Mp3 players and iPods
In what seems like a very random update, Apple late last night updated the 16GB iPod Touch, finally bringing it more in line with the 32GB and 64GB Touches. This new iPod has the same 4 inch Retina Display, Siri, HD FaceTime front camera and faster dual-core A5 chip as those bigger storage Touches, though sadly the 16GB Touch does not have a 5 megapixel back camera, wrist strap or come in multiple colors (its only available in silver). The good news? This new 16GB iPod Touch is $229 as opposed to $299 for the 32GB Touch or $399 for the 64GB Touch.
Sure it’s $30 more than the older 4th generation 16GB Touch was (the one with the 3.5 inch screen and lower quality front and back cameras), but if you don’t need a lot of storage, don’t want to take pictures with your iPod, and mainly want something for using iOS apps without getting an iPhone this isn’t a bad deal. Personally, I just use my iPhone 5 to do everything and no longer carry a separate iPod around, but I also know a number of people who love using their iPod Touch as a sort of “iPad Nano” for taking notes, checking Instagram, watching videos, playing games etc. and this new iPod is great for that.
Of course why Apple did this at such an odd time with WWDC under two weeks away (it starts on June 10th) is another question entirely and one we don’t know any answer to. If you’re interested in the new 16GB iPod Touch you can order it now from the online Apple Store.
Last month Apple didn’t just take the wraps off of the iPhone 5, they also unveiled an all new iPod Nano and iPod Touch. The thing was though that Apple didn’t announce a ship date for these new iPods, only promising that they’d be out in “October.” Well, as we all know, we’re in October now and as promised Apple has begun shipping the new Nanos and Touches.
So what’s new with the new Nano and Touch? Well a lot actually. Both have gotten all new designs with some great new features. The new Nano ditches the old “watch” design in favor of one that is kinda like a mini-iPod Touch (though it doesn’t run iOS and doesn’t have access to apps). It’s now got a larger 2.5 inch multi-touch screen (which will once again be able to play videos), a new unibody aluminum design with the new Lightning port, and Bluetooth 4.0 for use with things like headphones and speakers. The Nano also keeps features like Nike+, Radio and availability in a whole bunch of colors. The Nano is available now in a 16 GB version for $149.
Now the iPod Touch is the iPod most of us are interested in and with its new update it has become even more like an iPhone without the phone. Or to put it differently it’s now like a mix of the iPhone 5 and 4S.
Design wise the new Touch is like the iPhone 5. It’s got an all new unibody aluminum design that’s even thinner than the older Touches (and like the Nano it now also comes in a whole bunch of colors) and it now packs the same 4 inch Retina Display you see on the iPhone 5. Inside however it more like the iPhone 4/4S with it’s A5 processor and 5 megapixel back camera (both major upgrades from the 4th generation Touch and with that new A5 processor things like gaming should be even better on here). And of course, the new Touch runs iOS 6.
The new Touch starts at $299 for 32 GB, or $399 for 64 GB, with the older iPod Touch sticking around at $199 for 16 GB. Both the new iPod Nano and iPod Touch are available now from Apple.
Apple’s big iPhone event is still a few hours away (it officially kicks off at around 1 PM Eastern, 10 AM Pacific), but it looks like some of the days surprises are leaking out a bit early.
The internet is buzzing this morning as some searches on Apple’s site reveal links to pages for the upcoming iPhone 5, as well as for a new iPod Touch (with a new design and larger screen like the iPhone 5), Nano and iTunes 11. The links themselves aren’t live yet, so we still don’t know all the details on what’s new with these iDevices (though we have some guesses for what the new iPhone 5 will be). We do though now know one feature that will be in the new iPhone: 4G LTE. A quick search for LTE iPhone shows yet another not yet live link for LTE on the iPhone.
As always stay tuned, things here are just getting started. We’ll have more from Apple’s big event later today.
If you don’t want a smartphone, but you want a high-end touchscreen device, your only real choice used to be the iPod Touch. For the most part, there was no place for an die-hard Android fan that didn’t want a smartphone or tablet. Finally, Samsung has reached out to you guys and is releasing the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0. These two devices are very similar to Samsung’s hit Galaxy S II phones– the only difference is that they aren’t phones, but touchscreen media players just like how the iPod Touch is the iPhone without the phone.
So what are you waiting for? Read on for all the details and a full comparison with the iPod Touch.
One of the big questions we’ve been getting asked today is “enough about a new iPhone, what about a new iPod Touch?” Well, Apple did give the iPod Touch a shout out today during its iPhone 4S event, but like the new iPhone, there really isn’t much new. Scratch that– there literally isn’t anything new, or at least anything really important. No better camera, no bigger screen, no new A5 processor for better graphics. All Apple did today is introduce a white version of the iPod Touch to go along with the existing black one it released last year. Yup, that’s it.
