What is the best thing to go with apples (iPod Touch) ??
January 2, 2010 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I am about to receive a belated Christmas gift: an iPod Touch 3G (64G). What apps or accessories will I not be able to live without? (I have other questions too.)

Yes, this has been asked before, but it was 6 years ago.

I must confess that I have been living on the PC side of the world forever, so I am a little out of touch with the Apple way of life (pun slightly intended).

I have a PILE of mp3s that I plan on copying to the iPod, can/should I do this without iTunes?

Please give me your recommendations on the best things I need to go along with the iPod Touch and "best practices" if there are any.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.
posted by Drasher to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
You have to use iTunes to put music on, unfortunately.
posted by memebake at 2:11 PM on January 2, 2010

You will have to use iTunes to load the mp3s. I don't think there are really any best accessories, though you will want a decent case to protect it.

My advice would be to really explore all the apps in the store -- there are so many for even rather esoteric needs/areas.
posted by fantine at 2:12 PM on January 2, 2010

Also, don't bother shutting it down and re-booting it, just put it to sleep. I found the batteries last much longer that way, strangely.
posted by memebake at 2:13 PM on January 2, 2010

What are some of your hobbies? There's probably an app for that. I like to write, so I use the Writeroom app. I like to sketch so I got an app go sketching. Recently got interested in cooking, but want to make meals quickly, so I bought the Meals in 20 Minutes app, yum!

See where this is going? Figure what your interests are, find an app for it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:29 PM on January 2, 2010

Best answer: Most good apps use the internet one way or another. I've tried a bunch of apps. Deleted many. The following list is what I kept and why.

Laterloop - easily read saved articles on your phone http://www.laterloop.com/
New Yorker and NY Times - News and article reading
Bloomberg - I never use this but if you ever need stocks, better than default stocks app
GuitarToolkit - Always have a guitar tuner with you, yay
Fare City, Canabalt - Decent games
Google Earth - Showoff app, Google Earth on your phone
Shazam - Uses the mic, I don't know if the touch has a mic, to recognize what song is playing on your radio/TV/any audio source.
ConvertBot - Beautiful unit conversion app
Lightsaber - Lightsaber on your phone, complete with motion detection and swoosh sounds.
Radio.be - Listen to Belgian radio stations (I guess every country has an equivalent app)
Facebook,Wordpress, Tumblr, eBay, Skype, Kindle, Wikipedia, LinkedIn - For obvious reasons
posted by wolfr at 2:29 PM on January 2, 2010

There are alternatives to using iTunes in contrast what others have said. Google can find them for you.
posted by oxit at 2:29 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

LoseIt! - awesome calorie/exercise counter
posted by porn in the woods at 2:57 PM on January 2, 2010

Skeeball. Prepare to be seriously addicted.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:01 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My favourite apps that aren't entirely specific to one particular hobby:
Clock! - a fullscreen clock that I use in class
Dictionary.com - offline version of the website (needs to be downloaded via Itunes rather than the phone as it's over 10mb)
Photoshop - I use this mainly for cropping and rotating photos taken with my phone as these functions are missing from the camera
Shazam - to identify any song playing
Skype - only works with wifi not 3g
Wikipedia Mobile
XE Currency Convertor
Evernote - syncs with Evernote on my PC
Tweetdeck for Twitter

Games I enjoy:
Sol Free Solitaire
Trivial Pursuit

British apps that you may like an equivalent of:
The Trainline
- for train times
Tube Map - London Underground

I like cooking so use Epicurious and AllRecipes, and I speak several languages so refer to Free Translator a lot.

The majority of these are free, or under £3.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:29 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The ipod touch does not come with a microphone. For some features and apps (Voice Memos, Shazam, Skype etc) you will need an external one. I use a the ThumbTacks mic with mine, it is small, relatively cheap, and sounds decent for what it is.

Apps i like (all free):
Transit Maps
Textfree Lite
Files Lite
Beer Brands

GeoDefense Lite
Cross Light
Unblock Me

There are many more apps and features I find indispensable that are available if you jailbreak your ipod.
posted by alhadro at 4:27 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You don't need to know anything about the Apple OSes in order to enjoy the iPod, the apps pretty much explain themselves.

Surprisingly, many of the best apps are free. Quite a few of them have already been named above. If you do a lot of online shopping, I would also suggest looting the apps for UPS/USPS/FedEx for tracking packages.

Do realize that as far as watching streaming video goes, aside from specific apps (e.g. Ustream) you're pretty much limited to YouTube and things friendly to Quicktime. Any instance of YouTube triggered in a webpage will load into the YouTube app. Also, I would actually recommend getting your YouTube fix via the website rather the app's internal browser, I find it much easier to navigate specific user accounts and playlists.

