Monday, September 10, 2007

Apple has indeed crippled the iPod touch. No iCal event entry.

Yep. Apple has done it again. They have intentionally crippled their product, for no good reason. Initially we thought there was no iCal calendar event entry functionality on the iPod touch because of a missing button on its iCal screen. Then we thought we had jumped to an erroneous conclusion, because Apple specifically said this in their iPod touch description of the Multi-touch interface:
iPod touch features the same revolutionary interface as iPhone. Built to take full advantage of the large 3.5-inch display, the multi-touch interface lets you control everything using only your fingers. So you can glide through albums with Cover Flow, flick through photos and enlarge them with a pinch, or zoom in and out on a section of a web page. And iPod touch features a touchscreen QWERTY keyboard perfect for browsing the web in Safari, searching for videos on YouTube, finding music on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, entering calendar events, or adding new contacts.
It turns out we were right the first time, and Apple was in fact misleading us. An astute reader has pointed out to us that Apple has now changed their description:
iPod touch features the same revolutionary interface as iPhone. Built to take full advantage of the large 3.5-inch display, the multi-touch interface lets you control everything using only your fingers. So you can glide through albums with Cover Flow, flick through photos and enlarge them with a pinch, or zoom in and out on a section of a web page. And iPod touch features a touchscreen QWERTY keyboard perfect for browsing the web in Safari, searching for videos on YouTube, finding music on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, or adding new contacts.
Why Apple continues to do this type of stuff, I just don't understand. Whatever the reason, the end result is that I will not be buying either the iPhone or the iPod touch any time soon. Perhaps I'll bite when Apple comes out with a bigger capacity iPhone (in Canada) or a non-crippled iPod touch. This is too bad for Apple, as I probably would have bought the iPod touch now if it weren't for this iCal restriction (as well as the lack of several widgets and the Mail application), and then bought an iPhone to replace it later once the iPhone was upgraded.

[Update 2007-11-12]

iPod touch software update 1.1.2 adds iCal event entry. Hooray!

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

stop your crying... I seriously doubt the iCal was the reason you're holding off.

Eug said...

You are free to doubt, but in fact, iCal is the straw that broke the camel's back. It was bad enough that it was missing stuff like Mail, etc., but lack of iCal event entry support is the deal breaker.

While the iPod touch is superior to my previous video iPod and my iPod mini in most aspects, one of the biggest annoyances I had with them was not being able to effectively use their iCal functionality. The iPod touch now has the capability to do this, but Apple has chosen to remove this functionality for some unknown reason.

However, if the jailbreak apps solve this problem, perhaps I'll go that route.

Anonymous said...

eug,
I completely agree. It was only today (9/10/07) that I found out that the ability to enter events in ical has been taken away. This is one of the only reasons I had intrest in the iphone. But I refuse to switch to AT&T and I have no need for a data plan. I was excited about the ipod touch, but now both are off my list until apple takes the restrictions off of using other phone carriers or I have the ability to enter events in the ipod touch.

Paul said...

So are you saying that contacts and iCal entries are displayable, as synced from a Mac via iTunes, but not able to be entered on the touch?

Eug said...

Yes. Like current iPods, you can display iCal events, but not enter them.

That is, unless Apple changes its mind yet again.

Anonymous said...

This is a serious deal breaker for me. I've used Palms for years but was looking forward to the functionality of the iPod Touch. Without Bluetooth and iCal data entry, I'll not bother.

Dr. Tim Martin said...

My goodness, what a whiner. Please, go buy a BlackBerry and slap yourself on the back.

Peter Beddow said...

Doubt me if you'd like, Mr. Anonymous, but I too had decided to buy an iPod Touch but reneged on my decision when I discovered I would not be able to enter calendar events in the field. I've long said I would only buy an iPod when Apple allows me to use it as a portable appointment book that synchs with my Macbook Pro's iCal setup. I don't like doing things twice.

I stand iPod-less, and I will remain so until Apple releases a product that meets my needs. That's not a whine, just my stated position. I'm a faithful customer; I'm just not a collector.

Anonymous said...

Precisely, Peter. By walking with our feet is the only way that Apple will ever learn anything. If I'm a "whiner" so be it. I've lived long and well with Palms -- perhaps Apple may get a little less arrogant eventually.

