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Samsung’s iPod touch rival boosts camera, Bluetooth

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, December 28, 2010
News Categories: Digital Media, iPod

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Samsung has announced its upcoming Galaxy Player (Translated Link), an Android-based device that will serve as a competitor to the iPod touch. According to the press release, the Galaxy Player will feature both front- and rear-facing cameras—VGA and 3.2 megapixel, respectively—between 8GB and 32GB of internal storage with a MicroSD slot for expansion, a 4-inch “Super Clear” 800 x 480 LCD display, a 1GHz CPU, GPS with a free 3D navigation app, Bluetooth 3.0, a removable 1200mAh battery, HD video playback, Wi-Fi, and SoundAlive audio enhancing technology. The report claims that the device will run Android 2.2 Froyo—not the newer 2.3 Gingerbread version that runs on Google/Samsung’s new Nexus S smartphone—and will have Android Market and Samsung Apps access. Notably, while the screen’s size is larger than that of the iPod touch, its resolution falls short of the fourth-generation model’s Retina Display, as does its top internal storage spec. North American availability and pricing have yet to be announced, but will likely be revealed next week at the 2011 CES, where the device is expected to be showcased.

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Comments

1

I’ve been following the leaks and rumors about this one for a while. If it’s done right, it’s going to be the first real competitor, and we could use one of those as Apple has been content to let a lot of things stagnate or remain broken for years while they brag about some new widget few care about. All Google has to do is release something for music and videos akin to Picasa for photos and Apple might have to actually break a sweat when planning their product updates.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 28, 2010 at 7:33 PM (PDT)

2

What exactly have they let stagnate or stay broken?

They’ve updated all of their product line within the past few months.  This year’s touch is vastly improved over last year’s model. 

And what widget is it that few people care about?  The ipad?  You’re kidding, right?

Posted by Dick Bacon on December 28, 2010 at 11:17 PM (PDT)

3

...yuk…

Posted by benjitek on December 29, 2010 at 2:36 AM (PDT)

4

@2: Shuffle by album, never implemented even though the code exists and could be enabled by updating the options for shuffling. This has been the case since 2007 with iPhone OS 1.0.

Smartlist updating code has been bug ridden and about 95% non functional on iOS since iOS 3.1. They’ve done nothing to address it in more than two years.

Cross fading has existed on clickwheel iPods for a couple of years now, can’t be bothered to implement it on iOS iPods.

Took them two years to get around to adding playlist folder support to iOS devices.

My 4G nano was a far better music player than my 4G touch. The iPod touch is not a very good media player, people are just sheep, and Apple loves them for it.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 29, 2010 at 6:51 AM (PDT)

5

@2: Part 2, useless widgets:

AirPrint - only works on HP ePrinters. Odds are, the work isn’t even Apple’s since these printers are designed to accept print requests from all manner of smartphones, netbooks, laptops, etc.. Apple more than likely shoveled in HP’s APIs, deceptively hyped it as being something actually potentially useful at keynote, and then dumped uninspiring and nearly useless implementation on public.

Can’t be bothered to implement shuffle by album, merely a minor dialog change, after 3+ years, but managed to redo graphics for signal strength to give the illusion of less signal strength drop after only a month or two.

Youtube voting, wheee!

Updated Birthday icon in the calendar app, oh boy!

Ping!, ‘nuff said.

- If you can’t make the iPod app at least equal to the clickwheel iPods, you shouldn’t be wasting programmer time on garbage like this.=

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 29, 2010 at 7:02 AM (PDT)

6

Not sure I agree about the iPod Touch not being a good media player. I travel a lot with work and my iPod Touch has been an invaluable travel companion for 2-3 years before I got my equally useful iPad.
And with iOS4.2.1 and AirPlay my leisure time in hotels has been improved again and simplified.
Personally, I think most Apple devices seem to get a regular update/ upgrade.

Posted by Cyberman in nr Heathrow, London on December 29, 2010 at 7:04 AM (PDT)

7

This Samsung device does like a good competitor though, personally I am not tempted but I am sure many will like it.
And competition is a good thing.

