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!