10 Apps To Make Your iPod Touch as Awesome as an iPhone

The iPod has come a long way since 2001. The second generation model sitting on my desk doesn’t have a color screen, weighs enough to be used as a self-defense aid and does little else than play music (though block breaker was a pretty cool feature at the time).

My iPod Touch on the other hand is an astonishing technological feat rivaling that of the iPhone. However, there are definitely a few major features that iPhone users enjoy that I miss out on. Fortunately, several app developers are on the task of closing this feature gap and have significantly extended the functionality of the iPod Touch.

Today we’ll look at ten apps that help make your iPod Touch a lot cooler by mimicking some of the basic features found on iPhones.

Why Not Just Get an iPhone?

If you’re an iPod Touch owner, odds are, you really wanted an iPhone but were ultimately forced to settle for less (not always the case, but true for so many). This is an all too common story due to the several hurdles that stand in the way of many would-be customers who would gladly fork over $300 for a shiny new iPhone.

The biggest hurdle for many US inhabitants is AT&T. This story typically goes one of two ways. One group of people has finally decided that they don’t care who their carrier is as long as they can have an iPhone. Unfortunately though, they’re trapped in a multi-year contract with another carrier and refuse to pay the cancellation fees for early termination.

The second group of people loathe AT&T and will never switch. Some of these people have just had bad experiences, others have never even tried the carrier but abstain because of poor reviews from friends and family.

One final group of iPod Touch owners simply refuse to pay for data plans from any carrier. Simple flip phones void of apps, touch screens and full-featured web browsers make phone calls just fine for half the monthly fee.

Whatever your reason may be for not getting an iPhone, the truth is that an iPod Touch is an awesome alternative. It does nearly everything the iPhone does with only a few notable exceptions.

Let’s take a look at a few of the major missing features along with ten apps and/or devices that you can use to address the problem.

Phone Calls

The first and most obvious feature is the ability to make phone calls. The iPhone is a phone, the iPod Touch isn’t. It’s as simple as that. Neither the hardware nor the software were built with this intention in mind, so can it be done?

Let’s talk about hardware first. The most recent models of the iPod Touch feature support for the Apple mic/remote headphones, meaning that they can in fact handle both the audio-in and audio-out aspects of a phone conversation. The bonus is that these calls can often be made completely free of charge and void of any contracts.

Unfortunately, the iPod hardware doesn’t have cellular capability so the software solution will have to be VoIP. With the options below you’ll essentially be making phone calls over your WiFi connection.

Skype

“With Skype on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, you can make and receive calls, and instant message anyone else on Skype, wherever they are in the world. You can also save on international calls and text messages to phones. Skype is free to download and easy to use.”

Price: Free

screenshot

Skype

Acrobits Softphone – SIP phone for VoIP calls

“Use your iPhone [and iPod Touch] to make inexpensive calls over the internet anywhere. Call International destinations for pennies a minute. Call friends on the same network for free. Save on roaming charges by using the Softphone to make calls while abroad. Set up multiple SIP accounts and switch between them depending on who has the best rate for your call destination. Make calls through your office PBX, using your business number from anywhere.”

Price: $7.99

screenshot

Acrobits Softphone

iCall Free VoIP

“Selected as a New York Times App of the Week, iCall is used by over 4,000,000 people worldwide. iCall is changing the way people around the globe communicate. iCall allows you to make and receive phone calls over 3G and WiFi, even when you don’t have a cell signal. Never pay a roaming charge again!”

Price: Free

screenshot

iCall Free VoIP

fring

“fring is a multi-award winning mobile application that lets you make free voice calls, free video calls and live IM chats directly from your iPhone and iPod touch. fring operates as your mobile social hub. Communicate with your friends from fring and other favorite social services including MSN Messenger, GoogleTalk™, Twitter, Yahoo! , AIM, ICQ, all through one central profile, using your iPhone and iPod touch’s internet capability.”

Price: Free

screenshot

fring

Text Messaging

Another basic phone feature not found on the iPod Touch is text messaging. This feature can be even more important to many users as text messaging continues to become more popular than even calling.

