The new iPod Touch is a great gateway into the upcoming iOS 13.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple released a new iPod Touch for 2019 just a few weeks back. It costs $200 and has a small, low-resolution screen. If you already own an iPhone past the iPhone 5, there’s no reason to even consider buying the iPod Touch. Probably the same deal if you own a recent iPad. If however you’ve never owned an iOS device or have in the past and want back in, at $200 the iPod Touch is now the cheapest entry point.

In his review of the iPod Touch 2019, my colleague, Patrick Holland very clearly lays out why, despite its appeal to certain consumers, most will want to skip the iPod Touch. And while I can totally see and agree with many of his points, ultimately I see it differently.

I’ve been a stubborn supporter of iOS and more specifically the Apple App Store for nearly 11 years, since I bought the iPhone 3G in 2008. There are two simple reasons for that:

  • I like the interface and appreciate its evolution


  • The game and app selection on the App Store has never disappointed me

That’s really it for me. I have an iPhone XS Max and absolutely have no need for the iPod Touch, but I’m excited about those of you who do. And here are three reasons I think the iPod Touch is a near steal at $200.

Apple Arcade

Later this year Apple will launch Apple Arcade, a subscription-based games service where you pay a monthly fee to play iOS games made by some of the top game developers in the world. Personally, the most exciting for me include Annapurna Interactive, makers of Donut County and Mistwalker, headed by Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi

Apple expects to have 100 exclusive and non-exclusive games lined up for the service at launch, with more coming later. You’ll sign up for the service and can download any Apple Arcade game you wish at no additional cost.


Apple Arcade, on Mac, iPad and iPhone.


The best thing about this service for iPod Touch owners — which has no cellular connection, only Wi-Fi — is that every game will be playable offline. That means if you’re on the train or in the backseat of a carpool vehicle you can play your games to your heart’s content.

A subscription will cost the same for individuals or a family of six and will be compatible across iPad, iPhone and Apple TV.

iOS 13

I’ve not been excited about an iOS update this much since iOS 7, I believe. That’s when Apple implemented the “flat” look of app icons. With iOS 13 it’s Dark Mode that has me the most giddy.

Honestly, was just the fact that Dark Mode will be a purposefully designed feature — not just an inverting of the colors — that just looks cool in screenshots that  got my attention.


Dark Mode is coming…

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Also, iOS 13 will also bring a newly designed camera interface and editing options as well Sign in with Apple to allow users to sign into apps and sites on their iPod Touch using their AppleID instead of their email address, which Apple says will prevent them from being tracked online and have ads constantly targeted at you.

AR gets more real

The iPod Touch will work with AR apps on the App Store. That includes the iOS app, Measure, which lets you virtually measure things in the real world by giving you a really flexible digital ruler. Pokemon Go or the upcoming and highly anticipated Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, AR is kind of becoming a thing. And while I wasn’t excited about it initially, the more useful apps like Measure I find, the more I’m becoming a believer.


Practical AR is the best AR.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

To be sure, you’ll need a more powerful device to take advantage of some of the high-end AR apps, but for simple measuring and finding Pokemon, the new iPod Touch can handle it.

Bonus: It has a headphone jack

Yep. You can use Bluetooth headphones or plug in your headphones to that 3.5mm jack on the bottom edge like we used to do.

That either appeals to you or it doesn’t, so nothing else needs to be said here.

Do it!

Or don’t. I mean, the Touch isn’t for everyone, but it’s cheap enough and offers enough current features as well as some smart strategic future proofing to be worth your money if you decide to take the plunge. 


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Apple iPod Touch 2015

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