Anonymous said...

That's a very bad move by Apple. You can currently jot down notes in the Palm and Apple was dissing Parm saying how it has so many buttons while the iPhone was much sleaker. Both the iPhone and iPod touch should allow you to makes notes to yourself like personal reminders. If you need to go grocery shopping and jot down a grocery list, jot down a radom thought, remember where you parked etc you chould easily do this with a notes and iCal program.

Anonymous said...

People that are buying the ipod touch are the ones that love the iphone but don't want to switch to an inferior network for it. I don't believe apple would have lost iphone sales for letting people input calendar events but I think for many people it was the last straw and they won't buy both now. Personally I'm still getting the ipod touch although I am infuriated about now mail and ical input.

What I don't get is what they are thinking. Palm has both a phone and a regular palm pilot. I don't think one of their sales hurt the other. It just seems petty on apples part and puts them in a bad light.

In my opinion this is worse then the early price drop on the iphone. iphone buyers should have known what they were getting into but this is just stupid. An asshole thing to do. Steve Jobs should have known better, apple is starting to get a bad rep with their treatment of other companies now they are treating their customers badly on two occasions in a months time. Bad for the image there steveo.

Keith said...

This is a deal breaker for me. I'm still using an old Tapwave Zodiac, and Palm is still in its OS5 death spiral - and I refuse to support Windows Mobile. When I heard the iPod Touch would support calendar entry, I was gearing up to buy one....but now, I'll pass. I'm a COO at a small company, with a company phone that's not AT&T and I'm already carrying two devices - why in the world would I want to carry three? Sorry Apple, I love your products but you lost me on this one.

Anonymous said...

Went to the Apple store yesterday. I wanted to buy an iPod touch 8 GB, but went home without one when I found out on the demo devices that they don't have event entry support. The touch has everything I need, except for this single feature, but it's definitely a deal breaker for me. Sorry, but removing this "feature" is ridiculous!

Nicolas Hutchins said...

Hi Eug,

You're an idiot. If you want a calendar, go buy a Palm Pilot. If you want the best digital music player to ever be released, then buy the iPod Touch. Are you wait for the iPod to be able to do the dishes and clean your laundry before making your purchasing decision?

Also, you said you weren't buy the iPhone either. Why is this? I currently own both, and they are both amazing products. I'm not an Apple fanboy (I use MS Windows) but these music players and phones are hands down the industry leaders.

Anton Thorn said...

Actually...you're the idiot, Nocolas. Now fuck off.

Anonymous said...

What Apple should do is create an open source community that is able to create applications which will run on both the iPod Touch as well as the iPhone. These applications should run just like widgets do. Apple could review them and have a top 10 for that week etc. and have these (iWidgets) grouped into various categories you could download to your Mac/PC and install the next time you sync.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with the original post more. I was seeking to get rid of my Palm, and my Sandisk player, and even my PSP to get an iPod Touch. Although the video/audio/photos of the Touch get my attention I must have the ability to write notes and run my calendar independent of my computer. No compromise. And, with Wifi, why not be able to check my email? Puleeze! My Palm which is pretty low-tech can do this with no problems.

I'll just have to keep my Palm and hope for the future. In the meantime I'll save some $$$ for not doing an impulse buy...

Sebastian said...

I was one click away from buying the Touch but, I also held back and did not buy after realizing the iCal flaw.

Anonymous said...

Its pretty simple really - Apple has products that fill a particular marketing niche - and they have made a huge miscalculation - and it is inevitable that they will have to change it - The iPod touch niche MUST have a capability to enter Address and Calendar events and SHOULD have an ability to access Mail via the WiFi type networks - specifically Airport home networks at the very least. If it does, the price point makes sense, if not the small memory capability knocks it into competition with the small Shuffle type players and it cannot compete. Show your guts Apple - unlock those capabilities and you have an incredible tool. If they do, I wouldn't invest in Palm shares. My Palm experience has been very unrewarding. Finally, I was going to buy a Touch until I found out it couldn't do these tasks - so I await the unlock hackers to strike the Touch or Apple to pre-empt it and open the system up.
Simon

gdiogenes said...

