Next iPod Touch: 7 must-haves

Got iPhone envy? Some of its best features may be showing up on Apple's refreshed music player.

If the latest Apple rumor is true, a new iPod Touch should arrive in September. U.K. retailer John Henry says we can expect an iPhone 4-inspired device with a front-facing camera, video chat, and a gyroscope.

All good stuff, certainly. But like most rumors, the U.K. report is short on specifics. So why not fill in the blanks with a personal wish list for the next-gen iPod Touch?   Here are some features I'd like to see:

1) A really good camera. The new iPod touch will feature a 5-megapixel, front-facing camera with a flash, according to John Henry. That sure sounds a lot like the iPhone 4's rear-facing camera (5MP, LED sensor, 720p HD video at 30 frames per second). If true, that's great news. A more likely scenario, however, is that the touch adds a VGA-quality (640-by-480 pixel) camera like the iPhone 4's second front-facing cam. Another question: Will the iPod Touch be able to shoot videos and photos, or only videos like the iPod Nano?

2) Video chat with non-Apple users. Face it, as long as FaceTime video chat is limited to the Apple faithful--as is the case today--it'll never rise above novelty status. Steve Jobs has vowed to make FaceTime an open industry standard, but that development could take an eternity (or longer) as standards bodies and tech's major players like Google and Microsoft mull their options.   And unfortunately Skype for iPhone, which runs on the iPod touch, doesn't support video calls.

3) Retina display: Apple, bring the iPhone 4's glorious 960-by-640-pixel screen to the iPod Touch. Assuming the Touch adds FaceTime, as well as gyroscope for more advanced gaming, Apple's critically-lauded "retina display" would be a nice match.

4) Faster Wi-Fi: Today's iPod Touch supports 802.11b/g wireless, but not the newer 802.11n spec. According to Samsung, 802.11n Wi-Fi throughput on mobile devices could reach up to 35M bps (bits per second).   The iPhone 4 supports 802.11n, as do a growing number of laptops and smartphones. It's the Touch's turn.

5) Built-in microphone: If the iPod Touch adds a video camera, an integrated mic would be essential. Currently, the earphones that ship with the 32GB and 64GB models have a mic and a remote. If the Touch adds a video cam, an earphone-based mic won't cut it.

6) Longer battery life: Apple managed to squeeze a larger battery into the iPhone 4, an upgrade that could mean up to 10 hours of Internet use on a Wi-Fi network.   The power-hungry iPod touch could use the extra staying power as well.

7) 3G option with iPad-style data plan: I know, I know--this isn't going to happen. A 3G-enabled iPod Touch would encroach too far into iPhone 4 territory. Still, a 3G Touch is high on my wish list. Perhaps when pigs fly.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicsipodsportable media playersmp3 playersapple ipod

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?