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iPhone Review Series: iPhone vs. Palm Treo 650

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In this second installment of our iPhone Review Series, we compare the Apple iPhone to the Palm Treo 650 from the perspective of a former Treo 650 user, providing a look at how the two platforms compare, what the iPhone offers for current Treo users, and a few things it doesn't yet do.

Palm Treo vs. Apple iPhone

The Mac-friendly phone torch passes from Palm to Apple.

The Palm Treo has long been a popular smartphone for Mac users because of its bundled Palm Desktop for Mac sync support and its simple Mac-like interface. However, Palm has delivered very little in terms of hardware or software innovation for its Treo line over the last several years, and has recently moved to adopt Windows Mobile as a replacement to its own Palm OS for the Treo.

Palm's support for Mac users hasn't improved in years, and its new Windows Mobile Treos aren't supported at all. It should come as no surprise that Apple's own iPhone provides better support for Mac users than Palm's Treo. Here's a look at how the two platforms compare, what the iPhone offers for Treo users, and a few things it doesn't yet do.

A previous and more general review of the iPhone's features and limitations was presented in the article "Apple's iPhone: an initial (but in-depth) review."

Physical design and usability

The Palm Treo line is now five years old. It originated at Palm spinoff Handspring as the pairing of the original Visor PDA with a GSM phone module. Palm actually acquired Handspring specifically to move into the smartphone area with the Treo.

Palm's Treo remained attractive enough to maintain as much smartphone market share as all of Microsoft's Windows Mobile phone licensees combined, despite delivering very little progress in either hardware or software since 2004.

The Palm OS has remained stagnant, and its hardware features have only seen minimal bumps. Palm has also done nearly nothing to improve its HotSync software on the Mac. Apart from the Treo however, there are very few phones that make any effort at all to sync with the Mac. That left the Treo as the lessor of several evils for Mac users in search of a smartphone.

Frozen in time, the Treo seems to beg for a worthy competitor to simply bury it. Palm's decision to begin offering a Windows Mobile version of the Treo phone hardware seemed to concede defeat to Microsoft. However, Apple's new iPhone offers more of the features that attracted many users to the Palm Treo in the first place, making it a more likely heir to the Treo throne, particularly for Mac users.

The iPhone does lack the Palm's official software platform and certain other features that third parties can deliver even if Palm never ever releases another update; more on that later.



Physically, the Treo hardware feels rugged enough to withstand a full lifetime of normal use. In two years, my Treo screen only has minor scratches that aren't even visible when the screen is on. The unit itself is worn but has survived several drops on concrete.

At the same time, the device itself feels creaky and cheap; it groans and flexes like a Dell laptop, as if built from plastic that was simply too thin. The unit itself is as thick as a full-sized laptop such as the Mac Book Pro. Its real size is disguised by rounded corners that make it fit comfortably in the hand but which don't make it any less bulky in the pocket.

The first day I saw the Treo 650, I was impressed with the quality of its camera and screen, satisfied with the familiar Palm OS, but somewhat disappointed with the rest of it. It's bulky, marginally integrated with desktop software, and generally felt stuck in the depressing post-dotcom rut that Palm never seemed to shake its way out of; the company has since layered into all of its products a burden of grief and despair that seems palpable. Palm simply exudes a desperation that reeks of death.

That morbid fog clouds the Palm experience for even the most optimistic of users. To get started, you push the red 'off' button. After more than a second of nothing happening, the screen lights up, but wait, it's not ready yet. The screen wakes and then locks, waiting for the user to push the center button to unlock it. If the two buttons aren't hit in sequence with enough of a pause before and after, the unit goes back to sleep.

That's the kind of poor experience that Windows users might tolerate, but which many Mac users would find infuriatingly inelegant and clumsy.

In contrast, the iPhone wakes with a press of either the top or front button, then invites the user to slide a lock across the screen with a finger swipe. This is quite impossible to do accidently, because the iPhone's screen only reacts to skin, and only reacts to a target that is finger sized.

The wake up sequence of each captures much of the overall difference between the Palm Treo and the iPhone: the former is a slow, quirky, and irritatingly frustrating, while the latter is elegantly thoughtful, responsive, and simply pleasant to use.

After replacing my Treo with the iPhone, I found myself double checking my pocket to make sure I had it with me. The iPhone has a similar weight, but consumes half the volume of the Treo. Its ultra thin design has an impressive and solid feel. The Treo is so bulky that it's an embarrassment to hold.

Both can be used with one hand, even to type out letters. The iPhone presents a much larger keyboard on the screen, and encourages the use of the pad of the thumb. The physical keys of the Treo are not only much smaller but also much closer together, forcing the user to type using the edge of a fingernail.

I assumed that the iPhone's touch screen would be harder to use, and simply be "better" only because it offered more screen real estate. I was wrong; its touch screen is far easier and more comfortable to type on than the tiny physical keys of the Treo. There is no numeric or special character mode invoked by typing modifier keys; the iPhone simply displays alternative keyboards with each of the characters you want to type.

With two hands, the typing experience on the Treo improves, but the iPhone's does as well. The Treo offers no corrections when typing, while the iPhone makes immediate error correction easy and natural.

While the Treo also has a touch screen, it reacts to everything, not just skin. That means it must be turned off before returning to a pocket, for fear that a brush might select and delete all the text on the screen. That can't happen on the iPhone.

At the same time, the Treo's screen does not react to finger touches as sensitively as the iPhone's. With the Treo, even trying to do basic number dialing via a finger on the touchscreen is unpleasant. It feels slow and inaccurate. The iPhone's screen also never requires the Palm's touch screen realignment; it just works.

Navigation through the Palm's main menu of applications also feels clumsy. I often subconsciously defaulted to using the physical buttons to launch apps rather than just tapping icons on the screen; it requires so much pressure to register a touch that it's simply clumsy to use the Palm's touchscreen for touch control. The iPhone rather dramatically gets rid of all physical buttons on the face of the device apart from the single home button, but the focus on the touchscreen is invisible because it actually works.

There is no little joystick to poke at and no menu buttons to press. Everything is controlled by touch. It isn't just buttons either; lists of contacts, CoverFlow albums, and photos react to a flick and stop with a touch. Scrolling, panning, and zooming respond intuitively and provide instant feedback that feels natural, not like an assembly of electronic hardware and computer software.

Neither the Palm nor the iPhone seems to favor the right or left hand, although the iPhone is ready to jump between a tall and horizontal aspect ratio whenever doing so makes more sense. The Treo can't really be held sideways at all, and makes no use of a landscape oriented display.

More information on the iPhone's input compared to the Palm and other smartphones was presented in the article "Using iPhone: Text and Data Entry vs T9, Graffiti, Thumb Keyboards."

On Page 2: Phone and Contact Management; and Internet, Maps, and Widgets.

Phone and Contact Management

It's certainly not hard to place calls on the Palm Treo, but it offers little in terms of innovation. Software that doesn't grow simply dies.

