iPod Touch 2nd Generation 16GB: First Impressions

A couple weeks back, I picked up a 2nd Generation Apple iPod Touch – partially so I could start playing with web apps for it and partially cause my much beloved 3rd Gen 40gig iPod is starting to flake out.

I’ve been primarily for programming-related movies (PeepCode, SDRuby, and Pragmatic Programers), a calendar & address book, and some ongoing mobile experiments.

Compared to a Palm device, the iPod Touch is a far better experience. No question. As a music player compared against my iPod Nano or 40gig – it’s a miserable failure – especially in the car. Even as a video player it’s awkward if only because video and audio are treated differently in terms of navigation and rating.

The ‘slide to unlock’ gesture is the most elegant, convenient way to wake a device up – far better than the 2 key combo sequence phones require.

I was surprised to see the iPod Touch doesn’t have a camera. I fully expected it to. The omission makes me think the iPhone is far more heavily subsidized by AT&T than I originally calculated.

I’ve added a only a small handful of free apps from the App Store, and deleted all but 3 of them; Alocola, Fring, and WordPress (which may be deleted shortly.)

The apps the iPod ships with fared about as well, but I can’t delete them easily, which makes me grumbly.

Mail is nearly worthless for anything more than 1 (non-.me, non-Google) account, because there’s no rolled-up aggregate view of mail and it relies on server-side spam filtering.

Calendar is such a nice app. Good monthly and list views, easy to move events around and update their information. This is best calendar I’ve worked with.

Maps – Google Maps itself is an amazing piece of technology, then wrapped into tiny, tiny, highly-mobile Apple computer – astounding. There are a couple oddities I’ve found though; when I ‘drop pin’, ‘edit bookmark’ is the action for changing the name of the pin’s location (shouldn’t it be ‘edit pin’ or ‘edit location’) also, I haven’t figured out how to access my list of pins/bookmarks. Any idea?

Stocks, YouTube, Music, Clock, iTunes Music Store, Mail, and Settings have all been relegated to a secondary app screen, cause that’s most effective way to hide them.

Overall, I’m ‘eh’ on the device. It still has what I consider the iPod’s fatal flaw – required tethering to iTunes (my phone can update wirelessly from across the room, why do the iPod need to be plugged in?) and I’m not sure what – aside from basic PDA and media playback – I’d want applications on the device to do.

So, the numbers in the AppStore Secrets report from PinchMedia don’t surprise me (punch line: apps have ~30 day lifespan).

One thought on “iPod Touch 2nd Generation 16GB: First Impressions

  1. One of the only things that kept me from buying a iPod touch instead of my current iPod Video was the lack of a camera. I was really surprised, as you were, that they didn’t include this piece. I don’t think it’s because they’re being stingy – it’s most likely because the camera which is included in Phones is crap, and they didn’t want to include a crap camera. It’s in the iPhone because phones are expected to double as cheap point-n-shoot cameras nowadays.

    I know people who are pretty happy with their Touch, so I am interested in the “3 months” review of the device from you as well. It would be interesting to meet up with you and compare G1 with Touch sometime.

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