Fortunately, there are a plethora of texting apps available for the iPod Touch that allow you to send free texts to whoever you want. Here are a few to try out.

Textfree Unlimited

“Yep, send and receive unlimited free texts from an iPod touch or iPhone to any US mobile phone. No catch, no hidden anything, no yearly fees!”

Price: Free

screenshot

Textfree Unlimited

AIM

AIM doesn’t just do instant messaging, it also supports Facebook chat and SMS texting as well. It’s an awesome all-in-one messaging solution that gives you access to tons of your friends across various networks, all free!

Price: Free

screenshot

AIM

Textie

“The creators of Tweetie and Borange are proud to present Textie Messaging, the unlimited texting app for iPhone and iPod touch. If you and a friend both have iPhones but are still paying to text each other, we definitely recommend you try using Textie Messaging instead–and communicate for free.”

Price: Free

screenshot

Textie

Camera

Despite unceasing customer demands, Apple has yet to put a camera in the iPod Touch. It’s interesting to note that if you pay $149 for an iPod Nano, you get a neat video camera, but if you fork out the extra dough and pay $199 for an iPod Touch, you get zilch.

This is definitely a temporary problem. With Apple promising to sell millions of FaceTime compatible devices, you can bet they’re going to start sticking cameras in both iPod Touches and iPads sometime in the near future (likely in the next couple months).

In the mean time, iPod Touch owners will have to remain without a solution for taking pictures… or will they?

DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition

This handy app allows you to control your Canon EOS or Nikon DSLR camera. You can “instantly adjust its settings, fire the shutter, review images, even get a live viewfinder preview.”

Technically, this app allows you to take pictures using your iPod. However, this is ultimately nothing like having a built-in camera (cut me some slack, it’s all I could find). Most people don’t have a 5D lying around and even if they do you still have to connect the camera to your computer making this solution not very mobility-friendly. But for any photographers out there, this is definitely a pretty neat app!

Price: $19.99

screenshot

DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition

Internet Access on the Go

The most significant annoyance I run into as an iPod Touch owner is simply the fact that I often can’t connect to the web when I’m outside of my house. Fortunately, I live in a major city and hotspots are plentiful, but there are still lots of dead zones where I simply can’t connect.

The best way to rid yourself of this problem is to pick up a personal mobile hotspot such as the MiFi. These awesome little guys provide wireless Internet access to any Wifi enabled devices from anywhere that you would normally have cell service.

As another option, Sprint is rumored to be releasing a new product called “Peel” that is essentially a mobile hotspot wrapped in an iPod Touch case. This would allow iPod Touch owners to seamlessly experience the same kind of freedom that iPhone users enjoy.

Unfortunately, these options all come with fat monthly fees (my research indicates around $30-40/month on the low end). Since many iPod Touch owners see having no contract or monthly fee as a major bonus, this will likely still leave a large part of the market sticking to pure WiFi.

For these users, the best you can do is download an app to help you find local WiFi hotspots so that you can easily know if the place you’re going will have coverage or not.

Wi-Fi Finder

“Quickly and easily find FREE or paid Wi-Fi when you travel with the JiWire Wi-Fi Finder for iPhone and iPod Touch. Download all of the locations offline, so you know how to stay connected when you are on the road. ”

Price: Free

screenshot

Wi-Fi Finder

Spots – The WiFi Hotspot Directory

“Spots is a fast and beautiful hotspot directory containing half a million hotspots worldwide. Since Spots works offline, you can find hotspots from the included database. Spots does not use Wi-Fi to scan for nearest access points, nor does it contact any web services.”

Price: $1.99

screenshot

Spots

Conclusion

Unfortunately, the iPhone will likely always remain at least a little cooler than the iPod Touch. However, apps like those found above will continue to push the bounds of the iPod making it ever closer to an all-in-one media and communication device free from any contracts and not tied to a specific service provider.

Leave a comment below and let us know what apps you use on your iPod Touch to make it feel a bit more like an iPhone!


  • Redwall_hp

    Almost. I won’t pay for *any* phone plan until they drop to a reasonable price. I want data and maybe a few monthly voice minutes for $20-$30 a month.

