6/19/09

iPod touch 3.0 Review

I was very glad for the 3.0 software update. I've wanted some of these new features since I moved from using a Palm handheld as my PDA to using an iPod touch. (See iPod touch Wishlist, and My New PDA: iPod touch. All of my "wishes" were granted except for the Task Manager.) The $9.95 (USD) was well worth it.

It is hard to decide which new feature is my #1. I don't care, for example, about the enhancements to the Stocks app or the addition of the Voice Memos app. (I have the iTalk app, which I got when I bought a microphone from Griffin.

Here, in no special order, are my top new features, and why.
  • Copy and Paste. This is probably my #1 and it works with all of the Apple-supplied applications. It is intuitive, too, apparently. I did not look at the manual, first (of course). I just experimented. In a nutshell, it rocks!

    I needed to copy something from a Google Calendar entry to take with me to a place with no WiFi. Standing about to walk out of the house, I clicked on Google, selected apps, then my Calendar. (I needed an entry from a shared calendar I do not sync with iCal.) I held my finger on the entry. The software wisely selected the entire text of the calendar entry. I selected Copy, hit the Home button, selected Notes, hit the plus (add) button, pasted into a new note, and I was done and on my way. I have and will use this for copying and pasting URLs from mail messages, etc. Great stuff.
  • Search. Wow. There is a global search of the whole iPod. (Which application data are searched is settable in Settings,General, Home, Search Results.) Globally, it shows you by application where the searched for string is. Also, individual apps have a search function built in (for example, to just search Notes.) In the Mail app, each folder allows me to search that folder, both the data on the iPod as well as the data not yet downloaded. (Pull down on the window showing the messages in a folder, to expose the search window.) In Calendar, this is in the List view.
  • Notes. Some people never use Notes. As I said in and After Windows, What?, I used Memos (Notes equivalent) a lot on my Palm. I have notes with notes from meetings I want to remember, quotes I want to keep, a list of my prescriptions, the cost of the DC Metro from Greenbelt Station to L'Enfant Plaza—currently 33 Notes in all. I had some of these on my Mac, copied from my Palm. I used a trial version of some app to get them into my Notes, but had no way of adding more on my iPod without typing on my iPod. So, I was happy that this was a feature in 3.0.

    Notes now syncs with Notes in the Mail app (or with Notes in Outlook). I did not use Notes in Mail, but for creation and modification for syncing to my iPod, it is great. I recently wanted to add instructions for accessing free wireless at Starbuck's using my Starbucks card. I had 2 ways to save the information onto my iPod in a note (before going to Starbucks). 1) I could access their web page on my iPod from home and copy the information and then paste it into a new Note. 2) I could access it from my Mac and create a create a new Note in Mail that will be synced.
  • eMailed Calendar Events now get added to Calendsr when you click on the .ics attachment.
  • iPod changes. There may be more, but one thing I noticed this morning on the way to work: there is an adjustable speed control on podcasts (1x, 2x, and 1/2x speed). This is similar to the speed control settable in iTunes before on audio books, only. This is nice. I find that many podcasts, lectures, etc., are easily understandable at 2x the speed.

As you can tell, I am pleased with the 3.0 upgrade and was happy to spend the money.