Apple iPod touch 2012
According to Apple, the iPod touch is “the world's most popular player, but also the most popular game device”. Well, going by its new 2012 model, that’s certainly unlikely to change.
As we predicted, the new iPod touch shares the same 4-inch screen size plus resolution and 8-pin Lightning connector as the iPhone 5, but it’s even lighter and thinner. It’s also seen upgrades across the board, with a faster processor and graphics, improved finish, massively better camera, improved wireless, and Siri.
Frankly, it’s the most exciting MP3 player we’ve ever seen, and we can’t wait to get one of these puppies in for a comprehensive review. In the meantime, here are all the bits you need to know and our impressions.
iPod touch hands on video
Apple iPod touch Design
From the front, the new iPod touch looks much like the old iPod touch, except elongated thanks to its 4-inch screen. And that’s no bad thing: if a design ain’t broke, why fix it?
One of the things we disliked most about the previous iPod touch was its slippery and fingerprint-prone ‘chrome’ back. That’s thankfully been replaced by anodised aluminium like you’d find on the iPad, providing a surer grip and no more unsightly smudges. Hurray.
It’s also now available in five colours: white and black like the iPhone 5, plus blue, green, and pink. Something for everyone then, unless you’re a massive fan of red. As usual with Apple products, the iPod touch felt great in the hand and superbly built.
Ergonomics aren’t just improved by the new finish either. Despite offering longer battery life than its predecessor, the 2012 iPod touch is both thinner at a ridiculously slim 6.1mm, and lighter at 88g.
There’s also an integrated ‘eyelet’ (of course Apple had to name it ‘the loop’, just so they can make people think they invented it) for adding a wrist-strap like you might find on Wii-mote. This is a nice feature for kids or the butter-fingered, but to us it felt a little tacky.
Apple iPod touch Screen
We pretty much knew the new iPod touch’s screen was going to be 4 inches big and sport the same ‘Retina’ 1,136 x 640 resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio as the iPhone 5, but Apple claims it’s actually “the same display as the iPhone 5”.
If we take that literally (as Apple’s reps suggested at the event), it means the iPod touch 2012 will finally offer a quality IPS panel with that tech’s superb viewing angles, rather than the sub-par ones on the previous model’s TN display.
If this is the case, the Apple’s top iPod will have the best screen on any MP3/media player ever, and that’s really exciting stuff. Unfortunately we didn’t get enough time with the touch to tell, but if it’s TN it’s a particularly impressive variant.
Apple iPod touch Specs
Apple’s claim that “"The iPod touch is better now in every way" isn’t too far from the truth, as even the storage has seen a bump with 32GB now the minimum rather than the previous gen’s 8GB. We don’t reckon it’s much faster though.
All the other internals have seen a major overhaul. The SoC beating at the iPod Touch 2012’s heart is now the same dual-core A5 processor that’s found in the iPad 2. That’s an awful lot of power for such a small device, and means we could be seeing ports of many iPad-optimised games.
To put things into perspective, let us quote Apple’s figures of the new top iPod offering twice the processing power and seven times faster graphics than its predecessor. Not bad, if still not quite up to the might of the PlayStation Vita. At least it meant that everything we tried on the touch was buttery smooth (and yes, that is an Jelly Bean reference).
Even wireless specifications have been boosted, with the latest iPod touch now sporting power-frugal Bluetooth 4.0 and speedy Wi-Fi N.
Apple iPod touch Connectivity: Lightning
Like most mobile Apple devices, headphone jack aside you’ll only find a proprietary docking connector on the iPod Touch, but even this has been upgraded – or rather, downgraded if you’re talking size, from the massive, lumpy 30-pin connector we hate to a sleek 8-pin affair that’s about the size of a microUSB connection. Apple calls it ‘lightning’.
Just to put a number on the size difference, it’s now 80 percent smaller than before and more durable to boot. Naturally it won’t fit your existing accessories and gadgets, but equally naturally, Apple will be selling you an overpriced adapter to resolve that.
Apple iPod touch OS: iOS 6
Like the iPhone 5, the new iPod Touch will run Apple’s latest mobile OS, iOS 6. for a gander on some of its new features, check out all our iPhone 5 coverage.
Aside from visual perks like the extra icon row (up from four to five), the iPod touch 2012 also gains extra features like Airplay mirroring and everyone’s favourite voice assistant, the new and improved Siri.
Apple iPod touch iSight Camera
Wow has the camera on this iPod been improved over the woeful effort on the previous one. It’s now a 5MP, backside illuminated sensor with a speedy f/2.4 lens and LED flash for those evening pics. It will record Full HD video at 1080p too.
Essentially, this puts it pretty much on a par with the camera found in the original iPhone 4, which for a media player is pretty darn impressive. We might even go so far as to suggest that you may be happy with the pictures it takes…
Apple iPod touch Battery
Amazingly, despite being thinner, lighter and more powerful, Apple has also still managed to squeeze more battery life out of its latest iPod touch. Up to 40 hours of music playback and eight hours for video doesn’t sound half bad, and again compares favourably to competitors.
Apple iPod touch Price
Perhaps the best news of all is that Apple isn’t charging a premium for what is, after all, a far more premium iPod than any before it. At just a pound under £250 for the 32GB model, it’s a veritable bargain – though upping storage to 64GB drives that up to £329.
Rather than dropping its iPod touch, as some rumours had been suggesting, Apple has turned it into a veritable powerhouse that improves on its predecessors in every single way. Lighter and thinner, with a faster processor and graphics, improved finish, massively superior camera, longer battery life and more, it ticks all the right boxes. Right now, it seems to be the media player to buy - though we’ll be sure to give you our definitive verdict in the full review coming soon.