In Palm's case, nothing has been done to really improve the overall experience of the Palm since 2004, apart from deals to load third party ads and trialware and service plans such as Palm's deal with Verizon to force syncing of some data over the network rather than over a local desktop sync.

This stagnation in the Palm OS occurred as Palm thrashed about with plans to deliver a new Palm OS 6, then move its platform to Linux, then move it to Windows Mobile. It is strikingly similar Apple's directionless funk of the mid 90s, or Microsoft's nearly identical inability to deliver upon its Windows initiatives since 2001. Palm's plans are in such upheaval that it stopped caring about its customers.

Smartphones based on Windows Mobile and Symbian only seem interested in copying and replacing the Palm OS, and offer only incremental advances in technical superiority. It's therefore quite obvious to see how far Apple has leapt past the Palm OS when comparing the iPhone.

The ability and simplicity of answering a secondary call and then merging the two lines into a conference call is something that was obviously needed long ago. No mobile providers gave much thought to delivering it, however.

I never attempted to set up conference calling on my Treo; it was problematic enough to simply hang up on one line while maintaining a call on the other. Every time I tried, I'd end up hanging up on both. I ended up just leaving the secondary call running in the background until I finished both calls.

That was a problem for me as a consumer, but didn't matter to Palm nor Sprint, my service provider. If anything, my problem was simply making Sprint incrementally richer. Since my purchase of the Palm Treo was heavily subsidized by Sprint, why would it -- as the real customer -- seek to fix such an annoying problem for me, when it was in Sprint's best interests to leave me with a frustrating phone?

Sprint's solution, of course, was to offer me a new phone every two years to ensure I'd sign up for another contract extension. This pattern of "don't fix it, replace it" works well for service providers and for hardware makers, but leaves customers livid that nothing ever works, and that nobody involved in the mobile business has any reason to care about users.

Apart from Apple, that is. Since Apple has the brand power to sell hardware without a subsidy shell game illusion, it can market directly to the consumer, and offer us a phone that really solves problems.

Contacts sync properly on the Mac, including contact photos set on on either the desktop or the iPhone itself. Call management is as simple as hitting one of a few buttons with clear and obvious functions.

Spin through contacts rapidly, even when on a phone call. There's no search function in contacts to look up a specific caller by typing a few letters of their name. Instead, Apple has an alphabet listing that lets you jump to a specific starting letter. This takes some getting used to if you're used to searching for contacts.

For users familiar with looking up contacts by searches, the iPhone's lack of search is a puzzling omission. This is also complicated by its lack of a voice dialing feature. Making the best use of the iPhone requires adapting to what it does offer.

While I'd like to see both searching and voice dial features added, the iPhone does offer some alternative ways to use contacts that help make up for those missing bits. The first is a favorites list that serves as a quick lookup list; along with the recent list, these two offer a quick way to dial common numbers, although both lie hidden behind the Phone icon, making it a two page navigation to locate them.

The other contacts feature that's unique to the iPhone is that it syncs with Address Book's Groups. That makes it very compelling to organize contacts on the desktop, and benefit from a consistent system of organized contacts on the iPhone as well.

For example, I have Groups that include Health Care, Clients, Family, and Friends. When I think I need to call one of the health care professionals that helps keep me in one piece, I don't have to think about whether I've entered their names as "Dr." or not, or riddle my brain with a search for what name to search for. Instead, I can simply narrow down the hundreds of contacts on my phone with a tap on Groups and then Health Care, giving me a short list of contacts I can scan through by name.

It's almost as if the iPhone were designed with the needs of a busy person with a failing memory in mind. Steve Jobs, thank you for making a device that works for those of us with too much information locked up in our brain to be able to reliably pull any of it out without some help. Jobs must be well aware of what its like to have more information to manage than one person ought.

All of the smart software advantages of the iPhone are also advanced by its improvements in hardware. Its touch screen actually responds to light finger touches, unlike the Palm's pressure sensitive screen, which only works well when using a clumsy stylus.

Visual voicemail is another example of Apple solving one of those obvious problems that wasn't a problem for the service provider. Nothing is a more frustrating waste of time on a mobile phone than navigating through messages by listening to a series of saved voicemails to get to the call you're interested in hearing, then trying to step through it several times in order it to write down the details you were after.

This wasn't a problem for service providers, as my frustrating experience with voicemail only ensured I was spending more minutes of my plan trying to hear my messages. Apple solved this for consumers in order to have fancy features desirable to consumers to show off the iPhone. It's now just as easy to use voicemail as email.

Internet, Maps, and Widgets

Browsing the web on a Treo is painful to say the least. Its built in browser offers both a full-screen view that attempts to render webpages as intended, and an optimized version that tries to fit web pages to its smaller screen. Both are troublesome, as the web is largely still stuck in the clutches of full page screens optimized specifically for an Internet Explorer experience on a Windows PC.

The promise of the web to be a cross platform, open, accessible, and device neutral way to publish information was thwarted by efforts on the part of Netscape and later Microsoft to tie the web to their own proprietary platform. The result is that webpages simply don't translate well to mobile devices.

The iPhone gets around that problem by not being a mobile version of the web. Instead, it incorporates a full Safari Web Kit engine that renders web pages the same way as the desktop Safari browser. The only difference is in its navigation features, which allow the user to zoom in and out of webpages using the first mainstream release of a truly resolution independent display.

The iPhone's browser zooms into any webpage section with a double tap, and also allows the user to scale the display to any magnification desired with a finger pinch. The display instantaneously redraws text at the set scale in high resolution. It is a joy to use the iPhone's web browser.

There are many web plugin features missing on the iPhone, including Flash, Java, SVG, and any audio or video codecs not supported by the iPod. However, the failure of all these formats to gain any real traction make their omission less than problematic. Java rarely shows up in client side applets anymore, and the standard for audio playback on the web has gravitated towards MP3 and its MPEG-4 successor, AAC.

While web video has mostly standardized behind either Flash's proprietary On2 video codec delivered via a Flash applet (such as YouTube) or H.263/DivX video also commonly delivered via Flash (such as Google Video), Google partnered with Apple to deliver YouTube content via the new MPEG-4 H.264 codec. That new standard is supported in the iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV using hardware acceleration.

Adobe is also moving Flash to H.264 and away from its former On2 codec, in order to power a new generation of devices from Apple and others that can decode such video using specialized commodity video processing chips. That means that Flash support is not only unnecessary now, but will only become more compatible in the future as the industry unites behind common standards rather than those proprietary to a specific vendor, such as Microsoft's Windows Video codecs.

Palm certainly isn't leading the push toward standard video, and only offers the most basic support for standards based web browsing. That results in a painful web browsing experience common to most other smartphones.

