My old iPod was getting flaky, and I used it daily to listen to podcasts from the Economist on my commute to UNCG. I needed to “lifecycle” it, so I looked to see which model to go with. I wanted more than the 8GB of storage on the nano, so I looked at the Touch. I liked what I saw. I could get 16GB or 32GB (though the 32 is a bit pricey). I liked the 802.11x connectivity of the Touch, and had seen some iPhones that belonged to my friends, and I liked the OS/user interface. I decided to buy a 16GB model, though if I use it for videos I might want the bigger model, but I needed to compromise on price. One nice thing is that you can recycle an old iPod (even a non-working one) at the Apple store and get 10% off a new iPod. Cool.
Now on to the iPod Touch. This is really a cool little device. I’m very impressed with it both as an iPod and as a little computer. The email client is excellent. It imported the IMAP configurations for my 4 accounts from my Mac, and connected right up, even transferring the passwords from the Mac keychain (it did ask!). I’m using it for Gmail, for .Mac, for UNC-CH and UNCG IMAP services. Even supports Word and Excel attachments (and pdf, of course). Safari does a really nice job of browsing. The “multitouch” interface is outstanding. The web interface to Gmail works very well, if you prefer that for email. The widgets are useful, and things work like you expect intuitively. It’s interesting to be able to watch youtube videos, but that’s a real time sink 😉 .
One thing that I didn’t realize was how much smaller (thinner) the Touch is compared to the iPhone. While I like the cellular connectivity of the iPhone, the coverage of AT&T’s network (outside urban/highway areas) leaves something to be desired, and I like to be able to use my old Motorola CMDA-based RAZR from whereever I am. The iPod Touch is a great compromise device. I hope it finds its niche. I really didn’t appreciate the utility until I tried one out.