Ex-Palm OS Treo users: Likes and Dislikes about the iPhone

Jul 2, 2009
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I had used a Palm device for over 10 years and finally made the switch to the iPhone 3GS. I was sick of waiting for Verizon to get a phone that wasn't junk (I won't use Windows Mobile and Blackberry is complete junk). The Pre looked nice, but the build quality is nothing compared to the iPhone. I will also never switch back to Sprint as they have no coverage in many of the places I go. Lastly, 90% of the people I know at work have an iPhone, so it seemed logical to copy them. Ain't peer pressure the best?

I've had a Palm III, a Samsung Palm OS phone, a Treo 650 and a Treo 700p. One of the nice things was that applications I had downloaded or purchased years ago still worked. I had a nice collection of usable apps. However, the PalmOS platform was really never capable to do all the things a smart phone should be able to do. Any kind of background apps were a hack and caused random resets. Lack of WiFi (now that I have it on my iPhone I can't believe I went so long without it on my Treo). Bluetooth support was atrocious. It just made the random resets more frequent when I had my headset turned on.

The iPhone has a nice clean interface. When it comes to apps, only the high end apps really cost a lot. I remember games like Bejeweled costing $15 for PalmOS. I have a lot more fun, cheap games for the iPhone than I ever did on my Treo.

That all being said, there are some features that I really miss. Palm had (late in the game) added a recent apps feature. I used that quite a bit. The physical keyboard was also a nice feature. The other thing I miss is removable storage. It was very convenient to have all of my pictures on an SD card and be able to take it out and print them off at Walmart if I needed some. I always had that SD card with me, and never had to worry about grabbing some other removable storage. In contacts, I could just start typing someone's name and easily pull up their info. With over 200 contacts, the interface is very much lacking on the iPhone.

MMS worked great on my Treo, and I'm surprised that it still hasn't been implemented yet with AT&T. Why is this so hard?

Calendar reminders would reremind me if I didn't clear them. This was highly useful on the Treo.

The vibrator in the iPhone is very very weak. I almost never feel it for reminders or received messages.

The removable battery on the Treo saved my life many times on long trips. A car charger is a must for the iPhone as is keeping it charged at work. My Treo would go three or four days when new, and two to three after three years on a single charge. Granted, the capabilities of the iPhone are so much more, but still.

Tethering! I decided to make the switch to the iPhone since it has been promised. Of course, it's yet another thing that's yet to be implemented, and when it finally comes I'm afraid it's going to be at a price point that I won't be willing to pay. If AT&T is listening, $10-$15 for occasional use should be the highest they should charge.

It would be nice if the status bar could tell me when I have email or other messages, or even some kind of notification when I hit the big round button, but without having to unlock the phone. Would be nice if that also told me the date in addition to the time.

It seemed like Palm developers could do almost anything they wanted. Even though background apps weren't supported, they were hacked in. Apple limits developers too much. There was no entry fee to develop for the Palm. There was no App store approval process that developers had to go through. Granted it was harder to find quality apps for a good price for PalmOS, but anyone could do anything they wanted.

All that being said, I'm really pleased with my iPhone and Apple. Apple has proven that they will continue to develop and extend the platform, add new features, fix bugs, and generally make people happy (even if they have to wait for features). Palm would take forever to fix catastrophic bugs and pretty much abandoned all PalmOS users. It remains to be seen how things will go with the Pre.

Features I'd like to see on the iPhone... Let the user decided if they want multitasking. Just implement it, and if we are running down our own batteries, it's our fault, not Apple's. Give us an easy way to switch to recently used apps.

-Chris
 

mcdan333#AC

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There are many things that I miss about the Palm platform. Up until last month I was still running a Treo 680 that reset daily - multiple times.

Miss:
Handy Shopper

Amen! HandyShopper is the king of shopping apps. I've been using Shopper on the iPhone, but it comes up short compared to HS. Biggest problem: I shop at several stores on a regular basis, and the same product is often on different aisles in different stores. HS handles it fine; Shopper, not. Anyone know of an iPhone shopping app that does this?
 

Sopralto

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I have used Palm/Handspring products for about 15 years, beginning with a Handspring, now using a Palm Centro, will be switching to iPhone in October when my ATT upgrade is available. The biggest concern to me is not having my Outlook task list. It's my brain! I don't know what I need to get done at work without it! Any suggestions as to the best option for this need?
 

jleggett

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Jul 16, 2009
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My switch

I was a LONG time Treo user (and Palm device before that), moving from the 300 to the 600 to the 650 ending with the 755. Sprint put me through PURE hell when they moved my # off the 650 (With Earthlink Wireless) back to Sprint by porting it and then assigning it to their general pool, and finally giving it away to someone else. They only finally figured it out when I gave up on my old #, called in and cancelled my 755. I went to to the iphone 3G thinking AT&T couldn't possibly be worse at customer service (They try hard too though).