In addition to the Safari web browser, Apple also includes specialized web data clients, including the Google YouTube viewer, a custom Google Maps client, and Weather and Stocks clients for viewing Yahoo's web services. All of these clients provide widget-like simplicity for looking up common information, and will likely be augmented by new services in the future. Apple has hinted at a Movies dashboard widget in Leopard based on Fandango services, which is likely to become the next widget for the iPhone as well.

Google Maps deserves its own article, but here, it simply offers another example of how the iPhone elegantly solves a problem that other mobiles didn't even recognize to be a problem. I downloaded a third party Google Maps client for the Treo, but found it impossible and clumsy to use. The iPhone's client not only looks great, but it actually works very well for looking up information.

It's a combination of a phonebook, a Google search, a direction mapping tool with step by step instructions, a freeway traffic indicator, and a street map and satellite images browser. It's a reason to buy an iPhone unto itself.

The main downside to the iPhone's rich Internet capabilities is its relatively slow EDGE data service, which is about twice as fast as ISDN. Wags like to describe it as "dial up speed," but that's only because too many technically incompetent fools seem able to maintain their jobs as journalists covering the tech world.

While EDGE is only about a quarter of the speed of an ideal 3G connection, it is very usable for maps and even, surprisingly, YouTube. That's because Apple has optimized its YouTube support (as well as its guidelines for mobile video) to support both EDGE style service and higher bandwidth service.

To really be blown away by the iPhone experience, you'll need a WiFi connection, something that relatively few other smartphones support. While a 3G iPhone would be nice to have, 3G service is currently a battery hog, even when only using it for voice calls. As is typically the case with Apple products, the iPhone makes use of the best options available, not the most attractive sounding technical bullet points.

Compared to the Treo, the iPhone makes ideal use of WiFi when available while also working acceptably when it has to fall back to EDGE service. The Treo struggles to work even with the fastest of data services, and simply can't do a fraction of what the iPhone can in terms of browsing the web, searching for maps, looking up common information, and, quite obviously, providing a rich experience for web audio and video.

One very clear missing feature of the iPhone is its inability to be used as a tethered Internet access point, also known as a Dial Up Networking service after Windows' DUN control panel. That means you can't connect an iPhone to your laptop and use its mobile data service to browse the web or check email. This appears to be a limitation imposed by AT&T, which doesn't seem to allow this for any of its phones.

While DUN features would come in very handy, the iPhone's own rich Internet service does help to offset this lacking feature somewhat. Users who need mobile data service on their laptop will have to obtain a wireless data card for it, because there's no included way to either tether the iPhone or configure it to share its EDGE connection via either Bluetooth or WiFi to a computer.

On Page 3: Email, Calendar, and Mac Friendly.

Email

The Treo offers support for Microsoft's Exchange Server network client, which essentially checks email over the web using a specialized client that talks to Exchange's Outlook Web, its webmail gateway.

It also supports RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Motorola's Good Technology services for pushing email directly to mobile devices. All three are commonly used in business to deliver corporate email.

The iPhone currently has no client software to support any of the three proprietary systems; it only supports the open IMAP email protocol, using optional SSL encryption. This has caused ignorant wags to call the iPhone insecure, as many IT shops are afraid to expose their Windows Servers to the Internet for fear they would be immediately taken down by crackers looking for Windows Servers riddled with zero day vulnerabilities to exploit.

In reality, the iPhone does support secure email, just not the kind that ropes corporate customers into high priced client access licenses. The false information promulgated by Windows Enthusiasts makes it potentially difficult for iPhone users to convince their IT staff to support standard IMAP email.

I found Palm's own software support for Exchange mail to be problematic for a number of users I supported. If the client had a problem with a corrupt email, the Palm software would require the user to delete their messages and all calendar information from their mobile and resync from scratch.

This follows the same thinking among IT managers who erase and reinstall Windows PCs from images rather than troubleshooting, simply because Windows is nearly impossible to troubleshoot and that from a practical perspective, it makes no sense to waste time trying.

That means iPhone users will be second class citizens in many Windows-based corporate IT shops, and that users might likely have to forward their mail to a standard account to receive it, or bypass their corporate accounts and simply use the iPhone for personal email. The solution will be for Apple to include support for proprietary emails systems, which it has hinted at doing.

For users not beholden to corporate email, the iPhone offers a clearly superior email experience. It receives full HTML emails and can send out photos taken from the iPhone. It can also receive standard PDF, graphics, and Word and Excel files and display them. The integrated document viewing software handles email file attachments the same way as Safari handles linked files such as PDF or Word documents linked to a web page. In either case, the document is presented in a resolution independent, zoomable viewer similar to Safari web pages.

On the Palm Treo, attempts to download documents and view them requires third party support. One feature the Treo offers that the iPhone doesn't is the ability to edit Office documents. This is offset by the Treo's lack of enough Flash RAM and its clumsy, slow, archaic operating system.

Even when the Treo has a clear advantage, its general software and hardware problems combine to make those potential strengths rather impractical. Anyone who really needs to edit Word documents on a tiny screen will be flummoxed by the iPhone, which doesn't pretend to be a pocket sized laptop. In my case, the benefits of trying to use the Palm's Office editing features (provided by Documents to Go third party software) were simply not practical enough to miss on the iPhone.

More information on syncing and using data files on the iPhone are presented in "Using iPhone: File and iTunes Sync Via USB, Wireless, and Over the Air," "Using iPhone: Notes, ToDos, Attached Files, and Mac OS X Leopard" and "Using Apple's iPhone in the Enterprise."

Calendar

During the periods where I could get my Treo to reliably sync with my desktop, one of the primary useful features was its calendar, which was equal to contacts in terms of being powerfully useful on a mobile device. The Palm's sync problems, particularly on the Mac, greatly limited the potential of this feature. The two layer sync between Palm Sync and the Mac's built in Sync Services resulted in lots of my Palm data ending up duplicated, and basically kept my calendars and to-dos perpetually messed up.

The iPhone syncs beautifully with iCal and Sync Services, but only from the desktop. There's no support for over the air synchronization with web services such as Google or Yahoo, or even Apple's own .Mac. The iPhone even lacks any support at all for To Do items or Notes.

That leaves the iPhone's calendar firmly stuck as a consumer-only solution. That problem will be fixed in the move to Mac OS X Leopard, which includes support for new system wide calendar, notes, and to-do events much like the existing Mac Address Book handles system wide contact data today.

Until Apple solves that problem over the next two months, the iPhone's calendar is only serviceable, not impressive. Further outlook on Apple's future iPhone plans were noted in the article "Using iPhone: iCal, CalDAV Calendar Servers, and Mac OS X Leopard."

Mac Friendly

Compared to the Treo, the iPhone has a very different set of strengths and weaknesses in its support for email and calendar services. However, the advantage of the iPhone is its clear future of improvement; Palm quite obviously doesn't care about Mac users and will never improve upon its existing muddle of flaky syncing and sloppy, slow, and inelegant mobile software.

No other vendor can offer the level of integration between a mobile and a desktop because no other vendor makes mobiles, desktops and the software that powers each.

