Apple has managed to increase the battery life too, providing up to 36 hours for music playback and the best part of six hours for video playback.
Apple says that the most popular request from users for the iPod Touch was for an external volume control, rather than having to use the touchscreen controls to adjust the sound level. So, the new model now has two small buttons on the left side of the casing for just that. Now you can adjust the volume without taking the Touch out of your pocket, so this is a convenient addition even if it’s not exactly the most innovative idea that Apple has ever come up with.
The other new hardware feature – which left us somewhat baffled at first – is the inclusion of a small speaker. This is located beside the dock connector on the base of the unit, as it is on the iPhone, so that the sound comes out of the dock connector slot. We’ve had a listen to this new speaker and, to be blunt, it’s not very good. In fact, it’s rather poor. You can’t really use it to listen to music properly, or even to the dialog on TV shows or films.
It was quite noticeable that Apple CEO Steve Jobs did point out during his launch speech that the speaker was only for "the casual user", and when Mr Showbiz himself tries to play down a new feature then you know that you shouldn’t expect too much from it. So that left us wondering why Apple even bothered to include such a mediocre little speaker in such a sophisticated device. And then we saw the new ad for the iPod Touch and the penny dropped.
He shoots - he scores
The new iPod Touch is a tentative attempt at grabbing a little piece of the hand-held games console market, and the little speaker is there just to emit a few beeps and bleeps so that you can whip it out and get an instant gaming fix without having to unravel a set of earphones. Just take a look at the ad on Apple’s web site – it focuses almost completely on the games that are available for the iPod Touch and merely shows the briefest flash of album artwork on the screen to remind everyone that this is a music player too.
iPods do support a lossless codec, see ALE:
However native FLAC support would be welcome, as would codecs like DIVX.
My point about AGPS on the Touch stands. Waiting for a minute for a device to calculate your GPS position is fine at the start of a long car journey but not good for a mobile device. I can't imagine too many Londoners standing around on the street waiting to get a lock on their position. And without a means of downloading the maps a GPS would be useless.
Mine sounds fine
Sounds to me like you got a dodgy iPod touch because mine sounds absolutely great when I use it with my Shure E3C headphones (mainly electro, dance, pop, techno and ambient music).
Right well the sound quality on any audio system is worth looking at as many different players handle things differently.
I have both an iRiver and an iPod... the iriver wins everytime for sound, so much so that if i listen to them back to back it annoys me!
Not to mention that a lot of players now support flac which is lossless... something apple need to start looking into! At the end of the day the sound is processed so it can sound good or bad. and it should have some form of rating in a review. yes its subjective, thatw why you ask a few people around the office!
GPS and aGPS
The iPhone 3G has BOTH GPS types. It acquires aGPS data from cell towers first, since it's quick to do, then in a few seconds updates that with more accurate satellite GPS. If it used only GPS, apps would take several seconds to pull the data, making the device feel sluggish. Also, keeping the GPS system cycling every 30 seconds has dramatic battery saving potential, and once aGPS is fine tuned with GPS data, aGPS is nearly as accurate. It's really the ideal solution for a mobile platform. aGPS alone is not as accurate, but having both systems proviudes the best speed, battery life, and overall accuracy.
aGPS is "asisted" GPS. by itself aGPS is not a complete system. Sattelite data is still collected and still used. Stop spreading FUD about aGPS if you don;t understand the technology.
Funny you should ask
I've used http://www.fring.com/blog/?p=226
fring and skype on my iPhone in wifi areas.
I understand it also works for Touch. And it's being upgraded for the new Touch:
if it's not already upgraded.