iPhone – for mobile obsessives
They call it the ‘Jesus’ phone – either because as soon as you use one you get all evangelical, or because the first time you pay with one your immediate reaction is ‘Jesus!’
It’s been a very long time coming, but finally someone has produced a Smartphone that people actually want to use. I’ve tried Palm, Ericssion and Nokia’s over the years. And every single one has been a huge disappointment. It’s not complex – I want a device that is light, makes calls, does text, emails, take photos and plays music. How hard can it be? Obviously very, judging by the standard of its rivals.
iPod, myPod, your Pod:
Digital music players are all rage. A huge amount of rubbish is talked about them. Here’s what you need to know.
iPod touch – for gamers, geeks or the internet junkies
What is the iPod touch? Well basically it’s an iPhone with the phone ripped out. Which to me personally makes it a difficult sell. Until you realise that you can use almost all of the applications for the iPhone, plus use WiFi to access the web, get your email and makes calls using Skype. When they add a video camera it will be almost perfect.
With the cheapest iPhone costing £500, it’s an incredible cheap internet and gaming device and happens to play music and video as well. With Wi-Fi hotspots so common these days, you can pretty easily get internet access where ever you are, without the hassle of lugging around your laptop.
iPod classic – for travellers, photographers or music obsessives
If you use a digital camera, intend to travel a lot or just have silly amounts of music, get an iPod Classic. People forget its more than just an MP3 player. Its an alarm, clock, calendar, organizer and a portable hard drive. Any model with a Dock connector can be used to download and store digital photos with the right adapter. Priceless if you travel and don’t want to take laptop or dozens of memory cards. Now with added games, gap-free playback and much more!
iPod nano – for music fans, fitness fanatics or style gurus
The iPod nano is by far the most aesthetically pleasing iPod. It also now has video recording, voice recording and a FM radio built-in. Also featuring brighter screens and a tough aluminium outer shell to protect it from daily abuse. Tiny, cute, robust and practical, it’s a great piece of kit. And they do them in lots of pretty colours. What more do you want?
Its easy to refresh what’s on it using iTunes if you need to. My favourite extra facility is the ability to sync your contacts and calendars onto it Address Book, iCal and Outlook on the PC. They are also significantly lighter than the “big” iPods making them ideal partners during a workout. The downside? If you have a lot of music you can fill them quite quickly…
iPod shuffle – the walkman replacement
The iPod shuffle gets a much needed revamp and changes a rather bland, if effective little MP3 player into something wonderful. Its so damn tiny! Added to that its made of Aluminium so its tough, and it includes a little clip, so its practical. Wearable music. Love it.
You can get cheaper MP3 players than Apple’s Shuffle, and they often have additional features like radios or voice recorders. But the ease of use is sometimes questionable and too be frank, the iTunes software is what makes using any sort of iPod a pleasure, not the hardware. Its just so much better than any other “music management” program, Mac or PC.
A huge part of the success of the iPod is because of the “Dock” connector. It allows you to connect all sorts of cool gizmos to it. For instance, I have a Griffin iTrip that lets me broadcast what’s playing on my iPod onto nearby FM radios. Really handy if your car doesn’t have a cassette player, audio in socket or iPod connector. More useful toys can be found below.
iPod speakers: for when you need to shake the house, not your brain.
Headphones: for when you want different ear-warmers for your iPod.
Cases: iPods are gorgeous. They look less gorgeous when scratched to ribbons, so protect them with some leather, polycarbonate, rubber or aluminium. I use a Belkin leather belt-clip holster. Couldn’t live without it.
Car Audio: If you’re like me, you spend most of your time listening to the iPod in the car. So why not take advantage of those thumping car speakers by getting the iPod plugged into it? Toys from Griffin Tech, Belkin, Dr Bott and Dension.
Armbands: You don’t still carry the damn thing during a workout do you? Get an armband, gain a hand!