Keeping the old hardware…

I’ve been looking at the specs for the new iPhone, and can’t see a reason to spend for, one new hardware, and two, a new AT&T contract.  The big features of the new hardware is the 3G, which only works in limited 3G availability areas, and the GPS, which lacks the critical step by step directions function.

The big selling feature is the new application support, which is a free upgrade to current iPhone owners.

So, I’m not springing for the new hardware, I’ll just download the new firmware.  I’m hoping the GPhone will be out and past the early adopter growing pains by the time my current AT&T contract runs out.

More on PDAs and Smart Phones

First off, I do see a difference between a PDA and Smart Phone. I haven’t seen a decent Smart Phone have decent PDA functionality, or a good PDA that has decent Smart Phone capabilities. To be honest, I haven’t tried the Palm Centro, but the small screen has two strikes against it. One, it makes it a sub-optimal e-text reader, and second, it limits the web browsing experience too much.

The WinCE (yet another example of poor MS marketing) OS was a kludge from the start. Ask anyone who has developed software for it for their opinion of it. Odds are it won’t be favorable. So any of the “Windows Mobile” OS based Smart Phones is a non-starter. Too much OS overhead and they all have tiny screens.

The Palm OS has stood up well over the years because of it’s clean design. It’s not trying to replicate a desktop OS. It was designed for data retrieval. That’s its primary function. Data entry on that platform was secondary (and the original graffiti is still my favorite). The device was designed to work with a less portable computer (either a desktop or a laptop), but with a full sized keyboard and a larger screen. It’s easier to update my calender or contacts on my PC and then sync that data on my PDA. Yes, I can enter that data directly on the PDA, but it is easier on the the PC.

A decent PDA must be easy to use, be easy to read, and fairly easy to enter data into independently. Most WinCE boxes strike out on option 1, and the small screens on most Smart Phones take them out of the running. After that, they need excellent contact and calendar management. This is one of the key things that kills the iPhone as a PDA.