ipod_touch_5_16_32_64I’ve owned several iPod Touches. But fergit it when it comes to the new line—given Apple’s insistence on a tiny four-inch screen.

Why the devil should I pay $199 or whatever for that? I can buy an Android phone with a noticeably larger screen for half the price, and the choice of e-reader apps would be better. Marvin and Voice Dream almost surely will work on the new iPod, not just iBooks or the iOS Kindle app; but how about, say, Moon+ Reader Pro or FBReader? They’re for Android.

As for people on extra-tight budgets—well, I’ve scored a used iPhone on eBay with a 3.5-inch screen for all of $25. The resolution isn’t nearly as good as the new iPod Touch’s 1136 x 640 and the screen is still smaller. But the old iPhone is a lot cheaper and includes phone capabilities, of course. This particular AT&T model even works with my H2O card.

No, my needs aren’t necessarily yours, and, in fact, the iPod 6 might be great as a nonphone for a child fond of games, music and photography.

But if your main thing is e-books along with some Web browsing and e-mail, then a four-inch screen probably won’t be the best use of your money. Heck, the $199 could go for a Kindle Voyage.

What’s your own take on this? Are you buying an iPod Touch 6, and if so, why? Mixed uses?

Related: iPod 6 roundup, via Google News. Pro-buy or possible buy: Wired. Anti: Cult of the Mac.


  1. The iPod, with any user, is first and foremost for music and audiobooks. Anything else is an added extra. The same way that an iPhone is most importantly a phone, etc., etc.

    I have one of the tiniest of iPods which I use for audiobooks while I walk. Or music when I’m really, really bored. I have a Nook for ebooks. I don’t expect either to do the other’s job.

    It’s silly to complain if the secondary uses of a tech device aren’t as perfect as tech devices which are designed for that use. The problem is with your poor choice, not the tech device.

  2. Agreed, Marilynn: “The iPod, with any user, is first and foremost for music and audiobooks.” But with a somewhat larger screen, it actually could suffice for e-books as well and give people more value. Perhaps that’ll happen with the iPod Touch 7. Of course, here, the issue isn’t a “poor choice” but “no choice.” The iPod Touch, for my purposes, is out of the running. David

  3. Given that I do most of my ebook reading on a 4th generation iPod Touch, whose screen is about that size if not smaller, no, that screen size wouldn’t dissuade me from buying one. (I’m not jumping for it yet because my old device still works fine, but if current device keels over? Sure, I’ll get another.)

    And for this user, the iPod Touch is NOT first and foremost for music. While that’s certainly one of the major things I use it for, if that were the most important function to me, I’d get one of the smaller cheaper iPods. I love the Touch because it gives me an ebook reader, music, photos, calendar, and contacts, plus email and internet when I’m somewhere with a wireless signal, and I can carry it in my pocket rather than my bag. (Yes, I could get all that with a smartphone, but the phone is one thing I *don’t* want as part of my device; I’m happy with my separate dumb phone.)

  4. Castiron and Chris: Thanks. Oh, the iPod Touch will work for reading. The issue is, “How well?” Terrific if you both can do well with the smaller screen. I in fact think 3.5″ is ok for the budget-strapped, and I’ve recommended tiny Android phones in that context. But 3.5″ is hardly optimal for me, at least. David

  5. Oh, a larger e-ink device is certainly nicer to read on, and a larger tablet better for websurfing or video. But in practice, the smaller screen works fine for my reading, and “fits in my pocket and is therefore always on my person” is the main factor in whether I actually use the device.

  6. I would find the screen much too small for long session reading. I like to see lots of words on the page. I’m aching for large (9″, 10″, 12″) eink. My iPad Air 2 is ok, but I would still rather supersize the Kindle.

  7. I hate reading on my iPhone 5s, it’s just too small and I have to flip pages too often. That said, when I get stuck in line somewhere that I thought would have no line (or I’d have grabbed my Kindle), I’ll open the Kindle app and it’s magically on the same page, so it works great for me in those limited circumstances.

    I think when I get my iPhone 6s or 6s plus, it might work a bit better for me, if it’s the only eDevice I have with me, it’s the one I’m going to use to read, right? Actually, if I get the iPhone 6s Plus, I probably will (consciously) carry my kindle into a few less places since the screen size will probably be satisfactory.

    I’d never buy the iPod Touch as an eReader for someone, I’d get a Kindle for them first. I might get one of these for my Mother as a camera (she can operate her iPad camera better than her actual camera and she doesn’t need to import and she knows how to share them). Of course I’d put the Kindle app on it for her too, but without a wireless connection if she didn’t download her current book and open the app to sync the page, it won’t be as useful to her, but if it’s got the same book on it she could find the right page in a pinch…

  8. I have a fourth generation ipod touch, which I used for audiobooks because of its clean sound and data connection to my TDK cube. However, I use android phones, and with the Amazon Echo, I’ve retired the cube and ipod, because my phone does a nice bluetooth connection both with the echo and my car. While the ipod worked in a pinch for reading, my amoled Galaxy note is much better, especially when I reverse the screen colors (black background, white text). This is much easier on the eyes at night.
    Here’s where I don’t get why anyone would consider the new ipod touch even if they didn’t have or want a smart phone. A six inch Kindle Fire HD is less than $100 and frequently in on sale for much lower. Unless you are trapped to itunes, the Kindle seems a much better choice. Stream all your music from Amazon, watch Netflix on a larger screen, read your kindle books (with superior text to speech), listen to your Audible books (and match them to your kindle books for an enhanced reading experience), and here is the elephant in the room…browse the web. Or…enjoy web browsing on your ipod touch… Save $100 and buy a kindle and then you can make a down payment on an Echo!

  9. I read on an iPod Touch 4th gen that a friend gave me. I do not use it for anything except ebooks. Of course, it helps that I’m grotesquely near-sighted, and read by taking off my glasses and holding the iPod a few inches from my eyes. Using the smallest font.

    It’s nice and light; I can hold it in one hand. I prefer reading lying down on my bed. It’s backlit, so I can read in bed, before I go to sleep. I fall asleep, it falls out of my hand and eventually turns itself off.

    I have a rubber cover on it so that it won’t die if dropped on the floor (which rarely happens, but is not unknown).

  10. My first ereader was a iPod touch several generations back. Had quite a bit of fun using it, mostly because it was so small and light, it was easy to hold and read in bed. That compensated for all the page turning. My Kindle 3 and iPad 3 may have larger screens but they aren’t comfortable to hold up and read.

    The $200 for this new iPod touch is comparable to the $200 for a used iPhone 5. That creates the New-with-Less versus Old-with-More conflict. In the interest of carrying but one gadget with me, II opted for a Verizon iPhone 5. It shipped factory unlocked, so it’ll not only work with Verizon, which is the only reliable service in my little college town, but the GSM is unlocked so I can use it with GSM services worldwide. Best of all, PagePlus gives me Verizon coverage for about half Verizon’s price. Not a bad deal.

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