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iPod Touch First Impressions
Old 04-18-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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iPod Touch First Impressions

Here are my first impressions of the iPod touch (8 Gig, bought used for $135).

1. It could be larger and still fit in a pocket. The increase in size would make typing a lot easier.

2. The apple logo that comes up first



makes it look like you have a scratch in your screen. That's what I thought.

3. The screen is very nice and bright, great colors. Makes my laptop seem dim.

4. There's no help or tooltips (that I've found). So on a screen like this:



if I want to know what the icons at the bottom do, I have to look through the manual (and I can't search for a symbol).

5. Typing doesn't work that well yet; I'm sure I'll get better at it. The "keys" are just too small.



My index finger is 2.2 keys wide and my thumb is three keys wide. My long passwords, which include lowercase, uppercase, numbers and symbols, require the use of three separate "keyboards." Time will tell whether this will be as fast as graffiti was on my Palm.

6. The wifi works great. I was able to pick up the signal from a neighboring restaurant the other day.

7. The google calendar, gmail, and iGoogle web sites do a great job of adapting to the small screen.

8. Not all apps can switch to landscape. The home page is an example.

9. The Kindle reader works great. I could easily read an entire book this way.

10. iTunes -- Yuck. This is extreme bloatware. The setup app was 93 Megabytes, and took longer than any other setup I've used. The iTunes Program Files folder contains 1,999 files and 1,563 folders.

If an English car company makes a car for the USA, it puts the wheel on the left. If Apple makes an app for Windows, it should look and act like a windows app. Here's an example of how this can be a problem:
Incompatible.jpg

If you go to select the iTunes window, you'll end up selecting Firefox. This happens regularly.

Clicking acts differently. If the iTunes window doesn't have focus, then clicking in it doesn't activate what you clicked, it only activates the window, and you need another click to do what you intended. Since that's not how Windows apps work, your thoughts are interrupted each time you do this.

Often selecting a button will make the cursor disappear when it should be displaying an hourglass cursor. The buttons aren't intuitive, at least for a Windows user.

iTunes isn't designed to be easy to use, it's designed to make you buy stuff. You put in your credit card ahead of time, so if you click on an app by mistake, there's no confirmation screen, and no way to cancel. You can't even set an option to require confirmation (that I've found). Amazon's one-click ordering is great, but it allows you to cancel an order.

You can't say "show me only the free apps" or sort by price.

The interface with the iPod is crippled by iTunes. Instead of simply dragging and dropping photos, for example, you have to go through iTunes' rigmarole.

I will be working on bypassing iTunes as soon as possible.

11. Great apps -- what a lot to choose from.

12. Lack of standardization makes it messy to get contact info to/from my desktop app.

12. The interface on the iPod is very nice. Unfortunately, scrolling down on the iPod involves dragging your finger up, and scrolling down on the laptop involves dragging your finger down (on the edge of the touchpad), but I think I can adapt to this.

-------------------

Despite my gripes, I'm glad I bought the iPod touch. I expect to use it when setting up gig dates when on a gig, being able to read something in idle moments, being able to check stuff online when in town, and listen to my songs while running.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:43 AM   #2
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5. Typing doesn't work that well yet; I'm sure I'll get better at it. The "keys" are just too small.



My index finger is 2.2 keys wide and my thumb is three keys wide. My long passwords, which include lowercase, uppercase, numbers and symbols, require the use of three separate "keyboards." Time will tell whether this will be as fast as graffiti was on my Palm.
I loved using graffiti and thought it was easy, with the exception of I had problems doing "y"s and "4"s (IIRC).

I got used to using the tiny keyboards, but for a while I was carrying my Palm stylus and using that instead of my thumbs. But I looked around at all the kids who can type with their thumbs and realized it had to be just a matter of practicing it enough.

You can have iTunes ask you to confirm purchases rather than just start downloading. Go to "View My Account" under the Store menu, and at the very bottom of the resulting window you should see "Reset all warnings for buying and downloading music".
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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My review is shorter. I paid full retail for mine when they first came out, and it's not perfect, but it's closer than anything it competes with that I know of. I love my Gen1 iPod Touch 32GB...
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Don't know if the Touch is as battery hungry as the iphone, but if so consider shopping for a few extra chargers now on ebay. Broke one and had to get a $28 replacement at Wallymart - think I got 3-4 for that on the bay. (gal normally works w/ iphone plugged in and has chargers staged at her normal haunts)
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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I sooooo agree with your criticism of iTunes! If it was better, different is fine. But, the iTunes layout is just different, not better. And it is ridiculously slow and bloated. It's the worst program I have on my PC.

