So in July this year, Apple surprised us with the launch of the 6th generation iPod touch with the latest A8 processor from the iPhone 6. The last device was released back in 2012 alongside the iPhone 5, it had the A5 chip from the iPhone 4s and decent specs for time, but could the iPod be used for a fitness device?
Back when the iPod was in it’s hayday per se, we saw Steve Jobs come on stage every year and unveil a new model of the iPod touch and the nano. In the fall of 2007 the first iPod touch was unveiled, then in 2008 the 2nd, in 2009 the 3rd and in 2010 the 4th version.
At this time the iPhone was gaining traction and the iPod was declining, so in 2011 alongside the iPhone 4s there wasn’t a new iPod touch, instead Apple only updated the colours. In 2012 Apple released a 5th generation iPod touch to bring the screen size up to the new iPhone 5, but then in 2013 no new device was seen, in 2014 when we were expecting a new device – no iPod showed up.
Now in July 2015, Apple released a significant update to the iPod touch, not externally much despite removing the iPod touch loop and adding some new colours but the internals. With iOS 8 Apple added the Health app which on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 allows you to track steps using the built in motion co-processor. In the iPhone 5s the M7 chip allows tracking of steps and miles walked, in the iPhone 6 the M8 chip also tracks steps but also flights climbed and cycling.
What’s interesting is that the new iPod touch shares the same A8 processor and the M8 motion co-processor from the iPhone 6. This means that for £159/$199 you can not only accurately track the steps you have walked and the flights you have climbed but have access to thousands of apps that can harness that data such as My Fitness Pal, Strava, Nike Running and Runtastic. It may be a bit more than a Fitbit or even the Apple Watch which requires a iPhone. But for now at least it has the edge over most fitness trackers, in my opinion – unless you already have a iPhone 6…
Let me know what you think in the comments.