Apple iPod touch – Applications Wanted

So Apple unveiled the new iPod today – iPod touch. I’m pretty impressed with what I’ve seen thus far. It’s pretty much the iPhone without the phone. The other big Apple news today, dropping the smaller iPhone was no big surprise. In all honesty not to surprised about the price drop either. They are ramping up for a big push.

It’s no secret that I’m interested in a replacement for my aging (4 year+) Sony Clie. It’s battery life is miserable, no WiFi, software is hard to find and buggy, and it doesn’t even compare to what’s out there now. Palm OS 4 was great for 2002, but doesn’t stand a chance in 2007. This might be what I’m looking for.

iPod touch

I don’t really care about the mp3 player (it’s not 2001 anymore), video could be cool, but I wouldn’t use it an awful lot either. I’d likely load a few things on there before going on vacation, but not much more than that. What I care about what’s under the hood, Mac OS X. And the hardware that runs it (awesome display, battery life, WiFi).

That said, before I’d take out the credit card, I want to see a few things:

  • Hack-ability – I want to see that third party apps can be hacked to run on it. If I can get terminal going, and run ssh, nano, vim, or emacs, and pine I’ll be very happy.
  • Mail – Someone already wrote an Apollo IM, an app for the iPhone based on libPurple (Pidgin/Gaim). If similar desire causes someone to write an email app, I’m golden. Webmail is survivable, client application is awesome.

If I see these things emerge in some form… I’ll be thrilled. That pretty much would make the sale. If I can add applications to it it will rock. If I’m limited to Apple’s offering, then I’d think twice, since I love the browser functionality, but want some power tools that a browser just can’t handle. It’s still a great device at a great price, but not living up to it’s potential as it is out of the box. Mac OS X is designed to be built on top of.

Also on the wants list, but wouldn’t hold me up:

  • Offline Web BrowsingGoogle Gears would be most useful to have Google Reader on the go.
  • Calendar – Could be either a basic iCal clone, or just Google Calendar with Google Gears. Either would rock.
  • Address Book – Won’t take long for this to surface. Cell phone can handle it anyway. In the mean time a text file and terminal will do just fine. grep anyone?

They really should just open the platform up. Even if it’s “at your own risk” with a big warning every time you run something for the first time. Firefox on this thing would just rock. Would also be a step closer to Google Gears at that point (since it currently doesn’t support Safari even on the desktop, much less Apple’s new handheld product line).

Update [09/05/2007 @ 11:13 PM EST]: According to Ars Technica the iPod touch does have an address book and calendar! Come on third party apps!

21 thoughts on “Apple iPod touch – Applications Wanted

  1. I totally agree, I would LOVE to use it as a PDA / very lite laptop replacement when I am on the go and just want to get mail, im, surf the web and take notes and whatnot. I hate lugging around my macbook for tedious tasks. I want something I can have all day every day that doesn’t suck. I have owned a palmos, handspring, newton, and pocketpc and windowsmobile device. The pocket PC’s are awesome with exception of lousy battery life, horrible wifi configs and lastly they run a m$ OS and for some reason are a huge turn off, and is it just me or has the same PocketPc pretty much been around for the last 5 years with very little extra to offer in the way of processor, memory and storage?

  2. Wait a sec…
    Are you talking about openmoko/neo1973 here ? :) of course the second mass-market version (wifi, 2 accelerometers, 3d accel, usb2.0 in addition to 2.8″ touchscreen VGA TFT , agps, microsd slot, BT and phone capabilities ;))

  3. Steve: While I think it’s great that Apple has managed to make the masses consider “apps” and “web apps”, it’s also disappointing that simultaneously they’ve made people think “web apps as apps” is good enough.

    I’ve been relatively satisfied with my Nokia N800. The screen looks better than the iProducts, and it runs Linux so it’s got hackability going for it. Plus, it’s got a Mozilla based browser on it (MicroB), so that’s nice to see. [Opera and Minimo are also available, and a new WebKit-based version was announced by someone...] Unfortunately it doesn’t have Apple’s UI-design sensibilities, so that alone can make choosing between the two difficult!

  4. Justin Dolske: If the N800 wasn’t so clunky, I’d go for it… but it just doesn’t seem to have the polish I’m looking for. I do love the hackability though.