My biggest complaint is the syncing of my calendar was/is such a pain. When I got the iphone, I *FINALLY* got it syncing with my work calendar by:

Adding Google Sync to my Work laptop, then using the Exchange sync in the iphone to sync up with that... That was the only way I found to keep it all in sync since the Iphone wouldn't support an exchange calendar (never mind the ads that said it was business ready at the time were what made up mind - DAMN LIES)

Then about 6 weeks ago I made the move to Mac OS X (and have happily combined 2 Windows machines and 2 linux workstations into ONE 17" MBP). I love the Mac OS, but am back to having issues with keeping my work schedule synced on the iphone. I am an IT Architect, and I am on multiple projects all day, multiple calls, calls with very little notice, etc. I need my phone to BEEP at me about calendar... Otherwise I miss calls, etc.

So now I can go pay for a $65 program (spanning sync) for something my TREO's DID OUT OF THE BOX 9 YEARS AGO!!! Fer chrissakes Apple.

Other than that, I love the iphone... WAY better Web experience than any TReo ever was.
 

CYaris

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Jun 30, 2009
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I have used Palm/Handspring products for about 15 years, beginning with a Handspring, now using a Palm Centro, will be switching to iPhone in October when my ATT upgrade is available. The biggest concern to me is not having my Outlook task list. It's my brain! I don't know what I need to get done at work without it! Any suggestions as to the best option for this need?

I agree. I could live without some of the things my palm does well (multiple signatures, attachments to e-mail through chatter), but I am not sure I can live without my outlook tasks.

I haven't switched yet, but this is one issue that concerns me.
 

minimo3

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Nov 26, 2008
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Things I miss:

-Hardware buttons for calendar, contacts, etc
-Battery life - my 650 could go for 3 days between charging
-Easy access SIM tray
-SD card slot - and the ability to perform a backup to the SD card so if your phone dies on the road you can restore without a PC
-Today screen (like 2day) where you can see all your appointments, todos, etc at a glance
-Universal search - not just the built in apps but 3rd parties as well (as a result of the PDB data structure)
-And lastly, theft deterrence. I was in China once and I got curious looks from customers and coworkers. Finally someone asked "What is that huge thing on your belt? Why does it have an antenna?" I'm sure if I was robbed in a 3rd world country they'd probably feel sorry for me and give me a proper slim Nokia instead of taking my Treo
 

Alli

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I was terrified of moving to an iPhone and not having an sd slot for backup. I can't tell you how many times that saved my bacon on various Treos. Then again, I had exactly one reset (user initiated) on my original 3G, and none on my 3GS. I'm no longer worried.

minimo - how on earth did you go 3 days between charging your 650? I used a Seidio replacement battery and still had to charge daily.

Looks like we all miss calendar/alert functions. As to Tasks - they should be right around the corner.
 

JBaby_9783

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Jan 22, 2009
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I only miss PIM. iPhone isn't the best at PIM. It's not terrible but it's not great either. I mean come on no task manager at all? That's insane. It was a bit difficult because I was a huge user of Agendus and icons. I've made it work but I wish Apple would improve it. I don't miss my craptastic Treo 680 at all! It's so nice not having a phone that resets itself randomly and a phone with a great battery. My 680s, I had two, leaked battery life like crazy! I was always swapping out the battery several times a day. People complain about iPhone battery but I think it's great! With that said, I don't live in a 3G area so I'm sure that makes a lot of difference. But I also don't expect it to last as long as a dumbphone.

I agree the vibrator is very weak on the iPhone. I don't miss any anything though. I keep my phone behind me in my wheelchair so I always feel it. It's just not nearly as strong as it was on my 680.

I believe Apple believes in its products. I lost faith in Palm. They would go forever between fixing major bugs. While at the same time promising the new OS they never delivered on. I'm sorry WebOS doesn't count. While also announcing a product that had people interested and having parties to promote it then at the 11th hour snatching it back. That Foleo disaster is what really turned me off of Palm. It just said to me Palm had no more focus. Not to mention they use cheap materials to make their stuff. I used the headphone jack one time for 15min and had to get a new 680. That's ridiculous!
 

minimo3

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I got through 3 days because I didn't use my 650 nearly as much as the iPhone. Maybe about 1/2hr of calls, pulling yahoo/gmail, and working with the calendar/tasks.

Alli - did you use to be a mod on MTDN?

My wish for iPhone OS 3.2+ is API access to the calendar database. Then maybe we can persuade CESD to port Datebk to the iPhone!

Another cool thing about Palm was the ability for 3rd parties to build sync conduits. SplashID sync was great.
 

jlc

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Jan 29, 2009
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What I really miss from my Treo's is really robust Outlook sync - notes, tasks, ability to send invites, and not having only teh first all day task show up on my iPhone. I also miss the 3rd party calenders such as Agendus and db4 - ones taht used teh Treo data store; not their own.

Oh yea - email client that could sort by date, topic, sender.

In short, the iPhone has a great screen but lacks some features to be a really good business tool.
 

Alli

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minimo, yup that's me. Sole editor over there for years. I left when they stopped paying their bills and there was no one around but me!

