PDA

View Full Version : Combined or Separate Phone / PDA



anaami
1st May 2007, 10:32 PM
My trusty Palm Zire 72 PDA has just died and my Nokia 2600 mobile is having some problems.

I'm exploring the option of getting a mac-compatbile Phone / PDA combo (such as a Palm Treo 680) and wanted to get some feedback from you guys about:

a. whether people have found the combined products to be as good as individual phones/PDAs of the same price

b. whether I'd be better to wait a few months for the iPhone

jamesatfish
1st May 2007, 11:34 PM
a. whether people have found the combined products to be as good as individual phones/PDAs of the same price

b. whether I'd be better to wait a few months for the iPhone

a. After running a Palm Tungsten T / E & Sony Ericsson T68i combination several years ago before switching to combination devices, I'd never ever go back to having two separate items to carry around, especially given the PDA-like features available in the most basic of mobile phones these days.

In the recent past I've been through a few combined phone/PDAs, including a HP 6515, iMate Jam, iMate JamIN, iMate JASJAM, and now Nokia N95. I haven't really been very happy with any of the Windows Mobile solutions, but the Nokia N95 so far is absolutely fantastic and I'd strongly recommend you consider it as a perfect example of how good a combined phone / PDA can be these days.

The Mac support for the N95 is pretty good - Nokia provide an iSync plugin and there are some good instructions floating around (maybe even on MacTalk somewhere?) for using the phone as a bluetooth modem under OS X.

Keep in mind that the new Palm devices all run Windows Mobile these days, so syncing with your Mac will require additional software like MissingSync rather than using iSync.

b. The iPhone is certainly a tempting option, but given that it'll take some time for the phones to filter out of the US and for some enterprising soul to try one on an Australian network with an Australian SIM card, I wouldn't count on the iPhone option if you need to buy before September.

luke_in_tas
2nd May 2007, 07:24 AM
I've currently got a Palm Treo 650 and wouldn't go back to a separate phone and PDA. A converged device is definitely the way to go. Prior to my 650 I often found that I just didn't take my PDA (a Palm Tungsten|T) with me, as it was just another thing to carry.

As to what jamesatfish said:
...Keep in mind that the new Palm devices all run Windows Mobile these days, so syncing with your Mac will require additional software like MissingSync rather than using iSync...
That's not actually true. Of the current Palm smartphones on sale in Australia (Treo 650, 680 and 750), the Treo 750 is the only one that uses Windows Mobile.

The Treo 680 has had some good reviews. To read some Australian user experiences, have a look at The Australian Palm OS Users Group (http://www.auspug.org/) forum.

As to waiting for the iPhone, it all depends how long you can wait. I'm hoping we will see them on sale in Australia in the first half of 2008, and so I'm waiting till then to upgrade my Treo 650 (I'll be getting an iPhone). If you don't want to wait that long, get a phone/PDA that suits you now.

hawker
2nd May 2007, 07:43 AM
I don't know how long it's off, but Palm is investing in Linux software.

My phone is a heap of junk, but I'm not upgrading till the iPhone :)

Alessiman
2nd May 2007, 09:06 AM
I love my new XDA O2 Life, With parallels installed syncing is a breeze as I really only need my contacts and calendar synced. If you go all mac, then the missing sync will be needed

I am not prepared to wait for the iPhone. Hell, I'll have upgraded another two times before it comes out in Australia

lavo
2nd May 2007, 10:18 AM
I would go the all-in-one as well. I'm in a slightly different boat, where I still carry around my Newton 2100 most places I go. But I see it as more of a laptop replacement than a PDA replacement. When I was using a Palm and phone combo, it was clunky at best, especially when using the Palm to SMS.

I'm hoping to go a Nokia N95 at the end of the year. I'm not going to bother with the iPhone, as I can't see it being available until the second half of next year. By that time, I'm already one year into a 2 year contract, so by the time my contract is out, there will hopefully be a range of iPhones to choose :-)

jamesatfish
2nd May 2007, 11:32 AM
That's not actually true. Of the current Palm smartphones on sale in Australia (Treo 650, 680 and 750), the Treo 750 is the only one that uses Windows Mobile.

I stand corrected - I just hadn't seen a non-Windows Mobile Palm for a while so figured they'd all gone down that path.

My apologies for the assumption.

luke_in_tas
2nd May 2007, 12:06 PM
The future OS use on Palm devices is a bit up in the air at the moment. But, currently, and for the foreseeable future, Palm intend to make devices that run either Windows Mobile or a Palm OS. However, on the Palm OS side there hasn't been a lot of certainty as to which Palm OS that will be.

Some time ago Palm split into two companies, Pa1mOne (that made the PDAs) and PalmSource (that made the Palm OS). Pa1mOne later bought the rights to the brand "Palm" again, and has renamed itself Palm, while PalmSoucre has been bought by a company called Access.

When the original split happened the current Palm OS (version 5.x) was renamed "Garnet" and PalmSource were intending a new OS to be called "Cobalt". However, Cobalt never eventuated and has now died with the acquisition by Access.

