What will they think of next? The iPod Touch was already impressive enough simply as a music and video player, photo viewer, Web browser, weather station, organiser and jotter. Now, thanks to the launch of its Application Store through iTunes, my iPod is also a library, games console, torch, lightsaber, cyber-pet, and…wait for it…a piano.
For all its sheer brilliance there will still be the routine quibble about pricing, although there are some free applications available. While some games and reference apps can be pricey, 59p each for a classic novel by Dickens or Austen is undoubtedly a bargain. Whether or not one can work their way through Bleak House on an iTouch screen remains to be seen.
Games range from something as simple as Pong to Sega’s Super Monkey Ball, and the latter only costs £6. There is something among the growing list of games for everyone, from Etch-A-Sketch for the kids to Blackjack for the adults. Of course there is the obligatory Sudoku in there somewhere.
The iGotchi is, as you may have guessed, an update of the original Tamagotchi. In place of a kitten or baby dinosaur there is a little ball of fluff on legs, which giggles whenever it is petted, eats from a table, dances, and plays with a football. While one can only watch a fluffy ball for so long, after a while it is shame that it only exists behind the screen, as it looks so soft it should be able to be touched.
There are also useful applications such as the currency converter, language translator, tip calculator, and even the free British Airways Flight Information.
Then comes the really serious stuff like iPint, a free and refillable pint of Carling. The catch: it’s a virtual drink.
While you’re not going to be able to perform Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on the Pianist application, the novelty of having a piano in your pocket is every bit as grand as having a lightsaber alongside it.
However, before all this fun and games can commence, iPod software version 2.0 has to be downloaded at a price of £5.99. Also some applications only work on the iPhone, so be sure to check before clicking the buy button, and trust me, you will be doing a lot of that once you have seen what is on offer.