The iPhone has been through a number of different incarnation, each yearly anniversary announcing a new one that identifies a whole host of features. The iPhone 4 has been a major recent release, and the release of the iPod Touch 4 matched many of the features that made the iPhone 4 the success that it was. Apple kept the news about the iPod Touch 4 fairly secretive ahead of its release, though many previews for the device anticipated Apple bringing it up to par with many of the features we have now come to expect. With the iPod Touch 4 now on the market we see that it has met those expectations, though there were not many surprises to those that actually watched the development of mobile devices over the last year.
iPod Touch Camera and FaceTime
The inclusion of a camera is the major addition for the iPod Touch 4. Not only did Apple include the same capabilities for the iPod Touch 4 camera that they have on the current iPhones, including full 720p HD video, but also the new FaceTime video chat feature. With this, we see the same dual camera pairing up the front and the back of the device, which means that the iPod Touch 4 is stepping up both in the worlds of media and communication. Through Wi-Fi, the FaceTime function comes in as nice as it does on the iPhone, even though there will be no ability to do this through a 3G network at any time. It is nice still to see that you can record and edit video right from the touch screen, and it can even run faster than it does on the iPhone 4.
iPod Touch Storage Capacity
There had been talk originally of a vastly larger storage capacity for the iPod Touch 4, many of the reasons being around the 720p HD video that could end up eating up available space. Though this has not really been seen upon the release, there is a nice range going from the classic 8GB model up to 64GB. In later models this is likely to increase, but for now the availability of a 64GB model is going to be a success to those who use the device primarily for audio.
The retina display was one of the main assumptions for the release of the iPod Touch 4 as it was one of the major selling points upon the iPhone
4's release. This has remained true, and really does stand out against previous models of the iPod Touch. What this really allows for is a resolution that developers are really still catching up to, and hype phrases have been used continuously claiming that it is so good that the actual detail cannot even be seen by the naked eye. After you get past the flashy name, the 960-by-640-pixel resolution really does provide you more than you can expect from the 3.5 inch display.
Battery Life and Design
The iPod Touch battery life is going to be sufficient for almost all users, especially since you can get a full forty hours of audio playback on a single charge. The issues around this have been plenty, and it seems that Apple attempted to make it stable at the very least for this release. Again, a much larger extension would have been nice in this model, especially since you can really only get seven hours of video without plugging it back in.
Overall Rating (4 out of 5)
What we expected from the iPod Touch 4 was an update to the principle model that we have come to expect, and that is exactly what was delivered. FaceTime and camera features provide a major step forward for the device, but only to those that will actually employ these features. For most iPod Touch users, apps and media are going to remain the core of use and it is in these areas there have only been moderate improvements. This is not enough to make those who own previous models of the iPod Touch go out an pick up the iPod Touch 4 quickly, but it is perfect for those who have waited long enough to bet their own portable. What we can only hope for in the iPod Touch 5 is a major upgrade to the device's infrastructure, and maybe even a step away from its relationship to the iPhone. Instead, it would be nice to see Apple take the iPod Touch in a direction where it can stand on its own as an independent device rather than an iPhone that cannot make calls.