How the iPod touch Works

iPod touch Features

The iPod touch bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone and can run many of its applications as well.
The iPod touch bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone and can run many of its applications as well.
Photo courtesy Apple

It's easy to think of the iPod touch as a stripped-down version of the iPhone instead of a souped-up iPod. The iPod touch and iPhone look similar, featuring the same wide touch screen with a sleek black border and single home button. The iPod touch is a little smaller and weighs a little less than the iPhone, partly because the iPhone has a cellular transceiver.

The iPod touch's home screen also looks like the iPhone's, but with fewer icons -- at least, until you start installing new applications. From the home screen, you can get to the iPhone's text-messaging capabilities and collection of mini-applications called widgets. And, of course, you can also use the iPhone as a cellular phone. The iPod touch doesn't share any of these features, but the two devices do have a few things in common, including:

  • One forward-facing and one rear-facing camera
  • Flash memory (16 or 32 GB for the iPhone, 8, 32 or 64 GB for the iPod touch)
  • WiFi capabilities (802.11b/g/n)
  • Safari Web browser
  • Audio, video and photo storage and playback
  • YouTube video player
  • Calendar and contacts that synch with your computer
  • Clock and calculator applications
  • Access to the iTunes Music Store via WiFi
  • More than 250,000 apps you can install from the App Store via WiFi or a wired computer connection
  • Dock and headphone connections
  • Earphones with remote controls and a microphone

The iPod touch also costs roughly the same amount as an iPhone or an iPod classic, but each of these devices has significantly different features and capabilities. Here's a run-down of the costs:

  • iPod touch: $229 for 8 GB, $299 for 32 GB, $399 for 64 GB
  • iPhone: $99 for 8 GB (3GS); $199 for 16 GB or $299 for 32 GB (4G) with a two-year contract with AT&T, plus the cost of a mobile phone service plan
  • iPod classic: $249 for 160 GB
  • iPod nano: $149 for 8 GB, $179 for 16 GB
  • iPod shuffle: $49 for 2 GB [source: Apple]

In terms of storage space, the iPod touch is comparable to the iPhone and the iPod nano, although it also comes in a 64 GB model. The iPod touch also has far less storage space than the iPod classic, but their prices fall into a similar range. So when you buy an iPod touch, you won't necessarily get more storage room than on other iPod models. Instead, you'll get WiFi capabilities plus the large touch-sensitive screen and application interface of the iPhone.

­Next, we'll take a look at exactly what's behind the iPod touch's most distinctive feature.