Apple announced the 5th generation iPod Touch on September 12th, 2012 and began shipping the item at the end of October 2012. Apple had not made a significant upgrade to the iPod Touch in 2 years other than adding an additional color option (white) a year ago.
The main features of the newer model include a thinner, lighter and slightly longer body, faster performance, the voice assistant Siri, Airplay mirroring to an Apple TV, faster and more robust wireless signal strength, and a new lightning connector.
I have owned all the iPod Touch models since the 2nd generation. The main difference most will immediately notice compared to the last generation model is that the overall responsiveness is much quicker. Surfing the web, launching apps, everything is much quicker and snappier. The new longer body (but same width) gives a little more screen real estate and makes it easier for reading and surfing the web.
The internals of the new iPod Touch contain a faster processor – A5 chip as opposed to the A4 in the previous version. A bump up to 512 MB internal memory from 256 MB on the previous model.
If you have an Apple TV, the ability to use Airplay (Apple’s wireless streaming protocol) to stream live videos as well use your TV as a wireless monitor for games is a big benefit.
Apple Giveith and Apple Takeith Away
– Much improved rear facing camera with flash. The back camera on the previous generation iPod Touch was sub standard – less than one megapixel. The new camera is 5 Megapixels with an LED flash. In the previous model taking pictures of checks to submit using a popular banking app from Chase were not clear enough to be submitted.
– Siri – the personal voice assistant surprisingly works very well. Great for playing songs, launching applications, finding sports scores, and various other tasks. Siri will only work if you are connected to a wi-fi Internet connection.
– No microphone or remote control on the included new Apple ear pods. This is a very chincy move by Apple to save a few pennies. The mic and remote are included with the iPhone 5 and that model will work with the new iPod Touch.
– No ambient light sensor (was included in previous models). (Apple’s Phil Schiller recently stated that the new iPod Touch is “too thin” to include the sensor).
– Google Maps built in app is gone and replaced with Apple’s own poorly reviewed version of maps. (Note: You can now install Google Maps separately from the App store)
– YouTube native built in app is gone. (Note: You can now download and install the YouTube App
– New Lightning connector renders your old accessories and docks obsolete. If you have an Apple dock or speaker dock you will need to spend $29 for a 30 pin to lightning adapter to the older wider dock connector. Another downside to the the new connector is that it is still at USB 2.0 speeds even though USB 3.0 has been out for a while and can transfer data when syncing at 10 times the speed as USB 2.0. For the huge inconvenience this has caused millions of people Apple should have at least increased the speed of the lightning connector to USB 3.0.
More Unwelcome News for People with Large iTunes Libraries
Unfortunately, Apple did not upgrade the maximum capacity of the device – which still remains at 64 GB – even after 2 years. For people with very large iTunes libraries, including myself, – this means having to carefully create and select Playlists to fit all the songs on the device.
The iPod Touch 5th generation is a wonderful little mini computer. For those that want most of the benefits of a smart phone but do not wish to pay the monthly service charge, the iPod Touch is your best best. The retina screen is very nice and much crisper to read things than older models. I wish they came out with some large size capacity so people with larger libraries would not have to pick and choose which songs to sync. For a portable music player with Internet access – there is no match. The iPod Touch is your best bet.
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