I've been Palm PDA-less for about a year and a half now, successfully switching to a hacked Moleskine Planner system for my personal calendar, tasks and notes.
In fact, the Moleskine has worked well in combination with my iPod nano, which provided access to my contacts in nearly unreadable 4pt text.
When the iPhone launched, I was quite interested, even though an iPhone doesn't suit my needs or budget. I was more interested in the iPhone as a mobile data device, with Safari, Mail and other features it offers.
Enter iPod touch
When Steve Jobs announced the iPod touch, my ears perked up. Now here was a device I could make use of, without a 2 year contract. It had the features I'd actually use: music and podcasts, contact info in a font I could actually read, WiFi and a mobile version of Safari, video play, and access to iCal calendars on the go.
So, this week, for my birthday I got an iPod touch, and so far I'm very impressed.
Here are my first observations after having the touch a bit over 24 hours:
- The size and thinness are amazing, compared to the Palm devices I used to carry round. it's a little disconcerting carrying a $400 iPod with a full glass screen in my pocket, so I'm working on a case and clear screen/body protectors.
- Mobile Safari and WiFi are quite nice. I'm investigating mobile-specific sites for the iPhone and iPod touch, like PocketTweets and Mobile NY Times, picked up from Janet Tokerud's update on her iPhone. If you have sites to share, please share the links.
- I've already been able to play audio at IT Conversations, and video from Google Video, so the browser is pretty handy and flexible for my needs.
- I love the Contacts app, with super-readable text. I like that it syncs from my Address Book on the Mac. I like that I can add new contacts on the go. This was one of the most-missed feature of my Palm PDA.
- It's handy to have my work and family calendars synced from the Mac as well. We've just setup a common family calendar with iCal on our Macs, Google Calendar on the web and SpanningSync to connect everything together. Having a mobile view of our shared calendars adds a nice access point. I wish I could add events, and hope this feature is added in a future software update.
- Widescreen video is wonderful. I've moved a few videos over with iSquint and have been pleased with the results. Since my nano had no video capabilities, this is an interesting new option to explore. Now I can watch The IT Crowd wherever I want! :-)
- Audio is great, though I'm having to re-orient myself a little to to the touch way of navigating through my music and podcasts. I think it's more a matter of me adapting to the new features the touch offers.
- One thing I miss from the nano is the scroll wheel. I listen to podcasts and music when I drive, so having a physical wheel there for jumping tracks or adjusting or pausing the sound has been useful. Now I need to eyeball the iPod touch to make these changes. I've heard from friends there may be headphones or docks with this feature, so I need to do some research. If you have tips on this, let me know.
- I'm trying to secure some things to review for the iPod touch in coming months. As I get hold of those and try them, look for reviews, to help out other touch owners.
- Battery life seems OK, not extensive as my nano though. But hey, this device has a huge screen and WiFi, so I have to be realistic about my expectations coming from an iPod nano.
- It's nowhere near as featured as a Palm PDA, and doesn't have near the tools that are available on the Palm OS, However, it has the items I need it to have. Over the years I've found that the right features in a tool or device are better for me than every possible feature, especially if I never use 80% of the features offered.
After 24 hours I'm impressed. We'll see what quirks arise after a few weeks. I'l be sure to post again after a month or so and let you all know how things are going in iPod touch land. :-)
Apple iPod touch 8 GB (1st Generation)
Apple iPod touch 16 GB (1st Generation)
Apple iPod touch 32 GB (1st Generation)
Apple iPod touch 8 GB (2nd Generation)
Apple iPod touch 16 GB (2nd Generation)
Apple iPod touch 32 GB (2nd Generation)
Forget the iPhone — The iPod Touch is Good Enough (LifeHacker)
iPhone/iPod Touch Application List
iPod Touch Tricks
Apple iPod Touch (Official Page)