03 January 2008

Touched by the iPod... touch

For Christmas the Wife got me an iPod touch. I was in the market for a new iPod, since my 10-GB player is constantly low on space. Unfortunately, the highest capacity the touch product line has only 16 GB and that's what Wife got me. I wouldn't get it myself, as I wanted my next iPod to be a big leap in terms of capacity, perhaps like the 160-GB iPod Classic. Still, after a few days of using it, the iPod touch has grown on me.

Like most new iPods, the touch can handle, in addition to music, movies and photos. It is great to finally be able to carry around my cartoon collection to show them off when needed. Oh, and family photos, too. The iPod touch looks like an iPhone but it lacks the iPhone's camera, speaker, and of course, phone. The touch interface takes a little getting used to, but it has its merit. No more worrying about losing styluses. I had my share of losing a few when I actively used the Palm PDA.

Wi-Fi web surfing, albeit limited, comes in handy, as nowadays I often have to compete with my Son for the use of the PowerBook. One time I had him use the company Dµll laptop but he hated the control. The Dµll's touchpad leaves much to be desired, nowhere near as comfortable as the PowerBook's. With the iPod touch's Wi-Fi capability, I can now check my Gmail inbox with the touch while Son feeds or plays with his pets at ClubPenguin.com.

I already started to use the touch as a PDA and getting away from the Visor Deluxe. Lesser use of AAA batteries is one good reason. Still, the Visor has tons of apps for it while the touch has nothing other than what Apple provided. Since I don't like to install software hacks that most likely will be wiped out with the next Apple firmware upgrade, I'll just have to wait for official apps developed for the iPhone/iPod touch product line. Here's hoping the software development kit (SDK) promised for February 2008 will come through! Last but not least, I think it's misleading that Apple proclaims the web browser on the iPod touch "full". Lacking support for Javascript and Flash, it is far from being full. Many web pages don't work with the touch. Mobile Safari may be a fully-featured web browser if this is the 1990s. But it is already 2008 so the lack of support for JS and Flash, among others, makes this version of Safari fail to meet the average consumer's expectations. For now, I'll just have to make the most of it and again hope for software upgrade to cover the gap.

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