iPod Touch – A MacOS X Based PDA?

Yesterday I had a slightly strange experience -after being decidedly unenthusiastic at recent Apple Keynotes, I found myself getting decidedly excited at the new range of iPod’s that Steve Jobs announced yesterday – even finding the whole Starbucks thing exciting (until I realised that it was US only… 🙁 ).

The revamp of the existing range was pretty impressive, with more video support and a revamped user interface, and increased capacities across the board. The ringtones for the iPhone seemed pretty cool, but of course totally irrelevant for anybody outside the USA. Even if we did have it here, I’m not sure I’d be using it as a phone anyway as I much prefer a separate phone sized and shaped phone and PDA.

However, in the search for the ideal PDA, the iPod Touch did seem to be ticking a lot of boxes.

In simple terms, this device is an iPhone without the phone bit, so it retains the high quality touch screen, and also has the same software for playing songs and videos. This means that unlike any of my other portable devices it should play all my music. It also retains the Wi-Fi, and includes the same version of Safari found on the iPhone so web browsing should be an experience comparable to the N770 rather than being the usual cramped screen mobile experience. We won’t even mention the woeful excuse for a browser on my PocketPC device…

Looking at the icons in the demo the suite includes both the contact and calendar applications from the iPhone – although the big unanswered question is whether these are the full applications or read-only as on the other iPod’s.

The most notable absence is the e-mail application, although you can get around this using webmail applications. The reason for e-mail being missing is obviously to steer carefully around upsetting the phone networks, so in that vein there is no mention of the ability to hook up to a phone with Bluetooth.

So a real possibility as a PDA? I guess the jury is still out – will just have to wait and see, and head down to an Apple Store when they get released next month.

iPod touch originally uploaded by bvalium

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