Why you want the new iPod touch

iPod touch has often been considered the gateway to the App Store—the least expensive way possible to get into Apple's ecosystem and run iOS apps. That remains as true today as it's always been, but with the new iPod touch 6 there's also a lot more you can do. Yes, it remains the perfect first device for kids, but now it's also become the perfect secondary device for people of all ages.

Couch controller

It's the age of automation and that means almost anything and everything in your home can be controlled by an iOS device. Sure, that can be your iPhone, but if you want something that your whole family can use—including guests—without also having access to all your personal information, an iPod touch is a great alternative.

It can run all the home automation apps—including the new Apple Siri-powered HomeKit compatible ones, and it can live on your couch or coffee table as easily as any outdated hardware remote. Best of all in most cases you can sync settings between devices, so it's always up to date and ready to use.

Philips Hue, Sonos, Apple TV, ChomeCast, and many major TV, set top box, media players, and more all have apps ready to use. Simply check the App Store for your brand!

Pocket camera

The new 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens on the iPhones 6 are fantastic for productivity and creativity, but they're nowhere nearly as pocketable as the 4-inch iPhones of old. The 4-inch iPod touch, however, still is. Not only that, the iPod touch thinner and lighter than any full-on phone radio would allow. Add to that a new 8 megapixel sensor and Apple A8-powerered image processor, and you have pretty much the perfect connected camera that can fit in any pocket.

With iCloud Photo Library—or online access to Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Flickr, and more—you can optimize storage and keep all your pictures and videos safe on the cloud. With a bevy of editors, you can make every picture look just the way you want, and with iMovie, you can assemble videos and create trailers right from the iPod touch.

Then, whenever you're on Wi-Fi, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and even iMessage sharing is just a few taps away.

Music player

The iPod has always been about music and now that includes access to Apple Music and streaming access to not only most of the iTunes catalog, but offline access as well. You can make as many playlists as you like and then download them to keep on your iPod touch when you're away from Wi-Fi.

Because the iPod touch is so small and light, it's easy to jog with or otherwise workout with, and easy to travel with. It's even got an Apple M8 Motion co-processor and the Health app so you can track and keep track of your activity.

Pair it with headphones and it's just for you. Pair it with wireless speakers, and it can fill the whole house. Thanks to Up Next, or do some of the great DJ apps on the App Store, and the iPod touch can even be the center of your party.

Gaming on the go

The new iPod touch comes with an Apple A8 system-on-a-chip. That not only includes Apple's latest generation Typhoon processor, but Rogue series 6 graphics engines. Put Apple's Metal framework on top of that, and, yeah—it's a real screamer.

What's more, with an iPod touch, you don't have to worry about phone calls interrupting you. You can even leave all notifications off and just enjoy some dedicated, disconnected time with your games.

You can even run full-on Unreal for hours in the car, on the bus or plane, or just on the couch without worrying about running down your phone's battery.

Developer device

iOS 9 is now in both developer and public beta—check out our ultimate guide—and that means there's a lot of apps being built, updated, and tested. Since putting betas on your primary device can be risky, the iPod touch has always been the secondary device of choice.

If you've got a whole group—like Apple Camp for Girls—it's an affordable way to get them all onto iOS. If you're by yourself or part of a small team, it's incredibly inexpensive.

Since the new iPod touch has been updated with a 64-bit Apple A8 chipset, it's now on the same platform as the iPhones 6 and iPad Air 2, making it an even better developer and tester device than ever.

And more!

Looking for more great reasons to add an iPod touch to your lineup? With Continuity, you can take and make phone calls with your on your iPod touch as well, making it a handy extension to keep around the house or office. If you've found other great uses for the iPod touch, let me know in the comments!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.