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iPod Touch 7th Gen - Made for Devs?

sethusenthil profile image Sethu Senthil ・2 min read

I don't know why I'm talking about the iPod in 2019. Since WWDC is tomorrow and the recent refresh of the iPod lineup I thought this would be the best time to talk about it.

The iPod is a great, cheap, throwaway iOS development device

Yeah... It looks pretty ugly (source: 9to5mac)

If you haven't heard about iPod 7, I don't blame you. It's a cheap device that runs and will run the latest version of iOS for the next few years. And no, it's not $750 cheap, it's dirt cheap. Starting at only $199 (even cheaper with promos) you get the flagship iPhone like experience .... from 2016. Yes, in 2016. It features the same A10 Fusion chip which is also featured on the iPhone 7. But hold up, all this makes sense. Especially for iOS and Flutter devs. Flutter, unlike iOS devs, might not own an iPhone themselves but now they do. The iPod touch isn't fast in any means but who cares when it's only going to run a few of your development app builds anyway. Sales charts from the show that iPhone sales are declining presumably because most consumers are using older iPhones since they still work perfectly fine. It is important to note the whole smartphone market is noticing this downtrend Apple isn't alone. And since the iPod touch features older internals, you can test your app in a way many of your users will use it in the real world.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you a Flutter dev who uses Android? Leave your thought down below!

P.S: This was kinda a thought experiment, I never knew I would actually write up a post


Discussion (8)

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steveblue profile image
Steve Belovarich

When developing for mobile web you might as well use the lowest common denominator of the available devices and the iPod Touch would be it. If you develop on MacOS you can save money by using the iOS Simulator that comes free with XCode. Issues will be replicated in the iOS Simulator 99.9% of the time probably. If you develop on another platform like Linux or Windows aside from possible remote VM solutions this would be the cheapest, possibly best device to test on locally.

sethusenthil profile image
Sethu Senthil Author

I agree, but for camera based apps (which are only a handful) you will need a physical device as well as a few other API's. But many people use older MacBooks which might make it hard for the iOS simulator to run smoothly.

codeboje profile image

You can not test in-app purchases in the simulator for examples as I learned the hardway yesterday... Now I am looking for a device and was considering the ipod touch. Which led me to the article :-)

cgs profile image
Chris Sepic

I was about to pick one of these up for just this purpose, since my phone is an Android device, and my old iPhone 5 was too old to support newer versions of iOS. I ended up getting an iPhone SE instead - it's about the same form factor, and I found a unlocked refurb for $120. Can't beat that, with the bonus that it can still be used as a phone. In my case, I plan to use it overseas since my US-based Android phone is tied to Verizon.

sethusenthil profile image
Sethu Senthil Author

Wow, an iPhone SE for $120 is a steal!

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Carles Mata

I agree! In my company we have to develop a few internal apps for our employees, and we have 2-3 using iPhone and the rest use Android. We bought an iPod Touch last year just for development purposes and I think it's the best option. You can have a first sight of the app in the simulator, but the user experience is best tested in a physical device.

copy_pasta_chef profile image

I just wish it had a bigger screen.

sethusenthil profile image
Sethu Senthil Author

Yeah, the screen is kinda a disappointment.