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Is Touch 2G waiting on devs for voice apps?

CNET's Donald Bell wonders where the voice apps are for the second-generation iPod Touch.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell
2 min read
Photo of iPhone voice recording application.
There are over 13 recording Apps for the iPhone, but zero for the Touch 2G. What's the holdup?

During last week's review of the second-generation iPod Touch I uncovered something interesting: the new Touch hardware supports recording input through its headphone jack, but there's no software to take advantage of it. It seems odd, but Apple representatives confirmed the details with me by phone. Existing iPhone voice-recording applications aren't yet compatible with the iPod Touch 2G, and Apple hasn't developed their own voice recording application for the Touch, like they have with the 2G Classic and 4G Nano.

So, what needs to happen in order to get recording Apps for the second-generation iPod Touch? Well, first off, Apple needs to release its two headset options (due out in October), which are required to enable the voice recording functions of the latest Classic, Nano, and Touch. So far, we've been able to use the 4G Nano's recording feature by plugging in an old iPhone headset, however, third-party iPhone headsets with in-line microphones don't seem to do the trick.

The second part of the equation is software, and Apple seems to be pointing to application developers to provide the solution. At least, that's the sense I got from Apple last week. Considering that there are over 13 voice-recording Apps written for the iPhone, I shouldn't think it would be too hard to port a few of these existing Apps over to the new Touch.

There's more potential in a microphone-enabled iPod Touch than basic voice memos, however. This thing has VOIP written all over it. Up until now, making a VOIP call on the iPod Touch took some jailbreaking and some unofficial hardware to get the job done.

An official VOIP App might be a tall order from Apple, considering the restrictions it's already placing on Apps that don't fall in line with Apple's own best interests. Personally, I don't think that a VOIP-enabled iPod Touch comes close to competing with the go-anywhere calling ability of the iPhone, but Apple and AT&T may not see things as I do. If so, unofficial VOIP Apps for the iPod Touch will likely be one of the best reasons to jailbreak the device, and an exciting space to watch in the coming months.

Anybody out there hell-bent on getting their iPod Touch to work as a VOIP phone? Be sure to share your ideas and opinions in the comments section.