Thirteen years ago, Apple unveiled the third-generation iPod touch. With up to 64GB of storage, the iPhone counterpart didn’t have a camera, nor a fancy processor, but somehow its 3.5-inch multitouch screen conquered a new generation of Apple users – myself included. Now, in 2022, you can still take advantage of this device – sort of.
Every now and then I decide to turn on my 13-year-old iPod touch, and every time it gets trickier. To write this story, I had to wait over an hour until it decided to properly turn on, but it is always worth it. There’s a nostalgia about holding this 3.5-inch device with a now oxidated stainless steel back. My iPod touch’s volume buttons don’t work anymore, but the Home and power buttons are still just fine.
When I slide to unlock it, I’m reminded of my Beatlemania period when I was 14 years old, as a 20- something Paul McCartney looks at me. Then, when I can finally see the home screen, I’m reminded of what enchanted me about Apple products with its skeuomorphic apps stuck on iOS 5.1.1
Some of the stocks apps don’t work anymore and, somehow, my Twitter app is trapped in a 2013 timeline with some of my friends complaining about random stuff. My photos have now been all erased, and I still have 39 notes on my Notes app. It’s time to discover what I can still do with the third-generation iPod touch
The iTunes Store is your best friend
In a period of streaming services and dozens of subscriptions, I’m reminded of the importance of the iTunes Store back in the early 2010s. With the third-generation iPod touch relying less on the Mac, I was just a tap away from my next favorite movie or album. Luckily, I have bought a few tracks when I was a teenager and a few movies as well.
In 2022, I still can take advantage of the “Music” and “Video” apps by redownloading my favorite tunes. Vaccine‘s and Haim‘s first albums, Paul McCartney’s New, and, wow, just got distracted by the cover flow feature. At the time, I didn’t like it, but now I think I can truly appreciate it. You just have to scroll through your favorite albums.
I can also watch video clips and movies with my iPod touch. I know, its speakers aren’t a big deal, and the screen can get very reflective, but I still can take advantage of about an hour of listening time or so.
iPod touch still can pair with AirPods Max or any bluetooth speaker
I know you know this, but isn’t it kind of funny being able to connect your 2020 AirPods Max with the 2009 iPod touch? My iPod also recognizes my HomePods and Apple TV 4K, but for some reason, it keeps asking for my set-top box password and when I insert it, the iPod just asks again. Probably a feature, not a bug.
That said, there’s this nostalgic feeling of using a very expensive wireless headphone with an old piece of tech. Or, if I want, I can try to find the old Apple EarPods and just use the headphone jack as we all used to.
You can downloads apps from the App Store – sort of
It’s tricky to download apps from the App Store. I started thinking about all the great apps that I used to have and, to my surprise, I was able to download two old versions of them: Telegram and Candy Crush – even though Telegram doesn’t let me add my phone number and Candy Crush just keeps crashing.
I also tried to download Instagram, Tumblr, Fruit Ninja, and Temple Run, but they require a new version of iOS. For a second, the Apple TV app started to download, then Apple said that it required iOS 10.2. Lame.
But there are still some stock apps I can use.
Believe it or not, Google Maps still works
Tired of Apple Maps on your shiny iPhone 13 Pro Max? Just pick up your old iPod touch and open the original Maps. I was able to make a route to my old college. Even though the app is outdated, Google Maps still supports Apple’s iPod touch and showed me the steps to take a bus to my school. Isn’t technology amazing?
Apart from Google Maps and iMessage, I didn’t have much luck. The Stock app doesn’t work. The same goes for YouTube and Weather. Find My app requires a newer version, although I can still track my iPod touch.
Actually, this is pretty neat, because I was able to sync my iPod with my Apple ID, and now I can find it using my iPhone 13 Pro. Great, huh?
You can almost take advantage of Safari with the iPod touch
Since this Safari app is so old, it doesn’t support most of the websites. Of course, I can still Google pages and some images, but I was devasted when I discovered I couldn’t open any of my stories here at 9to5Mac.
But as Steve Jobs did 16 years ago, I still can use Safari to read the news in New York Times. You just have to zoom in and zoom out, and you’re good to go – kind of.
As you can see, trying to use the third-generation iPod touch in 2022 is more frustrating than satisfying. Most apps don’t work, but still, you can take notes, save images, listen to music, watch videos, iMessage your friends, and remember the evolution of these past 13 years.
Right now, it’s easier to just buy an iPhone than an iPod – and I think Apple should just kill it if the company isn’t revamping the product anytime soon.
It’s a nostalgic experience to turn on this old device, remember the good times, and see that I still can take – sort of – advantage of it.
Do you still have your old iPod touch? What is the oldest Apple product you have and enjoy turning on every now and then? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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