iPod touch Browser Advice from iPhone Users???

by Todd Ogasawara

I've long said that I just want an "i" (iPhone without the Phone). So, today the "i" (iPod touch) arrived. Ok, it is missing a camera, mic/speaker, Bluetooth (ouch), email client (ouch ouch), and couple of other things. But, it still has enough to appeal to me. I decided to pre-order one for me and one for my daughter as a surprise gift (no one in my home reads anything I write, so, yes, this will be a surprise). Now, part of the rationale is that she can use the Safari browser instead of firing up a Mac for research and homework. Can some of you current iPhone owners let me know how well reference sites like Yahoo! Reference, MSN Encarta, Wikipedia, and Merriam-Webster Online (as well as other middle-school friendly reference sites) renders on your iPhone?

Or is it truly the case that anything that looks ok in Safari on the Mac looks ok in Safari on the iPhone/touch? Any browser gotchas would be appreciated too :-)

Thanks!

22 Comments

Dave
2007-09-05 21:55:36
Todd, I appreciate the rationale but I can safely say that there is very little homework worth doing that doesn't justify turning a computer on. We used to go to the library to research and now we can't even make the effort to flick the 'on switch' of a Mac? The iPhone/iPodtouch browser is a little fun, but hardly a research tool.


Dave.

Todd Ogasawara
2007-09-05 21:59:15
Dave: Hope springs eternal in parents everywhere :-) Fingers crossed that maybe you are at least a little wrong :-)
Dave
2007-09-05 23:21:01
Oh, I'm always at least a little wrong. I guess she can Google quick fact-based answers. Or maybe use the IM apps - oh. oops.
Curt
2007-09-06 00:03:20
I think it *could* be useful for your daughter and homework, but knowing kids they'll use it for play.


I'm anxious to see if the browser on the touch will let us use common web apps. If it's like the iPhone, there must be issues with java or flash content.

Todd Ogasawara
2007-09-06 00:08:04
Dave: IM is not what worries me. YouTube is what worries me :-) Curt: Oh, I fully expect it to be used for play (audio, video, etc.). If it gets 3 to 5% usage as a knowledge tool, I'll be ok with that.
Sebastian Lewis
2007-09-06 07:02:13
Ouch Ouch?


Why would an iPod have an Email Client to begin with?


Sebastian

Janak
2007-09-06 07:13:58
Todd, to answer your original question: almost every website runs just fine on the iPhone, as long as it doesn't require Flash, although some require more zooming than others. I have regularly done Google and Wikipedia lookups while on the couch with the iPhone, and it's a reasonable experience, although as others said, I'm not quite sure it's first and foremost a research tool, because you can't cut-and-paste, you can't email, you can't write (on the iPod touch), etc.
Philip
2007-09-06 08:38:55
I totally agree with the "Ouch Ouch".


"Why would an iPod have an email client to begin with?"


Why would a phone have an email client? Or a web browser? Or a camera? Because the iPhone is all-in-one (read as: totally feature-creeped) device, and the iPod sitting right next to it is only giving 1/2 of the "i" in iPhone but for 3/4 of the price.


Either the feature set needs to expand or the price needs to come down to sweeten the deal (for me at least)

Sean
2007-09-06 08:59:20
There must be some way to write with the iPod, otherwise how are you going to navigate between websites? Unless you sync a list of bookmarks that you use regularly. It seems that if you can type in the web browser then you have one tab opened to a Google Docs document and another doing research and you can write what you find in the Google tab. I don't know... it just seems like if they've gone to the effort to put a web browser in the thing they must have put some way of typing in the browser. Perhaps I need to read more on the device.
Janak
2007-09-06 09:10:07
Maybe I wasn't being clear -- the keyboard does appear to be on the iPod touch, and yes, I guess you could write "into a website". But there's no email or notes conduits to get information back to the desktop, so Safari's all you've got, which is a little primitive researchwise.
Janak
2007-09-06 09:11:48
Oh, and regarding Google Docs -- that may work, although I haven't tried, and AFAIK the current interface would probably be cumbersome for small screens. Presumably new solutions will come out, so who knows, maybe it'll become practical. ;-) That said, cut-and-paste still doesn't exist on the iPhone/iPod touch platform.
Sean
2007-09-06 10:36:58
I agree that the lack of cut/paste ability would make the whole process more cumbersome than necessary. Then again if Todd really wants to help his daughter learn how to do research and write well, it's good for her to have to learn how to summarize and document rather than relying on block quotes that she copied and pasted. Plus this limits, to some small degree, the chances of outright plagiarism.
Mark Hunte
2007-09-06 12:20:27
Since there is Safari on the iPod, If or when I get one, I would expect to use webmail for email.
Fred
2007-09-06 16:52:04
My Aunt bought my teenage niece a new Mac for "homework and research" a few years ago. Recently, I had to go over and help show her how to install and use her new printer. While I was there I took a look at what was in her Safari history. Her entire history showed nothing but MySpace visits. I also checked her Recent Items under the Apple logo in the Menu Bar. It showed nothing but Safari and a couple of different IM applications had been used recently. I've talked with other people, and this is not unusual, and so that's why I laugh when I hear parents say they're going to buy their kid(s) a new computer for "homework and research" purposes. Yeah, right. Homework and research is the last thing they'll do with it.
Todd Ogasawara
2007-09-07 00:11:06
Fred: If a I understand your story correctly. A very generous grand-aunt bought your niece a Mac when she was a teenager a few years ago. So, doesn't that indicate your niece is currently a young adult? I.e., you are looking at the behavior of a young adult, not a kid. Still, your overly cynical point is taken.
Duke
2007-09-07 04:50:04
It will be perfect for eBook reading, just like iPhone. Try http://booksoniphone.com and its collection of school classics...
Tokyo
2007-09-08 04:18:57
I spoke to the people at Apple Store in Ginza Tokyo JAPAN. They assured me that you would be able to use web-based mail on the iPod touch, (naturally the iPod touch has a facility to type. If you check the apple website US, it clearly says 'Search the web using the touchscreen keyboard'. ) As I have a dot mac account I would therefore have access to my Mail account. Besides I read everywhere about hacks, probably being able to install Mail before they are hot out of the box. Can't wait!
Steven L.
2007-09-08 12:50:48
Wikipedia is an absolute joy to browse on the Iphone. I must have browsed that website for an hour in the Apple store.
Edi
2007-09-12 11:55:22
I was just wondering,


How does the web-browsing take place on the ipod-touch? I assume that you need to be somewhere close to a Wireless internet connection. Am I right? Or a hotspot. (Which are vey rare here in Holland.. )


It would be so awesome to check my hotmail in the train. Well, I suppose that won't be happening anytime soon.

anonymous
2007-09-29 13:19:44
There is a cell phone formatted yahoo that works well
Rodrigo
2007-10-08 07:00:45
They render incredibly. All at exception of the flash animations. You should buy it for that. It is very useful. You can't configure a proxy for safari though
kb
2008-06-16 03:35:30
hi i am looking for this website of ipod touch
and i want the cost of it in holland i don't mind if it
is rotterdam so if you can tell me any website
where i can see the prices of ipod touch cost in holland
(rotterdam) thank you very much....