A vendor like Palm only makes a small subset of the software involved, and clearly doesn't care much about Mac users. It has been focusing its efforts on providing support for Windows and Office users. In doing so, it's captive to Microsoft's own proprietary standards and systems.

Palm had to jump when Microsoft announced its own ActiveSync built into Windows, which basically obsolesced Palm's own HotSync. That left Palm struggling to incorporate support for portions of ActiveSync to allow Palm OS devices to get data from Exchange Server, while also maintaining and supporting its own cross platform HotSync. On the Mac side, Apple developed its own Sync Services architecture and delivered support for integration with Palm devices, but Palm's lack of interest in Mac users squandered its opportunity to deliver a fine Mac product.

Apple's now going it alone, and the iPhone really shows up the core deficiencies of Palm's approach. Palm is essentially turing itself into a Windows Mobile vendor at a time when Windows Mobile isn't otherwise growing. Microsoft itself faces the problem of developing a software platform that isn't worth much.

While Microsoft makes lots of money from automatic sales of Windows on every PC sold, there is no volume market for PDAs running Windows Mobile, and Microsoft has done little to give consumers any reason to choose Windows Mobile for mobile phones. That leaves Microsoft to develop a complex, unique operating system and development environment for a platform that only sells a few million devices every year. Windows Mobile is much like Apple, if it were a software-only platform trying to make its money licensing its Mac software to hardware makers.

Just as Apple couldn't maintain a business selling unique OS software to Mac clone vendors, Microsoft can't maintain its Windows Mobile business selling software to Palm and other WinCE licensees, because hardware makers won't pay enough for the software to sustain the huge efforts Microsoft has to invest in it. That's why Microsoft has lost billions of dollars in its WinCE efforts over the last ten years.

Apple on the other hand makes its money selling iPhone hardware and earning service revenues shared with AT&T. Apple's iPhone hardware sales are already set to eclipse Microsoft's Windows Mobile sales as early as next year. Apple's sustainable hardware sales mean the iPhone platform features will develop as rapidly as the iPod's and the Mac's, which Apple has regularly advanced at a pace far faster than either Palm's own OS or Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

The iPhone is not only self-sustaining in a way that no other mobile OS vendor can match, it's also an advertisement for Apple's Mac and iPod lines, making it in Apple's favor to market each in integrated ways. That will give the iPhone strong integration with the Mac OS, but also allows it to borrow from the success of the iPod.

On Page 4: Video iPod, Bluetooth, Battery Life, Cases, and WiFi.

Video iPod

The iPhone's slick integration with iPod features has nothing to fear from the Palm Treo. While the Treo can play back MP3s, it uses clumsy software and its hardware is limited by the mobile-type audio jack that forces users to settle for the poor selection of audio headphones designed to work with phones.

There's no integration with iTunes nor any at all for Palm's own equivalent. Apple's strength in music and video really boosts the iPhone beyond anything Palm could hope to offer. It's clear Palm simply doesn't see any need to offer anything beyond the most minimal audio and video playback features.

Video playback is limited to the mostly unwatchable, postage stamp video that the Treo can capture. The iPhone can't yet record video at all, which is a black eye of its own. Outside of that, the iPhone does allow users to watch YouTube videos, standard video or audio delivered in podcast feeds directly from the web, embedded web videos delivered in H.264 format, and anything synced from iTunes. That includes the user's own home movies, free content previously downloaded from podcasts or the web, and paid TV or movie content purchased through iTunes. It can even play full length DVDs ripped using a product like the free Handbrake.

The Treo is not only hobbled with nearly worthless playback software and lacking any decent media file sync tool, but its hardware is simply not designed to handle media. It has to use SD cards to store any media files, which limits data to what can fit on 2 GB cards and forces users to manually manage files on all those cards themselves.

That's simply an unworkably bad solution. Since Palm doesn't recognize media playback as something its customers are interested in, things are unlikely to get better before Palm goes out of business trying to convert itself into a Windows Mobile vendor. Microsoft's mobile platform similarly lacks the strong media features of the iPhone.

Bluetooth

I never regularly used a wired or wireless headset with the Palm Treo. In part, this was because the Treo, like most mobile phones, uses that non-standard "standard" mobile audio jack that doesn't work with other audio equipment. Because the iPhone has an iPod heritage, it uses a standard mini-jack audio plug.

However, the plug is deeply recessed to put less strain on the cable. That means that many common headphones using a right angle jack won't fit in the iPhone's port without a clumsy adapter. Fortunately, the pair Apple provides are serviceable both for listening to music and making calls.

With a built-in mic, the earbud headphones transform from a standard set of iPod headphones into a wired headset. The mic also incorporates a button to allow the listener to pause music or jump ahead to the next song, or to accept or reject an incoming call.

Users who don't like either wired headsets or earbud headphones can use any standard Bluetooth headset. Apple's own is small and stylish, but has only fair audio quality in ideal conditions. The iPhone does not yet support the standard Bluetooth profile for stereo audio transmission.

Since I haven't regularly used wireless headsets with either the Palm or the iPhone, I can't compare the experience in useful detail. Currently, Bluetooth stereo headphones use lots of battery power and provide unremarkable audio quality. The next generation of Bluetooth codecs promises to solve this issue, and it appears Apple is waiting to implement this.

The iPhone isn't just waiting on Bluetooth for stereo audio playback; apart from simple headsets and certain auto hands-free kits, the iPhone won't pair with anything, not even the desktop. This too will be changing with the release of Mac OS X Leopard and new software support on the iPhone, but it's not here yet.

In contrast, one can set up the Treo to perform its sync over Bluetooth. On the Mac, this is problematic mainly because Palm Desktop software is so bad. The real advantage of wider Bluetooth support on the Treo is negated by the fact that Bluetooth is extremely slow for syncing and that Palm's desktop sync software is so problematic that I couldn't ever get it to reliably work.

Battery Life

I rarely gave much thought to the battery life of the Palm Treo, and simply plugged it in nearly every day. Unlike earlier Palm PDAs which could run for weeks between a charge, the Treo works like most modern smartphones and requires a regular charge.

The demands of Bluetooth and WiFi contribute toward the insistence that modern smartphones get their daily power feeding. The iPhone is no different, although it does feature impressive battery life.

Its battery life-span appears to take a week to fully develop. Once it has regularly charged several times, its ability to sustain a charge seems to climb. How long it lasts depends a great deal upon use patterns.

While I tend to get similar battery life use out of the iPhone and the Treo, I rarely used the Treo to do anything, while I regularly use the iPhone to check mail, look up things on the web, and do map searches. That means I get as good of power use from the iPhone while actually using it to do more than just place calls.

In addition to all the extra data functions, I also use the iPhone as an iPod and to watch videos, making its battery life even more impressive. There are several steps that can be taken to improve the iPhone's battery life, including turning off its WiFi network searching, so it won't constantly try to locate networks for you. Turning off Bluetooth can also help, as the iPhone's support for Bluetooth isn't necessary or really functional unless you use a headset.

