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Sunday, 8 May 2011

iPod Touch

I recently treated myself to an iPod Touch, which is halfway between an iPhone and a traditional iPod.

"Traditional" iPod may sound weird for something that has only been around for a few years, but by that I mean a device (made by Apple) designed to store audio and video recordings digitally, and allow access thereto and playing thereof.

The iPod touch does everything that iPhone does except it's not a phone, and works on regular wi-fi, not 3G connectivity (3G is the phone network). It has an internet browser, and direct connection to the iTunes store, and especially the Apps store. You can also download books, and while the screen is a lot smaller than a regular book page, there are thousands of free titles, and a free book is still a free book.

Apps. Short for applications, thse are akin to a shortcut on your laptop or desktop computer screen. Everything on the iPod Touch is accessed through an app; playing your stored music, web surfing, playing games, checking the news or weather (really just a special internet connection), using the built-in camera, updating your diary, reading a book, it's all accessed via an app.

All interaction on the iPod Touch is via the touch screen, except adjusting volume, turning it on and off, and returning to the home screen (i.e. desktop) from an app. Thus the apps have to be friendly to one finger control, games are based on touching, tapping, and sliding your finger across the screen, and so on. That makes for some simple games and gameplay, but fun time wasters nonethless. There are hundreds of free apps, and websites telling you which apps are free that once used to be charged for.

Right now Beth and I are playing a free game called Pocket Frogs. You collect frogs of different colors and patterns, cross-breed them to get new combinations, take them to a pond to catch dragonflies, find gifts and potential new mates. It's all very simple in concept but an enormous game in scope, and fun to dip in and out of in short bursts. Your app keeps track of frog growth even when you're not playing, and you can set alerts to tell you when certain events occur.

Games like Pocket Frogs are the main reason I got my iPod Touch, so I can while way a few minutes relaxing during my break periods and quiet times. It won't replace my iPod Classic, which I've used for years and has a lot more storage capacity, but it's fun to play with and helps me become more knowledgeable for my job.

3 comments:

  1. I downloaded Pocket Frogs, based on your endorsement. I guess it'll take a little futzing about before I get what it's about.

    My favorite so-far app/game has been Spider-Secret of Bryce Manor, in which you, the spider, must trap and eat all the bugs in each room of a mysterious old house. I also recommend Tiki Towers, Ragdoll Blaster, and Enigmo if you enjoy physics type games.

    Of course this is all on my iPhone which does, as you and Beth have observed, carry a monthly toll. I find I use its capacities so much these days though, that I would not enjoy going without. Often, on a road trip for instance, I'll Googlemap the area down the road a bit, and search for a suitable lunch stop. Then I can plug the address into the GPS and we know where we're going—no more hit or miss meal stops.

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  2. Pocket Frogs RULES. Discovered it a while back...must get back to it really!

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  3. Emily, one of the things I like best about Pocket Frogs is the puzzle games that you can do with tamed frogs. Though all of the puzzles are along the same theme so far, and I hope more will unlock in the future.

    I also like the challenges of obtaining particular breeds of frogs but I find it very difficult to keep track of which frogs are in what habitat. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have created an Excel spreadsheet to track this for me...a very typical reaction for me, I fear!

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