New iPod, iTablet, nixing Google Voice: Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Now that the pundits have spoken, here are the thoughts of a rank amateur on the forthcoming iPods and iTablet (with apologies to others with similar ideas):

  • The new iPod Touch will have a microphone and a forward-facing camera, used for VoIP calls over Wi-Fi with a native app. The app together with Verizon will be Google Voice-like supporting video with social networking flavor.
  • When away from a Wi-Fi hotspot, the Touch will  connect to the Verizon 3G network using:… the iTablet.
  • The iTablet will support tethering. It will be have fantastic battery life, and will be always on, even when in your backpack/purse, remotely accessible by your new iPod Touch (as well as older Touches or iPhones). It together with an iPod touch would support cellular-like calling over 3G. It would take a Steve Jobs to convince Verizon that the days of cell phones are numbered and that VoIP over 3G is the way to go, especially for video calls.
  • The iTablet will run iTunes. It must irk Steve Jobs that most copies of iTunes run on Windows despite Apple’s herculean efforts to make the Windows version run like a dog (very successful by the way). The iTablet will be an alternative that even Windows fanboys might be tempted to buy.
  • The iTablet will come with an thin and  light  Bluetooth keyboard. It can be used as an alternative to the touch screen.  The iTablet then can be propped up more vertically on its self-contained stand for more convenient viewing  (and to be better seen by the Starbucks crowd, as per Apple’s usual viral marketing genius).
  • The iTablet won’t be cheap, despite being subsidized by a data plan. Maybe $499 subsidized? But as always, fanboys will ignore the exorbitant monthly charges and compare the $499 to the price of  the cheapest Mac and think they are getting a wonderful bargain. Gee, thanks Steve.
  • The iTablet will have a large storage capacity for your music/video collection (and ebooks?)  and will always be online via the 3G network, replacing the functionality of the to-be-discontinued iPod Classic line.

I figure, why should only the experts have all the fun of having egg on their face, once these devices are  released with features that blow everybody away!


Tracking my morning walk with the iPod Touch

In investigating the iPod Touch location services functionality, I came across the Instamapper GPS Tracker app. It was meant to be used with the iPhone and it uses the location service to locate the iPhone and transmit its location to Instamapper where it is displayed on a google map.

I was able to cajole it to run on my iPod Touch (it can buffer up to 100 points) and took my Touch on my walk yesterday morning. I live in Montreal in the NDG area. I walked in NDG/Hampstead. This is the result:

My Morning walk in Montreal (Hampstead/NDG area)

My Morning walk in Montreal (Hampstead/NDG area)

iPod Touch, Location Services, how?

I recently installed OffMaps, on my iPod Touch. OffMaps is an app that lets one download maps (it uses OpenStreetMap data) onto the device. I planned to use it simply as a way to carry a map of Montreal with me to use on my walks.

It has a “locate me” button, and it was able to locate me while I was home, in range of my home wifi. Makes sense. I know that the iPod Touch/iPhone make use of Skyhook Wireless technology that can use surrounding wifi signals for location. What surprised me was the “locate me” generally worked on my walk, away from my wifi hotspot.

I understand that the location technology makes passive use of surrounding wifi signals, and then through a database lookup is able to translate this into a latitude/longitude.

On an iPhone this lookup can be done via the data connection. My question is how this lookup can occur on an iPod touch, where there is no data connection?