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In 2001 I bought a Palm Vx which I had to resurrect twice (I smashed the display once, and it started getting flakey more recently). I think it's dead for good now (frequent hangs and crashes meaning maybe the RAM has gone bad somehow.) I have liked the utility of having an address book, calendar, and notebook in my pocket all the time, and that I can synchronize it with my Macintosh computer (alas lately through an iBook G3 since newer Palm Desktop software doesn't recognize the old unit).

Whenever I look at reviews of potential replacements, the focus is on all the apps, its WiFi, and media playing capabilities. One would assume that the basic features are all equivalent and work fine, but I have learned that is an unequivocal bad assumption. A key problem for me is synching with OS X as that seems to be frequently an afterthought, so it is often the most limiting factor. I have looked at replacing my cell phone (Vigrin Mobile pay-as-you-go — another limiting factor) but cell phone companies are the most prolific liars about their products (especially when it comes to nuances of features).

I should be able to enter address book, calendar, and notebook data on either the computer or the PDA. Synchronization should take place over USB or BlueTooth. From the home computer, the data should either sync to Apple's suite (Address Book, iCal, and preferably notes as files) or be able to be imported and exported in text (comma- or tab-separated) or at least XML. The PDA should support complete searches (e.g. on my Palm, I can search for a phone number and find its owner, or search on any field). The data should be protectable by password on an item-by-item basis (I had been using TealLock which supposedly encrypted my Palm data when locked).

The PDA should truly be pocket-sized, and although I'm not overly concerned about price, things in one's pockets are prone to breakage and loss, so cost is an issue for those reasons. An iPhone, therefore, is plausible, but I wouldn't be using the phone features (I don't think it'll work on Virgin Mobile née Sprint) and without a plan, it's one of the most expensive options. I also saw this LG Android which apparently works pretty good without a plan (per one reviewer's comments).

asked Jan 20 '12 at 11:42

jolshefsky's gravatar image


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ipod touch (or iphone if you're so inclined). I've owned everything from the Palm V, Handspring, Kyocera Smartphone, WinCE phones, iPhones, Blackberries, Android devices, and so on and so on. I know what you mean about the palm being so wonderfully designed, the iphone/touch are in the same arena. The Android is very open and lets you do a lot of customizations, but I find the core set of apps (calendar, mail, todo, etc.) very cumbersome. I've spent a ton on Android apps trying to see if I could find something better, but no luck.

With the iphone, the core set of apps are the best I've ever seen and with Siri, the iphone is even more amazing. Trust me, if you can afford the iphone with Siri, you'll never want anything else.

And if you really love Palm that much, there's a palm emulator for the iphone that will let you install palm apps (and it comes with the core set of palm apps). I think it's called StyleTap. I haven't tried it, but it looks promising.


answered Jan 26 '12 at 03:58

jradi72's gravatar image


I was in the same boat - but Garmin iQue3600 which was a Palm disguised as a GPS. I too went iPod Touch. I did add Appigo's TODO to round out my perverse need to have a Task list in Outlook that is huge and needed more than the Touch's task type list.



answered Jan 26 '12 at 06:33

Greg's gravatar image


I certainly agree with the recommendations for an iPod Touch. Several users have characterized the device as an iPhone without the phone; that's only somewhat accurate. Phone calls can be conducted over a WiFi connection with Skype and other VOIP Services. Occasional calls could even be placed through one of the G3 WiFi hubs. Apple has their own brand of these services: Facetime (which is great if you're talking to other Apple users with Facetime-capable devices). With Skype, you can connect with users running Skype on their computers (or mobile devices). You can also purchase prepaid time for outgoing calls to cell phones or landlines. Google Voice is another service with an iOS app and gateways to the dial network; I haven't ever used Google Voice.

One other fun option is to get a GPS puck accessory for the iPod Touch. These either connect to the device's dock connection (bad) or via Bluetooth (much better). There's a myriad of iOS Apps available in the App Store for all sorts of outdoor activities: navigation while hiking, logging your path, geocaching, etc. Remember Murphy's law: never use a GPS as your sole source for navigating outdoors. When the iPod Touch has no GPS signal, the built-in map application will use local WiFi signal identifiers to compute your location. I'm rather astonished at how well this device can find your location in a WiFi-rich environment. Note: you're not actually connecting to those WiFi base stations; the device is just using the base stations' identifiers to help you find your location.

I think that the iPod Touch terrifies the cell phone carriers. Heaven help the carriers if a large percentage of our population realize they rarely need cell phone service.


answered Jan 26 '12 at 07:15

floatingbones's gravatar image


I'm currently leaning toward the Samsung Galaxy 4.0 — an Android Gingerbread device. It's got a better camera than the iPod Touch (3.2MP) a microSD slot for up to 32GB more (per card) and built-in GPS which is something I think would be cool (my Garmin eTrex also died — despite repeated attempts to clean and reseat the display connector). I'm going to stop by BestBuy to try it out. I'm leery that the Android synchronization is woefully inadequate. But because it's popular, I see several aftermarket solutions that help it work with OSX.

As for comments about being Apple-averse, I'm finding Apple to lean a little too heavy on "evil" (per Google's "don't be evil" priority which they too have also been dancing around a bit). I don't like cloud or network storage (e.g. both Apple and Google), especially if I can't guarantee the data is encrypted before it is sent. Both make all kinds of promises about security, but I need exactly zero occurrences of my lists of passwords (including web hosting, FTP, PIN's, financial institutions, etc.) to get borrowed by anyone. That said, I do use Google Voice and GMail, but with a cautious eye.


answered Jan 26 '12 at 10:11

jolshefsky's gravatar image


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Asked: Jan 20 '12 at 11:42

Seen: 8,328 times

Last updated: Jan 26 '12 at 10:11

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