  5. I’d suggest taking a look at the iphone dev wiki (google for it). The iPod touch is likely the same as an iPhone internally, so you will likely need to jailbreak it the same way you do to an iPhone.

    Naive iPhone apps are still fledgling (it hasn’t been out THAT long and there’s absolutely no documentation), but there is a Terminal!.

  6. Hi. I am not really a “tech” person, so I’m sorry if this is a really elementary question… I am interested in the iPod Touch, but I know it comes loaded with Safari. The problem is that my workplace has a glitch in the firewall settings, and Safari users cannot access the Internet. On laptops, we use Mozilla. Is there another option on the iPod Touch? Does anyone know if Mozilla can be used?

    Thanks!

  7. I would really love the ability to connect to my Airport Express from my Touch given it has WiFi or even the iPhone.

  8. I’m curious about iCal which has been out for a while and could do with an update but
    Peter Beddows said ‘It turns out Apple crippled the iCal function of the iPhone when they released the iPod Touch. Deal’s off for me.’
    I would say the same but what does that mean exactly and if it has been ‘crippled’ surely there’s a surgeon out there who could reapir it.
    Final thought, what’s Apple’s motive in crippling a usefull application I mean are they nuts or something? Or is that just built in obsolecence?

  9. I really want the ipod touch, however i am extremely upset with apple. they had the oppertunity to make this new ipod a great device by putting all of the great iphone apps onto it…but they didnt. they have the calender on it, but you cannot enter new appointment or edit appointments on it. you have to sync it with your ical or outlook on a pc. they could have made the ipod touch a PDA too, but they didnt. the reason they took all of the functionality out of it is because apple makes a ton of money ooff of the monthly contracts people have with their iphones through AT&T. so if people had to make a choice between the iphone and the ipod touch they would choose the ipod and then just use a regular phone and not have to pay the overpriced at&t fees. so they made the ipod touch a very very crippled version of the iphone. i am hoping that in a few months apple will get the idea and come out with a software update for the ipod touch. it’s really a shame they had to go and do that just to make more money. I think that they are actualky amking a bad decision by turning so many people away form the ipod touch who need some type of PDA device and the ipod touch could have been perfect for them. I mena they even took ou the notes application on it!!! They are giving you a keyboard but nowhere to write any little notes…come on

  10. Hey Guys, I want to have something to play music (having more than 200 songs is too much for me), read/write emails on the go and check for driving directions.. is IPod touch the one?

  11. Pingback: iPhone/iPod touch SDK On The Way | Robert Accettura’s Fun With Wordage

  12. Ok folks….. JAILBREAK… set you ipod touch free. Add appointments in calender. Add 3rd party apps before February. Change themes…. it’s the greatest thing for the ipod touch and don’t worry more apps will be out soon. I check everyday for new updates. The potential for the ipod touch is outstanding all we need now are developers to write the apps… like oh I don’t know a fully functional mail app… that support exchange. :-D Oh and maybe FLAHS LITE 3…. oh we can hope and pray.

  13. WOW!! i just used the jailbreak deal, and got the installer goin… i have already been putting appointments into calendar, installed some cool goofy little games, a notepad, a to do list, a book reader, and out of curiosity, downloaded the entire king james bible and it hardly took any space at all… my ipod touch is now the coolest PDA ive ever owned!! love it! (theres also a whole bunch of other stuff you can do to the wifi connection and other more advanced things i dont understand that can be done!)

  14. Well people I can only agree and wrote Apple about the “can’t edit the information sync to it situation”, the answer (yes, I really got an answer), this product is not a PDA ! an now the question is “Why Not !”. Did Apple agree with some other firm that produces PDAs not to include this feature ? Or maybe they feel it will cut into the iPhone sales ? Or maybe they just don’t understand that we don’t want a cell phone device in our iPod. I don’t know about others, but it’s not the extra cost that keeps me from wanting an iPhone. Cell Phones Users are treated, sometimes, more aggressively than Smokers and I travel through many of the places where prople are confronted with these situations. For example Airplanes and public transportation, Hospitals and Wellness facilities, Fitness Studios and Learning Centers to mention just a few. That’s why I don’t want a Cell Phone in my PDA and I don’t want to carry two devices to accomplish these tasks. End of iPod (Game).

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