Obviously, there’s no cell radio inside the iPod touch — that’s an omission I can live with. More frustrating is the lack of GPS: this could be an absolutely killer in-car nav system with TomTom or Garmin apps and cached maps, but the capability is simply removed without any obvious reason why.
The review is deservedly glowing, but I can't shake my longstanding feeling of disappointment at the general lack of connectivity options.
With the addition of the wrist-band, Apple has demonstrated a keen awareness of the iPod Touch's position as both a device for children and, moreover, a device suited to exercise.
In an age characterized by the rise of intelligent fitness apps, it strikes me as odd that Apple would forego even the most basic of connectivity options to allow the iPod Touch to exist as the perfect exercise partner. Should Apple include GPS, apps like Nike+ would be gifted a perfect environment for use. With the addition of a basic cellular radio — as contradictory as that may be — Rdio, Spotify, and even Apple's own iTunes Match would be able to run regardless of location.
Personally, with no alternative for my Nike+ and Rdio-filled running routine, I run with my iPhone 5, which often proves to be an endless source of anxiety. Beyond the obvious fear of the phone slipping from my hand and launching into a passing jogger, I'm also open to phone calls, emails, and text messages for the entirety of my exercise. But, the data elicited from Nike+ and the convenience of streaming audio render all such inconveniences worthwhile. I just wish it wasn't only the iPhone that could deliver such an experience.
I sorely wish the iPod Touch — with its light frame, wrist-band, and disposability — could replace the iPhone in precisely this scenario, and I imagine I'm not alone in that sentiment.
As the iPod line is steadily subsumed by the greater utility of the iPhone and iPad, I cannot help but think that exercise remains the outlying use-case scenario for the entire product-line. Accordingly, I'm genuinely baffled by the lack of such basic functionality.
And, for those on the cusp of saying it, the Nike+ GPS chip you insert into your shoe isn't a fitting replacement for the much better experience provided by the Nike+ Running app.
Perhaps this is just me being picky, but I've been well-trained by the App Store to appreciate third party apps that leverage the full capabilities of the iPhone. Streaming music, leveraging connected exercise apps, and other such functionality have each come to comprise my expectations for mobile devices. Call me spoiled, but, insofar as the iPod Touch is defined as an iPhone without the phone, I'd hope that it'd offer plenty of the same functionality.
Still, for those simply looking for an iPod to throw into a bag for trips and disconnected exercise, the iPod Touch looks to be a fantastic option. Here's hoping Apple might nudge it just a little further along with the next iteration — I'd buy one in a heartbeat.