Posted by Cyberman in nr Heathrow, London on December 29, 2010 at 7:10 AM (PDT)

8

@6: Perhaps I should have worded that differently: it’s not a very good media player compared to clickwheel iPods. Oh sure, people can let themselves be bewildered by the better screen for video or the not so much anymore novelty of the touch interface and ignore other quantitative things, but the fact remains that the classic and pre-6G nanos were more full featured, better media players than the touch or iPad, particularly for music playback.

I love my touch, but that doesn’t blind me to its shortcomings, notably the complete lack of practical smartlist support for my usage patterns.

To date, Android hasn’t been very outstanding on media playback either, but Samsung has been among the best (they also have some of the best touch based mp3 players out there as well), so I’ve got my fingers crossed that something will push Apple to actually polish their products instead of this slap-dash shotgun approach of piling a thousand only mostly done features.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 29, 2010 at 8:23 AM (PDT)

9

Stupid Apple. Gettin’ all uppity and just flat-out ignorin’ Code Monkey’s “usage patterns.”

For what it’s worth, I happen to love the AirPrint feature on the iPhone and iPad, as I do have an HP Envy 100. That said, I don’t praise Apple for knowing my printing predilections anymore than I harangue them for failing to tailor their media playback options to my every particular whim.

How spoiled have we become if we are reduced to caterwauling about the lack of cross-fading?

Posted by Flippy Hambone on December 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM (PDT)

10

Not a question of being spoiled, it’s the clear and obvious truth that Apple takes the iPod side of their iPods for granted. Two years to get playlist folders on iOS devices, 2+ years leaving critical smartlist bugs unfixed. Nearly 2 years of not implementing something that’s been on clickwheel iPods that long. Going on 4 years of not implementing something that’s been on clickwheel iPods since 2001.

Apple doesn’t care about my usage patterns, they don’t care about your usage patterns, and they don’t care about Jeremy’s usage patterns. They don’t care about *anyone’s* usage patterns. They just don’t care. People keep buying half-arsed products, I’m as guilty as anyone, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to praise them for knowingly being half-arsed about it. They want to ignore critical bugs that worked for many years on non-iOS products and even worked on their iOS products for a bit over a year, I’m going to tell the truth. You want to praise the emperor’s new clothes, knock yourself out, I’m not about to.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 29, 2010 at 3:30 PM (PDT)

11

Code Monkey in Midstate New York is right, unfortunately. The fact of the matter is this: the tables have turned. The success of Apple since 2001 has gone to their heads and they have mutated into the very bastard that, for example, Microsoft used to be. The irony now is that Microsoft themselves have a better reputuation than ever and are finally releasing great products (W7, WP7). Apple in the meantime are using their popularity and increased dominance to get slack with their quality. Sorry, but iP4 was a JOKE - selling a phone with really obvious reception problems and structural problems? Who’s worse, the idiot who sells them or the idiots who buy them?

Posted by Mindi on December 29, 2010 at 7:05 PM (PDT)

12

So THAT’s why Smart Playlist Updating is so crappy on my iPhone, I had no idea it was a bug, because since it didn’t work the way I expected it to, I just didn’t use it.

I must admit that if this device is at good as it looks on paper, and IF it works with my Mac and IF it works with iTunes (even thru a third party add-on) I might replace my iPod with it. Hopefully this device can become popular enough to light a fire under Apple’s collective arses.

Here is something that confuses me: has anyone here ever used Print Magic? How come that second party app is able to print to ANY network connected printer, but Apple’s own AirPrint can’t?

“Apple doesn’t care about my usage patterns, they don’t care about your usage patterns, and they don’t care about Jeremy’s usage patterns. They don’t care about *anyone’s* usage patterns.”

Of course they care. They care about STEVE JOBS’ usage patterns, and we ALL KNOW that Steve Jobs represents ALL of humanity.