On the other hand, my iPod touch interface is different, and better than anything else I've used on a small screen. The teeny keyboard is, well, teeny. But it works extremely well for what it is. I like it better than my old Graffiti-based Palm. It took a little time to learn. Not as long as Graffiti, now that I think about it.

I saw an iPad yesterday. I was planning to be unimpressed. Wrong. VERY nice! I want one for book-reading now. Right now. I'm trying to wait for the 2nd generation next year, but I may succumb.....

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
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If an English car company makes a car for the USA, it puts the wheel on the left. If Apple makes an app for Windows, it should look and act like a windows app.
I wonder if this is how the VHS-Betamax video format wars played out. (You whippersnappers can feel free to substitute "BluRay-HD DVD" into that last sentence.) Better technology doesn't equate to better marketing.

I don't think Apple is necessarily pursuing the Windows market. Maybe they're not sure they're worth the effort, either. Just keep sucking in the younger generation and eventually Windows will die off (literally).

I also think us born-and-raised Windows users forget how many unintuitive, buggy, and just plain stupid things we had to learn (or learn to do differently) when we learned to use a Windows machine.

I've spent most of my life making fun of Apple products, especially their expense. But as the parent of an Apple product user, I'm extremely impressed by how little tech support is required of an Apple user as opposed to a Windows user. In other words, if a computer user hasn't learned any bad habits then they naturally take to an Apple product. Not so fast for a Windows user. My little Mac geek doesn't have to know a bunch of different ways to unlock/force shutdowns of her products, either. Yet us Windows geeks know plenty of ways to tame balky software and OSs.

It's no coincidence that this household is moving away from Windows & Microsoft toward anything else Mac. Now if I could just find a financial-management product that converts 18 years of Quicken data and repairs all the corrupted files...
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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I don't know Al. iPods of all sorts, touch or not, are all about iTunes. That is what 90% of users get them for.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:07 AM   #8
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LOL! T-Al - You really needed an iPad I think!

Eventually, they too will show up on Craig's List.

I knew that when I got my iPod Touch I could do web surfing, but I also knew that the screen size (and tiny keyboard) would make it pretty marginal. So as soon as the iPad was announced - I knew that was what I had needed all along. Me and a few others......

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:23 AM   #9
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Now if I could just find a financial-management product that converts 18 years of Quicken data and repairs all the corrupted files...
I wish too! And I have using Quicken on Macs since late 80s and have trouble now with corrupted data. I went through a painful process last August of rebuilding a data file that would not self-destruct on data downloads.

Supposedly a new, rewritten Mac version of Quicken available later this year, but I'm not getting my hopes up. A lot of functionality is missing in that new version.

We'll see....

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:30 AM   #10
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Don't know if the Touch is as battery hungry as the iphone, but if so consider shopping for a few extra chargers now on ebay. Broke one and had to get a $28 replacement at Wallymart - think I got 3-4 for that on the bay. (gal normally works w/ iphone plugged in and has chargers staged at her normal haunts)
I don't think it is nearly as battery hungry. Mine lasts pretty long on a single charge.

I imagine it's the phone functions of an iPhone that drain the battery most.

Audrey
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #11
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I don't think it is nearly as battery hungry. Mine lasts pretty long on a single charge.

I imagine it's the phone functions of an iPhone that drain the battery most.

Audrey
We were askeerd of the battery dieing - think the iphone battery has a 400 total discharge lifetime - and isn't replaceable. That being the case that Li-ion battery never gets a chance to do a full discharge. Again, not sure if that is the case with the Touch.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:53 AM   #12
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I wish too! And I have using Quicken on Macs since late 80s and have trouble now with corrupted data. I went through a painful process last August of rebuilding a data file that would not self-destruct on data downloads.
It's not fatal, just annoying.

