When Apple released the original iPod Touch back in 2007, I don’t think even they knew what it would become. One button, a touch screen for navigation and a “Mac OS X” operating system… Well, the release event was the only time we ever heard the iPhone OS referred to as Mac OS X by Steve Jobs, but nevertheless, it was still an impressive device!
It was clear that Apple wasn’t taking full advantage of this powerful mobile device however, and when the jail-breaking scene took off things got a lot more interesting. With the apps that soon followed, the iPod Touch became less of a music device and more of a portable computer that could handle e-mail, web surfing and even light gaming device which was an area Apple certainly “played” up at the press conference where they announced the 3rd generation iPod Touch. Since 2007, Apple has sold over 20 million iPod Touches and 34 million iPhones, but if you were an early adopter, is it worth splashing out on the 3rd generation iPod Touch?
The answer to that question depends on what you use your iPod Touch for… If it’s an un-modified device that you use for light web surfing, email and music then there isn’t much sense in upgrading to the latest generation, but if you have a jail-broken device that’s running a custom theme, games and much more then you might have noticed that the speed of your older iPod is lagging slightly, and it may be time for an upgrade! The 3rd generation iPod Touch, priced at £149 for the 8GB model, £229 for the 32GB model and £299 for the 64GB model, comes with a more powerful CPU and more memory to give your apps that extra edge.
The 1st generation Touch shipped with a 620MHz processor that was underclocked to 400MHz, and increased to 533MHz in the second generation. The third generation iPod Touch saw a performance boost thanks to a new processor clocked at 600MHz. Also in the third generation device was 256MB DRAM, double the 128MB DRAM that shipped with the previous iterations.
Every version of the iPod Touch can still run the latest version of the iPhone OS without any problem, and as I mentioned earlier, if you don’t use the device for more than music and the occasional application then you won’t see a performance boost in upgrading. Those of you who have jail-broken your Touch, or intend on doing so if you buy one, will most definitely benefit from the extra speed and multitasking offered by the more powerful processor and memory.
All of the changes to the latest iPod Touch (3G) were performance based – no new aesthetic changes to admire as this was taken care of upon the release of the 2nd generation which saw a sleeker, curved back applied which made the device much easier to handle and nicer to look at! If you want to play multi-player games with other people near to you via bluetooth, this requires the 2nd generation or later.
When I decided to upgrade my original iPod Touch for the newer generation, I saw a definite improvement to my jail-broken OS using iPhone 3.0 (screenshot pictured to the right). Previously, even the preferences pane took 10 seconds to fully load, and now everything is more or less instantaneous, with application loading times also reduced. If you’re looking for a new entertainment device, the iPod Touch (3G) is definitely your best bet, and not a bad Christmas present either!