Posted by ahMEmon on December 30, 2010 at 11:56 AM (PDT)

13

@12: Yep, you can find a few very limited smartlists that will live update on the device, e.g. I think a basic “Rating is X stars” with no other condition will work, but reference another playlist, limit it to 50 songs, throw in a “date last played is..”, etc., and, pfft, nothing.

That *some* conditions continue to live update while others don’t, and that any condition that does live update results in the lists losing their sort order screams BUG! and not any sort of intentional deactivation.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 30, 2010 at 12:54 PM (PDT)

14

Oh good! Maybe Apple will finally CARE about the iPod touch and try to make it even better than the Galaxy Player…

Is it me, or does Apple just…hate iPod touches? :/ (Look at Steve’s expressions and how he talks around the iPod touch! >.>)

Posted by Qxer on December 30, 2010 at 6:28 PM (PDT)

15

Yes. The iPhone 4 is a joke.
You people need to get lives. Seriously.
And code monkey continues to be our light. He has all Apple’s gear but tells us what’s wrong with it.
Thank you sir. You are a god.

Posted by Sb on January 1, 2011 at 2:45 AM (PDT)

16

sb, I know you’re merely baiting again (or still very drunk from new years), but think about it: am I actually wrong about any of these flaws?

These aren’t hard to find bugs and ommissions. They prompt threads here on iLounge and the Apple forums continually. So, we can conclude one of two things: either Apple hires utterly incompetent product testers and pays no attention to their own support forums OR they knowingly put out products with obvious and critical bugs and choose not to address them because their bean counters conclude that fixing them will cost more than they will lose through customers going elsewhere or putting off upgrading.

I find either repugnant and I find anyone who defends either even more repugnant. Whether your focus is as a consumer or a stockholder, you should expect better from them. Just because nobody is dying, making the “Pinto gas tank” calculation for things that ARE clear and obvious flaws with your product is simply wrong.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 1, 2011 at 8:07 AM (PDT)

17

@ monkey.
No, I’m not baiting. I simply don’t get your inability to accept that no company is going to make every product perfect this day and age.  Not with the life cycles of modern consumer goods.
I don’t know how much actual feedback you send in to Apple on problems, but I do know you appear to worry about these things way too much for your own mental health. When I find an issue that really gets under my skin, I report it. I don’t just populate online forums with gripes.  Apparently Apple are pleasing most folks given the sales numbers. Of course they can improve, but as you should know by now, most companies live with x numbers of problems no matter what product or service they sell. I simply can’t get that upset over the imperfections of my iPad, iPod, iPhone, car, watches, TV, etc. Life’ too short. Submit feedback, and enjoy 2011 compadré!

Posted by Sb on January 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM (PDT)

18

Sb, that’s a straw man and you know it. First off, no one said anything about perfect. I could spend a few days writing about mere imperfections, but smartlists, no shuffle by album, no cross fade, these go beyond imperfections into a middle finger to their customer base. They have functioning code for all three of these things, they’ve existed on iPods in the past, they exist within iTunes, some exist on iPods today, some of the code is even functional within the iOS, just not accessible through existing dialog choices.

When the flagship iPods are missing key features that distinguished the iPod from the competition like smartlists, or much asked for features like cross fade, or merely basic features that predate iPods by decades like shuffling by album, you can’t just fob it off as a consequence of product cycles, because it’s not.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 1, 2011 at 3:37 PM (PDT)

19

Removable battery, SD card slot, GPS and a 3.2 MP camera? I’m sold! Samsung makes good products and it’s about time Apple got some serious competition. It’s understandable for the iPod Touch to have inferior specs than the pricey iPhone but what’s inexcusable is for it to have a pitiful 0.7 MP camera in 2010!!

Posted by Caesar on January 1, 2011 at 7:39 PM (PDT)

20

@caesar: sounds like you found the right device for you then.
I don’t buy iPods or iPhones for cameras. I own cameras for cameras and what camera is on the iPhone is good enough. If it’s not for you, you are using the wrong tool for the job. No camera on any phone is a replacement for a true stand alone camera. Enjoy!

Posted by Sb on January 1, 2011 at 8:10 PM (PDT)

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