Now the iPod Touch is still a great device and a great upgrade if you don’t want a smartphone/iPhone or you have an older iPod/iPod Touch and need a new one (Apple also did lower the 8 GB iPod Touch’s price to just $199, making it an even better deal if you need a new iPod and don’t need a lot of storage or if you just want a cheap “mini-iPad”). And like the iPhone 4, it also will only get better next week with iOS 5. But for all those expecting, hoping, wishing, dreaming of a new iPod Touch to go along with a new, redesigned iPhone 5, well, you’re also just gonna have to wait for next year.
Skype video calling– now from your iPhone and iTouch (Pic from Skype)
We’re not gonna lie, we thought it wouldn’t come till at least next week at CES– but, hey, who are we to complain when something awesome happens early! Yes, you read that headline right– Skype video calling from the iPhone 4, 4th gen iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS (though obviously here only using the back camera) is now live– with video calling over WiFi and 3G!
As we wrote last week, you can also grab the update for your camera-less iPad or 3rd gen iPod Touch (running iOS 4.0 or later) and still be able to do one-way video chats with friends using Skype on their phone, PC or Mac– so don’t feel too bad iPad and 3rd gen iTouch owners.
Anyways, back to the app. In our brief hands-on with the updated app we found it worked really well. Video quality over 3G and WiFi from our iPhone 4 to our PC was very good– not perfect but very, very good (particularly for a phone), with sound coming in fine as well. There didn’t even seem to be too much of a lag between what we were doing and what was showing up on our PC, and you can even share a screen from a PC/Mac to the iPhone. One downside we noticed so far: multitasking while video chatting. If you leave the video chat while it’s going on– say, to look something up on Safari or respond to a text– the video on your end freezes to how you were when you tapped that Home button. The conversation still goes on through audio like it would on any call so you’re not dropping the connection– and the video quickly picked up when we came back to the app– but this could still be a little annoying for some. Oh, and constant use of this will also probably kill your battery life really quickly.
All in all, Skype is finally what we all were hoping for once Apple released the iPhone 4 and 4th gen iPod Touch– offering true video chat on the go while raising the bar for Apple if they want Facetime to ever be successful. Let’s just hope Skype next week spreads the mobile video chat love to Android and other mobile OSes.
The new Skype app for iOS is available now for free in the App Store– and make sure to let us know what you think of the new app in the comments.
Sprint and ZTE Announce New Peel iPod Touch Case to Turn Your iTouch Into a Sprint “iPhone” (UPDATED)
The new ZTE Peel case for the iPod Touch
Have Sprint as your cell phone carrier and also have an iPod Touch? Always wanted to have a Sprint “iPhone?” Well, then you’re in luck, as Sprint and a company called ZTE have announced that starting November 14th (this coming Sunday) you’ll be able to pick up a $79 iPod Touch case that has a built-in Sprint 3G mobile WiFi hotspot. In other words, it will allow you to have access to Sprint 3G wherever you are as if you had a Sprint iPhone!
And the data pricing for the hotspot is also not great but not so unsurprising, coming in at $29.99 a month for 1 GB of internet with no need to sign a contract (also awesome is that you don’t have to be locked in for 2 years and can cancel and restart whenever you want, something you can’t do if you had a traditional smartphone plan. This also makes it easier for someone who doesn’t have Sprint to pick one of these up, as they don’t need to cancel their current cell phone carrier or have two different cell phone contracts to get a 3G-enabled iTouch).
While this is definitely very cool, not everything is perfect here if you figured this would transform your iTouch into a real, full-fledged iPhone. For example, there is no calling or texting app built-in to the iPod Touch, so there is no simple, “out-of-the-box” way to text or call (and as we said above, there is no voice plan so you don’t even get a Sprint number. You could however, use something like Skype or Google Voice to supplement for the lack of said texting and calling apps, as both would allow you to text and call over the internet and both also are available as iOS apps). But even with that type of solution you would still need to either carry headphones with a mic everywhere you go or answer calls on the iTouch’s speaker (as you know, the iTouch lacks the front earpiece found on the iPhone for calls). Another downer to all this is that the case, which has a battery life of about 3 hours, is designed for the 2nd and 3rd gen iTouches with no back camera opening to allow for the new 4th gen, FaceTime packing iTouch (update: Sprint has let us know that the ZTE Peel does support the 4th Gen iTouch, just it won’t fit as well as it does the 2nd and 3rd gen iTouches. And of course you can only then FaceTime using the front camera).