I think iPod Touch was released just to feed people who want an iPhone interface without the phone, and Apple will keep it that way until you buy one, and then they will release a better one...

If I'm going to buy an iPod Touch, it will be when it's hacked and I can install some things that will make it a little more than a super fancy iPod:

IM client - MSN, Adium, Google Talk, at least I can chat with someone when wi-fi is available, and I can do that while I'm listening to some music :), how nice is that?
Skype - How great to make a calls over Wifi...
Voice Recorder
iCal - one that you can really use and add some entries using the iTouch itself

PS: I don't expect to see any of these things coming from Apple.

Eug said...

gdiogenes,

You won't be able to use Skype or Voice Recorder because the iPod touch does not have a microphone. Or are you expecting somehow to get a mike connection through the iPod dock connector?

Anonymous said...

Me too. I followed every second of the iPod touch announcement in the live blogs ... got all excited, even checked the specs to see if you could edit your contacts/calendar. The lack of notes/mail are a big deal too, but then when this whole calendar thing came up it was like the straw that broke the camel's back. It's obvious that Apple intends to cripple not only this device software-wise, but the iPhone as well. Much like every other iPod, Apple has decided these should be toys for the wealthy to show off their status rather than function as practical tools. I'll shop elsewhere until Apple wakes up and listens to their (potential) customers.

Anonymous said...

That's so uncool. Apple made it fair for early iphone owners...why can't steve jobs respect the ipod touch owners a little bit?! See, I already bought the touch and I found out the hard way. I recieved it in the mail yesterday and found out by actually going to the calendar app and discovering I couldn't enter events. Apple really disappointed me this time. They need to be more loyal to their loyal customers. We all need to send the corporate complaints (like early iphone owners did.) Maybe that will tweak steve job's way of thinking about this whole thing.

Anonymous said...

I agree as well. To me this could have been the perfect ipod yet, combining and ipod and pda without the necessity of the phone. Honestly, I don't need another mp3 player but I could make use of the combination. And when I asked about the iphone and if it would work without the At&T subscription. The answer was no - kinda a waste if you ask me. The fact that Apple as purposely taking notes and editing the ical off the ipod touch, to me, is very irritating. I think they are really missing a big part of the market and should realize that they could make more money by just giving the people what they want and not anger potential customers.

Nick said...

Yup, this is a dealbreaker for me too; I'm trawling through the discussion groups looking for some evidence that it may change. iPhone is not ideal for me - it's 5mm bigger and it comes on 02, which has lousy reception where I live - but I really want some PDA functions which play nicely with my Macs, and the idea of being able to watch a movie on a long journey was nice. iTouch had me in raptures.

Not any more. Now it'd just be another not-quite bit of technojunk to cart around.

Anonymous said...

It's a dealbreaker for me too. It may seem trivial, but a fully functional iCal application with a good user-interface would be extremely useful.

The iPod touch has just the right size for conventional PDA applications. For watching video I'd rather use my laptop with a larger storage capacity. For browsing the web, I'd rather use laptop or wait until I reach the office. As an interface to access a music collection, the iPod touch OS is unnecessary fluff.

When I saw the iPod touch for the first time, it seemed obvious that it would have basic PDA functionality. Without it, I see no reason to replace my old iPod as its interface is excellent for what it is supposed to do and its storage capacity is much larger.

Anonymous said...

I am preparing to go Mac/Apple/Ipod, which means a step away from Windows and Palm. However, this Ipod Touch issue with iCal (and Mail) gives me second thoughts. Obvious components for a product like Ipod Touch are missing.

Is the Mac/Apple hype with great user interfaces etc just a facade ... ?

Thank God you can run Ubuntu on them MacBooks, because the design is still appealing. However, I am tempted to cancel the whole MacBook/Ipod Touch deal because of the less user-friendly wibes from Apple ...

totodog2311 said...

I was so excited to buy the iPOD TOUCH because I was looking for an IPHONE without the phone. However, when I saw there is no iCAL event entry, it was a total deal breaker for me too! An employee at our local APPLE store just bought the TOUCH and told me APPLE already came out with a software upgrade that he downloaded via his mac. However, he told me it does not address the ical event entry problem. My guess, rather my hope is that APPLE will come out with a new TOUCH by Xmas that will address the ical entry problem and the .mail/email problem too. Maybe they'll also come out in colors. For now, I'm just going to wait, and hope we don't have to wait one full year.

