CAG HandsOn: iPod Touch 3rd Generation

CAG HandsOn: iPod Touch 3rd Generation
Enter slim and shiny iPod Touch. I purchased this device early this month and thought I’ll do a hands on review for CAG readers. More importantly, I’ll tell you how it is majorly different from the previous generation iPod Touch or iPhone.

A lot of my friends have asked me as to how different is the 3rd gen iPod touch than the previous generation iPod touch or the current generation 8GB model. Some wonder how to decide between an iPhone 3G and the iPod touch. This post should help you with the above questions. By third generation iPod Touch I’m here onwards referring only to the 32GB and 64GB iPod touch from the current generation.

Form Factor

The appearance comes first. The new generation iPod Touch looks no different than its predecessor. The form factor remains the same and you might not be able to giveaway easily as to which generation the device belongs to, by just the looks of it.

Compared to an iPhone, as you can see for yourself, its a tad smaller lengthwise. The thickness of the iPod Touch would be a little over half of that of the iPhone. The back is a mirrored surface on the iPod and invites way more scratches than the iPhone. While it looks great, we only wish the shiny surface would survive. You will surely need a scratchguard here if you wish to preserve the back of the iPod. iPod classic owners would know this too.

Voice Control

This is a new feature on both the 3rd gen iPod Touch as well as the iPhone 3GS. I had heard some complaints from friends about it not working well. However, I’ve had a month’s experience on this new device and voice control has been working flawlessly for me. It’s great to have your iPod tell you what song its playing when you ask that question. I’ll write another detailed post on this later.

You can make it play a Genius playlist based on the current track or ask it to play more songs from the same artist. It’s really fun to use and very intuitive indeed. No more reaching out for the device for iPod controls. Use your headset to send voice commands.

Headset with Volume Controls

You get a different headset than the one shipped with theĀ  previous generation. It has volume controls on it which is a boon really. You don’t have to reach out for your iPod or iPhone to change the volume. So the device can sit tight in the pockets yet again.

Faster Hardware

The new generation device is definitely twice as fast as the previous generation. This comes from the newer processor and the RAM memory been doubled. Apps open up really fast. The lag is minimal on the iPhone 3GS and iPod touch when you launch Mail or Safari. I can’t wait to try multitasking on this, once 4.0 is out of beta.

Hardware Encryption

While an average user won’t know what this term means he will definitely be able to tell the difference with or without it. If you have ever tried to erase all contents on a 2nd gen iPod or iPhone 3G, or tried a remote wipe via MobileMe you will recall it used to take a minimum of two hours to get rid of all the data on your device. However, on the 3rd Gen iPod Touch and the iPhone 3GS, this technology helps you to perform the same operation in less than a minute. This time the device only needs to delete the decryption key making the data inaccessible. I tried this on my iPod and was greatly pleased by the swift wipe operation.

The 32 GB model cost me $299 plus taxes. The device is a great piece of hardware to own, worth every penny in my opinion. However, you might want to wait till June before purchasing yours. For, you never know what Apple has up its sleeve this WWDC.

Until then tell us about your favorite iPod.

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