Oh, and this mobile hotspot, unlike Sprint’s other hotspots like the Overdrive and MiFi, only allows for 2 connections– and with your iTouch taking up one already, this means you’ve only got one extra to play with (which I guess isn’t the worst considering that to tether an iPhone on AT&T runs an extra $20 a month on top of the similar $25 2 GB data plan, where while you gain a GB, you have to physically connect your iPhone to your computer to share said internet). Unlike the Overdrive, this little guy doesn’t pack 4G support (and you can of course use either of those mobile hotspots with any iTouch, but they don’t offer the added convenience of having it always on your iPod as a case).
Even with some of these drawbacks you gotta admit that it’s still pretty cool to be able to so easily make your iTouch more iPhone-like, particularly without having to go over to AT&T to do it. So, Sprint users– any takers?
Ask TeensTalkTech is where we try to answer your questions on technology– from computer problems to cell phone questions and everything in between. Have any questions of your own? Either comment below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us (@teenstalktech) and we’ll try to answer them in a future post!
TeensTalkTech, my iPod Touch fell in water and now isn’t working. Will my warranty cover this? If not, is there a way I can fix it or is it broken forever? Thanks!
Good question Hudie. This actually happens to a lot of people all the time with their iPods and cell phones.
When it comes to water damage (or getting your device wet like accidentally dropping your phone/iPod in water) your standard one year warranty rarely covers it. In your case, the standard one year Apple warranty on an iPod wouldn’t cover you as water damage is something these limited warranties don’t cover (the standard one year warranty usually deals with manufacturing defects like dead pixels or dust under the screen). Even if you got AppleCare (Apple’s extended warranty which pushes the length of the standard warranty from 1 year to 2 and offers additional support options like telephone support past the standard 90 days after purchase, replacing your iPod if the battery dies too quickly, earphones if they break etc.), you would still be out of luck as they too don’t cover water damage. Now if you bought your iPod from a place like Best Buy and got their warranty you may have better luck as theirs does cover accidental water damage, but again, that still depends on when you got your iPod and if that warranty is still in effect.
Don’t get too upset though, we’ve got a few interesting tips on how you might be able to bring this iPod back to life.
Halloween is right around the corner and you know what that means– Halloween themed apps are coming, and one of the first is Three or More: Monster Match by a new App Store developer, Mighty Fun Apps. Monster Match is very similar to the classic Bejeweled, but with a Halloween twist on it.
Monster Match comes with two modes, classic (in which the goal is to keep your time going by matching monsters up) and timed (in which the goal is to get as many points as possible). The gameplay in both of these is smooth and quick, but– these are the only two modes. There is no online multiplayer or Facebook connectivity like Bejeweled 2 . Speaking of Bejeweled 2, the similarities between these games are ridiculous to the point where I felt I was just playing Bejeweled 2 with a Halloween theme.
Don’t get me wrong, Monster Match is a very fun game. However, it just does not have enough to separate itself from the competition. Sure, the characters are adorable, but the characters themselves do not warrant the $0.99 tag on the App Store. If you really want the cute characters, download a similarly named Monster Match (from a company called Jirbo) which is free, and if you want the full puzzle game experience then you should buy the full Bejeweled 2 for the same $0.99.
You can check out Three or More: Monster Match in the iTunes App Store here.
Waiting for those new iPods or the new iOS 4.1 for the iPhone/iPod Touch? Then today is your day as Apple has finally made both available, with the new iPods now available in Apple, Best Buy and other stores, as well as shipping between 1-3 days (the new Shuffle), and 3-5 days (the new Nano and Touch) from Apple’s online store. And if you already got your iPhone 3G, 3GS or 4 or an iPod Touch 2nd (2 years ago, with the built-in speaker), 3rd (last years model) or 4th generation (the latest one announced last week), you can download iOS 4.1 now.
Just as a recap, iOS 4.1 offers a bunch of new features to iOS 4, including Game Center (Apple’s mobile gaming network, kinda like Xbox Live), HDR photos, and iTunes movie rentals for $0.99 as well as mobile access to Apple’s iTunes Ping music social network (both of these are in the iTunes store app). We’ve got iOS 4.1 running on our iPhone 4 here, and while a lot of iOS 4.1 is minor updates (it is after just .1 update not iOS 5), we really are liking some of the new additions like HDR photos. If you use your phone (or now iPod Touch!) to take a lot of on-the-go photos, you’re going to really appreciate this, and as you can see below, it really makes a difference.
iOS 4.1 HDR– pic on left with HDR, on right without
So did you get a new iPod today or download iOS 4.1? If so, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.