For some time Access have been planning a new Palm OS, to be known as the "ACCESS Linux Platform", which will be backwards compatible with older Palm apps. It was always assumed (until recently) that Palm would adopt this as their Palm OS for future devices once it is released (which should be this year).

While waiting for the ACCESS Linux Platform to be released Palm (who have rights to develop/modify Garnet despite it being owned by Access) have further developed Garnet for its Treo smartphones. This led to speculation that Palm might simply continue to develop the original Palm OS (Garnet) instead of adopting the ACCESS Linux Platform.

Ending this speculation Palm have now announced (April 07) that they will deliver a new Linux and open source based mobile computing platform combined with Palm OS Garnet technology on new products later this year.

So it looks like later this year we will see a new Linux-based Palm OS that is nothing to do with the ACCESS Linux Platform. This new OS will likely see the replacement of all current Palm OS devices, and in addition to devices based on this new OS it is also likely that Palm will continue to make other/similar devices that run the Windows Mobile OS.

Despite being a loyal Palm user for many years though, I think I'll still be waiting for Apple's iPhone to be released in Australia before I buy a new smartphone. Then again, if Palm release something particularly specky I might change my mind. And who knows what manufacturers might pick up the ACCESS Linux Platform to make some cool device.

Interesting times.

en.elle
2nd May 2007, 12:21 PM
Combined! The Nokia E61i is great but if you're on a budget, the older E61 without the camera is good too.

When I had the E61 I also had a smaller phone for evening/parties! :thumbup:

luke_in_tas
2nd May 2007, 12:59 PM
There is a reasonable review of the Treo 680 available here (http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/9134/palm-treo-680-review/).

Although it's not currently available in Australia, in the US Palm are also selling a Palm OS based Treo 700p (http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/8645/palm-treo-700p-review/), and another Palm OS based Treo, the Treo 755p (http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/9377/another-leaked-sprint-roadmap-confirming-755p-launch/), is supposedly to be released in the US this month.

If you're not fussed whether you get a Palm OS or Windows Mobile device, the Treo 750 (http://www.palm.com/au/products/smartphones/treo750/) seems to have had some reasonable press and is currently the only Palm smartphone available on Telstra's NextG network.

harps
2nd May 2007, 02:30 PM
I'd love to have a combined phone/PDA like the Treo 680 or 750, but my work has given me a BlackBerry instead.

The BlackBerry works great as a phone and with e-mail, but its other PIM functions leave a little to be desired. It is virtually useless with attachments and you can't store/edit word/excel files.

At the moment I'm continuing to use both the BlackBerry and my palm T5, but I've started noticing I'm talking my T5 with me less and less, and its primary use is more to do with playing games, using 3rd party software and accessing files via DocsToGo rather than the core PIM functions I initially got it for.

I currently only sync the T5 to my iMac via Missing Sync at home, and the BlackBerry syncs wirelessly to my work PC.

I'm thinking about getting Missing Sync for BlackBerry so I can sync it to my iMac with respect to iPhoto & iTunes.

I can see the day when my T5 will stay at home, but I'm hoping the new Linux OS versions will make it king again and I will continue to use two devices.

shtan72
2nd May 2007, 04:20 PM
Does anyone know how well the Palm Treo 680 syncs on the Mac (Palm Desktop sync software) - with iCal, Address Book etc.....? Thinking of buying one. Not keen to fork out more $$$ for pocketmac or missing sync.

luke_in_tas
2nd May 2007, 04:26 PM
Does anyone know how well the Palm Treo 680 syncs on the Mac (Palm Desktop sync software) - with iCal, Address Book etc.....? Thinking of buying one. Not keen to fork out more $$$ for pocketmac or missing sync.

It will sync fine with the Palm HotSync Manager / iSync plug-in (http://www.palm.com/us/macintosh/isync.html), but you'll get more features if you use the Missing Sync.

anaami
2nd May 2007, 06:27 PM
Great. Thanks for the replies guys. I'm leaning towards a Treo, however I wonder if any of you know if any of these devices have a reasonable email program that will Sync with MS Entourage for Mac (rather than just Outlook for PC). Haven't been able to find one that has a good email set up so far.

luke_in_tas
2nd May 2007, 06:32 PM
Great. Thanks for the replies guys. I'm leaning towards a Treo, however I wonder if any of you know if any of these devices have a reasonable email program that will Sync with MS Entourage for Mac (rather than just Outlook for PC). Haven't been able to find one that has a good email set up so far.

I'm not aware of any Palm email clients that will sync messages with a Mac mail app. However, the included Versamail app is quite good for mobile email, and supports IMAP accounts. So if you use an IMAP email account you can at least get synchronisation that way.

thephydeaux
2nd May 2007, 07:59 PM
The problem with integrated devices is that when they die they die with style. I had a nokia all-in-one and loved it, but when the processor gave up ( about 2 months after the warranty ran out ) I was left with no contacts, no phone, no e-diary, no notes etc.

So, I think it is unlikely that I will ever go with another integrated pda/phone. Although I like the thought of a phone running os x, I am yet to be convinced that it is the way I should/will go.

Hey, my experience with M$ at work with a tightly integrated os and apps does nothing to reassure me - but I guess that isnt surprising :p

cheers

Tim R