Apple iPod Touch - 4th Gen Review

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AmineBTT's review of Apple iPod Touch - 4th Gen

★★★★★
Apple iPod Touch - 4th Gen

“The iPod Touch was really one of those things that I...”

Written on: 14/03/2011 by AmineBTT (1 review written)

The iPod Touch was really one of those things that I have wanted from the beginning, but have never really been sure about actually getting around to buying. I'm now very glad that I did.

The iPod Touch 4th Gen is a device that has inspired many-a-gadget with its sleek applications; brilliant usability and massive amount of usages. Apple started the touch-screen craze, and I'm not surprised to see that they have pushed their product up yet another notch.

Quality



The quality of the device, both in the screen and the build, is excellent. I'd be hard pressed to say that the screen can be easily damaged, as it has now survived many accidental droppings, many of which unprotected onto a hard surface. Despite all the droppings, there is absolutely no damage whatsoever to the actual device, an astounding feat for a device such as this. However, while the build quality is a fair amount better than other players of its kind, how is the screen quality?

The screen quality, as you'd expect from Apple's relentless advertisement of their new 'Retina' Display, is excellent. Text is generally crisp and easy to read, touching the screen feels responsive, even without exaggerated feedback from the device; heck, even the apps can have a little graphical oomph to them on this little tiny iPod screen. The quality that Apple has managed to work into their project is really something to be admired.



I'm assured that I will never find the excellent, touch responsive screen of the iPod Touch damaged after a tough, nasty fall onto hard ground which may have quite easily damaged other, competing players of the kind.

Reliability

Taking only fifteen seconds to boot from being completely turned off, this is quite an efficient mobile device. While, compared to some competitors, fifteen seconds may seem like an unreasonably long time, it's important to remember that the iPod has a lot of bells and whistles that its competitors simply don't have.



However, once the device is turned on, you have what is practically a computer at your fingertips. It can browse the web; download an application or even check your Email, and I have done all of those things several times now, and it has yet to fail me.

What's new

There's a few new features that have been implemented into the fourth generation of iPod Touch. For example, the ability to place background onto your iPod without having a jailbreak or being able to record voices from your friends to your lectures. The audio quality is not amazing, but it is certainly a decent addition to the iPod, and it's one that I am happy that they have added.



There is also a camera to coincide with the newly added sound recording. This camera is sleek and efficient, if a little bit grainy. From the start screen, you can take several pictures in just a few seconds, useful if you see something that you really want to capture. Indoors, quality suffers considerably, but outdoors, the quality is just as good as your average digital camera.

There is also FaceTime: a new addition by Apple. Essentially, it allows you to make Skype-esque calls to anyone who is currently using their iPod with either their e-mail address (if they have another iPod Touch) or their phone number (if they're using an iPhone 4). The calls are generally good quality, they may take a while to connect, but the images tend to be smooth and not lag behind too far while using Facetime. It's a really good addition for the iPod Touch, but I do wish they included a similar, phone-like mode where you can just transmit voice. It would have been a massive positive to me.



Game Room also makes an appearance, doing a similar job to the Xbox 360's "LIVE" system. This built-in application keeps a track of your username and password and adds achievements for the paid and free apps that you have downloaded from the app store. Again, much like the Xbox Live achievement system, it's just so you get a sense of achievement (or get cocky with your friends), but it's not as well implemented as the similar Xbox system. However, this is not a problem, since its interface is not particularly intrusive, and once you're signed up, it's just there and always ready to use.

Disk Space

There is enough disk space for anyone here. It could fit 800 smaller, just for fun applications. Approximately 2,666 songs or even up to 16 full length movies! This is a lot of disk space, and it's more than enough for most people that just want a music playing device. With the amount of disk space that the iPod has, you could easily have a long-plane journeys worth of entertainment on one device; providing of course that the battery doesn't run out.



