Hand-held Productivity with the iPod Touch

Written on November 30, 2010. Written by .

I originally bought an iPod touch to use as an electronic dictionary for Japanese. I’ve been quite satisfied with Kotoba, a free Japanese-English dictionary application. Ever since I moved to Japan, I’ve been keeping my iPod touch in my pocket at all times to help with all the Japanese around me. Due to the fact that I’ve always had it with me, I ended up putting it to use in more ways than I originally expected. This made me realize that the iPod touch fulfils a need that I didn’t know I had.

It’s a computer that fits in your pocket and it can be used easily with one hand. This means that I can be productive almost any time my attention is free. I can study while standing on the subway with one hand gripping the railing or holding a bag. And I can look up words in my Japanese dictionary in one hand while typing a text message in Japanese on my cell phone in the other hand. You can’t do these things with a laptop or even an iPad.

I’ve also gotten a lot of use out of my iPod touch while waiting for my friends who were running late, which seems to be always. I just start studying and then I don’t really care too much how late they are because I would be doing the same thing if I was at home. Now I feel that having a hand-held pocket computer is an invaluable asset. Below are my favorite uses for the iPod touch that work anywhere because they don’t require internet access.

There are also a few accessories that I would recommend. The most important is probably a case. I really like the Incipio Silicrylic X Polycarbonate Case (for 2nd or 3rd generation iPod touch, 4th generation is here). I’ve dropped mine a few times and I still can’t notice any visible damage. I also occasionally use a backup battery, for example during flights and train rides. The Energezier XP2000 is extremely small and has the ability to recharge the iPod touch’s battery two times. This unit also works for any USB device – it charges from USB and outputs to USB. Finally, I would recommend a compact USB power adapter like the Apple USB Power Adapter. Again, this will work with any USB device.

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