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iPod Touch Information
Old 05-27-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
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iPod Touch Information

Here's some thoughts on the iPod Touch that might be useful to those considering buying one or who have just bought one.

First, you might consider buying an iPhone without a service contract instead of an iPod Touch. Why? Because an iPhone has GPS, a camera, and a microphone. You can buy a microphone for the touch, but there are some drawbacks to that. I'm assuming that the GPS and camera can work on an unconnected iPhone.

The biggest advantage of the iPod over my laptop is that it is always handy and ready to go. If I'm watching a movie, and I want to know "where have we seen that actress?", going over to, opening and unsuspending my laptop is usually too inconvenient. But reaching over to the iPod, turning it on, and running the IMDb app is very quick and easy.

Here's the hardware I've gotten:

1. Microphone. This lets me do speech to text stuff (see below). I usually leave this plugged in ($3 including shipping).

2. Microphone with earbuds. This lets me use the iPod with Skype to make free calls to DD from any wifi hotspot.

3. Armband holder and more. This is great for running, but also has a clip that lets me attach the ipod to different things:

iPodClip.jpgiPodOnPiano.jpgiPodInCar.jpgiPodInKitchen.jpg

The last shows Gumby's mayonnaise recipe.

4. Charger. This lets me charge the iPod up without the computer.

5. Cassette interface. I had one of these around, and it works great in the car.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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Software:

I've spent a lot of time choosing good apps. Here's the software that is on my iPod:

iPodSoftware1.jpg

The mail, calendar, and contacts all sync with the corresponding google apps on the net. Google stuff has been consistently better than other similar systems.

NoteMaster is what I use for general notes, and I settled on it after considering many other apps. It is the only app that wasn't free. It syncs seamlessly with google docs. It's most useful for recipes, set lists, and other pieces of information that it's nice to have with me.

IMDb lets me find out info on a video that I've recorded or am considering at the library. Fast and useful.

Dragon dictate allows me to talk instead of type. It works great.

With the Dictionary app I can look up words fast enough that I actually do it, instead of thinking "oh, I'll look that word up later."

The Swedish-English dictionary works better than asking Lena, because it doesn't get annoyed when the word doesn't translate well.

Safewallet lets me store passwords or other private data.

iPodSoftware2.jpg

The YardSaleMapper is a great app. You put in your zip code, and it finds garage sales near you, and displays them on a map. Tap one to get the description. I run it Saturday morning, and save all the ones I'm interested in. This would work better with 3G continuous connection and GPS.

WiFi Finder tells me where the closest wifi hotspot is.

Flash Metronome is the best metronome I've found.

Road Trip makes it quick and east to track MPG on the car. I just put in the amount of gas purchased and the odometer reading and it does the rest.

Reqall is a wonderful app for todo or shopping lists. I just say "Buy milk" or "Put lamb in the slow cooker Saturday at 8 AM" and it converts the speech to text, and puts it in the correct list.

Stanza is a book reading app (in addition to Kindle).

Flashlight turns the iPod into a flashlight.

Virtuoso Piano lets me play a little piano, useful for checking the notes in a song.

The Google voice search app lets me search by speaking. "Retirement calculator" for example. It works almost flawlessly.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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Al, thanks for doing the homework. Several of these will be very helpful.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:44 PM   #4
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Man, you need an iPad!

Well, doesn't have a camera, but 3G version has GPS.

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Old 05-29-2010, 12:30 AM   #5
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Al, Thanks for your post. I find an Ipod Touch indispensable for travel. There is just no way I am going to lug a netbook around to the mall, coffee shop with WiFi, etc., especially in foreign locations (although I do use my netbook in my hotel, hostel, or apartment). Also, it is great for stored reading material, so you don't need a WiFi connection for it to be useful when you are out and about. Before leaving my apartment in Chiang Mai, I often just used a "whiff" of WiFi for 2 or 3 minutes to download what I needed and then I could read archived articles, latest news, and email later when I was sitting down somewhere.