Arnan said...

I too decided against buying an iPhone because of AT&T, also because im in Europe and dont fancy the hacks...

Then the touch came along.. Yay! But no calendar entering. BUMMER!! I want it anyway, but i won't be as happy with it as i initially thought...

It's just a pimped nano now.

Anonymous said...

i agree.. no ipod touch if they hobble it like that. removing mail was really lame - net mail? my butt. and ical .. dumb to cut this feature; it would have made the ipod touch a stronger product - a PHONE is a different enough feature to distinguish the iphone from the ipod touch. lame marketing move.

Anonymous said...

Well just let the people at Apple know how you feel about the crippled version of iCal on the iPod Touch at this website link...

http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipodtouch.html

Anonymous said...

What a disappointment. I've been a Palm pilot user for 10 years and a Mac user for 5 years. I still have to use Windows to sync my Palm every day, which is a nuisance. I was looking forward to using the IPod Touch as a Palm replacement, so I could ditch Palm and Windows altogether. Now I find that calendar entry is not possible on the IPod Touch. Sigh. Looks like I'll be waiting a while longer.

Anonymous said...

I almost bought the Touch yesterday too until I found out it won't replace my old Palm PDA. As for those pseudo-macho commenters, if iPhone-whining led to a $100 store credit, why not whine? I'd go post a feedback at: http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipodtouch.html
maybe if enough of us whine they'd change their mind without the need for a jailbreak. Peace and whine.

Bethany said...

This is also a big deal for me. I use ical constantly for work-i'm a real estate agent- and need to keep my info straight!

Has anyone tried using the Google web app they offer?

http://www.apple.com/webapps/productivity/ googlecalendarmobile.html

Just wondering if it even comes close to ical. They say you can add events to that one..

Anonymous said...

I agree,
No iCal and notes functionality were THE reasons I didn't get an iPod touch and since I can't get a iPhone in my area I'm SOL. After spending thousands and thousands on Apple products, all I can say is: thank you apple :(

Eug said...

The latest software version (1.1.2, which came out on Friday) for the iPod touch allows iCal event entry to the iPod touch.

Love Ersare said...

Great that thay have solved the problem! this was also a deal breaker for me. Can you upgrade the software for an old ipod touch (i'm plannig on bying an second hand one) and make it work?

/Love

Anonymous said...

When I got MY ipod touch (ages ago) It was easy to add events to my calender and add/edit contacts. And a couple of months later the software upgrade came out and for £13 i could send mail and so much more. It is by far the 2nd best portable technology out. The 1st being the iphone which is in a whole league of it's own and and blackberry comes nowhere near it. You are all morons if the only reason not to buy one is over a stupid calender problem. Are you complete technology noobs? Maybe you should think about the amazing technology the ipod touch and iphone have and that's what should convince you to buy one. Think about it.. seriously

jijiji said...

I bought my touch months ago without even knowing that it could be a appointment book. Just discovered the feature a few days ago and have crazy putting my life into organization.

I have just two questions:

1. why can't I see the to do list?
2. why are the calendar color all messed up?

Don said...

Full iCal and contacts compatibility are definite requirements for me. I could use a new ipod and if the touch has that, it's a no brainer. Otherwise, I'll stick with my Treo and my old ipod. Sure the touch has other neat features but multi level calendars, the ability to display any/all claendars, color compatibility, remote entry of events are all functions that WILL make or break the purchase for me. Does the new upgrade provide FULL iCal compatibility? Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Now (with version 3.1.2 of the iPod touch software) it's possible to make new calendar entries directly on the iPod touch. HOWEVER, it is not possible to specify which calendar this entry should go to! This is really stupid - when I enter a new birthday, for example, I then have to attribute the calendar via ical on my computer when I'm at home. Very impractical. But what's even worse: It is NOT possible to edit calendar entries made in ical - and which are perfectly synced to the iPod touch - on the iPod touch! I don't understand why Apple is doing this - adding functions in this piecemeal way will frustrate many customers. I'm just hoping that with the next software update (for which we will certainly have to pay) they will add these essential functions.