Late last year Apple introduced the second generation of its popular iPod touch. As you can see in the photo, the Touch 2G has a thinner design with a more contoured polished metal back. In addition, the new Touch is slightly smaller and lighter than the original.
Built-in speakers, volume control buttons, and more
In addition to the above, the iPod touch 2G has a couple of new features that make it a better multimedia device. In response to suggestions from users of the first version of the Touch, Apple added built-in stereo speakers along with a couple of up/down volume control buttons. In addition, the Touch 2G now accepts voice input using an appropriate headphone accessory.
The new Touch also has Nike + RFID receiver and software support built into it. This allows users to keep track of the miles they run and sync with gym equipment with this technology. Note that, to use this feature, the user must be wearing Nike + workout shoes equipped with an optional Nike + iPod sensor.
The new Touch was introduced with version 2.1 of iPod Touch OS/app suite, but the latest devices sport version 2.2.1. This allows the device to work with the Genius feature incorporated into iTunes with the release of version 8. Play a song, select the Genius option and iTunes automatically creates a playlist of songs from your library that “go with it.” Users can preview the list, refresh it to select new songs, and save playlists created by Genius for later use. Version 2.1 and subsequent versions also add Exchange push e-mail capability, MobileMe support, multi-language keyboard and dictionary support, and a scientific calculator.
The “funnest” iPod ever
Apple is promoting the Touch 2G as “the ‘funnest’ iPod ever—perfect for music, movies, and games.” The volume control buttons on the 2G make it more useable as a media player. The built-in speakers are also a nice addition, but I don’t think I’d want to use them for listening to music or the audio portion of a video. However, Apple’s advertisements are heavily promoting the 2G as a gaming device, and the speakers are fine for game background music and the little tweets and toots that games make.
Like the original iPod touch, the new version has built-in Wi-Fi, allowing users to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots and browse the Web using Safari. In addition, they can use a Wi-Fi connection to access the iTunes App Store, to browse games and other apps, purchase them, and download them directly to the Touch.
The iPod Touch 2G incorporates the latest version of the iPod Touch OS and application suite. Users of the original iPod Touch can upgrade to this software (version 2.2.1) for $9.95. If you already upgraded to version 2.0 or 2.1, the 2.2.1 upgrade is free. Purchase and download the upgrade using iTunes on your PC or Mac.
The new iPod touch is available from Apple Stores or Apple’s Web site (apple.com/ipodtouch). Three versions of the new Touch are available, with different storage capacities but otherwise identical. Apple claims that you can get up to 36 hours of music playback or six hours of video on a fully-charged Touch. They are priced as follows:
- iPod touch: 8 GB storage (holds up to 1,750 songs, 10,000 photos, or 10 hrs video): $229
- iPod touch: 16 GB storage (holds up to 3,500 songs, 20,000 photos, or 20 hrs video): $299
- iPod touch: 32 GB storage (holds up to 7,000 songs, 25,000 photos, or 40 hrs video): $399