The iPod iTouch - amazing stuff

Unknown to yours truly, my better half bought me an 8GB iPod iTouch for Christmas and, unlike the iPhone which I continue to view as way overpriced for what it is, I'm quietly impressed with the unit.

Not because of the music and video playback facilities, but with the Web interface, which is based on the same Safari Web browser seen on the iPhone.

Although the iTouch's browser doesn't take standard plug-ins, it is fully Java and ActiveX compliant, which means it can access VPN services, as well as remote access systems such as LogMeIn.com.

LogMeIn.com is an ActiveX-driven piece of software that is installed on a host PC and, using an IP gateway, users can remotely access the host PC across an Internet connection with a basic Web browser.

Unlike most remote PC access software, LogMeIn doesn't route the IP call via its servers. Only the initial authentication is handled by the LogMeIn servers, after which the IP call is handed off to the host PC.

This makes for much better performance and, incredibly, the basic service is free of charge. And because it's an ActiveX-driven client, you can use an iTouch Safari browser to remotely control your PC.

This facility would worth paying for on an iTouch, since it means you have instant-on zoom-screen remote access access to your PC using a device that fits into your pocket.

Obviously you're limited to using the iTouch to do this when within range of a WiFi network, but I am truly impressed.

My experience with the iTouch leads me to believe that Apple will have a killer mobile on its hands when it releases a 3G version of the iPhone next spring - provided, of course, it comes in at a sensible price point.

But that, as they say, is another story entirely...