Unlike the iPhone, which is refreshed every year, the iPod touch line hadn't been updated since 2010. When the 5th generation model was unveiled in 2012, it was a big step forward for the device.
Every model of the iPod touch has looked a lot like its older sibling, the iPhone, and inherited many of its features. While the 5th generation touch does indeed share many features with the iPhone 5, the two devices don't look completely alike, thanks to the introduction of colored cases to the iPod touch line for the first time (previously the touch had only been available in black and white). The 5th generation iPod touch is also a thinner and lighter than the iPhone 5, by 0.06 inches and 0.85 ounces, respectively.
This generation of the iPod touch supports all of the features that the previous generation did, and adds the new ones listed below.
5th Generation iPod touch Hardware Features
Some of the major hardware changes added in the 5th iPod touch include:
- New, larger screen - Like the iPhone 5, the 5th generation iPod touch sports a large, 4-inch screen. Like the iPhone, the touch has gotten taller, but not wider, changing its resolution to 1136 x 640. Thanks to that resolution, the iPod touch still offers a Retina Display screen at 326 pixels per inch.
- Apple A5 processor, the same as used in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
- Improved cameras
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Lighter, thinner - The 5th generation touch is 0.04 inches thinner and weighs 0.46 ounces less than the 4th generation model.
- Lightning - This generation is the first iPod touch model to use Lightning, Apple's replacement for the earlier docking port. Lightning is smaller and thinner than its predecessor, and it is reversible, so it doesn't matter which side is facing up when you plug it in.
- Built-in Nike+ support
- Loop - A new accessory for the iPod touch. This small loop attaches to the back of the touch and goes around the user's wrist to secure it to their body. The loop is included with every 5th generation touch and is color coordinated with the color of the touch's case.
- EarPods - The touch ships with Apple's new, redesigned earbuds, called EarPods. They're intended to better fit in the ear, not fall out, and deliver better sound.
Key Software Features
Thanks to its new hardware and iOS 6, the 5th generation iPod touch supports the following new software features:
- Siri - Previously limited to just the iPhone 5, the iPod touch now supports Apple's voice-activated digital assistant, Siri.
- Panoramic photos - Thanks to iOS 6, the iPod touch is
- Passbook - A new app that collects e-tickets, gift cards, coupons, and other items that can be used in stores and at events. Employees will simply scan the bar codes in the app to give the user their ticket or discount.
- Facebook integration
Major iOS 6 Features Not Supported on the iPod touch
- Turn-by-turn directions in the new Maps app
- FaceTime over cellular networks
Capacity and Price
32GB - US$299
64GB - $399
Music - 40 hours
Video - 8 hours
The 5th generation iPod touch, like its predecessor, has two cameras:
- Front (user facing): 1.2 megapixel images, 720p HD video recording and FaceTime
- Back: 5 megapixel images, 1080p HD video recording, support for panoramic photos in iOS 6, camera flash
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, on both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands
AirPlay support--up to 1080p on 3rd generation Apple TV, up to 720p on 2nd generation Apple TV
Size and Weight
4.86 inches tall by 2.31 inches wide by 0.24 inches thick
Weight: 3.10 ounces
Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
Windows 7, Vista, or XP Home or Professional with SP3 or later
iTunes 10.7 or later
Release date: October 2012
Despite the release of the 5th generation touch, two versions of the 4th generation remained on sale: the 16GB for $199 and the 32GB for $249.