General Question

anthony81212's avatar

Reason for the iPod Touch's "rounded rectangle" antenna?

Asked by anthony81212 (389points) September 20th, 2008

I’m wondering why the iPod Touch has a little dark-gray, almost-black rounded rectangle where the wireless antenna is. Is this supposed to help wireless reception?

Also, new in the iPod Touch Gen2, there is a bluetooth antenna. The antenna is located on the top of the iPod, the opposite side of the wireless antenna, where there is no rounded rectangle.

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13 Answers

XCNuse's avatar

the reason for the plastic is because the metal gives bad reception against the antennas, that’s why you see a lot of unhappy macbook pro people because their antennas are behind the aluminum casing and they get less signal than the plastic macbook owners.

it doesn’t act to boost it, instead the plastic is there so that it gets less [bad] interference.

as for the 2nd gen ipod touch, that isn’t bluetooth, that is the nike + adapter

intro24's avatar

Yeah, pretty much for better signal reception. As for the Bluetooth antenna, that is in fact a Nike+ adapter and there is no plastic there because a. It would look really stupid and b. it doesn’t need better reception since it only has to receive signals from a transmitter in your shoe.

intro24's avatar

Gizmodo 1
Gizmodo 2
Gizmodo 3
Gizmodo 4

There is a chance that it might have Bluetooth but Apple has denided it (see Gizmodo 3). Who knows. Regardless, there is still no need for a plastic antenna because signals only have to go from pocket to ear.

XCNuse's avatar

even if it is a bluetooth chip it doesn’t work with any bluetooth software or anything, you can’t actually use it as a bluetooth chip it can only connect to the nike+ adapter which uses SRF which is what bluetooth is <30 ft.

even if it was a bluetooth chip it doesn’t matter, look at the iphone, its bluetooth adapter hardly supports bluetooth headsets.

waterskier2007's avatar

it is bluetooth, because that is what the nike+ adapter is, but so far you cant use it for actual bluetooth stuff

jballou's avatar

It’s not bluetooth, it just uses the same frequency that bluetooth does.

And the plastic is there for the W-Fi antennae, as it was there on the 1st Gen iPod touch, which didn’t have the Nike+ built in.

waterskier2007's avatar

it is bluetooth. they just dont have bluetooth services enabled. just because it doesnt “do bluetooth” does not mean it is not a bluetooth chip

intro24's avatar

I agree with jballou. It is similar to Bluetooth, uses the same frequency as Bluetooth, and could probably work with Bluetooth with a little tweaking on Apple’s part. It’s close. But the point is that it wasn’t designed to work with Bluetooth and it currently doesn’t play nice with Bluetooth. So as far as I’m concerned it is close to, but ultimately not technically Bluetooth.

I rest my case.

waterskier2007's avatar

well unfortunately in the technical aspect, your case is wrong. it is “technically” bluetooth

intro24's avatar

Wherever then. I think we’ve gone far enough with this Bluetooth thing. It is Bluetooth but it is currently limited to Nike+ shoes. Let’s try to get back on topic or end this.

ukasaka's avatar

I’ve read that the rectangular plastic antenna on the iPod touch is due to the fact that wifi signals reflect of of metal and make wifi under the metal skin of a device useless or unaffective. Bluetooth uses different technology that is unaffected by that.

tonedef's avatar

Averyone already answered the question. The steel inadvertently acts as an RF shielding membrane.

And if we’re talking about the BCM4325 CHIP, then yes, it is a bluetooth chip. It is also an FM receiver. If we’re talking about the device with legit Apple firmware, then the iPod touch is NOT a bluetooth-ready device. But give the jailbreaking community two months, and you’ll have wireless syncing! Maybe. But definitely bluetooth-capability of some kind.

Also, @ukusaka, Bluetooth and 802.11 wifi are both radio-spectrum EMR, and are susceptible to RF shielding effects. That plastic patch is there for the wifi, the bluetooth, and maybe even one day the FM receiver.

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