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PC Magazine: $20 Touch update "a bargain"

updated 04:35 pm EST, Mon January 28, 2008

Touch update a bargain

Apple's recent $20 content update for the iPod touch has some users expressing discontent with the company's approach, but others still see a great value in the update package. PC Magazine writer Sascha Segan reports that despite the perception that Apple is charging too much for the update, the software that is installed is well worth the money, and even a bargain. Segan says that the best values in the bundle are the re-designed home screen, as well as the Mail and Maps applications.

The home screen now allows users to keep multiple pages worth of applications - no doubt in anticipation of the February due-date for the developer's kit - and now, Safari bookmarks. Segan says that this is "almost as good as having real third-party applications."

Segan also likes the mail application, which works with many different services, such as Google's Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Apple's own .Mac email service. The app is not without its downsides; he notes that there is no option for multiple selection or deletion of files, as well as a lack of being able to save attachments from emails.

Maps adds much of Google's map services to the device, while also enabling WiFi triangulation. By using wireless network signals, Maps can almost pinpoint a user's location, providing the ability for users to flesh out a set of directions into a readable map. Segan says the feature works well in New York city, finding his location within a block, but notes that users in less densely populated areas may have less success.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    discontent

    some users expressing discontent

    People should get a life.. they bought a product that clearly had none of the email other recently upgraded functions and Apple then play nice and offer a cheap $20 upgrade and they complain !

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hmmmm, I wonder

    I wonder if these people complained when they bought Vista?

    So far, Microsoft has not offered any rebates for problems with its software. :-) But I hear that they did disconnect a bunch of users due to a DRM opps thingie. :-)

    en

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    like stevo said

    iPod touch is supposed to be a media player, just like the last iPods, but with iTMS functionality. The fact that they got Safari built-in was a freebie that was a might-as-well since the hardware was there for it.

    I'd say that they were a lot more concerned at pleasing current iPhone users, so they initially developed the current update for that. With iPods, this addition was added functionality that wouldn't make or break its particular market, so they picked up the charge there.

    That being said, if you have access to a wireless network for much of the day (say at work or on a college campus) then the $20 would be well worth it over upgrading to an iPhone and paying contract severance fees, service fees.

    That makes you wonder if we'll ever see any official VOIP functionality.

  1. Mr. Fartleberry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    beta tester

    I bought early and paid AAPL's traditional high price of being an early adopter. Should have waited. Next thing you know we'll be paying for OS updates thru iTunes.

  1. Butch Hauke

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not a problem, but...

    I didn't mind paying for the 5 new apps. Where I thought Apple really went wrong is that some of the features that should have been part of the 1.1.3 update, are actually only activated by purchasing the apps. Specifically, the capabilities to reorganize the home screen and to use lyrics do not become active unless you pay the $20 for the apps. That's just wrong, and I'm sure Apple will have to at least provide (for free) the ability to modify the home screen as the SDK and new apps start appearing.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: discontent

    Maybe people's discontent is based on (a) paying $20 for software that already existed (it's on the iPhone, in case you didn't notice, and, thus, didn't actually require much, if any, work)

    (b) Apple waiting until AFTER the holiday feeding frenzy to add the extra features, so they get mom's $300 plus $20 from Jr.

    (c) It all just feels so Microsoftian.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    oh...

    And did you notice that Apple was able to add the functionality to view rented videos to the iPod touch without forcing users to pay anything. Seems like Apple has "reasons" to get customers to pay for some changes, but not others....

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    @testudo

    (a) so software that is already added to another device which costs more means it should be on all devices? Well, that makes sense. I want all of the bundled apps that come on a high end Dell on their cheapest laptop. WHy cant I get that??

    (b) And I'm sorry.. everyone was forced to pay for the upgrade right?? They didn't have any option. The credit card they used to buy the touch was automatically charged the extra $20... Apple are such b*******! forcing people to upgrade!

