Hold the phone: New iPod has iPhone qualities

Still, it shares many traits with iPhone. Pressing a button at the bottom of the lovely 3.5-inch display brings you to the home screen. Using Wi-Fi, you can surf the Web via the superb Safari browser. Photos look great. Rotate the device to its side, and sensors automatically switch from portrait to landscape mode. Pinch the screen to bring everything closer.

Inside the music section, you can access Cover Flow by rotating Touch to its side, another stunt borrowed from iPhone. Flick through to browse your collection.

Touch costs $299 for 8 GB (about 1,750 songs) and $399 for 16 GB. Apple says you'll get up to 22 hours of music playback and five hours of video off the battery.

•iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.

With Touch (or iPhone), you can preview 30 seconds of a song and purchase it on the spot, provided you have Wi-Fi access; iPhone owners cannot get to the store via AT&T's Edge network.

The Wi-Fi store was flawless in tests on the Touch, which Apple says will hit retailers later this week. Wi-Fi downloads, which will require a software update for iPhone owners, will also be available by then.

You get there by pressing the iTunes icon on the home screen. You can browse "new releases," "what's hot" and other categories.

You can also search for artists and songs via a virtual keyboard. Start tapping a few letters, and Apple instantly suggests matches. Typing "Cl" brought up Kelly Clarkson, Eric Clapton, Clocks, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, for example.

You have access to the same music as in the regular iTunes Store but not videos or other content. Buying stuff (at the same price as before) is a cinch. It took just a few seconds to download tracks. If a download is interrupted, you can complete the transaction on a computer. Tracks are synced back to your PC or Mac.

E-mail: ebaig@usatoday.com

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