the first one opened in May), the introduction of Mac OS X, the biggest change to the Mac’s operating system in a decade (Mac OS X 10.0 was released in March, but the first truly viable version of OS X was 10.1, which came in September), and then, on October 23, 2001, Apple introduced the iPod.
This portable digital music player revolutionized personal computing, and helped Apple build the company as we know it today.
Apple has updated the iPod touch; it was last refreshed back in 2015. The company has added the A10 Fusion chip to the device. While not the newest, this is a much faster processor than the previous model. It is available with three levels of storage: 32 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB, and is priced at $199, $299, and $399.
I remember back in the day when people with iPod classics would have loved a 256 GB device (the biggest iPod classic held 160 GB). The iPod touch is still a great device if you have a large music library, and it’s perfect for a kid who wants to play games on a small device yet not have cellular access. Or let a kid use it to take photos; while it’s not the best camera in an Apple device, and it’s only 8 Mp, it’s still a great way for kids to get into photography.
When this was announced yesterday, many people on Twitter were mocking this update, suggesting that no one uses the iPod touch any more. Alas, they are very wrong. It’s widely used in industry, in warehouses, as point of sale devices, and in health care. Even Apple’s retail stores uses iPod touch devices (at least in the UK). So while this may not be a big seller to individuals, that’s not Apple’s only market.
Apple could have a 7th-generation iPod touch in the works, according to new information shared today by Japanese site Mac Otakara.
Several suppliers at CES 2019 reportedly told Mac Otakara that a 7th-generation iPod touch “might” be in development as a replacement for the 6th-generation version.
Here in the UK, the point-of-sale devices at Apple Stores are based on the iPod touch. And I’ve seen couriers using them as well. I’ve also heard that they are popular in warehouses, because they can run apps to manage orders and inventory, and they aren’t as expensive as iPhones or as large as iPads. Here’s one example of a scanner the iPod touch. (And the iPad mini is a common point-of-sale device in stores here as well.)
So while Apple probably doesn’t sell a lot of iPod touch devices to individuals, they probably have a strong worldwide enterprise demand for the device. I’m not surprised that it will be updated to ensure compatibility with the next few generations of iOS.
The security researchers, Adi Sharabani and Roy Iarchy, presented a live demonstration of the attack. Sometime before the presentation, Sharabani had previously connected his iPhone X to Iarchy’s MacBook and tapped “Trust” in a dialog box on the iPhone–something many people do when they connect their iPhone to a computer.
During the presentation, Sharabani used his iPhone X to take a selfie with Iarchy, after which he sent a text message to their company’s CEO.
On the MacBook, Iarchy issued a command to Sharabani’s iPhone to back up its data over Wi-Fi, which is made possible by an iOS feature, called iTunes Wi-Fi Sync. After the synchronization was complete, Iarchy showed that both the selfie and the text message were easily accessible on his MacBook.
This is fascinating stuff. You “trust” a computer when you connect an iOS device; this is a security feature that ensures that when you connect a device to a computer, you have to choose whether it has access to the data on your device. This notably allows you to connect your iPhone or iPad to any computer to charge it without worrying about the computer and iTunes wiping the device. But the downside is that people may see the dialog and think they have to trust a computer to charge, if they do this, which opens up the device to access even via wi-fi.
Apple has removed the iPod shuffle and nano from its website, signaling the end of the iPod era. Now the only product left with that name is the iPod touch, which runs iOS.
It’s been a great run, and this product revolutionized the way we listen to music, but the days of the carry-10,000-songs-in-your-pocket device are over, more or less. Now, it’s all in the cloud, and, while you can get a 256 GB iPhone, most people don’t use that for music.
At the same time, Apple has dropped the price on the iPod touch. Previously at $199 for 16 GB, and $399 for 128 GB, it now costs $199 for 32 GB and $299 for 128 GB. Intermediate models, at 16 and 64 GB, have been dropped.
If you search for iPod on the Apple website, you’ll get hits, but click the links for the iPod nano or shuffle and they take you to the main Music page, with the header shown above.
I still have an iPod shuffle, and an iPod nano, and even an old iPod classic, and I take them out and use them nostalgically every now and then, but it’s clear that the times have changed, and Apple has to move on.
I ran into a bit of a problem with my iPod touch. I had had iCloud Photo Library on at one point for testing, and, after turning it off, it seems that the iPod had downloaded my entire 5 GB photo library. On a 32 GB device – which really only holds 26 GB – this was becoming a bit of a problem.
