When it was launched (in 2007), the iPod Touch was supposed to be “the iPhone without the phone.” “A lot of people call it that. It’s also an. iPhone without a contract,” Steve Jobs would famously say. It looked exactly like the then iPhone but did not have carrier network support and was a notch lower in spec (generally camera) terms. It was a device that was the iPhone twin, for all things but phone-ing and was a popular option among those who wanted the iPhone aura, but at a significantly lower price. But as years passed, the iPhone grew (literally) and outsized the iPod Touch. Big and bigger iPhones became mainstream, and the iPod Touch failed to keep up. At one stage, it seemed to have been consigned to the graveyard.
Then one fine day in May 2019, Apple decided to resuscitate the iPod Touch from the brink of its demise. But unlike the OG iPod Touch, which was the iPhone twin without any phone-ing abilities, this one was actually pretty retro. The tiny little device. (well, by modern standards), which resembled the iPhone 5 more than the iPhone XS (the latest iPhone at the time), found it really difficult to make a place for itself in our gadget lives. The time was in favor of all things tall and bezel-less, and there we had an old-fashioned, small-screened, thick bezelled, Home Button-donning device that brought in a whiff of nostalgia but did not really seem like a good fit for our modern tech lives. We even got the iPod touch to write its own perspective on coming back at TechPP because we were wondering where it fits in. (Check the iPod touch’s take on itself)
Covid strikes close down the world, makes phones more important than ever…
And then a couple of months ago, all of us had to be caged in our homes and rediscover the way we socialize and work but from home. This is where all of our gadgets came to the rescue and became even more so vital than they ever were before especially our smartphones. We did not think it was possible for them to be more important than they already were, but guess what, we were wrong. We know our smartphone-ing habits bordering on addiction cannot be blamed on the pandemic, but the world shutting down did make our gadget obsession a little worse than it used to be. And for logical reasons– things that one could earlier do in person now all have to be done through a screen.
Our phones now are always buzzing with calls, emails, or messages. After all, this really is the only way to keep in touch with the world outside. And now that the smartphone has such a huge responsibility of keeping us in constant contact with the world, all the other things that it offers and we used to enjoy take a backseat. Playing games, listening to music, or watching a video on the phone, does not really have the same pleasure as a notification interrupting you every other minute. But because it is your smartphone and times of quarantine, you cannot really afford to Airplane-mode it either. Staying connected is a necessity.
And brings us into touch with the iPod touch…again
This is where the iPod Touch came right back into our lives. It is, after all, the iPhone without the phone, which means you can enjoy all the miscellaneous activities on your iPod Touch that you used to earlier enjoy on your smartphone. All that non-phone-y stuff that is now a pain on your regular phone because of all the pinging and constant notifications? Well, we found that we could do it just fine on the iPod touch.
And it is by no means underpowered. The latest iPod Touch comes with Apple’s A10 Fusion chipset, which can easily run all the casual and most of the high-end games without any major troubles – it is the same chip that runs the 10.2-inch iPad! So there are hardly any compromises on speed or performance – hey, that tiny thing can handle PUBG, Asphalt, and Call of Duty (imagine being able to play them with zero notification hassles). With the iPod Touch, you also have the option to stay connected via Wi-Fi and iMessage or go completely network-less and just listen to the downloaded music in your library, watch downloaded videos, or play games. Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Arcade work just fine on it!
Your phone can handle the phone-y stuff! And well, if something goes wrong with your phone, the iPod touch can generally step in to handle anything that does not need a SIM card – Zoom sessions, WhatsApp chats and calls, Messenger conversations…the works. Talk of backup! It .can keep you connected to the world when you wish, and you can also choose to disconnect it when you wish, without any fear of missing an important message or call.
Phone smarts, without being a smartphone
Yes, its 4-inch retina display might be a little too small for us to binge-watch anything now that we have been spoiled by massive displays, but this one is still good enough to watch videos of a relatively shorter duration (twenty minutes types), and FaceTime. It also comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack, which means it is compatible with wired earphones, something many have been missing on the last few generations of the iPhone. And for such a small device, the iPod Touch comes with decent battery life. It can easily see you through a day and a half of binge-listening and can stay with you from morning to evening when it comes to gaming and videos on a single charge.
And, of course, as it runs on iOS, it works very smoothly and is very intuitive to use. We hear Apple will be bringing a new update to the FaceID where, if you are wearing a mask, the feature will give you the option to unlock the phone via lock code straightway, but that is still some days away at the time of writing. Well, you do not have to worry about that with the iPod Touch — mask or no mask. This is because the iPod Touch features the ancient Home Button, where one has to press and type in the passcode to unlock the device.
Many might think of it as the cheapest gateway to Apple’s ecosystem (it starts at Rs 19,600,) but in times of quarantine, the iPod Touch is proving to be more than just an affordable entry ticket to iOS. It gives you the ability to do all that you want to do with your phone without any interruptions. It gives you the option to disconnect in the most connected way ever. Allowing you to do all the phony business on the phone and not so phony business on the iPhone without the phone.