Apple has announced that it is discontinuing the iPod touch.
As the last iPod in Apple’s lineup, the end of the iPod touch marks the end of an era for Apple. The iPod, which debuted in 2001, played a significant role in Apple’s comeback as a company. The iPod touch was introduced in 2007, the same year as the iPhone, as a sort of phone-less iPhone that became an entry-level iOS device for kids and others who didn’t need or want the iPhone’s mobile phone functionality. Over the years, though, the touch has been updated less frequently as its role was absorbed by hand-me-down iPhones and other products.
Although the timing of Apple’s decision makes sense, it’s still a little sad to see the iPod touch go. Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Greg Joswiak, had this to say about the legacy of the entire iPod lineup:
“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared. Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio — there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.
With a month to go before WWDC, now is the time that Apple often clears the decks for bigger announcements. Is the end of the touch a precursor to something bigger coming with Apple Music, the HomePod, or other products? I hope so. As Federico and I discussed on this week’s episode of AppStories, there is plenty of room for improvement with Apple Music, and the HomePod mini feels like part of an incomplete lineup after the original HomePod was discontinued. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Today Apple announced an updated version of its last remaining iPod product, the iPod touch. The device starts at the same $199 price as before, but it’s been upgraded in a couple of ways, such as adding an A10 Fusion chip to replace the previous generation’s A8, which among other things enables Group FaceTime and augmented reality features.
Lots about the new iPod remains the same. It keeps the previous generation’s basic form factor, including the same 4-inch display and headphone jack. The device is available in Pink, Silver, Space Gray, Gold, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED finishes, just as it was before. One thing that’s new, however, besides the upgraded A10 chip, is that there’s now a higher storage capacity available. Joining the 32GB and 128GB models, you can now get an iPod touch with 256GB of storage. Pricing for the lower tiers of storage remains $199 and $299 as before, and the new model comes in at $399.
The new iPod touch is available today to order from Apple.com, and will be available in Apple Stores later this week. Apple clearly wanted to get this device into the world ahead of WWDC next week, so it will be interesting to see if, perhaps, that means new software like iOS 13 will no longer run on A8 chips, and thus Apple needed to modernize the iPod before announcing that new version of iOS.
Over at TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino was able to run some tests on the newly updated iPod touch. Unsurprisingly, the device appears to be underclocked when compared to the iPhone 6 but has 1 GB of RAM. I noted this morning that the iPod touch would make for a decent test device, but I wonder if performance differences in CPU could be a problem there (I don’t think so – unless there are some graphically intensive apps that really push the A8 to the very limit?).
9to5Mac points out that the iPod touch comes with Bluetooth 4.1 – a first for Apple (the iPhone 6 has Bluetooth 4.0). The updated standard will likely be adopted on new iPhones in the Fall as it has some interesting upgrades for communication between LTE and Bluetooth radios, but it also includes changes for connected “Internet of Things” devices – perhaps Zac has a point when he envisions the iPod as a smart home remote.
Last, we noted this morning that the refreshed iPod nano doesn’t feature an updated user interface to match the post-iOS 7 era of design at Apple. John Gruber has heard the reason why that might be the case, and it’s quite sad.
Apple this morning released an updated slate of iPods, featuring a big update to the internals of the iPod touch and updated colors for the entire line of iPods. The new iPods are available for purchase now on the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores.
“iPod touch gives customers around the world access to Apple Music, the App Store and iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, starting at just $199,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone, iPod and iOS Product Marketing. “With big advancements like the A8 chip and the 8 megapixel iSight camera, customers can experience next-level gameplay, take even more beautiful photos and enjoy their favorite music, TV shows and movies.”
The iPod touch can now be purchased in space gray, silver, gold, pink, blue, and red. The same new colors are available for the iPod nano and shuffle, also updated today with new colors but without changes in price or tech specs.
The new iPod touch now has an 8 megapixel rear camera, a big increase from the previous 5 megapixel camera. The internals have also been brought up to date with a 64-bit A8 processor and an M8 Motion chip to track steps and elevation. The iPod touch still starts at $199 for a 16 GB device, with the 32 GB model available at $249 and $299 for 64 GB, but there’s also a new 128 GB model for $399. Today’s update to the iPod touch is the first since Apple released the fifth generation iPod touch in October 2012.
Aside from the new colors, the iPod nano and iPod shuffle remain the same feature-wise, including the pre-iOS 7 style icons on the iPod nano. The iPod nano costs $149 and the iPod shuffle costs $49.