    • http://www.mobilepornwebcams.com Mobile Chat

      Whatever your reason may be for not getting an iPhone, the truth is that an iPod Touch is an awesome alternative.

    • Steven

      Virgin moble 25 a month unlimited text web and data with 300 talking min

      • Jasmine

        Yeah, too bad it doesn’t cover where I live or work. ):

      • eric

        they do not sell apple products you have to buy a unlocked phone to do that

    • http://iwish ipodtouchowner101

      I wish their was one app for the iPod Touch that you can text and call with no wifi and you have no minutes and you can have a REAL phone number . I wish someone can help me !!!

      • http://iwish ipodtouchowner101

        Well I tried google play I tried almost every single app. Like srsly this stinks. I do have iMessage but all my friends that have iPod Touches has the other version of iPod Touch and doesn’t have imessage! -.-

      • monkey

        well you can have an app with a phone number if u create it

      • laurentouch

        i wish they had the same thing because at my house we dont have wifi soo i have to walk in to town like every day to download an app or too try set up i message. it stinks soo i think there should be an app that you can text or call with out wifi.

        ohhh by the way they need to make a justin bieber background’s app thats dosn’t use wifi too!

      • Johnathan

        I also wish you could make phone calls or texts w/out wifi. The only times that I ever need to do so are when I am away from home, and those are also the only times that I usually do not have wifi. This is very annoying.
        The iPod Touch 4 should either be able to act as a cell-phone, or at least have something like tracfone where you can buy minutes (which you only are required to do every 90 days and the cheapest minute cards are $20 each).

    • Erin

      virginmobileusa.com 35 a month for unlimited data and texting and 300 minutes

  • Jacob

    I’m sick of people complaining about phone plans. You think you have it bad? You should see what we have to put up with here in New Zealand :/

    I have an iPod Touch because when I got it the iPhone wasn’t available in NZ, and it was out of my budget anyway. But I am planning on getting an iPhone 4 because of the convenience of having 1 device and the fancy features like 3G (I don’t have a 3G phone yet), GPS and the 5MP camera.

    Great article too. When I get my iPhone I’ll probably use Skype a bit, and I’ll have to give Textie a try out :)

    • macexpert

      u should get google voice

  • Bryan

    $20-30/month? LOL

    • Wicked b! tch

      Cheap cheap cheaper.

      • gabby

        u mke no sense

  • Avery

    can you text people with out ipod touch/iphone with the app textie

  • djducky

    thts just for texting i already have textfree and line2 i thought it will show like the features the
    i phone carries.

    djducky

  • Grace

    I use textplus 4 for free and it works awesome! I showed someone my iPod touch and she said ” why do I have a phone?”

    • Autumn

      I bet that was a funny moment! My friend really wants an ipod touch and she has a phone. But I think she wants it for games even though her family owns an ipad. For mainly personal reasons I guess.

  • Ashley

    Great article, love the interest in apps that I can get once I get one. certainly bookmarked this. For someone like me who doesn’t have a mommy and daddy to be paying all my bills I would rather have extra cash in my pocket by having a cheap but cute looking cell phone and a ipod touch. I recently went to see how much it would cost to get a iphone (or any smartphone) from verizon since i am due for an update and found that after paying the huge price tag for the cell phone iteself you not only have to pay the $30 data package but also if you go over the Gigs you use you have to pay for that too. And when asked about what I can do about stopping the phone before it goes over they simply told me I would have to set some profile thing online for my cell with their company to track my data so I won’t go over. Does anyone realize how many pages people look up online for a short time!?! yeah, so i went to look for a target pay as you go phone but still their deals are a bit much as well with little as 300 mins a month. So thank you for your article, even tho some info is a little out of date due to the new ipod touch it certainly help me decide that the ipod touch is for me. thanks

  • teo yu ting

    i tried finding text message+calling app for my ipod touch on the app store. but i couldn’t find some of them. i want an apps which does not require a charge to the credit card because mine is ipod

    • Stix

      Google voice does call n text but not pic message pinger u can text n pic message free all day but calls require u to buy time but start with free min

  • http://usa hello

    i this so stipd

    • fullofwin

      Says the guy who can’t spell simple words.