Mine is the third edition that came out last September, 32 Gigabytes, and I paid $280 including everything from Amazon. This version comes with a microphone in the earbuds. The only thing I bought extra was a cheap rubber-ish case. I had a USB charger lying around the house which I also use for my mobile phone.

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Old 05-29-2010, 12:45 AM   #6
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Apps I use that Al did not mention (there is also a fully functional web browser):

Skype: It works just as well as your desktop Skype

NY Times: Complete NY Times available for free. Everything archived off-line. Good reading interface. Supposedly, they will start charging for content next year. Thomson-reuters also has a decent news reading app that I use.

Kindle: Can download and read Kindle content from Amazon. The same material can be read on your PC. Also, many Lonely Planet editions are now available on Kindle.

Instapaper: If you are on your PC and want to read something later, just press the instapaper button (really just a bookmark). It will be archived instantly online. The next time you run your Instapaper app on your Ipod touch, all this content is downloaded, archived, and available off-line. I use this constantly. I am often catching up on articles on flights or at the coffee shop, for instance.

Complete Oxford Eng-Spanish Dictionary ($25): This is the biggest and best English-Spanish dictionary available, the real thing weighs maybe 6 pounds. Also, it is a lot faster to use than a book, with back buttons, bookmarks, etc. Now I can study Spanish in places other than home and don't bring along paper dictionaries when I travel.

Vanguard: You can log into your Vanguard account, it is a read-only interface so it is more secure if you want to check on things.

Flashcards Deluxe by Orange: I use for foreign language study, recalls cards that you miss sooner using special algorithms, can enter word pairs in a spreadsheet on your computer. Flashcards have lots of other uses, too.

Messenger/texting: Various instant messaging apps. Also, texting apps, many with free texting.

Full-Res viewer: I actually take pictures of physical maps of cities I will visit (if I have the maps). Then they are viewable in full res using this app, I can zoom in very closely on any area of the picture.

Good Reader: For reading PDFs.

I download free videos for language learning.

I put Pimseuler Thai audio series for learning Thai which really helped me. I also put all the audio resources from any book that I buy on there.

There are others, but this is enough for now

Kramer
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
First, you might consider buying an iPhone without a service contract instead of an iPod Touch. Why? Because an iPhone has GPS, a camera, and a microphone.
This is basically what I have (minus the GPS). I needed a GSM phone, so I bought an iPhone 2G and jailbroke it. I don't have a data plan, so I essentially have an Touch + cell phone.

One app I really like is Opera Mini which just recently came out. It's a MUCH better browser than Safari. It doesn't have gestures per say, just zoom in and zoom out but it's very well done. Has tabbed browsed and a startup-page. As a bonus, it's also faster than Safari, at least to me.

One other thing that is useful is to cache the Google Maps so that I don't need to be connected to browse maps. There are people who have the entire maps databases loaded, but I haven't gotten around to that it.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:18 PM   #8
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Hereís a few more I use besides the ones already listed: AppBoxPro (14 apps in one app- I use it all the time to check the battery level); i.TV (TV guide for your zip code); News Feed which works with Instapaper: has about a 100 news sites including Newsweek and Time but requires WiFi access; NPR News, AP Mobile which I like for quick access to local news as well as national, can be stored for offline use like the New York Times; The London Evening Standard is a new freebie; SSC All Things West Coast; This American Life; Sportacular, SFOBaseball; eWiFi (free WiFi finder); Geocaching; iGCT (for geocaching, can input coordinates and has a compass for rare times I can find WiFi out there); Compass Free (works like a sundial); Spell Check, wonderful indispensable app that will guess what word Iím looking for.

Shakespeare (all the plays and sonnets); Classics bookshelf; White House; Congress; Yelp; iBART (schedules and fares, works offline); My wisdom (famous quotes for your signature line); many art and architecture apps; All Countries; SF offline map;

Just for fun and relaxation: Clean my screen (one of the animal cleaners looks just like Fluffy); name the flag; know your flags lite; pretty particles; koi pond; Eden (design your own garden); Mahjong; solitaire; chess; Just got and like a lot: Dogs playing poker; blackjack; note trainer (showing that yes, I have forgotten everything I knew about playing the piano); longtime favorites: Flags Fun; Glow Fall; FallDown!;

I have deleted many many useless ones and keep it down to five pages of apps.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
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First, you might consider buying an iPhone without a service contract instead of an iPod Touch.
Aren't they like $400 more w/o a contract?

