4th gen iPod touch: 6 things we're expecting

With John Lewis’s bean spillage on the upcoming iPod touch fresh on the tech parquet floor, we wanted to brave the 3 second rule and get mopping up the tomato-ey juice with our bread to see how the next Apple treat would taste.

Or, put a little simpler, here’s six features Pocket-lint reckons the fourth generation iPod touch will have and six which we’ve got our fingers crossed, at the same time knowing that they just ain’t going to happen.

What we expect...

1) Retina Screen

There was no specific mention of this one from JL, but it just has to come with this upgrade, doesn’t it? Presumably, the 4th gen touch will have pretty much the same chassis as the iPhone 4 for both reasons of completeness across the product range and probably production cost as well. At the same time, why bother making and shipping two types of screen for both Phone and Pod when one will do? There’s a chance that Apple might consider that aluminosilicate glass with IPS LCD screen, 960 × 640px resolution, 326ppi density and contrast ratio of 800:1 just too premium for a jumped up MP3 player, but it probably won’t. Why not move with the times when you already have the tools?
Likelihood - 7/10

2) Gyroscopic Sensor

The man at JL seemed to think the gyroscope, as featured on the iPhone 4, would be turning up on the touch and, if Jobsy is serious about making it a real pocket gaming contender, then it follows for this device to have the best possible sense of its movement. So far, the touch has been offered all the sensors as found on the Phone. There seems no reason to stop here.
Likelihood - 9/10

3) Apple A4 chip

Again, no proof on this one, aside circumstantial evidence and general habits of the Apple machine, but, so far, each upgrade of the touch has been blessed with the same engine room as the current iPhone of the day. The latest Apple mobile heartbeat is provided by the A4 system, on a chip which houses strong graphics processing power as well as a main CPU supposedly underclocked at 800MHz. To not include this piece of kit on the iPod touch is tantamount to suicide given that the gaming apps already out there for the iPhone would not perform as well. That wouldn’t exactly be the world’s greatest attack on the DSi or the PSP, now would it?
Likelihood - 8/10

4) 5MP camera with flash

Practically nailed on is the expression here. We were supposed to be getting this one last time around and there’ll be some kind of revolt in the streets of San Francisco if there’s no camera on the 4th generation iPod touch. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be the very same hardware as on the iPhone 4, which means 5-megapixel resolution, better glass, a flash and 720p video recording as well as stills. On the other hand, the public could be thrust with the fuzzy end of the lollipop instead in the shape of the video-only optics found on the iPod nano.
Likelihood - 9/10

5) FaceTime

If Apple really wants FaceTime to work, then it makes a large pile of sense to get it on as many of the company’s devices as possible. That said, Apple does tend to make its own logic. However, the man at John Lewis, he say yes, so gamer kids with their iPod touches should be able to take video calls with their dads over Wi-Fi when papa is away on business trips or however else the adverts sell the technology.
Likelihood - 8/10

6) Social Networking

Again, this is a John Lewis bean spill, but what they mean by social networking when it comes to the iPod touch’s hardware is a mystery to us. There could well be some kind of share button on the device but that seems rather unlikely. The other option is a software option that offers easy upload to Facebook, Twitter et al in much the same way as you get on Android, but to add that to the already new iOS 4 and leave it off the iPhone would seem a bit odd.
Likelihood - 5/10


What we would like...

1) D-pad

Gaming without the use of a d-pad is a bit like computing without a disk drive, but then Apple was quite happy to go down that route with the MacBook Air and the netbook world quickly followed. All the same, one does miss a certain degree of flexibility and control without somewhere for your thumb to play and, even if it was a separate touch area, that might be nice. Doubtless, of course, Apple will fight the fight its way without that option and do very well all the same. Well enough to beat Sony and Nintendo? We’ll see.
Likelihood - 2/10

2) microSD slot

A microSD card slot can’t take up that much space and one can’t help wondering what kind of mark up Apple makes on the various models it sells with a bit more storage. Expandable memory would make the iPod touch a more flexible media player to own but only if you’re organised. There is a certain beautiful simplicity about not having to worry which card your music is on before you leave the house.
Likelihood - 3/10

3) Some decent headphones

It can be rather painful watching someone walking round with their top end media player while using the poxy headphones it came with. To give Apple its dues, there aren’t many manufactures who include decent buds in the box otherwise the device would be too expensive in the first place. That said, it would be nice to have a bit more of the money spent on their audio quality and comfort rather than the design or the remote control.
Likelihood - 4/10

4) Cross-platform FaceTime

To make video calls from your iPod touch over Wi-Fi to your buddies would be great but it’s just not going to work out that way. Apple has kept FaceTime to iPhone only - most likely for the usual font line reasons of quality control - and it’s extremely far fetched to think that the company would pull a u-turn on that one just a few months later.
Likelihood - 1/10

5) 3G

An iPod touch with a data package for all-day connectivity over both Wi-Fi and 3G would be a great idea except for two big reasons. The first is that it would make it much more expensive and rather miss the market that the touch goes for. The second is that an iPod touch with a data plan is basically an iPhone.
Likelihood - 0/10

6) HDMI-out

Media players with HDMI-out ports are not only happening as we speak, but are also a very sensible idea. If you’ve got your library of videos sitting on your one mobile device, why not have a way of getting them onto your nice big home cinema as well in decent HD quality? You can select from a number of reasons why Apple is not going to include this. They include - added cost, not being able to fit the hardware inside, ruining the physical design and we’ll probably also be told that people don’t want it when they can stream the same content from their laptops over Wi-Fi at home. Perhaps people buying an iPod touch aren’t really bothered by that kind of thing but, on the portable library that is the iPod classic, there might be more of a desire.
Likelihood - 2/10

So, that’s our take on what will be and what will not, but what would you like to see on the 4th generation iPod touch? Is there anything that should be axed and are you waiting for this device with a fever? Let us know in the comments below.



>