      • Autumn

        Exactly, if he wasn’t playing.

  • Brittany

    I was looking up information like this about the ipod touch because unfortunately I’m only a teenager and my parents don’t allow me to text yet because of the prices you have to pay and we can’t afford it. I heard some of my friends say that they texted using their ipod touch and thought “Wow! This would be perfect for me if it didn’t charge you!” But how does it work? Do they charge at all? Please answer these questions. I just made a quick skim through this webpage so I didn’t read all of it but please help and recommened apps that would be great for when I get my new ipod touch. Thanks!

    • JNel

      Do some research. Hell read the article. If you really cared whether its free or not you’d actually do read it.

    • courtney 1998:)

      uhhhhhh you can download the textie or the text free nlimited….. – bye!! :)

    • Jouliana

      You can use TextPlus, totally free and you text as much as you want!. I have been using it for almost 4 years and never paid a penny! :)

    • Autumn

      There are many apps where you can have your own text #, and calling # for free. Only on most of the text ones you have to pay for calling. If you want text, textfree is great, but if you want calling, Talkatone is awesome! It uses google voice and you get to pick your own # and everything! Most usefull app I’ve ever had, other than the appstore of course!

    • http://donthaveoneyetsorry Amy

      Yes, I know some that are free! Textie, textfree, fring, textfree unlimited, and AIM. Probably more too but those are the best! :D I dont have an iTouch yet but I’m saving up. I’m at 120 dollars. Just a little more!!! :)

      • Elias

        I just got an new iTouch on eBay for $70, and I bet you could do the same with $120.

  • daja

    how do u get the free wi-fi . texing and calling on your ipod touch

    • gabby c.

      you cant get free wifi anywhere you go you can only get it at your house if u hav wifi and only some places like hyvee and mcdonalds.

      • http://Maybe ipodtouchowner101

        I heard their was this app for the iPod Touch.
        It is called Wi-Fi Finder So basically when you’re traveling you can get wi-fi anywhere you want. I don’t have that on my iPod Touch I wasn’t quite sure if this was going to be a good app so I may need to try this. But it had good reviews so I am basically saying this might be a good app. Try It Out! Maybe it works ;)

        -Hope This Helped

  • Idora

    This is really helpful for people who are open minded that knows their way around mobile technology and honestly knows that having an iphone 4 is a freakjhjfhgd RIP OFF!

  • Sage

    I use textfree and it’s 100% totally free and works great. I deffinantly recommend it.

  • Jordan

    I’m 13 and heres my question. Okay, for christmas im getting the 4G Ipod Touch and does’nt it already come with messaging, and call capaility?

    • Jordan

      Sorry, i ment *Capability.

      • Michael

        No, but there are plenty of apps to make it function like that I recommend just getting 1. Skype for video chat 2. Textfree for texting and 3. Voip for calls

    • Nick

      Yes, there is iMessage that comes with it, but it is not a number, its and email. It does not come with a phone app, but I recommend iCall.

  • makayla jones

    i wont one please

  • Kjhummingbird

    anyone know if you have a ipod touch whether or not you can put you texts convo’s on facebook and such? Like on damnyouautocorrect.com?

    • fullofwin

      If you’re texting between iOS devices (ipod touch, iPhone, iPad) then it uses apple’s iMessage, which you can take screencaps of, though I’m not sure about 3rd party apps. I guess you’ll just have to experiment a bit :)

  • Me

    So this is what it’s going on… I am deciding in either getting an Ipod 4th generation or an Iphone for my birthday. I already have a cellphone and the fee is $60/monthly. Which is of course, difficult for my parents to pay it and sometimes I need to wait a couple of weeks to have service again. So, I don’t know if I should get an Ipod 4th generation and download the free txt app, and from what I read you can also free calls app? but you need to have internet in order to be able to use it? and where I live I don’t have internet cause the modem broke, so I was also wondering if with the Iphone you can also do the same thing? So maybe I could desconnect the actual phone I have and only use the Ipod or Iphone to communitcate… So, what do you guys think would be better?