Cases

I never used a case for my Treo, choosing instead to maintain a tradition of keeping it in an exclusively reserved pocket never shared with change, keys or other potential enemies of its large screen. That has kept my Treo in quite good shape over the last couple years.

For the iPhone, I've maintained the same pattern. The big difference is that the Treo consumed twice the volume of my pocket, while the iPhone is nearly invisible. I even use the iPhone in the gym, commonly in my pocket. i haven't yet found the need for strapping it to my arm with a specialized band.

I can't imagine trying to use the old Treo as an iPod, or buying it a special case that might put its embarrassing heft on public display. This is apparently a popular option for the iPhone, as I see plenty of gym members, Embarcadero waterfront joggers, and Muni transit riders with iPhones strapped to their bodies as fashion dongles.

Wi-Fi

Service providers were wary of allowing hardware makers to add WiFi to the mobiles they carried, resulting in many of the first mobile phones offering only a crippled version of wireless that didn't do much.

On the iPhone, WiFi can't do everything imaginable; it can't be used in place of SMS to do Jabber or AIM-style chat, it can't be used in place of the phone to make free Skype-style VoIP phone calls. WiFi is largely limited to data services: email, web, and online media. It augments EDGE service to provide data access much faster than any mobile data service -- including the much praised 3G -- can offer.

The iPhone's use of WiFi makes it odd to see that very few other mobiles provide similar WiFi features. Only the highest end phones offer anything, and those that do don't really provide any practical applications for it.

The Treo doesn't offer WiFi apart from a WiFi SD card that only works on some of the latest models. Even with the $100 extra card, WiFi doesn't do much because nothing on the Treo is designed to make good use of it.

On Page 5: Camera, Needs Attention, and Conclusion.

Camera

The iPhone's camera is not only able to take much better photos, but its software actually takes shots at the full resolution of its hardware. The Treo has a 1.3 megapixel camera compared to the iPhone's 2.0, but only takes 640 x 480 photos, which is only a 0.3 megapixel resolution. The iPhone takes full 2.0 megapixel resolution 1600 x 1200 photos.

As noted earlier, the Treo takes video, while the iPhone doesn't yet. While I think it is a critical missing feature for the iPhone, the video taken by the Treo is really unusable. Its captured audio is extremely poor, and the video captured is only 320 x 240, a 0.07 megapixel resolution.

Other camera phones similarly take extremely low resolution photos. The Samsung Blackjack, which has camera features among the best of any Window Mobile phone, similarly only takes 320 x 240 video.

The iPhone's display is 320 x 480, compared to the Palm OS Treo's 320 x 320; Treos running Windows Mobile only have a 240 x 240 screen resolution. That means the iPhone not only takes much better photos, but also allows you do upload your iPhoto library and carry around thousands of very high quality photos that look great on its screen.

The Treo not only balks at displaying photos taken on another camera (it crashes when I try to view photos taken on my camera and put on SD Flash RAM cards), but its lower quality display makes it pretty hard to view photos of any kind, even the poor quality shots taken with the device itself. It's limited RAM also helps to strangle its potential in taking or showing photos.

I presented some photo quality comparisons comparing the Treo, Blackjack and the iPhone in the article series "Using iPhone: Camera and Photo Comparisons."

Needs Attention

It's quite amazing that Apple's first attempt at delivering a mobile platform could so completely trounce everything in its class in terms of hardware and software. The only thing the iPhone can be realistically compared against are phones that cost several hundred dollars more, and even those phones -- such as the Nokia N95 -- are missing its Flash RAM and software polish.

That doesn't mean the iPhone lacks any flaws; its just that its compelling features outweigh them. There are also a series of things the iPhone does differently, which users more familiar with existing phones might not like. While some of these things might be addressed in the future, others might give users reasons to look elsewhere, as the iPhone isn't a one size fits all solution.

1) Until support is delivered for the proprietary corporate email systems in common use -- or an open, alternative solution to them -- the iPhone won't work for business users who work at the mercy of their IT group.

2) Until Apple delivers complete support for Bluetooth stereo audio profiles, it will trail other smartphones with comprehensive Bluetooth support.

3) The iPhone begs for greater integration with .Mac and other online services, simply because it offers so much potential. Support for Internet server-based calendaring and similar online sync services, and perhaps expanded file transfer services, would all make the iPhone more attractive.

4) Support for audio and video recording is a necessary feature. Beyond that, the ability to transmit audio and video would also be delicious, both for video conferencing as well as VoIP services. Even support for Jabber-style iChat services would be great. These features are all potential threats to AT&T, but it would be wise for the service provider to recognize the potential for market expansion in trade for the nickel and dime tunnel vision of lost data services.

5) Faster data services would be a boost, although 3G UMTS data services currently are major power drains for other smartphones that support them.

6) Other integration pathways for the iPhone beg for exploitation. When will it get iPod-like games, new applications, greater support for Bluetooth profiles? Wouldn't it be cool to use it like a standalone Bluetooth or USB touchpad input for a desktop? How about using it as an Apple TV remote for fine grained control of its interface?

There is so much potential for the iPhone, all created by the obvious jump it represents as a new hardware and software platform.

Conclusion

Shortly before the release of the iPhone, Jobs commented that there were several people testing it out, and that it would be difficult to pry them out of the hands of those users. After using the iPhone for a month and a half, I feel the same.

I can picture features I'd like to add and minor details I might like to be slightly different, but no other phone I've used comes even close to offering the kind of experience Apple assembled for the iPhone.

Like the iPod, the iPhone isn't just a laundry list of features dutifully checked off to assemble a product that can be sold to consumers. It's really a cohesive effort that blends innovative software with choice hardware to deliver an excellent 1.0 product.

Within two months, Apple has already released two easy to install bug fixes to address minor problems. It has promised significant, regular updates to applications. That makes it a very unique product. Combined with Apple's market power and its ability to delivered upon stated goals, that pushes the iPhone into a very unique position.

The iPhone is very much like the original Macintosh, which humiliated the simplistic DOS PCs surrounding it. It took ten years for the DOS PC world to offer a copy that approached the original; that ten years also involved DOS PCs occupying a monopoly position over the entire desktop computing market and the failure of Apple to capitalize on its unique product.

This time around, Apple is firing on all cylinders, and there's no monopoly to compete against. Its Windows Mobile competition has only earned a tiny 5% fraction of the smartphone world, even after a half decade of Microsoft's attempts to establish its Windows Smartphone product. That indicates that the iPhone will accomplish things the Mac didn't.

While that should be fun to watch as it plays out, I'm content simply having a iPhone to use. It feels like the future sitting in my hand. The Palm Treo has always felt like a lingering shadow of the past.

AppleInsider previously compared the Apple iPhone to the BlackBerry 8700 series.
post #2 of 137
I depend on Adarian Money, a little application that manages my daily financial actions. It generates reports, balances my checkbook, and basically prevents me from bouncing checks.

