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.
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.
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?