I just bought an iPod touch 8gb for $199 refurbished at the Apple Store. I’ve been wanting a carry around Internet device and the iPod touch is very elegant. It took nothing to set up – just typed in my Wi-Fi code and I was connected. I immediately upgraded it to the new 2.0 software so I could have the Exchange client. That also worked smoothly.
And I’ve already gotten my first App, the eReader, which lets me read ebooks on the iPod touch. The eReader allowed me to log into my Fictionwise.com account and access my Bookshelf there. That’s the great thing about Fictionwise, it remembers your purchases and will let you download any book again, even in a new format. I’ve had ebooks I bought from Fictionwise on a eBookwise 1150, Kindle and now the iPod touch.
The eReader on the iPod touch offers crystal clear type, but small, so it’s not as comfortable to read on as the Kindle. However, after buying the Kindle I discovered I’m not much of a book reader any more, and that I’m really an audio bookworm instead. It’s extremely easy from within the eReader program to jump to sites like Manybooks.net, to find free or commercial ebooks. eReader has it’s own URL entry box to take you to places that provides PDB formatted books.
From inspiration to reading, it only took me about a minute to find and download “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton. That’s the next audio book I plan to listen to, so I thought it might be fun to read it while I listen to it.
Even though I’m primarily an audio book person, it will still be nice to have visual books on the iPod touch for times when I’m at loose ends somewhere away from home and want to read, but that brings up the next issue.
Carrying Around the Internet
The advent of smart phones inspired me to want a way to carry around the Internet for 24×7 instant access to information, but I never could stomach the idea of paying their large monthly bills. I’m currently on a pay-as-you-go plan with T-Mobile and I add $50 worth of minutes about every 4-5 months. It’s wonderful not having a cell phone bill. When small mobile Wi-Fi Internet devices showed up on the market, I thought they were a good compromise – not perfect, but pretty good. So I started researching. I finally decided on the iPod touch when I saw it for $199 refurbished. I like it, but I’ve got to learn how to carry it around.
I currently carry a 2nd generation iPod Nano in my shirt pocket. The iPod touch might be too heavy to put there. I carry my cell phone in my left front pants pocket, so the iPod touch could go on the right side, but I worry about it getting damaged, so I’m thinking about a small iPhone holster for my belt, but my pants are already overburdened with keys, wallet, phone, change, handkerchief, and sometimes voice recorder, so that I’m constantly hitching them up. Carrying around another device is going to be annoying. An iPhone would have been ideal because one device would replace two.
The obvious solution would be to start carrying a purse, but I think a bandolier would be better, although my wife already thinks seeing my white iPod headphones permanently hanging around my neck is nerdy enough. I wouldn’t be bothered by any statement my carrying a purse would make, but so far I haven’t seen one I really liked. I’d want something like a small sleek messenger bag made of leather, but if I’m going to start carrying a purse, why not plan to throw a few more items in, like a camera or a Eee PC, which means I’d want a bigger bag.
Also, I haven’t decided if the iPod touch is the perfect portable Internet device. I can browse the net fairly easy with it, with some sites a lot more readable than others. The iPod touch provides a convenient way to read and delete old emails, but it’s primary function would be to look up data, like movie times, weather info, or trivia, and listening to audio books. I’ve wondered if I jumped up in size to the 7″ Eee PC if it wouldn’t make a substantially better carry around Internet device.
You don’t realize how important a keyboard is as a human-machine interface until you hunt and peck on the iPod touch. The iPod touch certainly does a lot with it’s 3.5 inch 480 x 320 pixels screen. I think it will take me weeks to truly explore the potential of this device. Sooner or later I will want broadband access, because I figure in five years everyone will carry around the Internet. I just don’t know what the device we will carry will look like.