It runs on my Treo 680.

As soon as it runs on an iPhone, I'll buy an iPhone. Until then, please refrain from trying to squeeze water from a rock.

Yes, the iPhone is cool, it's sophisticated, it's sleek, it's sexy. But it does NOT run third-party apps.

If the fanboys love the iPhone in its current incarnation, fine. Go have an orgy with a bucketload full of 'em.

Until then, can you please leave us iPhone Skeptics alone?

It's 2007. A cellular phone should support third-party apps. Step away from the RDF and say this is so.
post #3 of 137
No one shoved the article down your throat
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

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Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

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post #4 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, Apple's new iPhone offers more of the features that attracted many users to the Palm Treo in the first place, making it a more likely heir to the Treo thrown, particularly for Mac users.

I think you mean throne? or maybe you did toss your Treo?
post #5 of 137
I question the journalistic integrity of this "review." I could only conclude that from the start you set out to disparage the Treo. Your use of language and conclusions without supporting information makes it clear. You made many sweeping generalizations made apparent by the use of the terms obviously, clearly, and apparently.

For example, concluding Palm's lack of support for the Mac platform may be true, but you made a lot of conclusions about the people at Palm without any attempt to get a quotation from Palm representatives at all. And calling other magazines "wags" is not very professional.

Some things ignored in this article:
- price: treos can be had for much cheaper with contract
- availability: available on many networks in and out of the US
- MissingSync - works much better than Palm's software

Things that were played down:
- the multitude of third-party software
- text editing
- office document editing
- their email client can actually play audio
- treos also have a home button to instantly take them back to the start

I was hoping for a real world study of someone who really put these two phones through a real world test, but this wasn't it.
post #6 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

No one shoved the article down your throat

No, but didn't you think the review was a bit one-sided?

And this is the place for commenting on the article? Is it not?
post #7 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Some things ignored in this article:
- price: treos can be had for much cheaper with contract

Treos can not be had for less than an iPhone. The monthly service for the iPhone with its unlimited data plan is less than that for a Treo. The savings are roughly $20/month plus taxes and fees. Over the life of a 2-year contract, when compared to the cost of a Treo (and nearly every other smart phone), the iPhone is effectively FREE.
post #8 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

No, but didn't you think the review was a bit one-sided?

And this is the place for commenting on the article? Is it not?

A little, but that guy's comment was over the top. Besides, the iPhone is pretty awesome, so it's ok it the article admits it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

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Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

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post #9 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

No, but didn't you think the review was a bit one-sided?

Yes, I thought an iPhone-Treo 650 comparison would be a "strawman" argument. Of course the Treo will come out looking bad. At least AI has compared the iPhone to the RIM 8700. Nokia owners seem so hot on the N95, that a comparison to it would be worthwhile, too.
post #10 of 137
While having both Treo and iPhone experience under my belt, I would say this review is quite accurate.

I have not had much experience with other "smart phones" but this article speaks very true of comparison to these two phones.
post #11 of 137
Quote:
If the fanboys love the iPhone in its current incarnation, fine. Go have an orgy with a bucketload full of 'em.

In the article he did list the Treo's 3rd party apps as an advantage. Also listed several improvments he would like to see on the iPhone.

Quote:
I question the journalistic integrity of this "review."

Journalism and blogging are different. I would consider Kasper more a blogger.

Quote:
I was hoping for a real world study of someone who really put these two phones through a real world test, but this wasn't it.

He said he used the Treo before he got the iPhone. How much more real world does it get?
post #12 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Treos can not be had for less than an iPhone. The monthly service for the iPhone with its unlimited data plan is less than that for a Treo. The savings are roughly $20/month plus taxes and fees. Over the life of a 2-year contract, when compared to the cost of a Treo (and nearly every other smart phone), the iPhone is effectively FREE.

I have a Palm 755p, a much more recent offering from Palm than the 650 used in this comparison. And last I checked, my monthly plan from Sprint for my Palm 755p is actually $54.99 for 450 minutes of talk and unlimited data--$5 cheaper than the cheapest AT&T iPhone plan. And my phone purchase was heavily subsidized by Sprint.

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone looks pretty dang cool...but until 3rd party apps are available, its just not a viable option for me.
post #13 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Yes, the iPhone is cool, it's sophisticated, it's sleek, it's sexy. But it does NOT run third-party apps.

Dunno what you're talking about, but I already have quite a few of these third-party apps running on my iPhone.
 
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post #14 of 137
I was about to question the fairness of comparing 2-year old Treo 650 vs. brand new phone. Then I realized... the latest Treo 750 is only a hair smaller than Treo 650, stuck with the same old screen and largely the same design. It discards 90's style antenna while adding a bit more memory (still paltry at 60 MB), 3G UMTS, and more pixels on camera (meager 1.3 MP). Worse, it runs Windows Mobile and has worse battery life -- rated at 2.5 hours talk time in 3G mode.

I am somewhat hopefully that Palm will turn around and release something that could compete with Blackberries and iPhone. But that whole Foleo fiasco isn't helping my optimism.
post #15 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

I can understand them not doing that right now because there is always a % of the population that will pay just to be the first to have something, in spite of it making no sense at all.

And then there's the % of the population that figures out how to fully unlock the phone and run 3rd party apps on it. Makes perfect sense to me.
 
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post #16 of 137
private
Cubist
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post #17 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Treos can not be had for less than an iPhone. The monthly service for the iPhone with its unlimited data plan is less than that for a Treo. The savings are roughly $20/month plus taxes and fees. Over the life of a 2-year contract, when compared to the cost of a Treo (and nearly every other smart phone), the iPhone is effectively FREE.

I can't understand how you figured that one out, because it simply isn't true.
post #18 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjones View Post

And last I checked, my monthly plan from Sprint for my Palm 755p is actually $54.99 for 450 minutes of talk and unlimited data--$5 cheaper than the cheapest AT&T iPhone plan.

Last I checked, using my pay-as-you-go plan with the iPhone for talk and occasional data + using WiFi most of the time ends up being about $20-$30 per month. Admittedly, I wasn't a huge cell phone user to begin with, but it goes to show that there are options.
 
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post #19 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Yes, I thought an iPhone-Treo 650 comparison would be a "strawman" argument. Of course the Treo will come out looking bad. At least AI has compared the iPhone to the RIM 8700. Nokia owners seem so hot on the N95, that a comparison to it would be worthwhile, too.

It depends on what you're looking for.

I have a Treo 700p with Sprint.

Comparing my download speeds to a friends with an iPhone, my performance is far better. Yes, I agree Safari is much better than what I have. But, it is so much slower, it's too much hassle to use very often.

WiFi is NOT a replacement. There are far too few WiFi spots. And if you have to prowl around to find one, then the time spent doing that certainly makes the entire experience even slower.

