Launched at the Beat goes on event in San Francisco and then televised around the world, Apple has announced a new iPod; the iPod touch. But should you drop everything and run out and buy one? We managed to get our hands on one at the London event in the BBC Television Centre.



If we were to sum up the new iPod touch in one sentence it would simply be: iPhone without the phone.

The touch, not to be mistaken with the HTC touch of the same name and same functionality (we look forward to the law suit) is a touchscreen-based MP3 player boasting a 3.5-inch screen and a host of new features including Wi-Fi connectivity.

The design, which is 8mm thick (that's slimmer than a CD case) and slightly thinner than Sony Ericsson's W880i model sports a rather disappointing 8GB or 16GB drive to store images, video, and of course music. The storage quota pales in comparison to the newly launched 6th generation iPod, now called "Classic", hard drive space of 160GB.

Still you do get a shiny case, lacking all but one button and the chance to finger your way through music tracks, videos and images at your whim.

Adding Wi-Fi, remember this is like the iPhone but without the phone, you get to surf your favourite website, hopefully Pocket-lint, as well other sites out there all at the touch of a button and of course a Wi-Fi hotspot. The interface, identical to the iPhone, features the ability to zoom in and out of images with a pinch movement and in our brief play it was very easy to use and informative.

However, like the iPhone the keypad is shockingly poor to use, but here it doesn't matter, it's not like we are sending emails or actually typing anything worthwhile.

Of course, if you've got wireless connectivity on board that means you can buy tracks on the go, and Apple has launched the Wi-Fi iTunes Store to convince you to part with yet more cash. All of the company's 6,000,000 tracks are available, but not of the TV Shows, Music Videos or Movies.

New to both the touch and the iPhone, the system is considerably easier to use than the Archos Store we've recently been using with the Archos 605 Wi-Fi, however at the moment doesn't offer you the chance to download anything but music to the device. Probably because of the time involved?

Although we didn't try it, Apple say that any song bought over the air will be synced with your main iTunes collection when you next dock your device with your main computer.

Other stats include a 24 hour battery life for audio and a 5 hour battery life for video, and again we didn't have a chance to prove Apple wrong.

First Impressions

Features aside, the iPhone, opps, I mean iPod touch is a smart looking MP3 player that will make your friends green with envy when you whip it out to show of down the pub or at the Christmas bash.



Of course you probably won't let on that it has the storage capacity of an iPod from about 5 years ago and that you've had to pick and choose the burgeoning collection of tracks you've got to store on the player.

No, you'll be too busy showing off CoverFlow and sticking the thing to your head making fake calls so people think you've got an iPhone.

The Apple iPod touch is due to launch later this month.