What is the difference between the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch?

The iPhone and iPod touch look very similar to each other, and the iPad looks like a larger version of the other two. They all run the same operating system and run most of the same apps. However there are some key differences:

iPad

  • the only one of the three that is a proper tablet
  • available with Wi-Fi only or with Wi-Fi and 4G
  • 25cm screen (the largest of all three)
  • available with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage
  • up to 10 hours of battery life (based on watching videos and listening to music)

iPhone

  • the only one of the three that can be used as a phone
  • available with Wi-Fi and 3G (and 4G depending on the model)
  • built in GPS receiver (needed for satellite navigation)
  • voice activated intelligent assistant (Siri)
  • 10cm to 15cm screen, depending on the model
  • available with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 11 hours of video playback, 50 hours of audio playback or 14 hours of talk time on 3G (based on iphone 6).

iPod touch

  • available with Wi-Fi only
  • available with 8GB, 32GB or 64GB storage
  • up to 7 hours of video playback and 40 hours music playback
  • 9cm screen

While iPhones and the iPod Touch aren't considered tablets because of the small screen, the operating software and screen reader are the same as those in the iPad, and if you're not bothered about the screen, then they make very good - and very portable - replacements. With the addition of a small Bluetooth keyboard or a 20-cell braille display with input keys - you've got a machine that you can do all your email and web work on, that fits in your handbag or coat pocket.

For low vision users of any of these devices who require the built-in magnification, using the on-screen keyboard is problematic. It is possible to use a Bluetooth keyboard with it, and an iPad dock is also available.

Further information can be found on our Beginner's guide to computers, laptops and tablets web pages.

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