Apple Introduces New iPod touch

By Naomi Graychase

September 10, 2008

Calling it the “funnest iPod ever,” Apple yesterday introduced the second generation of its Wi-Fi-enabled iPod touch ($229-$399).

Calling it the “funnest iPod ever,” Apple yesterday introduced the second generation of its Wi-Fi-enabled iPod touch ($229-$399).

Sporting a trim metal design with contoured edges and a 3.5-inch widescreen glass display, the 802.11 b/g-enabled touch is multimedia-centric with integrated volume control buttons, a built-in speaker, a built-in accelerometer, and, of course, Apple’s famous Multi-Touch interface.

Unlike it’s cousin, the iPhone, the touch offers no voice capabilities; but, like it’s musically-inclined parent, the iPod, the touch is engineered for playing tunes, as well as movies and games. It is, of course, able to download any of the millions of songs, thousands of movies, and hundreds of games available at the online iTunes Store via its Wi-Fi connection.

Improvements in the next gen version include a smaller, lighter form factor, a new chic and more ergonomic design with rounded edges, and volume control buttons integrated into the frame. The next gen iPod touch also works with the new iTunes 8 Genius feature, which automatically creates playlists. Users can preview the playlist Genius creates, refresh the list to choose different songs, and save Genius playlists.

That’s entertainment

Among the hundreds of games iPod touch users can download from iTunes are “Spore Origins” and “Scrabble” from Electronic Arts and “Real Football 2009” from Gameloft. Apple’s much ballyhooed App Store works over Wi-Fi, so iPod touch users can browse, purchase, and download applications directly onto their devices and start using them instantly without needing to involve a laptop or desktop Mac or PC.

The devices is rated for up to 36 hours of music playback or six hours of video playback on a single charge. The 32GB model holds up to 7,000 songs, 25,000 photos, or 40 hours of video; the 16GB model holds up to 3,500 songs, 20,000 photos or 20 hours of video, and the 8GB model holds up to 1,750 songs, 10,000 photos and 10 hours of video.

Workouts, too

The new iPod touch includes built-in Nike + iPod support, which means that for fitness-minded users who fork over another $19 for the sensor, which attaches to one’s shoelaces, the iPod touch can track miles run or sync with some Bluetooth-enabled gym equipment to monitor and record information about workouts.

Pricing & availabilityipodtouch.jpg

The new iPod touch is available now through the Apple Store, Apple’s brick and mortar retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers in three versions: $229 (8GB); $299 (16GB); $399 (32 GB). 

System requirements

iPod touch requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later and iTunes 8; 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 8. Existing iPod touch users can update to the latest 2.1 software for $9.95. iPod touch owners who already have the 2.0 software get the 2.1 software update for free.

Stay tuned for our review later this fall.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi

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