The Complete Guide to the New iPod Touch

Illustration for article titled The Complete Guide to the New iPod Touch

The new iPod touch is almost like an iPhone 4, without the phone. Even thinner than the original, it has a Retina display, Apple A4 processor, gyroscope, and a digital camera, both on the back and for FaceTime.


The official presentation

Watch Steve Jobs on stage presenting the new iPod touch:

The main features

Here are the main features of the new iPod touch:

• It has the iPhone's Retina Display, a 3.5-inch IPS-based that has a razor-sharp 326ppi resolution. That's 960 x 640 pixels.
• It can record 720p high definition video and take photos with its back camera.
• It can FaceTime with other iPod touches and iPhone 4s, using its front camera.
• It runs at the same speed of the iPhone 4, using the same Apple A4 chip.
• It incorporates the same 3-axis gyroscope of the iPhone 4, which makes motion tracking more precise than just the accelerometer.
• It will have iOS 4.1 built-in.
• It has a built-in speaker and microphone.


The differences with the previous generation and the iPhone 4

The most obvious differences with the previous generation are the two cameras, a very welcomed—nd demanded—addition to the iPod touch. However, while the back camera can record H.264 video at 720 lines of resolution (720p) and 30 frames per second, the resolution for photography is not as high as the iPhone 4. Just the same 960 x 720 pixels of the video, far from the gorgeous sensor of the iPhone.

It also has the front camera, which is identical to the iPhone 4, capturing VGA at 30 frames per second for videoconferencing action.

A not-so-obvious change is the microphone. The new iPhone is there for FaceTime, but it will have other users as well, like Skype. This new feature may turn the iPod touch into an phone replacement, for those people who don't need to be in constant voice contact—a collective that is increasing quickly, as younger generations move from voice to text-based communication, either via chat, Twitter, or Facebook.


Apple also claims they have increased the amount of playback time to 40 hours of audio and 7 hours of video, all while making the package smaller than the previous generation: Just 4.4 x 2.3 x 0.28 inches. For comparison, the previous generation iPod touch was 0.33 inches thick. The weigh is also down to 3.56 ounces (101 grams), from the previous 8 ounces.

What's cool, what's not

Almost everything about the new iPod touch seems quite better than the original. Having cameras is a big plus, as well as the speedy A4 processor—a must-have upgrade for gamers. Along with the new physical dimensions, the iPod touch 4th generation seems like a good upgrade for most users, if it lives up to the real world test. The only disappointment: The low resolution back camera. You will still need to pay the iPhone 4 premium to get a good camera sensor.


Hands-On Impressions

Ars Technica says:

Illustration for article titled The Complete Guide to the New iPod Touch

The device gains FaceTime support, which works with an e-mail address (as you can see from the photo above).


Wired says:

I had a chance to test FaceTime and it felt even faster than FaceTime on the iPhone 4, though this time around Apple might have just had a better Wi-Fi connection.


Engadget says:

Click to view

So we just got our hands on the new iPod touch... and boy is it small.

Price and availability

It will be available next week for $229 (8GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB).

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Looks nice. But I just wonder why no GPS? I can understand power consumption/battery size reasons. But it just seems like that's what it's missing to make it a really killer device. Even just for local packages downloaded separately it would be a big selling point. Is it to protect the iPhone market or to have something to add to the 2011 model?

If anyone would ever actually come out with the GPS add-on with extended battery for it it could be a big enough market. maybe they'll stabelize the form factor for a while now and manufacturing them will seem more attractive. Solar, ruggedized, extended battery, GPS = outdoor tool to rival only the leatherman!