iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

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I'd be grateful for any comments that anyone who uses an iPhone and/or  
iTouch device as a PDA might like to make on the usability of the  
included/available PIM software -- especially in contrast with that on  
Palm or Psion devices.

Are the two Apple devices equivalent in PDA functions? AFAIK an iTouch  
is just an iPhone without the phone functionality and the PIM software  
is the same ... but am I wrong?

I currently have a very serviceable Nokia phone and a Palm Tungsten  
that will probably fall apart before the year's end. I'd really like to  
keep the phone (but the thought of faster/cheaper internet access than  
GPRS is appealing) but I'll need a new PDA and I don't currently see  
any device that is an obvious best choice for my needs.  

A friend just got an iPhone ... it looks like a good solution, but  
isn't available on my network ... (damn Apple and their restricted  
dealership cartels). Would a iTouch and my current Nokia be a workable  
solution, I wonder?

Cheers,
 Daniel.
  


Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

On 5/17/09 7:52 AM, Daniel James wrote:
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It is inferior in some ways. There is no ToDo support (though several  
applications are offered by third parties), there are only a few pre-set  
times an alarm can lead an event by, and complex repeats like "every  
Tuesday and Thursday" are unavailable. On the other hand, syncs are  
performed automatically, and over the air. I cannot say that I regret  
leaving my Treo 650. I had intended to stick with Palm, but Palm has  
been running what we used to call a "Chinese fire drill" for too long.

I had AT&T anyway, because they had the best service near my brother in  
Vermont.

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

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Are you saying that the iTouch is inferior to the iPhone, for these  
reasons, or the other way around?

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.. by the iPhone, I take it (or do you mean that the iTouch does this  
over WiFi)?  

Sounds useful, but I'd really want to sync to my own PC, not some  
cloudbase run why who knows who (and that I can't back up).

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Yes. Palm have been demonstrating their cluelessness on so many levels  
that it's a wonder they're still in business. It's a tribute to the once  
great strength of their product and the loyalty of their users that they  
are still in business. I'd really like the 'Pre' to be a world-beater  
and a new lease of life for Palm ... but the signs are not encouraging.

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Here in the UK the iPhone is only sold through O2, who are probably the  
third best network out of four. You can't even buy it SIM-free.

In some countries (I think France is one) the cellphone marketplace  
works very differently and the iPhone can be had SIM free.

Cheers,
 Daniel.
  


Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

On 5/18/09 5:56 PM, Daniel James wrote:
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Both, compared to the Palm.

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Hmmm.... I don't know, actually. From Apple's viewpoint, it would be  
much simpler to do it that way, since all the infrastructure is in place.

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You shouldn't have to worry about backup. It should all be on your PC,  
and it should all be on your iPhone, and the iPhone copy is backed up to  
your PC (I understand) every time you cable-sync.

You can worry about the /security/ of MobileMe, I guess, but I, for one,  
don't have anything so secure in my contacts, my appointments, or my web  
bookmarks that I worry about it that much, and, unless you own your own  
email domain, you have to trust someone with your email anyway.

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I don't know about things in the UK, but I'm actually paying less per  
month for 3G on my iPhone than I was paying for 2G on my Treo. AT&T both  
subsidizes the purchase price of the iPhone (so that it's a good deal  
less expensive than the iPod Touch) and offers a special low  
unlimited-data rate just for the iPhone.

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

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Oh ... right. Understood.

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cable-sync with what? Does the iPhone have a PC application (I know it  
integrates nicely with a Mac, but that's not what I use) ... or do you  
mean that it syncs with Outlook (which is something else I don't use)?

If it's on my PC I can back it up, yes. If it's "in the cloud" I  
(probably) can't back it up ... and while it's true that someone else  
probably does back it up, there is no guarantee that data there are safe.

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Yes, and I know that some people do.  

I would not think that most people's data represents a sufficiently  
tempting target to attackers that more than nominal security is needed  
for the likes of contact information and bookmarks, but many people use  
their mobiles/PDAs to store other things (bank account numbers and PINs,  
for example) which would be worth stealing, and which should be stored  
securely.

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Yes, there are deals like that here ... the cost of carrying data  
(including voice data) over 3G must be less than the cost of carrying the  
same data over 2G because of the higher bandwidth, so the networks are  
able to offer it at a lower charge.  

Cheers,
 Daniel.
  













Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

On 5/25/09 11:22 AM, Daniel James wrote:
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With iTunes. On an Apple, all you have to do is plug it in; the rest is
magic.

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Yes, but, as I say, it's on your PC, it's on your iPhone, and I /think/
that it's on your PC again as a backup of the iPhone. Nothing is /only/
on MobileMe except transitionally, unless you choose to use the iDisk
feature.

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That stuff doesn't go through MobileMe, unless you do something barmy
like e-mail it. MobileMe contains /only/ e-mail sent to or from your
MobileMe address, your iDisk (a virtual disk you can use at your PC if
you want to), your Safari bookmarks, your calendar, and your contacts.

The sensible way to handle things like account numbers is to get a
customizable program designed for the job, such as SplashID. This, like
many other programs, syncs with your PC by direct Wi-Fi (in other words,
you must be near the PC to sync).

(In short, there are three ways to sync a PC and an iPhone. MobileMe
does only the critical PDA things, and does them automagically. iTunes
requires a cable, and does backups, plus the obvious audio and video
synching that iTunes always did for iPods. Since you want to plug in the
cable daily to charge your battery, this, too, is virtually automatic.
Finally, third-party applications sync on demand by Wi-Fi-to-Wi-Fi.)

