Review: iPod touch (2G) with 3.0 Software Update

landscape-keyboard-ipod-touchI’ve had a chance to use and explore the 3.0 Software Update for iPod touch over the last few days. It’s worth noting that I never expected the new and improved features to be life-altering…and they’re not. With that said, the features I was most looking forward to – landscape keyboard, spotlight search, cut copy & paste, push notifications, stereo Bluetooth, automatic wi-fi login, and Safari “improvements” – have generally lived up to my expectations, with one exception – Bluetooth.

voice-memoThe problem is very simple. Apple has only enabled one Bluetooth profile – A2DP. This is great for using wireless (Bluetooth) stereo headphones, but that’s about it. With no other profiles supported, touch owners are left out in the cold with regards to using Bluetooth headsets (the mic, that is) with the newly added voice memo app or Skype (Fring, Truphone, etc), not to mention the inability to transfer files via Bluetooth or use AVRCP remote functionality.

I can understand that Apple doesn’t want to cannibalize the iPhone by allowing touch owners the ability to use VoIP apps…oh wait, it already DOES allow for this, but only with hard-wired microphones. So what gives? More planned obsolescence? Another $9.95 in a year to buy more Bluetooth access to then-outdated capabilities? Who knows. But it is definitely a noteworthy 3.0 disappointment.

spotlight-searchAs for the other improvements and add-ons: the landscape keyboard is (foreseeably) so much easier to use for emailing, blogging, etc; Spotlight search is helpful if your touch is filled to the brim, so to speak, for quick access to songs, videos, and contacts; cut, copy & paste is pretty useful when composing email or writing a blog post (w/ the WordPress app); push notifications make IM apps more useful (and tolerable), but as many others have noted – push is not a reasonable substitute for being able to run multiple apps; auto Wi-Fi seems to make connections snappier; and the Safari “improvements” are generally unnoticeable, but AutoFill is nice and Safari does seem a bit quicker on its toes.

All in all, I can’t say that 3.0 is absolutely worth every penny for all touch owners out there, and the lack of Bluetooth capabilities is definitely disappointing, but 3.0 is a worthwhile update for anyone who uses their iPod touch as an alt-computer (i.e. for emailing, IMing, blogging, web surfing, etc). And really, it is just $10.

Boilr post #500!