5 Features that NEED to be in the new iPod

Apple Event September 5thIt looks pretty certain that we’re going to see a new iPod next Wednesday, hopefully 2. Multiple pictures have surfaced of the new iPod Nano, which looks like the current iPod Nano with the shins removed. But what of the big iPod? The one people keep on referring to as the iPod Touch? The one with the touch screen. The only things we “know” about it, and I use that term carefully, is that it has a touch screen and runs a version of OSX. Beyond that, details are scarce, as always. So this is an opportunity to go wild, and I have. I’ve selected 5 features that really need to be in the new iPod for it to push the industry forward. If you agree, disagree, or have any features you’d like to add to the list, pop them in the comment.

  1. Wi-Fi – An obvious choice, but I don’t want some half hearted implementation, I want it all. Considering the new iPod is running on a version of OSX, presumably similar to that of the iPhone, why not have a web browser built in, using the multi-touch input method? They would have to be carefull not to tread on the iPhone’s toes, but a simple web browser over Wi-Fi would be a MASSIVE selling point, and would blow things like the Nokia 770 out of the water. And while we’re on it, what about purchasing direct from iTunes. Picture the scene, you’ve bought a subscription to your favourite TV show but are stuck in a seedy hotel on “business” and missed the latest episode. Never fear, you grab your iPod, fire up the hotel’s Wi-Fi and grab it there and then.
  2. Remote Control for Apple TV – If the new iPod looks anything like the mock-ups we’ve seen, it’s going to be very similar to the iPhone. Something I’ve always thought about the iPhone’s interface is that it would make a fantastic universal remote control. I can’t see Apple allowing it to interact with equipment outside of the iTunes fenced garden, but how good a remote would it make for the Apple TV? Perfect match I say. Better yet, how about wirelessly streaming content from the iPod to the Apple TV? Got you thinking, haven’t I!
  3. Direct Encoding – This is a long shot to say the least. We’ve seen it on devices from Archos, and it works reasonably well, but on an iPod? I can think of more reasons why this won’t happen, than reasons it will, but I would love it.
  4. Speakers – Ha! I hear you cry. Speakers in a device this size would be rubbish. And yes, you’re probably right, they would be. But still, any portable speakers you buy for an iPod are rubbish anyway, so why not save the extra cost and bulk and build them right in. Anything you can use in a hotel room without making tinny noises would do me.
  5. Outputs, Outputs and Outputs – If I have my entire digital content library on my iPod, which I will, I want to be able to get it off easily and enjoy it. As good as the screen may be on the new iPod, it’s still not ideal for watching video content for prolonged sittings and likewise earphones aren’t always the best way to enjoy music. I want optical, HDMI, composite, A2DP and every other conceivable option. I want them all to work, all to be officially supported and all out of the box. And while we’re on the subject of formats, this iPod HAS to support more audio and video formats than the old current iPods.

Old iPodThere were a few things that didn’t make it onto the list. One of the more realistic is Bluetooth. Bluetooth would allow content to be easily shared between iPods and other devices as well as supporting A2DP. One of the really long shots is the support of a subscription model, where content is rented and not bought. Although this would represent a fairly major change to iTunes, and not just the iPod. I’d also expect some serious battery life out of this thing, even with all the additional functionality. And it has to have the best screen ever made, simple as that. The last two are gimmes though, as no doubt Steve Jobs will claim both to be true during any product presentation.

So that’s my wishlist. I need a new iPod anyway, so I’ll probably pick one up if it’s even half decent but you know what they say, aim for the stars and even if you fall short you’ll land on the moon! What would you like to see in the iPod?