So, Apple unleashed a slew of hardware yesterday. The Macbook Air looks very interesting, and with its emphasis on wireless communications, it really has piqued my interest. (I hate wires of all sorts. Despise them actually…wish every cord and wire and cable would evaporate instantly.) The Air doesn’t sport cables other than a power cord. Bravo! It sports Bluetooth, 802.11n, and some nifty software. What it doesn’t support is true mobile connectivity…so, it is truly a portable, not a mobile computing device. A bit of a letdown. Integrated mobile access through ATT would have been a great addition. Perhaps the next rev.
However, I think that the most overlooked event of this edition of the Macworld Expo was the upgrade to the iPod Touch. With the advent of location awareness through Skyhook Wireless and their excellent wiFi Access Point location database, and the inclusion of a mail client on the device, the Touch just changed who and what it is.
Previously, sporting WiFi and the excellent mobile Safari browser, the Touch was a great info-tainment device. But with location awareness and the new mail client, the Touch has jumped the chasm into a mobile computing device. For all of the Apple fans and folks who post to sites like MacNN who were clamoring for a tablet computer, Apple just surpassed your expectations by delivering a micro-tablet. It sports a touch screen interface, internet access, media players, e-mail, and location-sensitive mapping. That is HUGE. It allows access to Word, Excel and PDFs, and carries calendar and addressbook info.

It doesn’t come with an integrated phone. So it doesn’t come with a carrier contract. What a relief.

So, here you go…everything that the iPhone has with none of the drawbacks (and twice the storage). The Touch is now hot. The iPhone is still cool, but the Touch is hot.

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there are plenty of drawbacks! no speaker, which most people would argue is not necessary – But I know a lot that would find it useful with some friends around, the lack of volume controls, the lack of the apps that should’ve came with the ipod touch when it was first released! now they want me to pay 20 bucks?! the cover flow feature is neat, and the screen looks great, but sometimes it just doesn’t work the way you want it to (doesn’t rotate everytime)also when using coverflow horizontally, you can’t play items in shuffle mode and items limited to one playlist: instead only in alphabetical order and every album you own. not a dealbreaker but annoying. what does affect my decision the most is the inability to change tracks without taking it out of my pocket!finally the whole locking feature is annoying too, so when I do take it out of my pocket i have to press a button, unlock by sliding (which may take two tries) the bar on the screen and then proceed to controls. I would almost prefer the physical hold button of old ipods.all in all, i’m selling mine, going with a nano until the next generation of ipod touch is released addressing these issues

January 24, 2008 8:49 am

Those are all really valid points, and while the device isn’t perfect (I agree with that no remote issue)it does create a new category of device…the networked tablet. As a first entry into the space, I’d say it does a laudable job of working as a very good media player, and dipping its toes into a new life as a mobile computer. (If you think the MacBook Air is small, check out the size of the touch!)

January 24, 2008 1:12 pm

bahhahaha…[what does affect my decision the most is the inability to change tracks without taking it out of my pocket!]you’re worried about having to take something out of your pocket… thats hilarious. while we’re talking comfort and ease why dont they make it so that when i think about switching tracks it does it automatically, that way i wouldnt have to move at all!noor… im sorry to say, but if you’re getting worked up about something as small as this, you might have your life priorities misaligned…. just a thought.

March 14, 2009 2:51 am

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