Shiny Object Alert: New Apple iPods Are Here
Today, for the first time since 2012, Apple released updated versions of the iPod line of products. This includes updates to the Touch, Shuffle, and Nano, all of which now come in more colors than before. The Shuffle and Nano have no internal changes, just the new color options, but the Touch has several exciting updates under its hood which you need to know about.
As it always has, the Touch runs iOS and offers a very similar experience to the iPhone and iPad, but doesn't offer all the features of an iPhone. It is a perfect choice for someone's first iOS device, or someone looking for a way of offloading media and talking books from their iPhone, or anyone seeking a cheaper way to enjoy or get introduced to Apple's ecosystem. The Shuffle and Nano are great options for music, podcasts, talking books, and other media; use one of these tiny players in place of your iPhone, so you can have more room for apps on your phone and save your battery for the important things.
The iPod Touch 6
The model released today has several major updates over the previous generation, all of which bring the Touch in line with the rest of Apple's mobile lineup. There's a 64-bit A8 CPU with motion coprocessor, a larger storage option, an improved camera, and new color options. In essence, and with minor exceptions, the iPod Touch 6 is the guts of an iPhone 6 in a shiny shell. Note that this means you can run the Alex voice on it, have it track your steps taken or stairs climbed, use it for slow-motion video (up to 120FPS), and anything else the iPhone 6 can do--except, of course, for using a cellular network. The only big feature it lacks is a Touch ID sensor, so you'll still have to type in your passcode and passwords manually. Despite all this hardware, this iPod starts at just $199 for 16GB. Add $50 for 32GB, $100 for 64GB, or $200 for 128GB. At its most expensive, then, you get 128GB of storage for about the price of a 16GB iPad mini. $399 couldn't even buy you the base model iPhone 5S, let alone a 6. (Speaking of which, if your choice is between an on-contract 5S and the new iPod Touch, Apple Insider has a nice comparison of the two which might be useful.)
Who is this good for? As it sports an 8MP rear-facing camera and the same CPU found in the iPhone 6, the iPod Touch 6 is perfect for anyone wanting a way to use OCR apps but who doesn't have an iPhone. Students who need a more portable machine than the iPad schools often hand out, or who can't afford the high price tags of an iPad or iPhone, will find this a much more budget-friendly option. It can even run video magnifier apps, though the screen will still be rather small and those with low vision should inspect an iPod Touch in person before deciding to use one as a magnifier. If you've wanted to get ahold of a modern iOS device that still sports a four-inch screen (like the iPhone 5 or 5S screens), this is your chance; the iPod Touch 6 has a four-inch, 326 PPI display. If you're someone who beta tests iOS releases, this is a wonderful option, as you can have a modern iOS device that will handle anything iOS can throw at it, but still let you keep your primary phone or iPad running a stable version of Apple's mobile operating system.
It comes down to this: the iPod Touch 6 is a modern, powerful iOS device that starts at a price which is a great deal lower than the iPhone. Unlike the iPad or iPad Mini, which are themselves cheaper than an iPhone, this iPod is pocket-sized and sports a price so low that it will give you an even better value than the iPad--assuming screen size is not a concern to you. If you've been waiting for a cheap way to get a secondary iOS device, or even your very first one, this is a wonderful opportunity. Pick one up to: save the battery on your iPhone, keep as a test bed for beta iOS releases, carry with you when there's a chance it could be damaged (saving your more expensive iPhone), and more. Starting at just $200--less than half the cost of an iPad, and less than a third the cost of an iPhone 6--what are you waiting for?