Making the Case for the iPod Touch

Now that we have an Apple media event to discuss, It got me thinking: What is the future of the iPod touch? Apple's (now regular) fall iPhone event is an evolution of the "iPod event" held late in the year to show off the latest model of Apple's music players. Eventually it became the iPod/iPhone event and the iPod quietly faded into the background.

Initially the iPod touch was released a few months after the iPhone launch, looking very similar but without the burden of an AT&T contract. Want to see if the iPhone is for you? Don't spend six hundred dollars, spend half that and try one out with Wi-Fi and access to the App Store you're only missing making phone calls. (If original iPhone owners are honest, they were routinely missing making phone calls too.)

When new iPhones were announced each year, the iPod touch got a corresponding upgrade. A slightly different form factor, a new processor, and increased storage each year for the first five years. In 2012 the "tall" iPod touch was released in conjunction with the "big" iPhone 5, and there we have remained. When the 5s and 5c were released in 2013, we saw no change in the iPod touch, and with last year's 6 and 6 Plus launch, the iPod touch just continued to age. In July of this year there was an update with a new processor and new colors, but it is still the iPhone 5 sized device.

Previous model iPod touch held horizontally for gamingThink how much more fun this person could have with an iPhone 6 sized iPod touch.

It's been long enough. I want a new iPod touch. This is still a great device with a lot of uses that shouldn't be overlooked just because it doesn't make phone calls. Anymore, how much of what you do with your iPhone involves calling people anyway?

As I mentioned above, we actually got an update in July which included a new set of colors and the M8 processor which does the activity tracking. Of course, an update in July doesn't bode well for another update a few months later, but it's entirely possible the iPod could suddenly come in two sizes, just like the iPhone does - three, if you count the still available 5s/5c models.

I would like to see the iPod updated to come in both the 5 size and the 6 size. There seems to be a lot less angst over Apple making mega-phones these days, so I'd like to see an iPhone 6 sized iPod touch become a reality. And since this is all wishing anyway, let's increase storage and get 128 gb in one of those larger devices to maybe get some folks with the previous "white slab" models to finally pull the trigger on a new model. If for no other reason than maybe this will finally let some people banish 30-pin cables from their lives once and for all.

What makes the iPod touch attractive at any size is the lack of strings, and by strings I mean mobile provider nonsense. As long as you accept the Wi-Fi only constraint, you have everything else a smartphone can do. Toss in a paid Skype subscription or a Google Voice account and now you can make calls as well. When the iPod more closely matched the iPhone, it also came in handy for developers. Pick up the latest iPod touch which runs the latest software and comes in the new form factor or resolution, and now you have a solid test device without laying down serious money for an off-contract iPhone.

This is also a wonderful bit of hardware if your house just needs a "bonus" device as a remote control or a kitchen music player or just to have something to hand one of the kids for some Angry Birds. There are still many ways an iPod touch is a wonderful device, and adding a larger one only seems to add appeal, as opposed to letting it quietly age but claiming it's been attended to just because it comes in new colors now.

Hopefully the coming event will update *all* of Apple's iOS devices. We know iPhone and iPad are on the list, and there are some very positive rumblings about the Apple TV (finally) getting revised. I hope the iPod touch gets a nudge as well.