When Apple dropped the surprise of the year on us this past Tuesday with an updated iPod touch I was both excited and disappointed. Excited because it's been nearly exactly four years since the last update to the iPod touch, but disappointed because nothing much has changed. That didn't stop me from buying one, though. There are two big differences between this iteration and the last; It's got a much faster processor and it goes to 256GB.
My beautiful pink iPod touch 7 was just delivered to me about three hours ago and I spent some time reliving a decade ago when an iPod touch was the next big thing and a four-inch screen was considered the biggest screen size.
I'll have a full review for you later this week, but for now, I wanted to share my first impressions.
Price: From $199
Bottom line: It's not an iPhone. It's not an iPad, but it does just about everything they do at a fraction of the price.
Memory lane, here I come
The first thoughts that came to me as I unboxed my new iPod touch 7 were about the last time I unboxed an iPod touch, which was even before Gen 6. I was sporting a fifth-generation iPod touch until I upgraded to an iPhone.
The clear plastic case it comes in. The thin, simple design. The headphone jack. It all came flooding back to me.
Yes, this iPod touch looks exactly like its predecessor, and isn't much different than the one before that. That must be why I felt such a sense of nostalgia.
Another reason for my trip down memory lane is because of that long-forgotten four-inch form factor. It may have died on the iPhone with the SE, but it's alive and kicking on the iPod touch. Literally the same size screen and nearly the same size as the SE, but much thinner.
It's so tiny I almost forgot how great these little devices are. Even though the iPhone X and iPhone XS are thinner, and therefor much easier for me to hold, the four-inch device has always held a place in my heart for being the "baby bear" to my Goldie Locks. It's just right.
What's a passcode?
One thing I immediately didn't like after setting up my iPod touch was that I had to go back to unlocking it with a passcode ... like an animal.
When you go from typing a passcode to using Touch ID, you're like, "Oh, that's so much easier. One click and I'm in." And then when you go from Touch ID to Face ID, you're like, "Oh, that's even easier. I just have to look at my phone and I'm in."
Now, imaging going all the way back to a time before Touch ID and that's what you're doing with the 2019 release of the iPod touch.
I know it's expensive to include biometric scanning and a microchip with a secure enclave, but come on. Presumably, due to how thin the iPod touch is, and it's low price, Apple couldn't fit it in and didn't want to eat the cost.
So, even though I really think Touch ID should have been a given on any Apple device that comes out this year, I'll accept that it wasn't viable in the iPod touch.
Whether it's for gaming or listening to music, the iPod touch is a dedicated device if it's not an entry device for your kids. It does a lot of the same things an iPhone does, and practically everything the iPad does, but on a smaller screen, so what would you want one for?
Good question. Here are a couple of things I envision myself using one for:
- Downloading a bunch of games I wouldn't have put on my iPhone for space-saving reasons. It's like a mobile game console.
- Stocking up on downloaded music. This will go with me to backyard barbecues where I play music all night without worrying about running out of batteries on my iPhone
- Leaving it in the car. Dedicated music player, plus a device for gaming on the go. This things got it all and I don't have to keep it with me at all times.
More to come
I still need some more time with my new iPod touch 7, but I'll have a full review up later this week. Stick around to find out what I think of it after I've had it for a few days.
Price: From $199
Bottom line: Not everone needs an iPod touch, but if there's a hole that needs fillin' this dedicated device will do it.
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