Review: Apple iPod touch (Sixth-Generation)
Pros: A8 processor and 1GB of RAM make for a faster iPod. M8 motion coprocessor allows for fitness and health tracking. Front and back cameras have been improved. The price is still reasonable, and the 128GB model is much-welcomed, particularly by certain iTunes diehards. New colors are sharp-looking. The first iOS device with Bluetooth 4.1. Improved Wi-Fi, as wireless 802.11ac is now supported. Comes preloaded with iOS 8.4 and Apple Music.
Size remains the same, which feels stagnant — or feels like a setback to users accustomed to larger smartphones. No Touch ID. Video recording is grainy and noisy compared to iPhone 6 — the camera lags slightly behind that found in the iPhone 6. Surprisingly, some graphically demanding games may be a bit slow or choppy at times. The 16GB offers too little available space, and is a weak entry model. Still feels like a limited option compared to other iOS devices.
For years, the iPod has been the forgotten iOS device. Though the iPod touch received a very minor update last year, its fifth-generation device originally debuted back in September 2012 — nearly three years ago. iPod nano hasn’t been updated since 2012, either, and iPod shuffle hasn’t seen a revamp since 2010. iPod Classic was discontinued entirely — the old warhorse was unceremoniously dropped from Apple’s lineup last September. With iPod’s abilities and features being duplicated and surpassed by iPhones and iPads, many have declared the iPod as dying, if not outright dead. For iPod fans, the only reason many had to expect an update was, “Well, they’ve got to update it at some point ... don’t they?”
Though there were a few rumors in the past couple of weeks, the update has arrived, still mostly out of the blue. Apple quietly announced the new iPod touch — the sixth-generation of the device — and released it in a rare mid-July product launch. iPod nano and iPod shuffle didn’t get any new features or internal updates, but did gain a few new colors (iPod touch received those new colors, as well).
iPod touch hasn’t exactly leapt into the future with this new update, and it certainly hasn’t caught up to Apple’s newest iPhones or iPads. No one would have expected that. But it’s closer, now — close enough to at least see the lead pack in the distance. The prices haven’t changed, either. The 16GB model is $199, with the 32GB and 64GB models following at $249 and $299, respectively. And at last, Apple has released a 128GB iPod touch model — a $399 option that will appeal to users with bigger iTunes libraries.
In the next few pages, we’ll take a look at the new features and upgrades in the sixth-generation iPod touch. Of course, we’ll still try to figure out the iPod touch’s role in the Appleverse, while also pondering the device’s still shaky future. But for now, iPod fans can rejoice — a true new iPod touch is here.