To USB or Not to USB


Day 7 without an iPod Touch

The nights are the worst.  I actually have to walk to my PC to check e-mail, news, or weather.  With my iPod Touch, I’d take it out of my pocket, get the weather for 1 of 12 locations in about 6 seconds.  I could check Google News, or check 3 e-mail accounts at once or look up something on Wikipedia like looking up the difference between Tartarus and Tartar Sauce.

My Desktop isn’t really a good option for this kind of use.  I keep my Desktop off most of the time since it has a 700W power supply and takes 4 minutes to boot, My work laptop has a 65W power supply.  Actually, my work laptop is often plugged in, and logged in, but I close the lid to reduce power consumption.  And I’d have to walk to where it’s plugged in, find a place to sit down, and type on it.  Very 20th century. 

So my iPod Touch actually saves power (making it the greenest device I own) and I can get to 99% of what I need the internet for.

So I’m waiting until September when I expect the new 4th Generation iPod Touch is announced.  Reading about it on TechRadar, I’m expecting:

1) a faster processor
2) a brand new high resolution screen, the same screen found on in the new iPhone
3) maybe a new camera for video conferencing
4) maybe a microphone for video conferencing
5) maybe WiFi-N. 
6) a high-end 128 GB version
7) maybe a digital camera and video function

Somehow, I think that the iTouch 4th Generation will probably only include the screen, processor, more memory, and the microphone.

I read  that WiFi-N adds about $3 in cost for the WiFi and $30 for the Screen. I  think to maintain margins, and to keep the iPhone special, they leave the camera, video cam and WiFi-N out. of the iPod Touch  Only the WiFi-N makes sense, if Apple can maintain it’s margins, but my WiFi is already faster than my DSL so unless distance and power are improved with WiFi-N. I wouldn’t add the expense if I were Apple.  (I should note here that I have zero knowledge of Apple’s plans, and I’m sure Apple is just fine with that).

Most importantly, I expect the top-of-the line iPod Touch will have about 128GB of memory, which is more than most laptop hard drives.  To me, this means that anyone building a device with this amount of memory will need to start using USB 3.0.  If you were to transfer even 25% of this data, or about 32GB at once, the transfer would take 15-20 minutes.  Most users will do incremental updates of a 1-2 GB at a time.  However if you add a camera or video function, you will quickly increase your transfers sizes to multiple gigabytes.  PC sync times will increase to 20 minutes or more.

Assuming the Microsoft Zune HD continues on a similar path, I would expect the same issues to drive the need for USB 3.0.  I think a few companies like Archos may also provide similar devices, or devices more like the iPad as they do today, but no one has the market share of Apple in this field at least not right now.

Microsoft Kin Update

I’ve read that Microsoft has basically killed their Kin.  Ironically, the news started to leak out within hours after I discovered the device via an Ad on YouTube and I blogged about it.

My Father’s iPad

My Dad complained about the weight of his iPad.  I called him a wimp, until I tried actually holding up the 1.5 pound device for more than 30 seconds.  With the leather case, this thing is impossible to hold up for any length of time.  But for just having around for data consumption, I love it. I do all the iPod Touch tasks on a beautiful portable screen.  Watching movies is wonderful on the device, but the volume is a little low, so I advice using headphones.

My kids enjoyed watching cartoons from YouTube on the iPad also.  The cartoons were generally violent cartoons involving Nintendo video game characters Mario and others.  I suspect that the cartoons were written by teenagers or college kids appealing to kids under the age of 12 and makes me wonder what kids are doing with their time.  Then I thought about this and wondered if this is what parents always think of new media (Rock-n-Roll) , new music (Punk),  new movies (horror).  Maybe it’s good to have young people creating silly videos for YouTube so that we get 10 more James Cameron’s in 10 years.

I saw my 3rd iPad in public today, this time on a plane.  The Consumer was playing a popular game called Civilization Revolution, and later watching a 2 movies on my international flight, then playing the game again.

Anyway, the iPad is awesome.  Go to an Apple store and try one out, then buy one.

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