If an iPod Nano and Apple's iPhone ever had a kid, it would surely look something like the youngest iPod family member: the iPod Touch. The Touch gets its moniker from its responsive touch screen, the smooth front side surface that lets you navigate through your music, videos, and photos with a tap or drag of your finger.
While it may have inherited its sensitivity from the iPhone, the Touch gets its stability from the same flash memory that's inside the Nano. No matter how hard you're running or rocking out, you'll probably never hear your music skip (something that's not always true with the spinning hard-drive based Classic). You get about 36 hours of audio playback on a battery charge—or 6 hours of video.
Speaking of video, the iPod Touch also has the iPhone's eye-catching 3.5-inch widescreen and 480 by 320 pixel resolution. Flip it sideways to see why it makes movies and TV shows look so good. Apple gives you three Touches to choose from: an 8-gigabyte model, a 16-gigabyte version, or one that can store 32 gigs of your favorite stuff. That's 1,750 songs or 10 hours of iPod-friendly video on the 8 GB Touch; 3,500 songs or 20 hours of video on the 16 GB model; and a nice healthy 7,000 songs and 40 hours of video on the big 32-gigabyte model.
But the iPod Touch is much more than just a pretty face. In addition to all its regular iPod capabilities, like listening to music or showing off your latest photos, this iPod can reach right out and touch the Internet. Thanks to a built-in Wi-Fi chip and a small-but-powerful version of Apple's Safari Web browser, you can catch up on all the latest news whenever you're in range of a Wi-Fi network. You use your fingertips to point your way around the Web—or fire up the Touch's onscreen keyboard for when you have to enter text in a Web address or on a page.
And where there's Internet, there's email, stock-market updates, weather forecasts, and online maps. If that's not enough, there's a whole new world of possibilities in the iTunes App Store, where you can customize your iPod with additional software. Whether you're connected or not, you also get a handy notepad, your personal calendar, and your computer's address book, too.
If you hate leaving your computer for fear of missing something totally cool posted on YouTube, the popular video-sharing site, the Touch is there for you. This wireless iPod comes with its own one-click link direct to YouTube so you can keep up with the Web's funniest videos.
Oh, and one more thing...have you ever been listening to your iPod and wished you could buy even more music right there, no matter where you are? With the Touch (and a wireless network connection), you can. This little Internet iPod can step right up to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store (Chapter 7) and search, sample, and snap up tracks over the airwaves.
They may look an awful lot alike, but the iPod Touch and the iPhone have some distinct differences. For one thing, the iPod Touch is not actually a mobile phone. While this means Touch owners get to skip the AT&T Experience, it also means there's no ubiquitous cellphone network to use for online fun when your pool of Wi-Fi hotspots runs cold. There's also no integrated 2-megapixel camera. On the plus side, without the extra hardware inside the Touch is much more svelte.