Apple has today made a minor change to its iPod touch line up, updating the 16 GB iPod touch to now include a 5 megapixel rear-facing (“iSight”) camera and is sold in the six vibrant colours that have previously been offered for the 32 GB and 64 GB models. The 16 GB iPod touch also receives a small price drop from US$229 to the new price of US$199.
Everything else about the device from its 4-inch Retina display, A5 chip and front-facing (“FaceTime”) camera, remains identical to the previous model. One interesting tidbit is that the iPod touch loop is sold separately for the 16 GB model - yes, you’ll have to pay an extra $9.00 to get one of those.
The refreshed 16 GB iPod touch is available today online and in US Apple Stores. Apple says in its press release that it will be coming to other countries in “the coming days”.
An important milestone revealed by Apple to Jim Dalrymple.
Apple doesn’t usually share global iPod touch sales, but the company did detail sales numbers once: by March 2011, Apple had sold 60 million touch units. The iPod touch was first released on September 14, 2007; assuming Apple reached the 100 million milestone today, that would make for an average of 47,961 iPod touch units sold every day since launch.
Apple today quietly updated its online Store to launch a new low-end iPod touch that replaces the fourth-generation model. Eric Slivka reports at MacRumors:
Apple today made a quiet update to its iPod touch lineup, launching a new 16 GB fifth-generation model without a rear camera for $229. The new iPod touch, which is only available with a black front and silver back, replaces the fourth-generation iPod touch that Apple had continued to offer since the introduction of new models late last year. The new model is available now in Apple’s online store and should be available in the company’s retail stores starting tomorrow.
New design aside, there are a series of notable additions for the new low-end iPod touch. Removing the rear-facing camera and 16 GB of storage from the higher-end iPod models, Apple could reach the $229 price point, which is $70 cheaper than the fifth-generation iPod family. Keeping the front-facing camera (bumped to a 1.2 MP “HD” status) allows Apple to keep FaceTime and ensure basic compatibility with third-party iOS camera apps.
Apple is, essentially, future-proofing the iPod touch family: adding Lightning, a taller Retina screen, a dual-core A5 chip, faster WiFi on the 5GHz band, and, presumably, more RAM than the 256 MB found in the fourth-gen iPod, the new 16 GB iPod touch will certainly be capable of running iOS 7 and future updates. It’ll be interesting to see if iOS 7 will run on the just-discontinued iPod touch 4th gen, which had less RAM than the iPhone 4 (512 MB), also released in 2010.
On the new iPod touch webpage, Apple features the higher-end iPod models as the ones with iSight and loop – the latter absent from today’s new low-end model.
Robocat, a Danish software studio co-founded by Michael Flarup and Willi Wu, has been building unique digital products out of Copenhagen for the last 3 years. They’ve created several weather-related apps like Outside, Ultraviolet, Thermo and Haze, which was featured by Apple as Editor’s Choice a few weeks ago.
Today, Robocat launched a Kickstarter project based on weather – but this time as hardware, not software. It’s called Thermodo. Thermodo is a tiny electrical thermometer that lets you measure the temperature in the exact location where you are by using a piece of hardware that connects to the headphone jack on your mobile device. It’s for iPhone, iPad, Android & more. They’re looking to get $35,000 in 33 days to pay for the further development of Thermodo.
Thermodo consists of a passive temperature sensor built into a standard 4 pole audio jack enclosed by a sturdy housing. This allows your mobile device to read Thermodo’s temperature straight from the audio input. Thermodo sends an audio signal through the temperature sensor. This sensor will then attenuate the signal amplitude depending on the actual temperature. This attenuation can now be detected on the microphone input and through software we calculate the corresponding temperature. Easy peasy! We call this the Thermodo Principle™. Simply plug Thermodo into your device and start the companion app or any other Thermodo enabled apps of your choice. The temperature reading takes place instantly. Thermodo is powered by your device. No external power is required, it can even run in the background while you do important stuff.
You can measure the temperature indoors as well as outdoors. Track the temperature and see how it rises after you turned on the radiator or check how the temperature drops during a summer night. No network connection required. Thermodo comes with a neat little keyring so you’ll always have it with you.
Video and more after the break. Read more
Passbook is one of the newest features of iOS: it’s brand new to iOS 6, and while many apps have yet to support it, there are a few that are working now. I have decided to take one of these apps for a spin to show you how Passbook really works.
The official Target app was updated yesterday to support Passbook, as announced by the company in a press release.
Now, many people know about Passbook, but when they first open it, the app simply redirects to a section on the App Store (when it’s working) without actually explaining how to fill this new digital wallet. Target has chosen to allow customers who receive Target Mobile Coupons to easily send, store, and access coupons in Passbook. Read more