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gPhone - ePepys

17th Jul 2009

10:42 pm - gPhone

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In other news... when I haven't been obsessing about cats, I've been obsessing about smart phones — in this I am aided and abetted by Manny (who can't abide cats). My Trēo 650 (and even Manny's 680) is getting rather long in the tooth and Palm have moved from PalmOS, so I have to jump ship.

I've been dithering between waiting for the Palm Prē to appear or a new Google Android phone. Basicially I want a PDA with 3G that can be a phone if I need it (I calculated that I make an average of 5 minutes of calls and 10 texts a month — clearly I have no friends).

Put another way, I have iPhone envy. The iPhone would be the perfect device for me if it

  1. had a memory card slot and
  2. was not evil
I suppose I'd give up on the memory card (as I'd have to for the Prē) at a pinch.

What I valued most about the Palm devices was that one could install user-written applications on it. I have many installed, and even had a go myself at enhancing the MP3 player. If you want an application for the iPhone, you have to (without serious hacking) get it from its AppStore. Since it costs $99 to develop/upload applications, I doubt that many iPhone applications are non-commercial and Open Source — even if many are free.

It is in this sense (and all the ways that Apple wants to control what you do with their device) that I find the iPhone evil. Android is better than Palm in this respect (Open Source OS, even if the SDK is not). For me the Prē has just one advantage: upgrading should be easier, since they have tools to help and even an emulator to run my old PalmOS applications.

Anyway, I had been dithering until I saw specs and vids of the new Android HTC Hero. Since I've only had brief plays on an iPhone and haven't used a real Android phone (I did play with the Android emulator, but that just has the base UI), I'm not the best judge, but it does look at least as nice as the iPhone. HTC have added a new UI (finally with multi-touch) and improved base applications that look very nice. It has a slightly compressed screen (same number of pixels) and is slightly thicker (same weight). The "chin" and colour (white for the SIM-free) make it look a little less cool than the iPhone. But it has a microSD slot, standard headphone jack (finally!), and software features that sound very promising (eg. Flash support, proper multi-tasking).

I was spending so much time reading all I could about the device, that in the end I decided the only way to stop obsessing was to buy the damn thing. I pre-ordered a SIM-free Hero for £400. It was then supposed to be out this coming Tuesday, but has been pushed back another two weeks (7 Aug). The anticipation is killing me!

If only I could stroke my cat to calm down.

Comments:

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From:brewsternorth
Date:17th July 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
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I look forward to hearing how you get on with it!

With regard to the iPhone vs. Pre argument, and Apple's evil empire tendencies, apparently the latest update to iTunes actually removes the previous capacity to synch the Pre (and probably the Android and other smartphones) in a similar way to the iPod.
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From:e_pepys
Date:17th July 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
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I'm still using a two year old version of iTunes because that was the last one that allowed me to remove the DRM without re-encoding. Not that I used it much anyway, but what's the use of audiobooks that you can't play on your mp3 player/phone?

(I heard that iTunes now mostly offers mp3s, but I don't want to risk getting something I can't use by upgrading.)
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From:vicarage
Date:17th July 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
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I've been going through the same thought process, and must have even fewer friends, as I have about 2 texts a month, and one of them is to tell me when I've been paid. I don't want to be sucked into the Apple world and battle with Linux syncing like I did with Psions and Palms. As I've sold my online soul to Google Android would be my choice too, and the Hero looks nice. I just procastinate more, so might wait until my n800 breaks, which it must do sometime with the heavyhanded way I use it, surely, surely...

So I look forward to a fondle sometime
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From:e_pepys
Date:18th July 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
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Manny (work friend) is always waiting to play with mine before getting one himself - though he's also dithering with the Samsung Galaxy (another Android phone).
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[User Picture]
From:vicarage
Date:22nd August 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
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Did you get it, what's it like?
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