You can delete photos from the Photos app; one at a time. That would take quite a while for the more than 1,200 photos I wanted to get rid of.
iOS is supposed to “optimize” the photo storage, deleting local copies of photos when space is needed. But since iCloud Photo Library was off, it wasn’t doing that.
There are lots of third-part apps that can delete your photos, but I wanted a simpler solution. I found it in Apple’s Image Capture, a utility that is part of macOS. (It’s located in your Applications folder.)
Connect your iOS device to your Mac, then launch Image Capture. You’ll see something like this:
You can select a photo, right-click, and choose Delete IMAGENAME. But the Delete option was dimmed for me.
Now, if you look to the right of my iPod touch’s name, you’ll see that it’s got a cloud icon next to it. Image Capture was still seeing this device as having iCloud Photo Library on. In fact, when I went to the Settings, Photo Sharing was still on, even though iCloud Photo Library was turned off. So I toggled that setting off and returned to Image Capture.
So I selected all the photos, then right-clicked and chose Delete 1241 Items. In about a minute, all my photos were deleted.
Now, I could turn iCloud Photo Library back on if I want, and it won’t download all my photos, and they’ll still be accessible. But on this device, I don’t want the photos; I only use it for testing and for music. So I’ll leave it off in case I need my photo library later.
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I can’t remember the last time I reviewed an iPod. (Searching this site, the last time I wrote about a new model that I bought was in 2010, when I got a new iPod nano.) But I still like the concept of the iPod. I don’t always need a phone, and, given that the iPod touch has wifi, I can do almost everything I do with my iPhone, at least when I’m at home.
But the end hasn’t come yet. Apple proved it recently by updating the iPod touch, and refreshing the iPod nano and shuffle with new colors. While I wouldn’t buy the current iPod nano – it’s just not compelling, and its software is archaic – I did buy a new iPod touch. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a surprisingly good upgrade.
You can read the tech specs, but here they are in a nutshell: it’s faster than the previous generation iPod touch, it’s got more RAM, and it’s got a better camera. It comes in six colors (five sold everywhere, plus a Product (RED) model sold only by Apple), and it comes with four levels of storage (16, 32, 64, or 128 GB; the latter only sold by Apple).
I bought a space gray model with 32 GB, because I don’t need much storage for my use, but that 128 GB model gets it pretty close to an iPod classic (the last model of which had 160 GB). Compared to the previous model, the new iPod touch feels a tad heavier, though the tech specs say it’s the same (unless the specs I found for the 5th generation model are wrong; I already sold my 5th generation model, so couldn’t compare the two). And it’s the same thickness (or thinness); I’d love to have an iPhone this thin.
So why buy an iPod touch, when I have an iPhone and an iPad? My use case is different from that of most people: I need a device I can use for testing, on which I can install beta software. The 5th generation iPod touch lagged a lot with the iOS 9 betas, and the new model is really fast; faster than my iPhone 5s. But beyond that, I plan to use the iPod touch as an Apple Music device. With all the problems caused by the iCloud Music Library, I won’t trust my iPhone, or my main iTunes library, to use this service. Having an iPod touch makes it easy to use Apple Music at home, in conjunction with a library on my MacBook Pro.
You may want an iPod touch for a child, who is too young to have a phone, or even as a bedside device for listening to music, audiobooks, or more. Rather than worry about using your iPhone, you can just connect the iPod touch to a speaker – or even to a Bluetooth or AirPlay speaker – and have music easily. Or you may want one in the living room, to use as a remote for an Apple TV, or to stream Apple Music to an Apple TV, which doesn’t yet support it. It’s also got a pretty good 8 MP camera; you might want to get one for a child who can use it as a first camera, as well as play games on it.
Granted, the iPod touch won’t replace an iPhone. But it can serve a lot of purposes. Heck, you might use an Android phone, and still want to be able to access iOS apps, Apple Music, and more. If you’re using it for Apple Music, you don’t need much storage. I wouldn’t recommend getting the 16 GB model; that’s a bit slim if you plan to add some storage-hungry games, or take a lot of photos. But get the 32 GB version, like I did. It’s not for everyone, but at $249, or £199, it’s a good price for a solid device.
Apple updated what’s left of the iPod line earlier this week. They bumped the processor and improved the camera on the iPod touch, and added some new colors. And they also added new colors to the iPod nano and iPod shuffle.
You may wonder why Apple is still selling the iPod shuffle. After all, when you can have an iPhone that runs apps, takes photos, records and plays HD video, and uses GPS to give you directions — or an iPod touch with most of those features — why keep selling a tiny little device that does nothing more than play audio?
Because the iPod shuffle plays audio and nothing more.