The iPod touch is getting its first major update from Apple in nearly four years. For those of us who spent our later high school years pretending we had fancy smartphones when in fact we were just scamming our friends with iMessages sent via an iPod touch and a good Wifi connection, it’s eleventh grade all over again.
Apple announced Tuesday that it is dragging the iPod touch out of 2015 (when it was last updated) with a new A10-Fusion chip—the same one Apple puts into its iPhone 7s, which are still powerful phones despite their age—and an increased emphasis on gaming and augmented reality. In addition to allowing you to use iMessage and FaceTime/FaceTime Audio over Wifi, it will also support Group FaceTime, so you can really con your family members into thinking you dropped $1,000 on the latest iPhone and an expensive LTE cellular plan.
Better yet, the iPod touch still has an old-fashioned 3.5mm headphone jack and a lightweight, downright tiny four-inch screen—along with a lightning connector, an 8MP camera, Siri, and more. For $199, you can get it with 32GB. Upgrade to 128GB for $299 and 256GB for $399. It will run iOS 12.
In its release, Apple made sure to highlight its upcoming gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, which will be available in the fall. Arcade will give subscribers over 100 new and exclusive games every month for a flat fee—with no ads—including some impressive titles from both major and indie studios like Sega, Disney, Annapurna Interactive, and Boss. With its updated chip, Apple says the iPod touch will have the power to run them all—including in augmented reality—with two times faster performance and three times better graphics than the previous model.
For gamers who don’t want to invest fully in an Apple smartphone or want a separate device for their games, that’s intriguing. The same goes for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of being shackled to a phone plan.
In the age of vintage comebacks and old-school style, the iPod Touch is hardly retro. But at the pace technology is growing, four years might as well be four thousand years. So we’re calling it a comeback. The new iPod touch is available now from Apple in six colorways: space gray, white, gold, blue, pink, and (PRODUCT)RED. It will drop stores later this week.