I've decided to throw $19.95 at Apple and see what the January Software Update has to offer.
This is a pretty big update for the iPod touch because not only did I have to apply the January Software Update (which is what brings in the new features) but I also had to upgrade iTunes and update the firmware from version 1.1.2 to the latest 1.1.3.
Check out the upgrade image gallery here.
I'm pleased to report that all the upgrades went well. Getting your hands on the January Software Update is easy - once you upgrade iTunes to 7.6 it's clear and in your face. This is twenty bucks that Apple wants you to spend.
Apple is carrying out a fire sale and monetizing the apps it has available before opening out the platform to developersHere's the question though - is the upgrade worth $20? Right now I'm not ready to commit and when I've used it a little more I'll have a better handle on how I feel. However, if you pressed me for an immediate answer I'd have to say "no" it's not worth the $20. That kind of money buys a lot of shareware software and if the iPod touch and iPhone were open to developers we'd see apps that competed with these available, and I have no doubt that we'd see free apps that would rival these.
Here's my guess - Apple is carrying out a fire sale and monetizing the apps it has available for the iPod touch/iPhone before opening out the platform to developers. The demand for these apps is there, and where there's a demand, there are dollars to be made. But once the platform is open in such a way that updates won't brick the platform, that's when the rug will be pulled from under high-cost apps drip-fed to customers through Tunes.