Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Apple IPOD Touch 3.0 software upgrade - I have to PAY for this???

My IPOD touch is about the best single technology gizmo I've ever owned. I didn't want an IPhone because a) I really only get Verizon where I live, and b) the IPhone sucks as an actual mobile phone. So, the Touch is a perfect compromise... I get all the fun and features of the Iphone, while still getting to pay for an actual cell phone and service... it's a win - win.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago Apple released a new software upgrade for the Touch, version 3.0... which is great, cause, you know, software updates are generally good things. So off I went dutifully to Itunes to download the new bytes... and that's when I got the sucker punch: Apple is actually asking people to pay for the privilege of this upgrade, to the Itune of of $9.95. What in the blazes? I have to pay for an Ipod software update? NONSENSE!

Well, I sighed and shrugged and decided that in order for them to be charging for what should rightfully be a free update, like all other ipod updates have EVER been, they must be offering some phenomenal new features. Ummm... well... not so much.

The additional functionalities afforded in the 3.0 software are as follows: Stereo bluetooth connectivity (nice, but until bluetooth headphones can offer the same hi fidelity sound as higher end connected headphones, no-one's going to be too excited about that one), peer-to-peer gaming (eh... ok), copy, cut and paste functionality with a "shake to undo" feature (should have always been there), a landscape keyboard (duh!), spotlight search (which really is only useful if you have tens of thousands of items on your ipod that you can't find by just, you know, knowing where they are), shake to shuffle (again, why was this not there to begin with?), auto wi-fi login (see comment regarding shake to shuffle), push notifications, and parental controls (ummm... ok... good luck with that last one).

So, there's the laundry list of updates (oh, you also get some additional language support). I have to say, I'm left largely unimpressed, and feeling like these are things that should have been available all along. Considering how much the Ipod Touch sells for to begin with, I think it's gauche to ask for another 10 bucks for a functionality upgrade.

I can live without most of these new features, and I think most Touch owners will be able to as well. Can you imagine if Microsoft tried to pull something like this? The MAC crusaders would be up in arms and it would make the lead on "MSNBC". I'd like to see the "I'm a PC" guy turn and kick that smug little "I'm a MAC" guy right in the gonads for this awful piece of profiteering by Apple. Thanks but no thanks.


*Update - The Cnet CRAVE blog actually has a more complete list of all the new features in the 3.0 update, including those for the IPhone, but still, what's not listed in my article pretty well qualifies as "fixes", or improvements that should have been there in the first place, not as added functionality you should be required to pay for.

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