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iPod contacts an Apple hack?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just a thought:
Is adding contacts management to the iPod an actual thought-out-from-the-start improvement to the iPod, or is it just an Apple-sanctioned hack in response to all the other contacts-on-iPod hacks out there?

My inclinations lie with the latter. Storing contacts on a little iPod-size device is clearly the domain of PDAs. If (when for the hopeful) Apple does make a PDA, you can bet it will be a whole lot different than the iPod. The functionality added here is so minimal and seemingly out of context with rest of the unit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Added functionality's great and if I don't use it, so what. It just seems like a bit of a half-assed PDA attempt that is kinda out of place with Apple's usually well thought out UI efforts.

Your thoughts?

rr.
post #2 of 12
I agree. unless the ipod turns into a phone in the near future...(sarcastic). I like the idea, but what for?
post #3 of 12
There was some speculation awhile back that the name "iPod" was generic enough to be suspicious. Steve made a big deal about the fact that the iPod wasn't hardwired, so that it could be extended to do other things. He said that in the contexts of supporting other music formats, but software being software, it can be extended in all kinds of other ways as well. The main limitations are the display and the controls.

Apple's implementation appears to be a little too slick to be a hack - it's using vCards rather than tiny MP3s with phone numbers for titles.

It's a pity Bluetooth is so slow, because the ability to sync an iPod wirelessly would be too cool. On the other hand, it would be about on par with the competition syncing over USB...
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
[quote] Apple's implementation appears to be a little too slick to be a hack - it's using vCards rather than tiny MP3s with phone numbers for titles. <hr></blockquote>

I understand what you're saying in terms of a hack as a technical hack and agree. However, I think I meant a hack as more of a form vs. functionality hack/kludge/stopgap solution.

It seems that Apple responded to one demand, ie. PDA-type funcionality, not by actually dealing with the problem and creating a PDA, but by shoving some of the functionality into a device they happened to already have in the marketplace.

Please know that I neither lay awake at night waiting for the next Newton, nor do I envision the iPod's future as mp3-only. My thoughts, however, are that Apple's given us a temporary and uncustomarily inelegant solution to the PDA problem. I had always guessed that primary expanded functionality on the iPod would involve other types of media (iMovies) or interfaces with other hardware (TV). Contacts management is a bit left of center.

rr.
post #5 of 12
Well, that depends. We don't know what Apple's intentions were in creating the thing, or naming it. My guess hinges on the theory that Apple was thinking big when they designed the iPod, so that they could add more and more functionality to it over time. Not just media functionality, either.

The interface and the screen are basically designed to navigate hierarchical lists of sound files and/or small bits of text data. Anything that meets that general description is fair game. The thing that saves it from the complexity of being a PDA is that it's strictly for storing and retrieving. I don't see that changing.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #6 of 12
I think it's very, very clever of them. A lot of people only use their PDA's for the contact info (I know I do). Being able to dump the PalmV most of the time means that I have one less thing to carry around. If it had calendar functionality, I know 10 people in my office that would dump the pda in a drawer, and live off the iPod.
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"..do you remember where you parked the car?"
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post #7 of 12
I have no idea what Apple had in mind either, but there is a suggestions form located somewhere at Apple.com that I used to sound off on the fact that the iPod needed EQ functionality. I had heard many people thoght that it (iPod) needed contact info in there's as well elsewhere on the web. I don't doubt that Apple added the features because they had so many requests for it.

One last thing. I'm having a hard time believing that the larger (10Gig) iPod is going to sell very well.

The iPod was a novelty toy that I do find usefull now, but they should have just swapped drives, and discontinued the smaller one, and sold the 10GB version for 399.

I don't think there is room for 2 iPods, but I do think there is room for a TriBand, or "3G" wireless handheld device, and an iPod.

I better stop before I go too far off topic.
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onlooker
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post #8 of 12
Triband != 3G.

Triband phones are simply phones that can use GSM over three frequencies (900,1800,1900), ensuring compatibility with the US, European and Asian (except Japan) markets. They have been around for 2-3 years.

3G are high bandwidth data enabled phones which will use a new kind of mobile network for the bandwidth increase.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Reason I will not dump my Palm V to use iPod contacts: no ability to add on the go. Whenever I add a contact to my Palm, 90% of the time I am away from my computer. The iPod can't do voice notes (yet...?) so short of whipping out a pencil and paper, it's still of limited use as a PDA.

rr.
post #10 of 12
[quote]Originally posted by tmp:
<strong>A lot of people only use their PDA's for the contact info (I know I do)... If it had calendar functionality, I know 10 people in my office that would dump the pda in a drawer, and live off the iPod.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I haven't used a Walkan in years and thus couldn't justify getting an iPod. tmp is right in his analysis. I use my Palm only for contacts and calendar and barely use a quarter of its 8MB memory. If an iPod could take on useful calendar and contacts functions, I would be glad to jump for the MP3 playing toy the iPod is.

[quote]Originally posted by ricRocket:
<strong>Reason I will not dump my Palm V to use iPod contacts: no ability to add on the go. </strong><hr></blockquote>

That is ineed an issue. And I don't see a quick and easy way to enter data with a scroll wheel and five buttons, which Apple could easily add. However, as ricRocket suggests, voice recording would be useful, both as substitute for immediate data entry and for making mental notes.

Escher

[ 03-22-2002: Message edited by: Escher ]</p>
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"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
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post #11 of 12
Apple didn't write the iPod's OS, did they?
post #12 of 12
[quote]Originally posted by gordy:
<strong>Apple didn't write the iPod's OS, did they?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Nope. It was pixo. <a href="http://www.pixo.com" target="_blank">www.pixo.com</a>
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