Using an iPod Touch as an iPhone replacement

I’ve had an iPhone 5 since the day it went out. I love it, and I spent a lot of money on apps and a lot of time using those apps, which became part of my computing routine.

This routine, as well as iMessage and my ten years old iTunes library, got me hooked into the Apple ecosystem.

Back in April, my three years old iPhone battery became unreliable, forcing me to buy an external battery. I kept it in my bag, just in case. This was a temporary set up as I was waiting for the next generation of iPhones to come out in September. Three years would have been a good run for my iPhone 5.

Then three things happened:

  1. I bought a camera. My iPhone used to be my only camera, and I’ve been jealous of iPhone 6 users just for the photo quality. I love taking pictures with my camera1. I can now use the phone camera as second choice only. This means that the urge to upgrade for the next iPhone would not be camera-driven.

  2. My headphone jack broke down. Getting a new phone suddenly became urgent and maybe it was time for my iPhone to die2

  3. Apple released the new iPod Touch in July. Great performance, good looks, competitive price. I was sold. I now use the iPod Touch as my main computing device.

How does it work?

I keep my iPhone in my bag all the time. It still works for making phone calls and get a data connection when needed. Sometimes I leave it plugged to the external battery I bought earlier this year. Sometimes it just stays in airplane mode. In my hand, pocket, or sitting on my desk, there is the iPod Touch. I use it for everything I used my iPhone.

I have WiFi both at home and at work: the lack of a data connection on the iPod is not a problem 95% of the time. Thanks to Handoff and Continuity, I can use my Mac for phone calls and text messages. I don’t even have to get the phone out of the bag during days at work.

I have all my iPhone apps on the lighter, thinner iPod Touch3. The only one missing is WhatsApp which I don’t use that much (for that I can always use my iPhone — same for the few times I make phone calls and I send texts to the rare contacts that use neither iMessage, Facebook Messenger nor Google Hangouts.)

The name iPod Touch doesn’t do justice to this device. It is basically an iPad that fits in your pocket.

You must ask yourself: “Why?”

Why didn’t I wait for an iPhone, so that I don’t have to carry two devices if I want or need a phone/4G connection?

Well, it is at least 500€ cheaper.

A great camera (which I already own), an 4G data connection (which I can still use remotely turning on the Hotspot on the iPhone) and a GPS do not justify the price difference in my case.4

You always wanted to uninstall the Phone app on your iPhone? Turns out it is finally something you can do.

  1. Fujifilm X-E2↩︎

  2. Some of you will grin reading this, thinking that Apple is planning the “obsolescence” of its devices. Find me somebody running the equivalent of iOS 9 on a phone model that came out 3 years ago and I will agree. For comparison: the iPhone 5 came out the same year as the Nokia Lumia 900 and the Samsung Galaxy S3.↩︎

  3. Obviously the iPod Touch has the same footprint that the iPhone 5, which I think I prefer to the larger iPhone 6.↩︎

  4. I might change my mind following the Apple event in September (maybe we will finally have Apple Pay in France?), but it seems that my iPhone will get an extra year of life.↩︎