In all of the exciting steps forward that were eagerly presented at Apple’s WWDC yesterday, there was a quiet bullet point that confirmed that the end of the line has been reached for an iconic product in a legendary family. Following the announcement in May that production of the iPod Touch would be halted, WWDC reviled that the next version of iOS will not be available for the iPod Touch.
And with those two steps, support for the last iPod moved from the equivalent of “active’ through “supported” to “legacy”.
For all of the emotion that lies behind the iPod name, there comes a point when the cost to support hardware outweighs both the monetary and the emotional benefit. The time has come for the iPod Touch to join the rest of the iPod range, and other classic Apple products such as the PowerBook, the AirPort wireless router and Time Capsule, and the Newton PDA.
Although Apple is not reaching into your pocket and switching off your iPod Touch, the lack of iOS updates will mean your experience will degrade over time as app developers keep pace with the latest versions of iOS and make their own decisions on when to stop supporting the older builds.
If you’re looking for a practical example, the sixth generation of iPod Touch devices can run iOS 12, but nothing more. While many apps still run on the device, others which are still under active development can no longer run; I’d cite the BBC iPlayer app here.
One area where Apple has updated older versions of its operating systems – even after it has moved on to later versions – is security. Hopefully, any critical security issues around the iPod Touch will be dealt with through over the air updates in the same way that older generations of the iPod Touch have received the latest protection.
Apple’s iPod journey is coming to an end, but the impact of the music player can be seen across the current range. While the fashion streaming music services, the rise of on-demand video, and the expectation of developers and users towards larger screens in their personal devices have left the iPod Touch behind the curve, the media player and its siblings have left a mark on Apple that can never be forgotten.
Now read the latest iPhone, iPad, and Mac headlines in Forbes weekly Apple Loop news column…