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

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Yes. On an Apple it is magic. Unfortuantely I have to use a PC ... I can
use linux on it at least some of the time if I want to (i.e. I'm not
bound to using MS software) but it is non-Apple hardware.

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OK. If it's on the PC I'll be happy. I don't really care where else it
may be (it might be nice to be able to access it online from anywhere --
though there are security issuest  -- but the important thing is to have
a local copy). Is it stored in an open format that other apps can access,
or something proprietary?

It's SO hard to find out this sort of information unless one knows a
clueful user who already has the device. Manufacturers are very bad at
providing useful pre-sales information at this technical level.

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WiFi, Bluetooth ... I'd be happy if was cabled USB as long as it works!

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Thanks. I didn't know that.

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Good point.

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 







Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

On 5/26/09 6:29 PM, Daniel James wrote:
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It's all available on Windows; I just don't know whether the Windows
version of iTunes automatically starts and runs a sync the moment the
cable is plugged in, as the MacOS X version does. But, most of the time,
the two versions of iTunes work just alike.

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Again, I don't know the details for Windows. On MacOS X it goes into the
built-in databases of the obvious programs (Mail, Safari, iCal, and
Address Book). On Windows, I know it at least works with Outlook.

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

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Oh, OK ... The way you wrote that led me to think that it was only on an
Apple that iTunes would do this. Clearly that's not what you meant.

I must say, I'm a little taken aback at the thought of installing a music
download/purchase app (which is how I see iTunes) just to sync a calendar
-- there is virtually no chance whatsoever that I would ever use iTunes
for downloading 'tunes' and it seems like an unreasonable imposition to
require it.

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What it does on MacOS is what most people would want and expect on a Mac
.. what it should do on Windows is open to quite a lot of debate. While
some will want it to sync with Outlook others (including me) will object
if that's /all/ it does.

.. and as I said ... I'm constrained to using a non-Apple PC, but I'm
not constrained to using (only) Windows on it. I'd really prefer a
solution for linux.

The ideal would be for the information to be made available in an open
format that users could import into Outlook (if that was their tool of
choice) or into any other package that could handle the format (and I'd
expect quite a number of packages to do so).

Anyway, we're wandering away from my original question about the quality
of the apps on the iWhatever devices. From what you say they're fairly
decent, but I'll have to look into what they can sync with for myself.
Thanks for the help.

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 


Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

Daniel James wrote:
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You don't have to download tunes from the iTunes store.  You do have to
have an account with them to download applications though.  You can also
add your existing music.  I have never bought a track on iTunes, but my
iPod is quite full of music.

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

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Well ... obviously.

I was asking about the ability of the iTouch (and the iPhone) to
synchronize PIM data with non-Apple PCs (Windows and/or linux). My point
was that iTunes is primarily a music management app and it doesn't seem
an obvious choice (not obvious to the non-iPod user, anyway) for syncing
non-music data. I don't need to be told that one can use the iTunes
application and still not buy anything from the iTunes store ... Apple
don't actually require one to surrender free will as a condition of
installing the software.

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That's only half the issue, though ... I currently have an iRiver H340,
which also has a lot of music on it. I've never used iTunes or any other
such program -- the H340 simply appears as a USB Mass-Storage device and
doesn't need any specific logic on the PC to load it up with music (or
any other sort of content). I don't think that a monster piece of
software like iTunes is either necessary or desirable for music, and it
really goes against the grain to think of using it to synchronize
contacts, etc..

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 


Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

On 6/1/09 6:26 PM, Daniel James wrote:
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You can use either iTunes (wired) /or/ MobileMe (wireless) for calendar,
contacts, and Safari bookmarks.

You must use iTunes for notes (new today in iPhoneOS 3.0), music, and
video. You also need it to install new releases of iPhoneOS.

And you may find iTunes handier than you think. It's cheaper than CDs,
and offers choices you don't otherwise have. For example, last month I
needed a copy of Sheena Easton's "Morning Train" (aka "Nine to Five"),
and ninety-nine cents at the iTunes store was a lot cheaper than buying
the whole "Greatest Hits" album. And I'd been looking for years for a
copy of the original (non-remixed) version of the Corrs' "Talk on
Corners" before finding it on iTunes.

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

John W Kennedy,
Earlier, you wrote this:

"It is inferior in some ways. There is no ToDo support (though several
applications are offered by third parties), there are only a few pre-
set
times an alarm can lead an event by, and complex repeats like "every
Tuesday and Thursday" are unavailable."

But that was before the latest firmware update. Can you tell me if
there is now a ToDo app built in? And more importantly, are those
calendar limitations still present?

Thanks!

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Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

On 7/9/09 5:13 PM, dustin wrote:
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Pretty much unchanged. I use ToDo by Appigo to take care of the to-do
problems, and just put up with the rest. The Mac, iPhone, and MobileMe
versions of iCal all need some serious upgrading, but, for the most
part, it's all convenience issues, not basic function.

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

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How do Palm(Vx) stylus users find the switch to punching keys on a
flat panel?

I only use the Calendar, Contacts, and Notes.  My To-Do is just a
single text Note, where I move line items up and down within the
single note depending on its priority.  Pretty primitive, but my
practices have evolved to work well with that.

On Palm, you can designate items as Personal, Business, etc..  You
can't synch the Personal stuff with one computer, and the Business
stuff with another (it's all or nothing).

Does iTouch allow you to synch Personal stuff with one computer, and
Business stuff with another computer?

Re: iPhone vs. iTouch (iPod 'touch') as PDA?

On 7/26/09 12:16 PM, AndyHancock wrote:
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I don't think so, but if they are both Macs (if they are Windows I don't
know) you can synch the iPhone with MobileMe and synch MobileMe with
more than one computer.

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