iPod Touch Frames Your Photos|
Mike Pasini, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, September 5, 2007 - 16:53 EDT)
It's an Apple TV for your pocket.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple introduced the iPod touch today, an iPod with the iPhone interface. While the 8mm-thick device that looks very much like an iPhone made news for its music and video capabilities (with free WiFi from Starbucks being rolled out over the next few months), it can also display photos synched from iTunes.
In that sense, it's a pocket Apple TV (http://www.imaging-resource.com/ACCS/ATV/ATV.HTM). But instead of a remote control, you use the iPhone gesture interface to enlarge and scroll your images.
The Guided Tour (http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/guidedtour/large.html) tells all, but briefly, once you've told iTunes about your images and they've been synched to your iPod touch, you're ready to roll. Or touch.
Tap the Photos button on the 3.5-inch main screen to see the list of albums that have been synced. Tap an album to see a 20 thumbnails at a time on the iPod touch screen. Tap a thumbnail to see the image full screen (rotating the iPod touch to match the image orientation), then just flick left or right to scroll to the next image.
To enlarge an image, you zoom in by pinching two fingers out (thumb and index finger for most of us). You can move the image around by dragging it with a single finger. A double tap takes you back to full screen view.
To run a slide show, tap the screen once with an image displayed to bring up the slide show controls. And then just tap the Play button. Dissolves with music included.
One of the most compelling reasons to consider an iPhone -- WiFi access to the Web -- has migrated to the iPod touch. With both built-in Wireless G (with free Starbucks hot spots coming soon) and Safari for a browser (albeit minus some goodies like Flash), you can surf the Web without getting your feet wet.
You can sync your bookmarks from your computer, zoom with a double tap, drag with your finger, double tap to zoom back out. A tap on the URL field brings up the virtual keyboard with its handy ".com" key. Both Google and Yahoo search are available.
The iPod touch is available now in a $299 8GB and a $399 16GB version. Both versions included earphones, a USB 2.0 cable, dock adapter, stand and Quick Start guide. System requirements include iTunes 7.4, which has not yet been released.
The touch interface is a very simple but compelling way to control a device. The iPhone pioneered its use, but Apple knows a good thing when it sees it and has quickly added it to the iPod.
For an interesting peek at the touch interface in general and a virtual light table to boot, take a look at Jeff Han's TED talk (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/65).
Tap, flick, pinch. Your portfolio may never be the same.