Saturday, September 26, 2009

Palm Loyalty

So, for the longest time I’ve been following very closely the release of the Palm Pre… and I noticed that my old cellphone and Palm TX have been starting to fail on a more regular basis.  So I just waited for the Canadian release.  I even put myself on all the mailing lists so I’d be first notified.  I probably became a pain for Bell people as I would call now and again to see if it was available.

See, I’ve been a Palm See full size image user for many years.  [PalmPilot Personal / PalmPilot Professional / Palm III / Palm m505 / Tungsten T3 / Palm TX / Treo 700w (for work) / Treo 650 (for work)]. I’ve gathered years and years of data and usage out of the many specific softwares released for palm.  So if I’m transitioning to a new phone and replacing my Palm, it’d have to be something that works with all that I’ve built up.

I’ve looked at the BlackBerries and iPhones, but nothing made go “cool” enough to ditch my legacy of Palm.  And BB’s had no touch screen… I have to be able to tap stuff nowadays.


The day finally came that Bell was able to get the Pre, so I made the call… I did my research on the types of plans etc… and it was all doable… except that Bell was unable to port my current cellphone number.  That caused a hiccup… then I debated about a whole new number… but Bell couldn’t even give me a Thunder Bay number. (I was told that if I wanted to, I could sign up for the long distance plan, that way I could call my local area without long distance charges!!!!!).

This was a major letdown.   My TX was crashing alot more, and becoming less reliable (there were days I wouldn’t even turn it on!).  So, I did some more exploring.  How was I to get a Palm… there were rumours that a GSM version MIGHT be available by Christmas time in the states, which means it would be a lot longer before it came to Canada… could my hardware keep that long?  What about if I went to Telus and got the Palm Pro… it’d be WinMo, but at least my data could be synchro’d.  It’d have Wi-Fi, GPS which is what I wanted, but a smaller screen and resistive touch (i.e. stylus) kinda had me hoping for a change.

So I did some more research.  It was then I looked at some possible alternatives with Rogers (stay with the company I was with).  And I looked at the similar options in Android.  There was the Dream , and the Magic .  The apparent difference was only the flip out keyboard.  Which to me, having the physical keyboard made sense.  However, some of the reviews said that the chin could get in the way of typing, and that the only way for it to rotate the screen was to flip out the keyboard.  Plus there wasn’t any news of a virtual keyboard for the Dream … so anytime I’d want to type even a small note I’d have to flip out out, and type.  So kind of a long process to reply “sure”.  Besides, more digging turned up the Magic had more ‘guts’ to it.  Which would mean more in the long run.  Sure, the microSD was under the battery cover, but … small sacrifice.

So I went and upgraded to my Magic.  And let me tell you, it’s been great.

Now, to get my calendar and contacts were a bit of a pain.  Nothing to sync from Palm Desktop to what it would use.  So I signed up for a gmail account and did some importing and most of it worked that way.  So I was able to keep contacts, it’ll sync my work calendar and some of my palm ones.  It’s a big upgrade in my book, with just a little learning curve.

Next I had to look for the software I used on my TX and find Android equivalents.  I couldn’t have been more surprised with the vast array of software, and most of it is FREE.  In no time I found a good accounting program, mileage, document editing, book reading, GPS navigation…  it’s been great.

So, anybody looking for a good phone, I recommend the Magic.  A little awkward using it as an actual phone as now and again I’ll smash it against my cheek bone causing it to end or something, but again, … learning curve.  But I just love the capacitive touch screen.

I’ll do some blog about my favourite apps next time.

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