The 32GB and 64GB versions now come with the remote and microphone version of Apple’s headset. This brings a couple of neat additions, although I’d argue none are good enough to warrant putting up with the awful audio quality of Apple’s bundled ‘phones. Voice Memos aren’t exactly a killer feature to my mind anyway, so it’s not a big sacrifice to use mic-less earphones if you’ve got a pair.
As with the iPhone 3GS, the 32GB and 64GB versions now support Voice Control, too, which is of course unusable in public unless you want to look like a pillock. Although I must concede that the look I got from one lady when requesting of touch: “play Cute Is What We Aim For,” while wandering through Marks & Spencer, was somewhat priceless.
So far so good but, despite all the deserved praise, something is amiss. The problem isn’t with any of the touch’s features, but rather the lack of one in particular – a camera. It seems utterly ridiculous that both the iPhone and iPod nano have cameras but that the iPod touch is left bereft.
I’m entirely appreciative of the argument that a camera – be it for stills or video – on a media player is pretty unnecessary for the most part, but the iPod touch isn’t just a media player. It’s obvious that Apple wants to keep a level of distinction between its ever converging devices but that’s only a good thing for Apple itself.
Should you boycott the iPod touch because of this? No, that would be silly. It’s still an utterly fantastic device. The closest rival, Sony’s NWZ-X1060 offers much better audio fidelity, but it loses out in just about every other respect. The iPod touch’s user interface is just better, its web browser is better and its 3rd party app support is better, in that it has it. If you need more than 32GB of capacity Sony can’t help you at all and for once, Apple’s pricing is competitive. A media player with 64GB of flash storage for £299 seemed like a pipe dream not so long ago. Sure, that’s a lot of money in anyone’s book, but you’re getting a lot for it.
As a mere media player, you’d be hard pushed to justify the high cost of an iPod touch. But as a mobile computing device that will run 3rd party apps, play games, browse the web and play your media, it’s simply unrivalled.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 8