    • Michael

      Why would you need another phone if you had an iphone?

  • Bitbag

    Hey,
    it’s hard to choose between iphone and ipod.
    iPhones and iPods generally look similar, but in terms of features
    iPhone gives you;
    -net everywhere (dataplan contract with telco)
    -phone (imho terribly expensive if not used only for sms and a few 1 minute calls)
    -awesome compact computer
    iPod gives you
    -awesome compact computer (with wifi capability)
    But:
    IF you want to use those awesome applications actually you are paying with battery lifetime. Having an iPhone it will put you in the situation where you wont use the apps because you don’t want to loose your only communication device. So
    if you want to use that computer you loose contact with the world.
    iPhone or iPod in 2011 – the best option is to have a cellphone (should be able to send and receive sms and should be prepaid so you see costs and telco cant bill you €$£¥*) and an ipod that you can actually enjoy because its a full featured computer, photo camera, voice capable, smooth display, THIN delice.

  • Meeee

    get a google voice number than use it on the itouch the 4g now has a built in mic
    google voice has free u.s. calls compatible with your regular phone too so when you have cell service but not wifi you can still make and recive calls.
    voice.google.comm

  • i wuz hea

    get a google voice number than use it on the itouch the 4g now has a built in mic
    google voice has free u.s. calls compatible with your regular phone too so when you have cell service but not wifi you can still make and recive calls.
    voice.google.com

  • Natalie

    I just got every single free app on this page and hopefully they all work :)

  • Donna

    Does anyone know of a free app for my Itouch (no phone) that works globally??

    • Jouliana

      Text Plus. All Free.

  • http://febuary4th rebecca

    noone cares about iphone i am 2 yung to have an iphone i just care about an ipod touch

  • Charlette

    Wow thanks these helped a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bc

    Talkatone
    free calls and text
    calls can be made free to any USA or Canada number. Need wifi but any of the calling apps do.
    also text plus is free text anywhere and if you know someone with the same application it’s also free calls anytime.

  • http://socool ManRAmo yo mama

    awsome artical you should wright one about best apps to play and also i was gonna get a phone but not any more cuz the ipod just got better

  • Blb

    If u get internet does it act as wifi

    • Amy

      internet works with wifi. u can have internet, but 2 make it work u need wifi. confusing rite?

  • joey

    thats why you get a blackberry. i got a 25 dollar plan every month and i have unlimited texting, and 200 free calling plus unlimited calling to 10 free numbers.

    • http://IrecommendSamsungGalaxyS3 ipodtouchowner101

      Hi Guys. I heard you probably all like the iPhone 5/4/4s
      Well, I don’t really like the iPhone because I heard it is having bad reviews it gets glitchy and all that stuff. I read up on it, I was going to get the iPhone but Instead I got Samsung Galaxy S3 It’s Nice & Big. Wide/Fat.
      And has the BEST TECHNOLOGY EVER! It’s aboulutely Amazing.
      I recommend the Samsung Galaxy S3.
      & Also It had better reviews.
      p.s I only like the iPod because it’s nice to fit in you’re hand, and it has some good wi-fi and all that jazz. ;)

  • michelle

    i like the icall free voip app but how do i get my own number? cause whenever i try it says buy for 10$ but i thought it was free.?

    • http://Help Playful

      Try
      Pinger for free tex free call and it give opsions to shose ur number

    • Amy

      textfree gives u a free number 2 call & text w/ and no pay @ all

  • Janseyy

    If u want to…. I tried this and it worked.. Make ur ipid touch a hotspot go to http://www.jailbreakme.com jailbreak then go into Cydia then search for iPod touch hotspot creator then get the free or paid app then follow the instructions after that

    • Amy

      thanx so much for that link! it helps a lot! :)

  • cry baby

    dardy but the camerra one is bull crap

  • makes sense

    just reading over some of the comments left. one really important thing you have to remember is that the free text and video calling can only be used if you are near a wifi connection. which means you cant text while you walk to the store..or while you are in a car..or on the bus..etc. i can only use mine at home or when im at a place which offers wifi connection like starbucks or mcdonalds. i used to have a pre-paid phone from virgin mobile which gave me unlimited data plan and texting for only 25 a month. of course talking was like .15 cents a minute…which was not bad since i (like most people im guessing) did way more texting than actual voice calls. im interested to see if the “hotspot” app that Jansey mentioned is real. if it is then i’d say thats the answer to turning your ipod into a iphone.