    (c) Paying only $20 for 5 apps feels like Microsoft?? HA! find me one app that MS makes for $20.. let alone a bundle of 5 :)

    (d) And what other company charges you to access to their site? Ever paid to get google on a blackberry? Thats not an application.. it's just an additional service.

    And speaking of paying for changes.. what was the charge for all of the upgrades to the iPhone? Can you remind me of the cost of that, Testudo? Thanks!

    I know you havent seen it in years, but keep looking around testudo.. you'll eventually find logic!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: @testudo

    First, as logic seems to not work for you either, you might want to review my post, which was trying to explain why some people are 'whining' now about the paid upgrade. I don't give a damn, myself, since I don't own an iPod Touch (too much $$$ for too little space).

    But to your rebuttals (a) so software that is already added to another device which costs more means it should be on all devices? Well, that makes sense. I want all of the bundled apps that come on a high end Dell on their cheapest laptop. WHy cant I get that??

    Well, from my experience, the higher the computer, the LESS software it comes with. But since I don't know how Dell comes into play...

    The point being made was that people are upset because these apps, which already existed and, for no apparent reason, were excluded from the iPod touch. Adding them to the touch required little in terms of cost to apple (as can be seen from the fact that they added them to the new touches), add nothing to manufacturing cost, yet they want $20 for them. Sorry you don't see why people might be upset at that, but some apparently are.

    (b) And I'm sorry.. everyone was forced to pay for the upgrade right?? They didn't have any option. The credit card they used to buy the touch was automatically charged the extra $20... Apple are such b*******! forcing people to upgrade!

    I never said they were forced (but, hey, if you can't beat an argument, why not just change the topic and hope you can beat them on another angle - that's the way to do it!). What I said was that people feel used because Apple waited until AFTER the big XMas season to all of a sudden decide "Hey, we're going to add features!", and, on top of that, charge a fee for all those who just got an iPod just weeks before.

    (c) Paying only $20 for 5 apps feels like Microsoft?? HA! find me one app that MS makes for $20.. let alone a bundle of 5 :)

    Man, you really are dense, aren't you. Again with the "hey, I'll try to spin it my way so the argument sounds idiotic". The price isn't Microsoftian, its the feeling by the iPod touch owners of being "used" and "abused", let alone the nickel and diming of it's users.

    (d) And what other company charges you to access to their site? Ever paid to get google on a blackberry? Thats not an application.. it's just an additional service.

    I have no idea what the h*** you're talking about here. Unless it's in response to the rental comment I made. Which, of course, isn't a rebuttal at all. Basically, Apple will charge you for stuff they can't make money on in other ways, but if it's beneficial to apple, they'll add the capabilities without charging. Again, so Microsoftian.

    And speaking of paying for changes.. what was the charge for all of the upgrades to the iPhone? Can you remind me of the cost of that, Testudo? Thanks!

    Nothing. Which is anothe

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    yawn...

    as usual.. I'll dumb this down for you...

    (a) my point was.. if you bought something, knowing damn will it did not have email on it.. it doesnt matter. You paid for a device that did not have email on it. For Apple to offer you email for a small fee is a GOOD thing.. no one should be whining about it. If Apple wanted to f*** you, they would tell you to buy the new Touch with email!

    (b) you never said it cause you never commit to anything. All you do is insinuate.. But hey.. you insinuated that Apple was squeezing $20 out of Jr. Bottom line is Jr. doesnt have to pay for it.. If he wanted a device with email, he wouldnt have bought a touch. Now if Jr wants email.. he can either a) buy another device or b) pay a small fee.. which to you think is more beneficial to the customer?

    (c) so a one time fee is being nickeled and dimed? and I'm the one who's dense? lol!! Being nickeled and dimed is defined as several small charges that accumulate to a lot.. so far we have $20 extra... If they continue to do it, I see your point, but right now, your point is not even close to valid.

    (d).. ok, weak comparison on my part. Still, Apple is there to sell it's brand. It uses the iPods with iTMS.. why on earth would they not add built in support for it's store? I still dont see how that is akin to Microsoft. It's akin to every major brand name out there!

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