The iPod Touch was long overdue for a refresh. Three years is a long time for any smartphone- or tablet-class device to stick around, even if the last decade has seen the iPod slide from Apple’s mainstream halo product to being dumped into the “other” section on the company’s earnings reports. The 2012 iPod Touch, for all its good qualities, wasn’t even a cutting-edge gadget at the time.
But no one was expecting a new iPod Touch to jump three processor generations, from the hoary old A5 all the way up to the cutting-edge A8. This is (essentially) the same chip that powers the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it’s in a product that's less than one-third of the price. It’s still smaller and its lack of TouchID or cellular makes it less versatile than a smartphone, of course, but the new iPod Touch is a surprisingly impressive update for a product tucked away in a tiny, vanishing corner of the iOS ecosystem.
Though the new iPod looks the same, its improvements include more than the new processor: a better 8MP camera, upgraded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a new 128GB storage tier, and an M8 motion coprocessor are chief among them. The iPod will only matter for a few very specific audiences, but it now serves that niche extraordinarily well.