iPods Episode #18: iPod touch Basics

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #18: iPod touch Basics is available. In this video podcast I show the basics that iPod touch and iPhones users should know. Items in this episode:

  • iPod touch runs the iPhone Operating System that is currently at version 3.0
  • Sleep/Wake buttons
  • Slide to unlock
  • Touchscreen information
  • Home screen organization
  • Selection of text
  • Copy & paste
  • Setting up Wi-Fi internet access
  • Turning off keyboard clicks
  • Apple's 100+ page iPod touch manual
  • Go to a web app user guide in iPod touch's Safari at help.apple.com/ipodtouch

Watch all 5 minutes and 27 seconds of Episode #18 to have the basics covered. The transcript is included below.

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This is Learning in Hand: iPods. My name is Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for iPods in teaching and learning. Episode 18, “iPod touch Basics” recorded September 2009, happens now!

No StylusTens of millions of iPod touches and iPhones have been sold. They are so popular because they are great media players, fairly powerful computers, and have a large library of great software applications in the App Store. Also, these handhelds are easy to learn and use. After all, aside from the volume controls, there are only two physical buttons. For most all functions, users simply touch their fingers to the screen. Even though the iPod touch is mostly intuitive to learn, I’d like to take the time to show some of the basics for those who want a jump start.

iPod touches run the iPhone Operating System. That’s right, an iPod touch is so similar to an iPhone that they run the same operating system software. Currently the newest version of iPhone OS is 3.0. iPhone OS 3.0 has some very useful new features like selection of text, cut/copy/paste, and search.

Before we take a peek at those features and other basics, I’d like to talk a moment about those two buttons. The Sleep/Wake button is located on the top of the device. It’s the button you hold down for 5 seconds to turn the iPod on. Or, if the iPod is not powered down, it’s the button to press to wake it from Sleep. You’ll be asked to Slide to Unlock. This way your iPod doesn’t accidentally wake up in your purse or pocket. Then, there’s the Home button. It’s the button with the square on it, just below the screen. Use this button to get back to your listing of Apps no matter what screen or app you’re in.

The touchscreen is designed to work with your fingers. Instead of using a resistive touchscreen that requires a stylus, iPod touch uses a capacitive touchscreen that senses the presence of your finger. That means you don’t have to apply any pressure to the screen--even a very light touch does the trick. If you really want to use a stylus on the screen, you’ll need one specially designed to work with capacitive touchscreens.

Besides tapping, there are others verbs associated with multi-touch, including slide, swipe, pinch, spread, flick, double-tap, two-finger tap, and two-finger slide.

Search Screen GrabIn iPhone OS 3.0, you can swipe to the left of the first Home screen to get a search box. This searches your apps, contacts, and notes. I actually have over 100 apps on my iPod, so I search to launch apps instead of swiping through 8 page of app icons.

I like to have the apps I use most in the dock. That way I can get to them with one tap after pressing the Home button. I like other apps I use often to be on the first page. That’s because when I’m on, say, my fifth page of apps, I can just press that Home button to be taken instantly to the first page of apps. To place your apps in the dock and to place them on the pages you want, just tap and hold one icon. Within seconds they will all jiggle. Now I can drag them wherever I want them. Once you have everything the way you want it, then press the Home button to get that wiggling to stop.

Another useful feature of iPhone OS 3.0 is selection of text. I just tap and hold the screen. Then I move the blue dots to fine-tune my selection. I can tap copy to copy the text for pasting someone else later. To paste, I just tap where I want the pasting to begin and then tap and hold the screen for a moment. Then I tap the Paste button that appears.

Most likely you’ll want to connect iPod touch to a Wi-Fi network. Do that in the Settings App. If the Wi-Fi access point requires a password, you’ll be asked for it. However, next time you are in proximity to this network, iPod touch remembers the settings.

Turn off clicksWhile you’re in the Settings app, you might want to turn off Keyboard Clicks in the General section under Sounds. If iPod touch is being using in a classroom, those clicks can be very disruptive and annoying (unless earbuds are being used) because each keystroke makes an audible noise.

If the little pamphlet that came with your iPod doesn’t satisfy your need for information, Apple has a 121-page manual in PDF form online for your reading pleasure. You might find the information about the ins and outs of syncing with iTunes particularly helpful.

Also, Apple has a web app called iPod touch User Guide. A web app is a website that’s specially formulated for an iPod touch’s screen. So, you can go to the address on your screen in the Safari app on your iPod to read the guide.

There you have it. Some of the basics of using iPod touch. And that’s it for Episode 18. Thank you very much for watching!