Macworld 2008 – iPhone and iPod Updates

iPod Touch UpdateApple squeezed out some minor updates to the iPhone and iPod Touch during Macworld 2008.  In amongst the barrage of stats thrown our way, there were five new apps made available for the Touch and new firmware for the iPhone.  So what are the changes?

The iPhone has an enhanced Google Maps application (complete with a “Find Me” feature that uses either cell tower or Wi-Fi hotspot triangulation), customisable home screen and webclips.  The iPod Touch gets bug fixes and a slightly revised interface (the bottom of the home screen is now metal-effect, like the iPhone).  The iPod Touch also gets Google Maps, Apple Mail, Stocks Widget, Weather Widget, Customisable home screen and web clips as a £13 ($20) option.  Both get a tweaked Safari Interface and support for movie rentals.

There’s a bit of a fuss regarding the iPod Update and the fact it’s being charged for.  Personally, I don’t have a problem with it.  I bought the iPod primarily as a media player.  I knew when I bought it that it didn’t have smartphone features, after all, it’s an iPod.  I think the fact that Apple decided to provide this functionality at all (especially Mail) is remarkable, I wasn’t really expecting it.  As long as you look at the whole thing realistically, this is an optional set of applications that extend the functionality of a device, you’ll be happy.  This is not the same as the firmware update to the iPhone, which is more about refining existing functionality rather than adding completely new features.

By the way, the new Apps are superb.