iPod Touch: No Panacea

It isn't surprising to see colleague Sam Diaz dump his iPhone in favor of a Blackberry Storm, given cost considerations and his experience with the AT&T network.But the iPod Touch piece is interesting.

It isn't surprising to see colleague Sam Diaz dump his iPhone in favor of a Blackberry Storm, given cost considerations and his experience with the AT&T network.

But the iPod Touch piece is interesting. Because the iPod Touch is no panacea, if you're looking for always-on access to the Internet, with a computer in your hand.

In my case, I carry around a small clamshell Verizon phone, for making calls. The Verizon network is seriously reliable and the communications cost is only $10 a month, incrementally, on the family plan. And the phone, basically, was free.

But free stuff has some problems that are hard to complain about. Because there's a reason they're free.

When moving about in midtown Manhattan, my favorite place to get free WiFi access is the passenger waiting room for Metro North Railroad customers (of which I am one). Warm, quiet, convenient.

But yesterday, the access was down. You could cycle forever, using iPod Touch or laptop and not get on.

So, I embarked on what used to be called a "war drive,'' looking for an open access point to the network. Surely, there would be an alternative in Grand Central. Heck, the Weather Channel used to sponsor free access, in the food court.

The "eatapita" network and a "linksys" router appeared to be unlocked. But neither yielded Internet access. So I walked toward my luncheon appointment and hunted for a usable signal. Never got one. And just about ran into the business colleague I was dining with, because I had my head down on the hunt.

An iPod Touch is great, on its own, unconnected. Download the New York Times and read it, offline. Work standalone apps, listen to music, etc.

But if you want always updated email or market results, the iPod Touch is not the answer. Unless you pay for an always-on data connection. Yet, for that, you're probably better off getting a Verizon broadband card, for $60 a month, and firing up your laptop. At least if you're the Mac side and have sworn off the iPhone.

Over time, will be interesting to see where Sam comes down in his use of Net applications. Because the iPod Touch is not a substitute for either the iPhone or the Storm, when it comes to always-on, always-available information and interactive services.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All