Remember the good old days when the iPod touch was the go-to device when you didn’t have an iPhone or iPad? Unfortunately, these days are slowly falling behind us. Apple doesn’t promote any iPods anymore, and it’s time to let this device rest in peace alongside all the other iPods — or upgrade it.
In fact, the iPod touch has been so forgotten by Apple and its users that you really need to search for it on Google to find out the company still sells the 2019 seventh-generation iPod touch in six colors and up to 256GB of storage.
Apple touted that the current iPod touch is all about the “fun at full speed.” The company even promoted the iPod touch as a gaming device before releasing its Apple Arcade service. Now, with over 180 games on its gaming subscription platform and three years later, the iPod touch feels lost in time.
It runs the A10 Fusion chip, found in the iPhone 7. Although it’s twice as fast as its previous model and has three times better graphics performance, with only a 4-inch Retina display, the iPod touch feels too small. It has an 8MP camera capable of video recording in 1080p HD and has a FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP resolution.
With an outdated camera and display size, and almost an outdated chip, will Apple try to revive the iPod glory in an eighth-generation?
What’s the point of having an iPod touch in 2021
The iPod touch is comparatively affordable. It costs $199 with 32GB of storage. This could be the go-to device for kids to play games, listen to music, and connect with their friends using iMessage and FaceTime. Since it has a matte aluminum finish, it’s rather durable, giving it a key advantage over certain older iPhone models.
With Family Sharing set up, the kid can also benefit from iCloud, asking for an adult to approve in-app payments, and it can always be found with the Find My feature. For an adult or an older person, the iPod touch will feel too small to read or play games. The iPod touch speakers also leave a lot to be desired.
If we compare the iPod touch with a gaming console, let’s go back to 2019. At the time of the seventh-generation iPod touch launched, Nintendo was still a few months away from introducing the $199 Nintendo Switch Lite practically created for kids. It has a more resistant design, unattachable controllers, and access to classic Nintendo games. Its larger screen compared to the iPod touch is also important to note.
When the Japanese company introduced a cheaper version of its successful Nintendo Switch console, the iPod touch also lost its “gaming device” benefit. In 2021, it’s way more noticeable. Here’s what my colleague Jeff Benjamin had to say about the iPod in 2020:
“How does the iPod touch 7th-gen work as a portable video game machine? I’ve found that it works fairly well if you consider a few potential caveats. The most obvious downside is screen size. While many of the games work well on the 4-inch display of the iPod touch, some games, like the third-person runner Hot Lava, are a stretch to play on such a small display.”
“For adults, this may be especially true, since bigger hands can easily obscure the display, which also serves as the primary controller for games on the platform. Using an external Bluetooth controller helps — iOS 13 adds PlayStation Dual Shock 4 and Microsoft Xbox One controller support — but such a setup isn’t exactly ideal for a device with a 4-inch display.“
What Apple could do about the iPod touch?
Apple has two-way outs with the iPod touch: it can upgrade it with better cameras, a larger display, and a faster processor with the A12 Bionic or superior. Or the company can say goodbye to the iPod once and for all.
As WWDC 2021 approaches, it could be a great time for Apple to announce one of the two things: the iPod line going away for good or giving it a well-deserved upgrade. iOS 15, for example, will probably stop supporting the iPhone 6s. With that in mind, the iPod touch and the A10 Fusion processor could be supported for just one more year — giving new buyers of the iPod only one major software update.
As in 2021, there’s almost no reason to buy this iPod. For many people, it’s a better investment to spend $100 more and buy the base-iPad model. With a bigger screen, better processor, and improved cameras, it takes advantage of the Apple Pencil, as well as the Smart Keyboard, perfect for homeschooling. The iPad benefits from playing games, watching video content, and doing homework.
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