Cheap mobile devices
Which offers the best value: iPhone or iPod Touch?
SPLURGE iPhone 4 at the Apple Store (679 N Michigan Ave, 312-529-9500; 801 W North Ave, 312-777-4200), starting at $199 (plus monthly phone bill, usually around $100)
STEAL iPod Touch at the Apple Store, starting at $229
Admit it: You want an iPhone. You see your friends whip theirs out, taking cool photos with the Hipstamatic app, getting directions and playing Angry Birds, and you get jealous. But you rarely see them actually talking on the devices, thanks to AT&T, recently voted the worst cell-phone service in the country. (Verizon will introduce the iPhone to its network on February 10, which hopefully will improve the AT&T experience without overtaxing Verizon.) Regardless, what you really want are the apps. The iPod Touch can run all the same apps (even the photo ones, now that the Touch is equipped with an HD camera), so you can use the gadget without being tied to a monthly phone bill. Plus, take advantage of the Facetime app, and you can use the iPod as a video phone in Wi-Fi hot spots.
Money saved* with steal: $1,170
*$1,200 saved over one year by not getting phone bill, minus $30 for initial purchase
Great free apps at the Apple App Store
Retro Camera Plus
The Hipstamatic app ($2) makes your photos look old-school analog, but Retro Camera’s free version is just as good and also produces photos inspired by Lomo, Polaroid and other classic cams.
The New York Times
Just think: You’ll never have to read the RedEye on your commute again. This app downloads all the main stories from the Gray Lady, and best of all, a Wi-Fi connection isn’t required to read the content. It’s perfect for iPod Touch users.
Want just a taste of this addictive game? Download the free version. We’re warning you, though: You’ll be hooked in no time.