Wednesday, October 31, 2007

iPhone progress: pretty darned slow

My crummy Palm Tungsten T/2 is failing fast -- the power switch has died (a known design flaw) and the LiOn battery is good for about 3 hours (died within a year of purchase). It crashes frequently and is, really, an awful thing. Palm deserves to die.

The Palm world is pretty awful, but I hate my RAZR more.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could replace both of 'em, and not have to carry an iPod around too? What a great idea!

Yeah. The iPhone. Gee, I almost forgot about that #$&^@# thing.

Problem is, the iPhone is making very slow progress on my "most have" and "nice to have" iPhone demands. Let's check the list (updates in bold):

  1. Copy, Cut, Paste: No progress
  2. Search: No progress
  3. Tasks at least comparable to the 1994 PalmPilot tasks: No progress. Task sync was supposed to be in 10.5 but was dropped.
  4. Synchronization with Outlook at least comparable to the modern Palm OS (in other words, flawed, but useable). A 256 character limit on contact comments is not acceptable. No progress.
  5. Run FileMaker RemoteL No progress, except a rumor that FileMaker is abandoning FM Remote completely.
  6. Synchronize notes. : No progress. Dropped from 10.5
  7. Multi select and process for email. : No progress.
  8. Apple needs to fix the "international problem". It's ridiculously easy to run up a $1000 phone bill unintentionally when outside the US. The phone needs to provides a permission-only control over non-US EDGE access. Fixed.
  9. Enable iPhone Bluetooth tethering, so a computer can use it to go online. (added in honor of Boingo). No progress.
Wishes, not demands:
  1. A real calculator. No progress.
  2. Flatten the recessed headphone socket. No progress.
  3. Site-selective synchronization - so can sync at both work and home, but not send home data to a work machine. No progress.
  4. Support for a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. No progress.
  5. Video out - so I can use a larger display. No progress.
  6. Encrypted data stores. No progress.
  7. Third party app support (signed is ok). There's a promise of some kind of development environment, but it's not clear it's Cocoa based. Apple is adding data storage and more UI power to WebKit, but that doesn't help me much if the app can't work with tasks, calendar items, etc.
  8. Flash support, but not from Adobe. No progress.
  9. GPS No progress.
  10. Custom ring and alert tones: Available now.
  11. Allow file storage on the iPhone. No progress.
Of the nine critical items, only one has been addressed so far and one (FM Mobile) has had a big regression. It's plausible of course that Apple will add the task/note synchronization to 10.5.1 or 10.5.2 by next February.

Of the 11 "nice to have" items there's resolution of one and we might see something on another some day.

The iPhone I am willing to buy probably won't be available before spring 2008.

Deep sigh.

So what about the Blackberry and Windows Mobile?

The geeks I read tell me that Windows Mobile is even worse than the Palm world. Hard to believe, but I trust 'em.

So that leaves Blackberry, but I'm an OS X fan. BB is basically an Outlook extension. I'd prefer not to be tied to Outlook forever.

I think I'm going to have to buy another crappy Palm device. I'll buy exactly what I have now to reduce the pain.

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