Upgrading your iPod touch to 1.1.3 isn't seamless, but it does bring welcome changes.

In all the hubbub over the announcement and release of the iPhone 1.1.3 software update, the existence of the same-numbered update for the iPod touch and the £12.99 package of application updates for the iPod was somewhat overlooked. We put the update through its paces. Here's what we found:

Installation

Before we started, for a fair test, we restored our iPod touch to a near-virgin 1.1.2 state.

We then fired up Software Update and downloaded and installed iTunes 7.6 and QuickTime 7.4. We were soon back to a familiar iTunes screen where the program informed us that a new version of the iPod software was available. The 165MB iPod 1.1.3 software update downloaded and, eventually installed on the iPod.

The process wasn't completely seamless. Twice the iPod touch displayed the “Connect to iTunes” icon. After unplugging the iPod a couple of times and then forcing it to restart by holding down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for about 10 seconds, iTunes finally installed the update successfully.

iPod touch January software update

Currently the most painless way to get the iPod touch the iPhone's Mail, Maps, Weather, Stocks, and Notes applications is to purchase Apple's £12.99 iPod touch January Software Update.

Like the iPhone running software version 1.1.3, we could also have multiple Home screens. To proceed we clicked Go to Software Upgrade.

Is this a sign of things to come when third-party apps arrive?

Well, although Apple hasn't stated so specifically, it's likely that the next screen gives us a hint of how the iTunes Store will handle third-party applications when the iPhone SDK is released in February.

On this screen you see a nice illustration of what the upgrade will do to your iPod touch, the title of the upgrade, who it's from, its year of release, its price, and finally a Buy Software button. Click the button and it's very much like clicking any other iTunes Buy button. You confirm your Apple ID and password in a dialog box and the software downloads to your PC and the update is applied.

Again, not seamless. It appeared that the updated downloaded but the iPod failed to show the new icons. We attempted to download the software again, and iTunes kindly told us that we'd already purchased it but that it had failed to download. As suggested, we clicked ok but nothing happened.

We then chose Check For Purchases from the Store menu. Again, no dice. We finally just let iTunes sit for awhile and unplugged the iPod and then plugged it in again. This time the software downloaded and installed.

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