Thoughts on iPod Touch

hand scannerI’ve had an iPod Touch for almost a week now, and aside from driving people on Twitter nuts by exclaiming how unbelievably awesome it is, I have some thoughts on how it could be better. Nothing groundbreaking, I’m sure, as anyone who spends time with it will likely come up with a similar list. The short version is that I LOVE it. In an unhealthy way. I haven’t been this impressed by a piece of technology since my first Newton MessagePad 120. And before that, my Amiga 1000. It’s that much of a game changer. [ed: both of those technologies are now defunct?] My iPod Touch has quickly become a very powerful mobile email/Google Reader/Twitter/Flickr/Blog platform. I’m not sure I could give it up now.

Software Improvements

  1. Notes sync – if I enter a page of notes into the iPod Touch Notes application, they stay there. Unless I email a copy out. And the only way for text to get INTO Notes is by typing it on the Touch. No way to add, say, a schedule, or travel itinerary, etc… without typing it all manually. wtf? It would be ideal if Notes either synced with a folder in ~/Documents/Notes or were managed by iTunes directly – for this to be a truly useful feature, I need to be able to DO stuff with the notes, not just write stuff down. Getting Notes both onto and off of the Touch are pretty important.
  2. Wifi toggle. I try to save the battery as much as possible, which means spinning down wifi when I won’t be using it (while on the bus, while it’s idle, etc…) but currently each toggle requires about 5 taps. Home > Settings > Wifi > On/Off > Home. It would be handy if there was an icon on the Home screen to just toggle wifi.
  3. Temp on Weather icon. The Calendar icon shows the correct date. Why doesn’t the Weather icon show the current temperature when it’s available?
  4. Copy/paste. Of URLs, text in emails, text in Safari. Not essential, but would make things easier when sharing stuff.
  5. GReader offline app – Gears? SDK? I’d love to be able to load up my RSS feeds in the morning, read them on the bus, and sync stuff when I get to the office. Like Gears does, but without the laptop.
  6. Photos sort by date not filename. Seriously. Why would I sort by filename? Want to show a series of photos? Hope you didn’t rename any of them in Aperture, because the order will be all messed up. Bizarre.
  7. Sketch app? Perfect cocktail napkin!
  8. Flash. Not 100% essential, but it would be great to be able to interact with Flash apps and view Flash Video.
  9. Display name + contact info on unlock screen. If I lose it, and it’s locked with a PIN, how will the honest person who finds it know who to give it to? I’m not going to put a sticker on it. (and if a dishonest person finds it, it’s gone either way)
  10. Ability to have files (pdf, etc…) copied onto the iPod for access without a network connection
  11. Ability to cache multiple locations and sets of directions in Map for use without a network connection. Having Maps is really cool, but a bit useless if I need an active wifi connection to get any details out of it. It caches some stuff, but not enough to make it really useful when offline.
  12. Safari should remember usernames and passwords – doesn’t have to be full Keychain integration (or at all) but this would be handy for browser-based authentication that doesn’t use cookies (wifi hotspots…)

Hardware Improvements

  1. Volume control without touch screen. The double-home-button-tap trick is really nice and elegant, but still requires that I dig the Touch of of my pocket and look at the screen. Every iPod I’ve had before would be just as easily controlled by blindly tapping a button and/or spinning a wheel.
  2. Camera.
  3. Microphone – ability to record audio.
  4. STUCK PIXEL!!! AAAAAAHHHH!!! 5 days after getting my iPod Touch, it developed a dead pixel. A really obvious one, too. The flashing-colours website fix works for about half an hour or so, then it creeps back. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a stuck pixel on any of my displays. (jinx 1234!)

Nothing too earth shattering, and certainly nothing to cry about (well, except maybe that stuck pixel. sniff.). You’ll have to pry my iPod Touch from my cold, dead hands. And even then I’d probably give up a pretty good fight.

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