I have been using Palms on a daily basis since I bought the first three Handspring Visor Deluxe, that were sold retail in the US at MacWorld Expo 2000 through ClubMac . After some time with the ice white Visor and an 8MB Flash expansion (ran apps directly from there!) I switched to a Sony CLIE PEG300. Unfortunately you couldn't run apps directly from the MemoryStick.
A major breakthrough for me came with the Palm Tungsten W in May 2003 , which I still use to type this posting here. Built in triband GSM/GPRS, a wonderful reflective LCD with 320*320 pixels resolution, that is perfectly visible in direct sunlight with switched off backlight, SDIO and a built in keyboard made it my preferred communication device.
Then a year later came the Treo600, which I still use a lot, but despite new features like built in camera, MP3 player, mic, speaker and speakerphone, a lot of features from the Tungsten W were missing, namely the great screen and the battery life.
So I eagerly expected the arrival of the Treo650. When it finally was announced, it included all the features, that should have been in the Treo600, only more than a year too late. EDGE support is nice and would have been great a year ago. Unfortunately it is now the end of 2004, nearly 2005. And if I switch from my trusty Tungsten W to a new communication device, it has to include UMTS and WLAN. There are countries in Europe, e.g. Austria, where you can get WLAN/UMTS/GPRS data coverage for less than 40$ per month.
Even if there would be a PalmOS device with WLAN support, it wouldn't matter, as there are no VoIP clients for the PalmOS. Both Skype
and SIP clients are available for PocketPCs right now.
Another deal breaker for me: you can not buy any PalmOS device with VGA resolution or better. Using a VGA PockerPC (HP, Dell, FujitsuSiemens, Casio...) with a VNC client allows me to remotely control my MacOSX server at home, effectively running MacOSX on a handheld client anywhere in the world, where I have IP connectivity, no matter if it is 30kbps GPRS, 300 kbps UMTS or 3Mbps WLAN.
So what will I do?
I will get myself a PocketPC with VGA resolution for VNC to MacOSX and decent web browsing, Bluetooth for connectivity via mobile phone with GPRS and UMTS, and WLAN for VoIP and data connectivity from all those WLAN hotspots in the world.
Right now I can use the new Nokia 6630 as a voice phone and as a wireless Bluetooth modem for GPRS/EDGE and UMTS.
I guess within a few months, maybe mid 2005 I will be able to get a VGA PocketPC with built in GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/WLAN and slide out keyboard, that has a batterylife of at least one long business day...
Any comments or recommendations?
Labels: handheld, Palm, PocketPC