Third party programs are not something that can be dismissed either. I have a fair number of these inexpensive bits of software, and they make the phone far more useful. I consider some of them to be a requirement.

A fair number of people actually don't care about total integration with Apple's own software enough for it to be useful. I'm one of them. I find Palms software to be more than adequate.

It you really do need more, then Markspaces' software will do it in spades, including for Windows Mobile phones. Sure, you do have to pay for it, but if you're buying a Smartphone (which Apple continues to deny that the iPhone is) then that shouldn't be a problem.

Now, don't get me wrong. The iPhone is a big advance. But, it still comes up short for many of us using true smartphones.

If, and when, Apple addresses those shortcomings, Then I will become a proud owner of an iPhone. Until then, it serves no purpose for me.
post #20 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Dunno what you're talking about, but I already have quite a few of these third-party apps running on my iPhone.

So far, those apps are primitive, and there are few of them indeed.

There are also no major apps available. There is also no definite knowledge that any of those apps will survive a future software update, though they have survived the minor one just released.


There are thousands of apps available for my Palm, in every category imaginable.

In a year, perhaps, if Apple must allow it, or if they come out with their own SDK, the situation could be different.

But, for now, that tiny list of very narrow programming, is just not useful for most people.
post #21 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

I was about to question the fairness of comparing 2-year old Treo 650 vs. brand new phone. Then I realized... the latest Treo 750 is only a hair smaller than Treo 650, stuck with the same old screen and largely the same design. It discards 90's style antenna while adding a bit more memory (still paltry at 60 MB), 3G UMTS, and more pixels on camera (meager 1.3 MP). Worse, it runs Windows Mobile and has worse battery life -- rated at 2.5 hours talk time in 3G mode.

I am somewhat hopefully that Palm will turn around and release something that could compete with Blackberries and iPhone. But that whole Foleo fiasco isn't helping my optimism.

The 700p is a much better phone than either of those other Palms mentioned.
post #22 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

If, and when, Apple addresses those shortcomings, Then I will become a proud owner of an iPhone. Until then, it serves no purpose for me.

Well, you can wait for Apple if you like. In the meantime, I'll be doing all of those things you mention with my iPhone.

And I dunno, most places I go I'm able to find a WiFi spot. I personally don't have to be connected to the Internet 24/7. I can usually wait until I get to somewhere which has a hotspot (hotel, coffee shop, etc) to use the Internet. And if you really can't wait, a lot of major cities (at least here in Canada) have WiFi throughout the downtown core (for a small fee). For the very rare times otherwise, I'll use the cell network for data sparingly.
 
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post #23 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

And then there's the % of the population that figures out how to fully unlock the phone and run 3rd party apps on it. Makes perfect sense to me.

You forgot to add into your sentence: "very small %"
post #24 of 137
Seems like this article is pure iPhone propoganda, but one thing it does do is let it be known clearly that the Palm needs to get its act together. Mac users are growing every day, and to continue to produce smartphones that does not play nicely with Mac is a pretty big mistake.

I have a Treo 650 which I love and rely on heavily b/c it syncs with my Outlook at work and allows me to have my calendar with me at all times. And I happen to love the touch screen and the interface. Its quite simple, especially if you've used Palm/Handspring in the past. But that does not mean that i will stay with Palm forever. If the iPhone reduced a bit in price and had really reliable and easy calendar/contact Outlook syncing with my work PC while still allowing me to sync iTunes with my Powerbook G4, I would enthusiastically put my Treo on eBay.

I think iPhone raised the bar for all smartphones, and I look forward to Palm's first real response to the iPhone.
post #25 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Well, you can wait for Apple if you like. In the meantime, I'll be doing all of those things you mention with my iPhone.

And I dunno, most places I go I'm able to find a WiFi spot. I personally don't have to be connected to the Internet 24/7. I can usually wait until I get to somewhere which has a hotspot (hotel, coffee shop, etc) to use the Internet. And if you really can't wait, a lot of major cities (at least here in Canada) have WiFi throughout the downtown core (for a small fee). For the very rare times otherwise, I'll use the cell network for data sparingly.

Actually, you're not doing most of them. Particularly as you have no idea which of them I AM doing.
post #26 of 137
You are not comparing like with like. the iPhone is very much a consumer phone and as such it wins hands down. As a business phone then I think the review is a little biased.

I have a Treo 650 and it works flawlessly with iSync, syncing contacts, and calanders, no problems here and I am keeping three Mac's as well as the Treo all in sync using .mac

The Treo supports a large number of Third party apps including Real player, Adobe, and Office Documents. However I also have the Swiss Rail timetable application, Prioriety Pass (Airport lounge database programme) the BBC have a "Radio Times" palm application that gives me a compleate TV programme for all UK TV and satalite channels. As a yachtsman, I also have Tide Tool which give tide heights of all major ports around the world every hour of every day and the list goes on. There are neumerous data base programmes for the Palm INCLUDING FileMaker! As a business phone the iPhone will never cut it unless it releases developer tools.

having said that there seem to be enough hacks around to allow the determined programmer to be able to create native apps, but without developer tools it is just never going to be able to replace the Palm.

Don't get me wrong the iP{hone is a nifty phone and will be a sucsess, but the article should have been more balanced. It will take a long time for the Phone to reach the point when the user is able to choose the applications that allow them to "Own" the phone.
Wll I have my G5 so I am off to get a life; apart from this post...
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Wll I have my G5 so I am off to get a life; apart from this post...
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post #27 of 137
Here are some really nice side by side pics of treo apps vs iphone apps
http://www.tunjiafonja.com/tunjis_we...o-vs-my-i.html
post #28 of 137
This is such a biased article/blog or whatever you want to call it. Yes, the iPhone is an awesome piece of engineering/software, and Palm is slow to update and support, but come on, this article does nothing to create a fair or real comparison of the 2 products. I have been an Apple fan and Palm fan/user for many many years and I would love a real comparison of the 2 phones and this isn't it. First of all, you're comparing an old Treo product. Their most recent phone is the Treo 755P, which is a 3G Palm based phone, NOT a Windows mobile device. So maybe you should start there. I can run numerous 3rd party apps and use my 3G phone as a modem with my MB pro and I can use the 4 gigs miniSD card for storage of anything I want. The iPhone can't do any of these things and they are all deal breakers for me.BTW, my Treo sync flawlessly with my desktop, so I don't know why you have such problems with yours...
post #29 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You forgot to add into your sentence: "very small %"

I should have posted that reply myself as I knew it was coming.

Downloading and running one Cocoa GUI app to activate the phone and open it up for 3rd party apps, then ordering a TurboSIM and wrapping it around your SIM card (if you don't/can't have an AT&T account) isn't all that hard (though admittedly it adds to the price). And a software SIM unlock isn't very far off, so that should make it even cheaper and easier.

If you can find and install 3rd party apps for your Treo, chances are you have the skill to unlock an iPhone.

