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What Smartphone do I recommend? An iPhone for me (since I bought one) and an uhhhh for you!

July 1, 2009

My beloved Palm T|X exploded while in Cambodia; the heat and humidity caused the resisters on the circuit board to swell, tearing the case open from the inside and damaging the LCD screen. So, I needed to find something to take its place and was tired of carrying around a phone, PDA, and iPod (for the bus ride) to work.

I opted for an Apple iPhone because it seemed decent in the sense of stability, processing speed, ease-of-use, and ability to perform the tasks I needed it to. Most important to me, however, was the vast amount of medical programs available. The Palm WebOS and Android, being relatively new platforms, do not have much in the way of developers yet. Windows-based PDAs have been, in my experience, much like the PC Windows experience: not solid. And blackberries, well, again there is not the full gamut of medical software. Wired has a great breakdown of the newest SmartPhones on the market.

My purchase was a good one. Ridiculously expensive with an equally exorbitant plan, but able to do everything I need so far. Well, it did take quite a work around to get my Outlook tasks synched with the darn thing. Unfortunately, the iPhone comes with no endogenous To Do list application. I opted for toodledo, and use their synching software (which produces security alerts from Outlook that I’ve been unable to resolve thus far).

I’m still working out the kinks of e-mailing and twittering on the go, especially as the cut-and-paste feature can be very cumbersome, but I love how SMS ‘conversations’ are displayed and how it’s very easy to interact with the Contacts data. The ability of Google maps is, well, breathtaking; I can punch in my destination and it will give me directions based on my location (which it must triagulate from the cell towers). Riding the bus today on an unfamiliar route, I charted our progress and could decide when to get off based on the map. What an amazing tool this could be for travellers!

For those who worry about no true multi-tasking, well, maybe you never owned a Palm. The iPhone allows you to listen to music while you do stuff. It will alert you of a phone call or message while you are, say, browsing with Safari. You can have multiple Safari pages open at a time. The only time having programs truly run in the background would be nice, is when I’m playing a game of LuxTouch and need to do another task before I’ve completed my game. Going back to the main menu, I lose my game. But no big deal really – it’s a huge step up from what I was used to with my Palm, and a heck of a lot glossier!

Tomorrow is Day 1 of Residency. Pretty soon I’ll be test-driving some medical software and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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