Let's talk about the iPod touch

I thought the iPhone was way overblown. I mean, I had seen touchscreen cels from Asia for awhile…big deal! (also, I don’t have a cel, so I don’t care)

Anyways, last week I checked out the iPod touch, which integrates the iPhone interface into an mp3 player. Wow! I see what the fuss is about now. It felt so natural and so simple. Even the keyboard was remarkably easy to use and even though I know it didn’t have any tactile feedback, it felt like it had better feedback than a lot of physical keypads. You can just tell this company does its homework.

Question is: will our clients/bosses now be asking us to design iPod touches in place of iPods?

Initially, I thought, no way. I mean, after my boss hears how much cost a touchscreen adds to the bottom line, there is no way he’s going to push for that. However…who knows.

Any thoughts?

2007 was the year of the touchscreen if you ask me.

Microsoft Surface
GPS units
Nintendo DS
Tablet PC’s

In a world of software-enabled features it makes sense: minimize the hardware and maximize the software.

time honnored trend there, remember when tv’s were huge wooden items of funiture, now they are just the screen.

:open_mouth: …Black and white only at first…am I that old.

B-art: I had a black and white TV for a long time. Used to have my Atari hooked up to it.

CG: You are right, I totally forgot about the Nintendo DS. It almost seems as though Apple was a year behind the trend this time.

Something has always bugged me about the ipod since gen 1

If I’m listening to a playlist and I come across a song by an artist I really like, sometimes I want to listen to the entire album, or the artist’s entire catalogue… you got go up from the playlist menu, into the artist menu, and select it. Shouldn’t I just be able to double tap something to get the artist’s catalogue from the playlist… or see all the playlists the song is in from the artist’s catalogue?

Not A big deal, I know, but I have 30gig + of music so it can be a pain… did they fix that on the ipod touch?

It would be nice if center-select opened a contextual menu instead of toggling modes (I hate modes.)

Double-click is an interesting idea… Why is it that double-click is only used for “opening” things and only in OS desktop applications?

Click-and-hold would follow the Mac convention, since they’ve stubbornly resisted two button mice. MS PocketPC (and TabletPC) use a click-and-hold.

Even the keyboard was remarkably easy to use and even though I know it didn’t have any tactile feedback, it felt like it had better feedback than a lot of physical keypads.

Not if you have sausage fingers like I do. It seemed quite difficult to get the right letters to me, but I suppose with practice it would be better.

That or I need to obtain a special dialing wand, a la Homer Simpson.

Overall though I’m a big fan of the touch screen. I think it will be a great addition to many applications. I could see it being used on land line phones as well, just think of all the things you could program into a huge multi-line conference room phone, and keep the design clean and sleek at the same time. (maybe its been done already… anyone know?)

Very cool.

nurb: I have average man-hands, so maybe that is why I didn’t have a problem. I can imagine other people having more difficulty.

Yo: The iPod touch I played with had no audio loaded, so I don’t know if the menu functions any different from the normal iPod. That sounds like a worthy feature though.

yes, Yo, they fixed you’re interaction problem. if you are in shuffle mode… and you come across something you want to hear more of you simply turn the ipod sideways and it goes into “cover flow” mode… just tap the album that the current song is on. it will give you a list of songs for that album… from there once you pick another song off of that album it will leave shuffle mode and just play music from that album.

i picked up a 16gig touch a few weeks ago… at first i missed the “wheel” but now its a thing of the past. the touch is great… wish it were a skype phone, but i’m sure thats not far off.

that’s sounds sweet dude… as soon as they get 30 gigs of flash memory, I’m there.

I am no technology advocate, ask yo if you do not believe me. Usually I am behind by several years. I originally bought the iphone because i wantd to be familiar with the product for a meeting with a friend that worked on it. it is the best product I have ever owned. The bills are reasonable, the battery lasts a long time and the interface is easy to use. So easy to use that frequently when I am travelling people borrow it to check weather, scores, fantasy numbers, etc and they are immediately able to figure it out.

Just following up on the touch. I found this article by Jakob Nielsen talking about some of the problems with the touch’s interface. Intesting stuff.


That is very interesting. The short comings do not really take away from the overall experience though.

it’s funny after using my iPhone or others’ iTouches, i go back to the iPod and can’t resist trying to use the screen to access/change things, really crazy.