Minus a few features, the Safari Web browser found on the
iPod touch is more or less the same great browser found on the iPhone. For
instance, without the iPhone's email application or phone capabilities, email
addresses and phone numbers found on Web pages will no longer launch email or dialling
Web-based email, such as Gmail or Yahoo mail, work fine in Safari, but without the ability to copy and paste text, manually entering in email addresses found on the Web can be frustrating. Just like Safari on the iPhone, Flash-based Web objects are still disabled, including embedded video players and music players.
We'd love to see embedded Flash support in the otherwise fabulous browser. Whether video content from sites like DailyMotion or Viddler or music from Web radio sites like Pandora or Slacker, embedded Flash media content is a big part of the Internet media experience.
Despite these few limitations, using Safari on a small mobile device like the iPod touch is still fun and useful. The intelligent touchscreen keyboard and multiple browser window management are a big plus.
Both the iPod touch and iPhone allow users to browse, preview, purchase and
download music from the new iTunes Wi-Fi music store, which will open in the UK in time for the launch of the touch. The store is limited
strictly to music downloads -- no movies, TV shows, podcasts or games -- at
least, not yet. You'll have to hop onto an available Wi-Fi Internet connection
to take advantage of the wireless music store but once connected, you can
search for any artist, album or song in the iTunes catalogue, as well as browse
by genre, top sellers, featured artists and new releases. Store purchases
require you to enter your iTunes password as a security measure.
Once the download is complete, the song is immediately available to listen to and will transfer to your computer's iTunes music library the next time you sync the device. The feature seemed to work without any kinks when we tried it in the US. Even interrupted downloads picked up once a Wi-Fi connection is re-established.
Complaining about the iPod touch's lack of FM radio or voice-recording
features feels like complaining about a Porsche's lack of cup holders. Still,
there are some missing features on the iPod touch that we would have enjoyed.
Putting aside the touch's sleek design, futuristic interface and innovative feature set, the quality of its audio and video playback rank only slightly above average. The iPod touch reportedly uses the same audio chipset as the iPhone, but a different one to the iPod classic. The touch offers good audio quality, but not the stellar audio we were hoping for in an expensive product.