An Apple iPod Touch as a gadget for writers? I have to admit that the notion hadn’t occurred to me until recently, when one of my clients asked me to obtain one so that I could write about a new range of iPhone and iPod Touch applications that they were creating. I don’t need to hear that kind of invitation twice, so I quickly discovered the world of the iPod Touch and was surprised to find that it really is a handy little gadget that writers can benefit from in several ways.
The iPod Touch is primarily an MP3 player, and comes in 8Gb, 16Gb and 32Gb capacities. What sets the iPod Touch apart from previous iPod MP3 players from Apple is that it has a hi-res touch screen, it can run various games and applications and it can be used to browse the web and send and receive emails thanks to WiFi internet capabilities. You can even use the iPod Touch to listen to internet radio – something that will appeal to anyone who wants to listen to any of several thousand global stations without having to use a mains-only dedicated internet radio receiver.
As far as writers are concerned, it is the iPod Touch applications (which are generally referred to as ‘apps’) that make the device most useful. There are hundred of apps available for download from the Apple iTunes Apps Store and they cover every conceivable purpose. You can find apps to help you create and use To Do lists, organise your contacts, set personal and professional goals, make notes and even read e-books and PDF files on the move (though I still think the Plastic Logic Reader is worth waiting for in that department).
The range of iPod Touch apps and features is so large that even specialist writers will find something directly relevant to their interests. Travel writers will delight in the ability to look at maps on the internet, or download and refer to travel guides. Journalists will no doubt enjoy the fact that they are never more than a WiFi hotspot away from the latest headlines and breaking news stories. Sports writers can listen to radio commentaries or obtain results from various events that they aren’t personally covering… the list of potential possibilities really is endless.
Add the ability to listen to music, display photos, watch movies and use the iPod Touch as a general data storage device and I think that I might have found the PDA device I was looking for to replace my Handspring Treo 600. Making the leap from an old Palm device to a brand new Apple gadget is not the most obvious of moves, but for me the iPod Touch does everything I want it to do. And for those who would like a mobile phone built in then the Apple iPhone is the obvious solution.