Providing that the applications are of 10mb size

Providing that the songs are of 3mb size

Providing that the movies are approximately 500mb size

Sync it

What might be a major turn off for some people follows. It uses the iTunes system for its synching. It's generally fast for syncing between the computer and the iPod, but there are a massive amount of niggling problems (you cannot plug the iPod into a new computer without it deleting everything, album art doesn't always save onto the iPod). On the plus side however, you only need to use iTunes once before switching to a free alternative, and it's generally very fast to update every time there is a new firmware release for the device (it's quite regular, generally bug fixes, but sometimes performance increases and brand new features) and a convenient backup system (although very annoyingly not your music, as that may violate copyright laws) for your applications.



There is of course, alternatives to the iTunes software that sync with all of the iPod Touch devices, but it generally takes a short while for them to update their support to work with the new firmware. My personal favourite, although this is strictly unofficial to the review, is MediaMonkey, to anyone that is generally annoyed by the lack of features and complications that face them during their general iTunes use.

Connectivity

This was one of the only few problems that was noticeable to me from the very beginning. It's not very good at connecting to routers. It will connect, but page loading will always seem sluggish compared to a laptop or desktop at the same sort of distance from the router. I have never tried connecting with a Mac, and therefore cannot say if it's a fundamental flaw in the Apple operating systems, but it is certainly quite annoying when a page that should be almost click-instant to load takes a few seconds. Websites that have applications developed for them, however, like Facebook and YouTube, are generally very fast to load, showing that the problem may be in Apple's complimentary Safari web browser.



Another feature that comes under connectivity for the iPod is the Bluetooth that comes with it. With no discernable use other than transferring photos between iPods and other phones and playing apps with other people in the same area, it is a nice feature to have, albeit a little pointless unless you have something that you would specifically require Bluetooth to use. The Bluetooth communication is a little bit slow, but it's nothing that cannot be beaten for anything but the most intense of iPod Applications (three dimensional games or games which require a lot of data to be transmitted over a short period of time all lag behind a little bit, causing a less enjoyable experience).

Ease of Use

Everything on an Apple product is two things, shiny and entirely user friendly. One of the things that I really like about the iPod Touch is how quickly it lets you do everything. It has everything that you would need for a mobile device, it even has word suggestion for your Google search results. Ease of Use is generally one of the biggest subjects for the iPod and its developments, and this iteration of the product has metaphorically blown away the others with its vastly better ease of use. Usually, I'd say 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', but Apple fixed it, and they made something even better than what they did before.

Multimedia



While you can view video sites such as YouTube or view animated images on the internet, the iPod Touch is still missing vital function. Respectively, Adobe Flash products and Microsoft Silverlight products are not included, nor are they installable, on the iPod Touch. This is likely to promote an Apple based-multimedia form, but it is unlikely to be heavily used seen as I have yet to see a single website that uses it. Essentially it means that you cannot do everything that you might want to be able to do on the internet. It's not a major drawback, seen as most sites have a relatively decent non-Flash alternative, but it's always nice to know that you have the feature, but here, you don't.

Technical Specification

Resolution: 960x640 (slightly smaller than a blocky computer screen)

3.5" display (multi-touch)

Three Axis Gyroscope

Accelerometer

Ambient Light Sensor

Forty hours of music battery, Seven hours of video battery



Height: 4.4"

Width: 2.3"

Width: 0.28"

Weight: 3.56 ounces

256 megabytes of RAM (about a quarter of the amount your netbook has)

1GHz processor (about the equivalent of a 2004 desktop)



Two cameras (front and back)

Conclusion

I never thought a handheld device could do everything that my computer can do. This iPod can play music, browse the web, even render realistic three dimensional graphics, and it's slimmer than your average DVD box. It's an amazing device that can do so much. It's discrete, portable and harder to break than your average, household sledgehammer.



This is a device that truly does revolutionize the boundaries of what handheld media players were supposed to be able to do. Apple have always said "This changes everything" in regard to their latest iPod releases. It wasn't until I actually picked this excellent device up that I actually realised that the claim was incredibly true.

I'd recommend this to anyone that would love to listen to music on the go, have a swordfight with a monster on a train or anyone that just wants to watch any film from 127 Hours to Love Actually wherever they go. This really is a device for everyone. If you can get over the iTunes thing, of course.

  • Value For Money

  • 8GB

    Memory

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