There’s a New iPod Touch. Yes, in 2019, and Yes, It’s Worth Looking at.

The New York Times Lifestyle 3 weeks ago

It’s one thing for Apple to announce a new iPhone. We expect a new one each year. It was a whole other scenario when, this past May, Apple decided to release an updated version of the iPod Touch.

Sure, it was the product’s first update in about four years and came with a processor that put it on par with the iPhone 7 — but it still left more than a few people wondering just who would buy an iPod Touch, as opposed to an iPhone or an iPad (or virtually anything else).

But then, another conversation started, one that included parents and business owners who were excited about a new iPod Touch. Despite over 900 million people around the world using iPhones, there are plenty of parents who want a device without cell service to give to their child, and journalists who use the iPod Touch to record audio and as a second screen that isn’t another cellphone. The iPod Touch has evolved beyond its basic capabilities as a music player — Apple knows that, and so do others.

One of its main selling points, according to some parents, like Ed Zitron, father of a 17-month-old and chief executive of EZPR, is that every movie, book and TV show that’s downloaded on one device can exist on all of your other Apple devices as well. That seamless, ever-synchronizing Apple ecosystem matters to Mr. Zitron, who just wants something that works — especially if he’s on a flight and his kid is screaming.

“When you’re on a plane, you want something to make them happy and in this case it works,” Mr. Zitron said. “You know that if you got all your content, you don’t have to transfer anything over — it just works, it’s really good for that.”

Plus, Mr. Zitron said, putting the iPod Touch in an Otterbox case gives it a “limited capacity to be destroyed” — important to a parent who doesn’t necessarily want to shell out a ton of money for an entertainment device.

Janine Anderson, a mother of two in Racine, Wis., added that the Amazon Fire Kids Tablet “feels less stable” and that her family is more comfortable using an iPod Touch since they have used Apple products for a long time. She added that she is more comfortable supervising her children’s use of an iPod Touch than an older iPhone model.

“Something about having a phone that’s no longer active in the hands of my kids makes me more nervous than just an iPod,” Ms. Anderson said. “It’s not about restricting; it’s more about knowing what types of technology they have access to and setting a limit on how much access they have.”

Ms. Anderson isn’t sure, however, if they’ll buy the new iPod Touch since it has a camera, but would consider it if the family’s old one breaks.

Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, the 25-year-old YouTuber with more than 9 million subscribers, said that the new iPod Touch is definitely for kids — but also for someone who just wants a “much smarter, portable music player.” Mr. Brownlee walked through the new iPod Touch’s features in a recent YouTube video, highlighting that while it doesn’t share the same hardware and features of modern iPhones, and it’s an incremental upgrade over the old iPod Touch, it still has a purpose.

The new model is for “a lot of people significantly younger or older,” Mr. Brownlee said. “But it’s not like people are running over each other to go get this — it’s still a pretty niche product.”

Niche has its purposes, like for Darrell Etherington, a reporter at TechCrunch who uses an iPod Touch to record interviews — as well as a D.I.Y. secondary microphone pack in case he needs to record a higher quality audio.

“I want the option to use the audio for podcasts, and sometimes I’ll shoot video and want good quality audio for a later edit,” Mr. Etherington said. “Using the iPod touch means I can also sync the audio with a number of different apps with my own iPhone so that I can use a second mic to record my own audio, for a true Q. and A. with quality that’s usable for broadcast or podcast.”

He said other benefits of the iPod Touch include that it’s small, making it easier to travel with, and that with the new processor update, the new iPod Touch can run new versions of iOS as well as updated apps.

Aaron Rubin, chief executive of ShipHero, a management company for warehouses that ship e-commerce orders, said his customers use iPod Touches in combination with specialized software to scan and get products ready for shipment. In recent years, however, ShipHero customers have switched to using the iPad mini, he said, but Mr. Rubin predicts they’ll switch back to the iPod Touch as its new version is smaller and easier to use.

“These are corporations giving them to their employees,” Mr. Rubin said. “They’re not going to spend their money buying an iPhone and no one wants to use their personal iPhone in a $15-an-hour job where it could break.”


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