  • http://Help Playful

    Is there an app that i can download for my ipod, so i can get internet on it all the times then having to find wifi places just so i can get internet
    ??? Just a ?

  • bryce namezo

    hey it shall be helpfull info mateis

  • Kayla

    I have text now it is AWESOME it’s free you do not have to pay anything

  • Amy

    try http://chpwn.com/apps/ btw is there an app or something were u can have 2 servers? I want 2 share an iTouch w/ me sister but we want like seperate accounts

  • http://hitherenotarealsite Amy

    try http://chpwn.com/apps/ btw is there an app or something were u can have 2 servers? I want 2 share an iTouch w/ me sister but we want like seperate accounts…..i wonder how

  • d

    this sucks nothing without using itunes

    • http://febuary20th izzy

      i wish there was an app that you could get free music fast and not have to sign up for things.

      • Guest

        dude…there has been since about 2010…

  • Steph

    TextPlus. I hands down love it. I don’t have an iPhone because I’m simply not in a position to fork over $80 a month for a data plan.

  • Stacy

    Thanks so much the texting app that I have doesn’t get calls well I wish there was a way to alway have wifi on my iPod touch I tell my friends it better then a iPhone the only thing that sucks if that you have to have wifi to use it :p

  • AWESOMENESS

    IM AWESOMENESS

  • Sarah

    “iCall allows you to make and receive phone calls over 3G and WiFi, even when you don’t have a cell signal. Never pay a roaming charge again!”

    If I was to buy a smartphone that doesn’t have coverage in my area, could I download this and use it?

  • Ariel Culbertson

    I think that these apps are stupid, I got them and I hate them. Some of you may like to disagree but I am sticking to my opinion.

  • Hayden

    Okay, so Most of these Text apps have annoying adds… Are there any without the adds?

  • George

    I need a calling app that ain’t need any wifi

  • sweezy

    i have a iphone with no sim in it and it is 4.2.1 what is a good app

  • http://febuary20 izzy

    i have an ipod touch and i need an app text like it looks on iphones and with no wifi because if i go some were like the skating rink i have to text my friends and they dont have public internet wifi! it sucks.

  • http://[email protected] Emmanuel abonce

    It’s going to be awesome

  • http://android-iphone.webnode.com/products-/productscbm_472122/10/ Android Apps

    Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to know a lot about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I feel that you can do with some % to force the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • Angela

    I found a new app it’s free they give u a number and give that out to people you can text for free and to get minutes all you have o do is watch a video and it gives you 2 minutes. But you can watch that video as many times as you want I have I really like it it is called textnow

  • BiRr

    Those of u guys who asks for an app that don’t use a wifi and still calls and text, please fags we are not on 32th century. It can’t be possible for a device to communicate with other device with out a medium of communicator!!!!! Grow up

    • Someone?

      lol

  • Joni

    Ok so I have been reading Mr. Money Mustache. A regular guy who retired early and he talks about all kinds of ways to save money.. He recently got a $10/mo phone plan but what I found even more interesting is he found a mobile hotspot device that costs $90 to buy and you get 500 megabytes/mo. of data without any monthly fees or hidden costs. Once you buy it you can always use it.. but now if you go over your 500 megabytes a month.. Anyway this would be a great alternative to anyone who needs to pick up wifi in an area where there isn’t any from time to time. I primarily use my wifi at home but sometimes I don’t have a signal either so I am looking in to it. Here’s the link http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/03/12/a-side-dish-of-free-data-for-your-cheap-iphone-plan/

  • Kit-Kat

    Why Skype? There is FaceTime. Why txt app? It comes w/w 1.

  • hfde

    not very helpful but oh
    well

  • hfde

    yall are weird

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