Step 2 is the hard part.

Matt Ginzton writes here.

Apple iOS Devices and Their Crazy Dependency on iTunes

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I just bought a new iPod Touch to replace the iPhone 3G I sacrificed to the gods of Machu Picchu.

I took it out of the packaging, turned it on, and found: it immediately demanded that I connect it to iTunes, and was entirely useless until I did so.

This is ostensibly so that I can restore it from a backup of an existing iOS device if I’m upgrading from an older one, and also so that I can sync music and videos and apps and stuff to it, and also so that it gets backed up.

Still, without ever syncing music etc. from a computer, it’s useful purely over the (wi-fi) network connection; I wanted to add my email and iTunes App Store credentials and then I’d be able to download apps, check email, and browse the web. Or, I should say, would be useful for all this if I didn’t have to go find a computer and plug it in just to do nothing.

(Plenty of other similar devices — Palm Pre, Amazon Kindle, and, I presume though I don’t own any, Android phones — manage to be useful out of the box and over the air without ever needing to connect to a computer, though of course you can do this optionally if you want to, up front or later, to sync media.)

To make things worse, I’m not home; I’m visiting my sister and her family. So I had to borrow her computer just to activate my iPod Touch. Even though iTunes asked me what iTunes account to use to register the device — it was signed in as her, and I signed out and signed back in as myself — it used my account only for the registration step, but on the iPod Touch itself, it went ahead and configured her iTunes account, which I had to undo later.

I’m also somewhat dreading that when I do get home, and want to add music to this iPod, I’ll have to sync it with a computer I actually own, and that doing so will make me have to start over with all the things I did today — adding email accounts, installing apps, and then configuring my credentials for these apps. I hope not.