My Quicken file of our brokerage account has little historical errors-- like an occasional money-market price of $1.0000097/share. Deleting the specific erroneous transaction or price history doesn't fix the error. I remember fixing a similar problem about five years ago but IIRC it was 30 minutes on the phone with an Intuit rep. We ended up deleting historical share-price files that the program had to rebuild from subsequent downloads.

I wouldn't mind breaking up the brokerage account into one-year or five-year chunks, either, but the program doesn't seem to allow that feature anymore.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:58 AM   #13
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It's not fatal, just annoying.

My Quicken file of our brokerage account has little historical errors-- like an occasional money-market price of $1.0000097/share. Deleting the specific erroneous transaction or price history doesn't fix the error. I remember fixing a similar problem about five years ago but IIRC it was 30 minutes on the phone with an Intuit rep. We ended up deleting historical share-price files that the program had to rebuild from subsequent downloads.

I wouldn't mind breaking up the brokerage account into one-year or five-year chunks, either, but the program doesn't seem to allow that feature anymore.
Yeah - ran into that on the Mac too.

At some point the quotes data file got big enough? Then it started self-corrupting.

I rebuilt a new one by keeping all transactions, but getting rid of all quote data. I then very carefully selectively imported historical quote data and got something that was half the size and doesn't self-corrupt (yet!). I have to be careful about running old reports though. I do have a copy with all the old quote data intact if I need a very accurate report.

Quicken/Intuit has neglected the Mac for a loooooong time.

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Old 04-19-2010, 12:00 PM   #14
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Quicken/Intuit has neglected the Mac for a loooooong time.
We discovered that unpleasant fact when our kid got her Macbook. And I'm hoping an alternative comes along in the next five or six years before we have to kill off this Dell desktop.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:10 PM   #15
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We discovered that unpleasant fact when our kid got her Macbook. And I'm hoping an alternative comes along in the next five or six years before we have to kill off this Dell desktop.
Well, maybe by then you will have! If they get this new revamped release out, get it debugged, and then add the missing features. Maybe in 2 or 3 years there will be an alternative. We can only hope!

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Old 04-19-2010, 12:21 PM   #16
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We were askeerd of the battery dieing - think the iphone battery has a 400 total discharge lifetime - and isn't replaceable. That being the case that Li-ion battery never gets a chance to do a full discharge. Again, not sure if that is the case with the Touch.
The iPhone/iPod/iPad battery is replaceable. But you have to have it done by Apple (there are some DIY videos on youtube, but I would rather have a pro do it). It costs roughly $80. I have had my iPhone for almost 2 years and I recharge it every other day (most of the time it is completely discharged). The battery is still going strong though. I still get roughly about 5-6 hours of usage per charge.

Oh and by the way, I dislike iTunes too (I run it on a PC). Sure, graphically it's pretty nice. But it's big, it's slow, and it's a CPU hog. It took hours last nice to back up my iPad and I don't even have much on it yet.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:31 PM   #17
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....

2. The apple logo that comes up first



makes it look like you have a scratch in your screen. That's what I thought.

....
You can waste hours of time choosing fun personal photos. Currently my cat is looking back at the arrow slider:
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:24 PM   #18
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My wallpaper is an image that says:

This iPod touch belongs to
My Name
My Phone number
My Address


So, if I lose it, a good citizen will know what to do, even if he/she isn't iPod literate.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:32 PM   #19
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Good idea, T-Al, I'll add your name that to the white pad Fluffy is sitting on. I also took your idea for leaving a photo of that info. on my digital camera.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:33 PM   #20
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Every day I'm finding new neat things to do with it. I took it running today with an armband, and it worked great. Listened to Scott Hamilton on the way out, and Diana Krall on the way back.

Reading books works very well. Better than a paper book, except that you have to turn the pages a lot.

I'll get a microphone so that I can call DD on the iPod with Skype. I just talked with her on Skype with the laptop, and the sound quality was better than with her cell phone.

I still don't get some of their design decisions. For example, when music is playing, there are only three controls: volume, play/pause and skip to the next/prev song. Why not a dedicated fast forward, and skip ahead, a slider with the location in the song, and an indication of where you are in the song? An AB loop would be nice also. It's not like there isn't room for these controls. The "hold down the skip to next for fast forward" interface is bad.
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