9/29/08

iPod Touch as a PDA

I've mentioned in the past in this blog how I really rely on a Palm handheld computer. When I first moved to Mac from Windows, I said that one of my criteria was
Interoperability with a Palm handheld. I use it a bunch for everything it does including the obvious (calendar, etc.) and the less obvious (eReader, Documents to Go, Expense).
I've used my Palm, with the aid of The Missing Sync for Palm OS. It works... good enough. But, sometimes it drives me crazy. I have about 2500 entries in my address book. Sometimes it messes up, losing data. Sometimes it takes hours to sync. In fact, it might get caught in a situation where when I will start syncing at night, I wake up the next morning and find it is still going. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of trying to sync and finding that I have to interrupt it to take my Palm and go off to work.. the next morning. I don't know if it is Apple's iSync of The Missing Sync's fault. I understand it is complex to do the mappings (categories on the Palm to groups on the Mac), but I don't care. I want to stop dealing with it and just use it.

As I said previously I don't really want an iPhone. But, iPod Touch and PDAs made me see that there is a viable alternative. Yes, the iPod Touch is not sold primarily as a PDA, but it might just give me what I need and want.
(You wouldn't know it from Apple. Mostly, all they talk about are the games and music, which are the things that make them money. But, I already have a 30G iPod. I need a more reliable PDA. I went crazy to try to figure out whether it had a Note pad application.)

Here's what I need (and I think "need" is correct). First, the "must haves":
  • Bible—I do regularly read the Bible and am used to having an electronic Bible in my Palm. The same company, Olive Tree Bible Softwarehas a mobile product for the Touch. I do not want to have to depend on an Internet connection.
  • ereader—I have numerous books I want to carry around. eReader has a free iPhone/Touch version.
  • iCal sync (including birthdays)—of course I want to sync with iCal. It
    claims to do it.
  • Calculater—yes, of course.
  • Address book sync—again, of course.
And "like to haves":
  • wireless access—it has it. I want it for email and web.
  • Notes or memos—I have Memos on my Palm. I don't think there is anything that is a direct replacement. I am hoping that Notes are syncable.
  • email—I have it with the Palm and want it with something new. The
    Touch has it.
  • To do/iCal Tasks—I am not sure, but I think I read that the newest
    version of iCal for the Touch does include To Dos/Tasks.
  • expense tracking—The little application that comes
    with the Palm is nice to track mileage and expenses and will produce a spreadsheet. It seems that there is a free app for this.
  • Secret!—this product from LinkeSOFT stores all my confidential data encrypted with a password of my choice. It uses 128 bit IDEA encryption. I really depend on this to
    store my passwords. It looks like a free application, LockBox, will do this.
    Or,maybe one of the other applications mentioned in Review: Secret keeper apps for the iPhone at Macworld.
I have Documents to Go on my Palm, that reads and writes Microsoft Offices files. I don't really use this much. I can do without. So. I still don't want an iPhone. I like my family plan with Verizon. But, I really would like an iPod Touch: not to replace my iPod, but to replace my Palm Computer.


I found this blog on the subject from March 2008

3 comments:

Dick said...

Fred -

Good evaluation. I would only add - please see if you can get two. :-)

Dick

Lisa said...

Thanks, Dick, but I don't really want one.

Lisa (Fred's wife) :)

Fred Avolio said...

Re: my mention of Secret! in the post, above. I just got email from the company who makes Secret!:


Some time ago you bought a shareware license of Secret! for your Palm.

We would like to inform you that new major releases of Secret! that secures your most important data with a strong encryption algorithm, are now available for BlackBerry® and iPhone®.

http://www.linkesoft.com/secret/

Secret! Cross Upgrades for registered user of any former Secret! version are available at

http://www.linkesoft.com/secret/order.html