Sure it's not the ideal solution, but it works for the timebeing and will only get easier as time goes on. If/when Apple opens things up, then it's very likely those same apps will be ported to use Apple's system very shortly afterwards.
 
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post #30 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Actually, you're not doing most of them. Particularly as you have no idea which of them I AM doing.

So tell me and I'm pretty sure that if there's enough people doing them, they'll be ported to the iPhone within a couple of months.
 
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post #31 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Treos can not be had for less than an iPhone. The monthly service for the iPhone with its unlimited data plan is less than that for a Treo. The savings are roughly $20/month plus taxes and fees. Over the life of a 2-year contract, when compared to the cost of a Treo (and nearly every other smart phone), the iPhone is effectively FREE.

uh, i'm getting the treo 755p for $150 and will have 500 minutes a month and unlimited data for $30 a month. personally, i would love to have an iphone over a treo, but i really can't afford it.
post #32 of 137
The 755P is even better...
post #33 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

It had the feel of being extremely one sided from the start. The iPhone has the same problem as Apple computers the lack of third party support and software. The iPhone is going to be a dead issue if Apple in the long run does not allow it to be carried by all large providers and drop the price when you get a 2 year contract, just like the rest of the world.

I can understand them not doing that right now because there is always a % of the population that will pay just to be the first to have something, in spite of it making no sense at all. Apple will take advantage of that group of people and then fall in to line with everyone else. If they don't then it will fail badly.

I live just north of ATL where there are two apple stores and cingluar/att is on par with Verizon and I have yet to see anyone with a iPhone.

When you take the cost of the iPhone then add accessories, tax and then the cost of the full voice/data plan there are only so many people in this world willing to spend that kind of money on a cell phone.

Of course it's one-sided. It's by the RoughlyDrafted website author (hence the numerous links to that site). I really wanted to be okay with this review, but like always he acts like the biggest Apple apologist around. He downplays every flaw (Flash not necessary? Makes many websites I have unusable without it.), makes claims about how features are coming to the iPhone (don't know how he can know that as no one else seems to know that), and takes cheap shots at Windows and anything else non-Apple for no apparent reason (No, I'm not a MS fan but what do they have to do with this Palm phone?).

Come on, AppleInsider, couldn't you have someone review Apple products who wasn't so clearly biased? It doesn't do much for your site's journalistic integrity to have such flagrant propaganda being posted as a review.

And before it's said, I know no one shoved this article down my throat (but I sure as h*ll wish there was a way I could throw it back up).
post #34 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

I should have posted that reply myself as I knew it was coming.

Downloading and running one Cocoa GUI app to activate the phone, then ordering a TurboSIM and wrapping it around your SIM card isn't all that hard (though admittedly it adds to the price). And a software SIM unlock isn't very far off, so that should make it even cheaper and easier.

Right now, the Turbo Sim is not for sale. Maybe you didn't read about that. There was a good article about how the developers of that were not selling it. Perhaps a handful of people managed to get one, but it is not generally available.

Installing the iPhone program installer itself requires the (simple) use of Terminal. Most people have a fear of doing that. I'm hoping that someone will develop a GUI for it that will take care of actually going to Terminal oneself.

In addition, unless somethings' changed in the past few days, there is no way for anyone other than Mac users to (relatively) easily get programs on their iPhone, and the other nineteen out of twenty of iPhone users have no equivalent program to the Mac based iPhone installer.

If, and until, a software unlock is generally available, one can't use that as an excuse. The company in Ireland (I thunk it is) CLAIMS to have a software unlock, but that hasn't been proven. Their claim that "someone" from ATT called and "possibly" threatened them with legalities has not been confirmed. The existence of such an unlock has therefore not been proven, and is in doubt.
post #35 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Treos can not be had for less than an iPhone. The monthly service for the iPhone with its unlimited data plan is less than that for a Treo. The savings are roughly $20/month plus taxes and fees. Over the life of a 2-year contract, when compared to the cost of a Treo (and nearly every other smart phone), the iPhone is effectively FREE.

My Treo bill on Sprint with unlimited data is less that the comparable plan with the iPhone. maybe you should do some research first...
post #36 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Actually, you're not doing most of them. Particularly as you have no idea which of them I AM doing.

Actually, you didn't really mention anything other than running 3rd party apps, so I am doing everything you mentioned.
 
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post #37 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

So tell me and I'm pretty sure that if there's enough people doing them, they'll be ported to the iPhone within a couple of months.

You have no high speed internet service. Again, WiFi simply is not that useful yet (if ever).

Scientific calculator. A good one, not just any crappy implimentation. Book readers that can reliably read Palm books in addition to some HTML versions. The USDA nutrition guide (a large program). Mainstream games.

I also use drawing programs, the camcorder app, which is useful to me, a dictionary program, and an external keyboard for those times when I want to get data in quickly, but don't want to go to the computer to do it, or am away from it.

I also have a universal remote control program, which not only works with my audio/video system, but also replaces Apple's own control.

There are others as well, but enough is enough.
post #38 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Right now, the Turbo Sim is not for sale. Maybe you didn't read about that. There was a good article about how the developers of that were not selling it. Perhaps a handful of people managed to get one, but it is not generally available.

They simply ran out for the timebeing, but are producing more. Votech in Australia has a shipment from Bladox in customs right now.
Quote:
Installing the iPhone program installer itself requires the (simple) use of Terminal. Most people have a fear of doing that. I'm hoping that someone will develop a GUI for it that will take care of actually going to Terminal oneself.

There is a GUI program.
Quote:
In addition, unless somethings' changed in the past few days, there is no way for anyone other than Mac users to (relatively) easily get programs on their iPhone, and the other nineteen out of twenty of iPhone users have no equivalent program to the Mac based iPhone installer.

Once SFTP is installed (which the above-linked program does with one button click), then you can use your favorite SFTP client to install apps. I perfer Transmit for Mac, but there are programs for Windows as well.
Quote:
If, and until, a software unlock is generally available, one can't use that as an excuse. The company in Ireland (I thunk it is) CLAIMS to have a software unlock, but that hasn't been proven. Their claim that "someone" from ATT called and "possibly" threatened them with legalities has not been confirmed. The existence of such an unlock has therefore not been proven, and is in doubt.

iphonesimfree.com is already taking bulk orders for their software (which was reported on Engadget). But yes, there's nothing official yet (though it seems very close).
 
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post #39 of 137
Having the ability to use 3rd party apps in of itself is great, but the usefulness of those apps need to start from a great OS and a great UI design. This is the start for the iPhone building a stong OS and UI foundation.

But no I won't be installing hacks into my iPhone.
post #40 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

And then trades it for a new car. I believe there was an article on MSN this morning about a person that traded an unlocked iphone for a car.

wow, maybe I should trade mine for a car and then just buy another one and unlock it? Even with the shortage of TurboSIMs, I could ruin a heck of a lot of phones trying to solder-unlock them for that much money. People have already figured out how to do it without soldering using pins.
 
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