With just a few days to go until WWDC, Apple has introduced an updated version of its last remaining iPod, the iPod touch.
Everything iPhone, except the phone
We had been expecting the launch.
While Apple evidently sees the iPod touch as a consumer toy, I can’t help but imagine it becoming a popular POS device – particularly with its “from $199” price tag. ($399 for the top of the range model).
Beyond its many consumer benefits, there’s a clear enterprise case for this device. It seems likely you’ll see these things deployed in warehouses, retail stores, field service and maintenance operations and beyond.
That’s because these things run apps and use the same A10-series chip you’ll find inside iPhone 7 and the 2018 iPad and should be fast enough for such tasks. You may not have a SIM card inside, but if you have Wi-Fi you can keep in contact using FaceTime, WhatsApp and other communication tools that run over Wi-Fi.
What are the specifications?
The A10 Fusion chip means this model is faster and features better performance than the last edition, which shouldn’t really be a surprise given that model hasn’t been updated since 2015.
In that context, it is worth pointing out that the A10 chip shipped just one year later in 2016, so it’s not a huge iteration. Expect double the performance and three times the graphics power in comparison to the previous A8-powered model.
- 4-inch Retina display.
- 1,136-x-640-pixel resolution at 326ppi.
- Apple promises a “typical” 800:1 contrast ration and 500cdm brightness.
- Weight: 88 grams/3.1 ounces.
- 8MP camera with backside illumination and auto image stabilization.
- 1,080HD video recording at 30fps.
- 11 a, b, g,n, ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.1.
- Home button – but no Touch ID.
- Yes, it also includes a headphone jack.
- Up to 256GB,
- Available in Space Grey, White, Gold, Blue, Pink and (PRODUCT)RED.
The device runs iOS 12 and draws power over a lighting connector. It’s available now in 27 countries, including Portugal.
AR for the rest of us
As you might expect, the new iPod touch includes support for AR. Apple seems to see this as a flagship feature and in its press release states:
“The new iPod touch also provides fun and productive AR experiences across gaming, education and web browsing. AR is even more engaging and immersive with the new capabilities of shared AR, persistent AR, which is tied to a specific location, and image detection, making it possible for the new iPod touch to magically bring to life 3D objects like toys and sculptures.”
Apple makes it pretty clear that it is introducing the device to bolster its all-important services play. The company makes explicit mention of Apple Arcade, calling iOS “the world’s largest gaming platform” and pointing out that the device should be a good fit for the 100 or so games that will be made available on the Arcade. Apple Music also gets a mention – you’ll be able to use a touch to stream your music to any compatible system.
This accent on AR and Apple’s services reinforces the impression Apple sees this as a consumer product, but it’s still going to be a low-cost option to provision iOS tech for use in education and the enterprise.
18 years of iPod
It’s interesting to reflect on the 18-years that have passed since Apple launched its first iPod.
That product introduced a change in music consumption habits which means there are young adults around today who may listen to music daily but may never have come across a CD, cassette or vinyl disk.
First made available in 2007 and now the last remaining iPod in Apple’s deck, it’s also fair to say there are some compromises in the release – Bluetooth 5.0 and a more recent processor would make the product more attractive, though the A10 used suggests Apple will support these chips for a good three to five years ahead.
(Good news if you happen to use another Apple device equipped with an A10 chip).
The new chip means you can launch Group FaceTime chats and support AR on the device – this wasn’t possible on the older model of this device.
What to think? If you’re looking for an iOS-compatible device that won’t break the bank and is likely to run for the next three-to-five years, Apple now offers you an iPod touch for $199. Used with an AirPlay 2-compatible TV it could even replace your VCR, cable box or streaming device – just don’t lose it down the back of your sofa…
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