The perfect gift for grandkids or grandparents!

An iPod Touch gives you most of the communication capabilities of a phone without the cost and full time exposure a phone represents.

I think the iPod Touch is the perfect Christmas gift this year for all those tweeners — kids between the age of 8 and 12 — who are not quite a teenager, but don’t tell them that! Beyond that it is also the perfect gift for the rest of us — it does so much, it will truly be a gift that keeps on giving! The iPod Touch shares the iOS5  operating system used on the iPhone and the iPad. Other than connecting to the cellular network, it can do almost anything an iPhone can do.

One of the biggest new features in iOS5 is iMessage, which allows you to send text messages from one Apple device to another for free. Texting is such a popular tool  today that this feature alone makes kids feel as though they have a “real” phone, allowing them to stay in touch with everyone including Grandma and Grandad!

Email and web browsing
An iPod touch has the Safari Web browser built in, meaning the entire Internet is at your fingertips.  A built in email client easily manages both POP and Web mail accounts including Google or Yahoo mail.

Shared calenders
One of the real advantages to having intelligent devices for each family member is the ability to share calendars. This means your kids can put their appointments into their own calendars (in the iPod Touch) and you can share that calendar, keeping you up to date!

Forward and rear facing cameras allow you to do video conferencing using apps like Skype or FaceTime, and take pictures or even record HD video. The quality will amaze you; in fact, as a camera alone the iPod Touch is a great gift.

The iPod Touch also comes with Airplay built in. Want to know more about AirPlay? It is awesome! Check out this post: AirPlay this Christmas is a great idea.

Games and Entertainment
There are thousands of games designed for the iPod Touch. It has become one of the game platforms of choice. And other entertainment options include watching videos on YouTube, or even better, get a NetFlix subscription for the family (around $8 a month) and your kids can watch TV and movies galore on their Touch!

App Store
At the App store you can find productivity and entertainment apps, games and more.

Oh, and it also plays music!

I’m hard pressed to imagine any gift you can get of under $200 that does all this. It is not just for those tweeners — anyone and everyone would love one!

Photo © Andrea Zanchi

Steve Dotto is Canada’s most respected geek. For over 15 years, as host and executive producer of Dotto Tech, a nationally syndicated TV show, Steve has entertained and educated millions of Canadians on all aspects of technology. Steve has a passion for understanding the social impact of technology. His DVD Cybersafe with Steve Dotto , teaches parents and caregivers about the opportunities, dangers and challenges of social networking.