If you have big fingers like me, I'd pick up a stylus as it makes text entry and the like much, MUCH less bothersome (and you are less likely to smudge up your screen). The Pogo line of them can be had for very cheaply on Amazon. They come in normal Stylus or Sketch variations, the only real difference is that the Sketch version is longer and has a clip.
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 4:32 PM on January 2, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks!
With all of the Googling and other research... I can hardly wait!

memebake, thanks for the sleep mode trick, that is the type of "hints and tips" I was looking for.
posted by Drasher at 6:04 PM on January 2, 2010

I think my case more than I like my iPhone, I have the Credit Card Case but it doesn't fit the touch. Here's their touch lineup.

Free Apps I love that no one else has mentioned
*Dropbox (access files in your dropbox cloud storage account)
*CardStar (no need to carry all those loyalty cards on your Keychain)
*Tweetdeck (twitter app)
posted by Mick at 6:35 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yes, this has been asked before, but it was 6 years ago.
The iPod Touch has only been out for 2 years! Also, worth noting that virtually all iPhone apps work on the iPod touch too, so people will often just say "iPhone apps" when they mean OS X Touch apps; it's easier to search for iPhone rather than iPod, too.

There are a lots of questions looking for app recommendations in the archives here, the most recent a couple of weeks ago.
posted by bonaldi at 7:42 PM on January 2, 2010

If you want to not use iTunes, your only real option is Doubletwist. Unless your computer is old and slow, I think you are better off with iTunes. I have my frustrations with the iPod touch and with iTunes, but it works too often to bother with alternatives.

As for apps, you can use almost any iPhone app. As said above, get an external mic to use apps that need one. Technically you can use photo apps on the iPod, but they require that you sync the photos from your computer and most of the usefulness in the app assumes that there is a built in camera taking photos.

For app recommendations I would add:

Twitterific - a twitter client

Wootwatch - if you like Woot.com

Craigsphone and CraigSearch - for craigslist stuff

Kindle and Barnes & Noble ereader - ebooks

NPR News - if you like public radio

NASA - if you are a space nerd

Shazam - figure out what song is playing (needs mic)
posted by achmorrison at 9:54 PM on January 2, 2010

The iPod Touch 3G does come with a microphone.

My personal favorites:

Monopoly Worldwide
The Weather Channel
and a good dictionary (personally using Oxford Deluxe)
posted by Sufi at 10:13 PM on January 2, 2010

Best answer: Also, tip/trick wise, if you hold the power button (on top) and then press the home button (bottom-front) it will take a screen shot of the screen and save it in your photos folder.

In the many apps that scroll a lot and show the status bar at the top (such as mail, NYTimes, Notes, Safari etc) you can touch the status bar to automatically scroll back to the top of the page.

In certain apps (such as Mail, Notes) you can do a left swipe on something (an email for instance) to have the option to delete it directly without needing to open it.

Most people now use iTunes to put their apps in the order and on the page desired, but you can also move and position apps directly on the springboard/homescreen by pressing and holding an app icon until they all begin to shake. You can then move them to anywhere desired, including the dock at the bottom.

When listening to music you can shake the ipod to enable shuffle mode.

A feature that is handy although seemingly rarely utilized is the ability to add shortcuts to specific webpages (using safari) to your springboard/homescreen where the app icons are. To do this, navigate to the website in safari and press the + button at the bottom. You will see a button to "Add to Home Screen". It usually uses the fav icon as the icon for the shortcut.

I tend to keep my volume down, and my brightness way down from the normal setting. This dramatically lengthens the battery life. I also always turn my wifi off when not in use and keep the bluetooth off as well. Digging through the settings to turn these on and off is kind of a pain, but I use a jailbreak app, "SBSettings" to give me quick access to toggle these.

Lastly, I use a "Gelaskin". It protects more from scratches then physical damage, but they look great and are even customizable now. They use a new 3M technology that is pretty slick.

Thats about all of the non-obvious things I can think of. Good luck and enjoy!
posted by alhadro at 6:49 AM on January 3, 2010 [3 favorites]

When I first got my Touch, I felt like it was too slippery/delicate/shiny/wonderful for me to handle. I got these extremely simple, inexpensive silicone Belkin covers that made it easier for me to feel confident pulling the Touch out of my coat pocket (especially while wearing gloves) and putting the stainless steel back down on tables. I've had mine for a year and took the cover off a few months ago with no problem; I guess I got used to handling it.

Instapaper is a can't-live-without-it app. TimeTuner is pretty great, too.

If you use Google Calendar, you can set up your Touch to sync with your calendar. Works like a charm.
posted by transporter accident amy at 9:43 AM on January 3, 2010

Response by poster: Now we're talking!

Great ideas!
posted by Drasher at 10:15 AM on January 3, 2010

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