The iPod touch is a portable media player designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the top-of-the-line model in Apple's iPod family. The product was unveiled to the general public on September 5, 2007 as part of an event dubbed "The Beat Goes On", featuring the introduction of Cover Flow and Multi-Touch to the iPod line. The iPod touch can be purchased with 8 or 16 GB of flash memory. It also has Wi-Fi and includes Safari, Apple's web browser. The iPod touch is the first generation of the iPod line to include wireless access to the iTunes Store. The iPod touch also has the capability to detect the current and last 10 songs playing in a Starbucks café within the vicinity.
The iPod touch's multi-touch interface is exactly like that of the iPhone. Like the iPhone, the iPod touch includes a physical home button separate from the touch screen. The home screen includes a list of buttons corresponding to the available applications: Music, Videos, Photos, iTunes, Safari, YouTube, Mail, Maps, Widgets, and much more. The iPod touch comes preloaded with 28 wallpaper photos, some of which are figures from the iPod advertisements.
Comparisons to the iPhone
Initial reviews of the iPod touch have noted some differences compared to Apple's similar iPhone. One of the primary criticisms of the iPod touch is the absence of iPhone's email, mapping and stock tracking applications. On January 15, 2008, Steve Jobs announced at his Macworld 2008 keynote that there will be five new applications added to the iPod touch: Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes and Weather. The new Maps feature is similar to that of the iPhone's, with new software from Skyhook Wireless that pinpoints the user's location using Wi-Fi. The new software upgrade is available for current users via iTunes download at US$19.99.
Another complaint targets the lack of physical buttons for volume control, a feature present on the iPhone. The iPod touch instead uses software-based controls, which require users to double click the home button, bringing up an on-screen volume control. The iPod touch also lacks iPhone's external speakers, built-in camera, and Bluetooth capability. Finally, the iPod touch comes in only 8GB and 16GB compared to the iPod classic which comes in larger storage capacities.
At least one critic has suggested that Apple may have purposely left out these applications and hardware features in order to differentiate the iPod touch from its more expensive cousin, or to add these features in later releases to obtain more sales. Others say that the iPod touch does not require the aforementioned features because it is fundamentally an iPod and not a mobile phone.
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