iPod Touch- Not Just For The Young

On September 7, 2008

NOTE: Jim is the newest member of the WOiP team. New to the iPod Touch, these are some of Jim’s initial thoughts as he has started to get familiar with this incredible device.

Being a senior citizen doesn’t necessarily mean that you are technically challenged. Being a professional musician doesn’t mean you hate computers even though their presence has drastically altered the business of music forever. Apple computers and programs written for them have changed the face of how music has been produced.

The Apple iPhone stunned the world with the beauty of it’s design and innovative features. As the second generation of the iPhone has arrived and a new Touch is expected tomorrow. I have gotten my first opportunity to explore this communication phenomenon.


Upon first glance, I was struck by crisp simple lines of the device. As I searched the box for an owner’s manual expecting to find a fairly sizable volumn to read, I soon discovered there really wasn’t one. Clearly Apple felt that the unit is self explanatory! Imagine having the confidence in your newest device to simply let the customer figure out how to use the unit through personal exploration. My task, once I figured out how to turn it on, was to "play" and see where each icon would take me and what each one did. Being familiar with the Apple environment made the initial discovery process a little easier.

I flashed back to the 1980s when cellphones were more of a novelty. My first cellphone weighed about 5 pounds, mostly because of the battery. It looked like a bulky "walkie-talkie" military radio. You could carry it in your ever-present shoulder bag, popular at the time. All it could do was make a call and store a few phone numbers. Returning to present-day reality and you now have phones that can do nearly anything you could imagine. They weight practically nothing and can be stored in any available pocket or belt holster.

(Note: The above image is NOT me!)

The Apple iPhone ushered in the truly "full featured" era of telecommunications! Not only can you call anyone anywhere, but you could text message them silently if they were in a meeting or live Instant Message someone without verbally uttering a word if privacy is a concern. Unfortunately, texting seems to have taken on an addictive component that even Apple probably never expected. All you "textnuts" out there!!! Please be safe and don’t drive or walk while texting. You could easily walk or run into a wall without knowing what happened.

You can watch your favorite vidos in "widescreen" formats and even enjoy your favorite TV shows if you’re not at home. In addition, you can store thousands of your favorite songs in the form of MP3 files. The entire device weighs only ounces now!!! We’ve come a quantum leap in 20 years! Now you have a telephone, computer, video and music player all in a 5 ounce package that fits in your shirt pocket!! How proud must Mrs. Jobs be of her son Steve!!

A light description of my initial trip on the Touch started with pushing a labeled button at the bottom of the vertical screen.

This button is the key to many places within this device. Pressing this button initially displayed the time, day and date at the top of the screen. In the center of the screen is a green battery and at the bottom of the screen is a "slider" bar that slides from left to right to "unlock" the device. This can be set to sleep the unit at any time from 1 to 5 minutes or not at all. Battery conservation should probably be observed whenever possible.

The next window presents you with 16 icons representing applications that you can select. Everything from a Webbrowser to e-mail inboxes or stock quotes are right there at your fingertips. For even more convenience your music, video, and picture libraries are all stored in a separate row at the bottom of the same screen.

I discovered that scrolling is accomplished in a very unique manner. Instead of looking for arrows to press moving a information in a window in a desired direction, you simply slide your finger in the direction you wish the window to move to and the info magically slides to exactly where you want it. You can also enlarge the type and images simply by taking your thumb and first finger, putting them together in the center of the screen and separating them to either side. Text and pictures will expand to give you much better readability!

One final "eye popper" is the ability for this device to convert from a vertical viewer to a horizontal (letterbox) viewer depending on the application being used. If you want to watch a Rock Video you can simply turn the device sideways and the picture will automatically switch to the letterbox shape and resolution!! This is a real innovation in window control.  As a matter of fact, the Touch is a wealth of innovations in the world of telecommunications as well as the "hand held personal computer"!

After all the technology I’ve been through over the years, these Apple iPhone/iTouch devices are the absolute wave of the future! They really scored a touchdown on this one!!!!