Ay Ay Ay! Which i do I choose?

iPad vs. iPhone vs. iPod Touch

In my last post I spoke of one advantage to owning more than one Apple mobile device: If you purchase an app for your iPhone, it is almost guaranteed to work on your iPad and your iPod Touch as well. One download of a universal app means a copy of the same software on every iDevice you own. But clearly that’s not feasible for everyone. A pastor’s budget is a tight budget, and these days more than ever. So what if you have to choose between them? What if you like what you see in the App Store but you can’t afford more than one gadget?

The iPhone naturally has the advantage of being… well, a phone, as opposed to just a portable computer-like device. Not only does this mean (the obvious) that you can make calls from it, but as such it is likely to be that one device that you take with you everywhere you go. If you have your iPhone, you also have a camera, an agenda, an iPod, etc., etc. The newest iPhone 4S has an amazing voice command/dictation feature called Siri, but on the other hand you can still pick up an older 3GS for free. Either way, the biggest expense by far is going to be the ongoing monthly costs which of necessity include a data plan.

The iPod Touch (from $199) scores points for exacting no monthly fees. It’s perfect for the pastor that already has a phone that he likes (or has to put up with) but drools over some of the iOS apps that are available. The Touch fits perfectly in a shirt pocket, ready to be pulled out for checking your agenda, taking attendance, looking up a quick Bible passage, or reading a bit of Luther while you wait outside a hospital room. And if you have a wireless network available, you can use the Touch as a phone or even video chat thanks to apps like Skype and Facetime.

Many thought the iPad (starting at $499) would be nothing more than an oversized iPod Touch, but the extra real estate allows for increased creativity for designers and greater productivity for users. The result is a screen which feels exactly the right dimensions for individual viewing of web sites, PDF documents, videos and more. Unlike the iPod Touch, the iPad is available in wifi only or 3G versions, so you can sign up for a monthly data plan if you feel you need to have access to the internet at all times.

Each of Apple’s mobile devices has its strengths, but any one of them could prove quite useful in a pastor’s ministry (and personal life). All of them are game-changers, much like the original iPod was 10 years ago this week.