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Old 05-30-2010, 10:41 AM   #10
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Aren't they like $400 more w/o a contract?

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<$200 for a 2G on eBay.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:54 PM   #11
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This morning I heard an ad on the radio for a bank doing an offer for a free iPod Touch if you open a checking account and jump through a few hoops with transactions. A few years ago I did the same kind of deal with this bank to get a free iPod Nano. It was no cost (except for the income tax on the value) and easy to arrange a few transactions to fulfill the deal. I canceled the account last year so I can do this deal, too.

It's Key Bank and it's only good in some states, some areas.
Cleveland, Eastern OH, Idaho, Western NY, Oregon, Seattle Cascades, South Puget Sound, Central NY, Rochester, Maine, Northwest OH, Michigan, and Capital Region NY.

Be sure to request the KeyBank Rewards Debit Card when you do the application.

https://www.key.com/gen/html/mkt-q210-check-touch.html
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:07 AM   #12
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I realized that the two features that make the iPod touch especially nice to use:

1. Comes on instantly (no boot up) and network is available instantly.

2. The finger flick and multi-touch interface is pleasing to use.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:14 PM   #13
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Off topic, but the iPhone thread is too old to respond to.

I am amazed that Apple is still able to create such excitement around the 3rd (4th?) model of an existing product.

Apple, AT&T Cite Record iPhone Sales - WSJ.com
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sue J View Post
This morning I heard an ad on the radio for a bank doing an offer for a free iPod Touch if you open a checking account and jump through a few hoops with transactions. A few years ago I did the same kind of deal with this bank to get a free iPod Nano. It was no cost (except for the income tax on the value) and easy to arrange a few transactions to fulfill the deal. I canceled the account last year so I can do this deal, too.

It's Key Bank and it's only good in some states, some areas.
Cleveland, Eastern OH, Idaho, Western NY, Oregon, Seattle Cascades, South Puget Sound, Central NY, Rochester, Maine, Northwest OH, Michigan, and Capital Region NY.

Be sure to request the KeyBank Rewards Debit Card when you do the application.

https://www.key.com/gen/html/mkt-q210-check-touch.html
Thanks - going to drive into town and take advantage of the offer today at a branch - started doing the app on line, but decided it would be safer to do with a teller(?) account rep(?) in front of me.

Will give us iphone & ipod touch for on the road or couch. maybe better than me on the 'puter and her on the couch.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:00 PM   #15
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Wow, I would open a checking account and jump through a few hoops for an Ipod Touch, but unfortunately don't live in any of those places.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I realized that the two features that make the iPod touch especially nice to use:

1. Comes on instantly (no boot up) and network is available instantly.

2. The finger flick and multi-touch interface is pleasing to use.
Al, as I recall from "future shock" we would be entering an era of "high tech high touch" If I recall correctly the high touch activities would be to keep us in balance from all our high tech activities who woulda thunk the high touch would be the high tech?
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:50 PM   #17
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I'm assuming that the GPS and camera can work on an unconnected iPhone.
Can anyone confirm this - about the GPS working on an iPhone that does not have a cell phone contract...?
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #18
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Can anyone confirm this - about the GPS working on an iPhone that does not have a cell phone contract...?
The GPS works, but with no cell phone connection you can't download maps so it's of limited use.

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:25 PM   #19
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The GPS works, but with no cell phone connection you can't download maps so it's of limited use.

Peter
But ... I have a MiFi - a portable hot spot - which I can take with me, so that would make the maps downloadable, yes?
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:46 PM   #20
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But ... I have a MiFi - a portable hot spot - which I can take with me, so that would make the maps downloadable, yes?
Probably it would work ... after all the iPod touch downloads maps via WiFi. But I don't know for sure.

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