gPhone - ePepys
17th Jul 2009
10:42 pm - gPhone
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
- had a memory card slot and
- was not evil
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.