Oh yea - I would love to see some more options in the email app.
 

talkin73

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Jul 1, 2009
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I got through 3 days because I didn't use my 650 nearly as much as the iPhone. Maybe about 1/2hr of calls, pulling yahoo/gmail, and working with the calendar/tasks.

Alli - did you use to be a mod on MTDN?

My wish for iPhone OS 3.2+ is API access to the calendar database. Then maybe we can persuade CESD to port Datebk to the iPhone!

Another cool thing about Palm was the ability for 3rd parties to build sync conduits. SplashID sync was great.

I agree with Alli's disbelief... 3 days on a 650 is a technological miracle :eek: The worst part about this thread is reading in writing what I am thinking in my head... I miss Datebk :( It would be awesome if it got ported to the iPhone.

Have you tried SplashID for the iPhone? I have found v4 and now v5 sync very well and at lightning WiFi speed compared to the USB 1.1 speed of Palm sync... that's on the list of things I will NOT miss :D

I'm giving PocketInformant a whirl... for those asking about task syncing as well. It's supposed to sync calendar wirelessly with Google and then tasks with Toodledo. I can see the advantage of having wireless sync with something I can access (ie; on the web) even when I'm away from my home computer. But, having sync'd all Palm devices locally to my Mac since my original Palm III, I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of a "cloud" and not having a local copy of things. Maybe I just need to work with it more so I can understand how to use those kinda features more effectively :eek:
 

Scott R

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My earlier work experience consisted of working for two very, very large companies, but for the last few years I've been working for a very small company (about 20 employees). In the past I would have lots of meetings scheduled throughout the day, but now meetings that are planned in advance are pretty rare. When I saw someone post somewhere complaining about the lack of flexibility in scheduling calendar entries (e.g., every 3rd Wednesday), I figured I'd try out entering some calendar entries by hand just to see how it compared.

The flexibility for scheduling didn't seem too bad. As noted, I couldn't schedule things with the flexibility that the classic Palm OS could, but at least there's an "Every 2 weeks" option. Still, added flexibility would be nice and should be fairly simple for them to add in later. I believe that others have indicated that if you schedule things through Outlook or some other desktop app, you can get around the limited choices offered within the iPhone.

Things that surprised me and I didn't like are:
- Why no location-integration for the "Location" field? Most of the time, meetings are probably scheduled for an meeting room in your company's building, but you may also have a calendar entry associated with a party at someone's house, and it might be nice to have the reminder allow you to jump to Google Maps or something.

- I definitely don't like the way alerts work. I have a choice of setting two alerts. I prefer the classic Palm OS method of setting one alert, and having it continue to repeat/nag me. And when the alert goes off, it doesn't seem nearly as loud/noticeable as it was on my Treo.

Then there's email...First, let me say that I like the fact that fetch happens in the background. On my Treo, I might be surfing the web with Blazer and Snappermail would take over and launch the mail app. Then when it returned me to Blazer, Blazer needed to refresh my pages. Ugh. Things I don't like are:
- I liked having all of my email accounts combined into a single list view.
- I think that it was probably good that when email would come in it would display a notification on the screen telling me the number of emails and letting me jump right to them. With the iPhone, I hear a single chime and then turn on my iPhone but see no pop-up message indicating why the chime sounded. I guess since SMS and calendar alerts sound different and have a modal pop-up message, I should just assume that the chime is for email? Of course, the chime is a single chime and isn't loud enough, so I likely wouldn't notice it most of the time anyway.

Having said that, I've found that I get so much junk email now that a new email notification pretty gets ignored by me. In fact, when I was upset about the poor battery life I was getting with the 3GS I decided to try turning off all email fetching and the BeeJive notifications and battery life seems much better. But I'll probably turn fetching back on (but every hour instead of every 15 minutes) because when I do go into the email app, if I haven't used it in a while, I don't like waiting a while for it to fetch a ton of emails.

But one thing that really sucks about email fetching is the lack of flexibility. With Snappermail I had mine set to fetch email only between business hours and only during the weekdays. With the iPhone, that stupid email alert was going off at 3am because some junk email arrived. I'm sure this was also a big reason for the significant battery drain I was seeing with my 3GS.
 

minimo3

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I find that my usage pattern on the iPhone differs markedly from the Treo. With the Treo my most common activities were

  1. Making calls
  2. Using the calendar/tasks
  3. Reading/writing email
  4. Taking memos
  5. Occasionally working on a word or excel document
  6. Reading e-books

With the iPhone I find myself mostly

  1. Surfing the web
  2. Checking Facebook
  3. Reading email
  4. Playing music/videos
  5. Taking photos
  6. Using maps

I've ended up shifting most of my PIM/Productivity and data entry activities to the laptop. I avoid entering calendar entries on the iPhone and enter them in Google Calendar instead. I use Remember the Milk for todos but I work them via a gadget in my Gmail on the desktop. I never use the Notepad in the iPhone instead I've returned to using post-it pads. I read emails on the iPhone but reply to them on the laptop where possible. The SplashID passwords stay on my desktop since they were last sync'ed off the Treo. Never bothered to put them on the iPhone. Finally I use dropbox to store documents I need to take on the road. I guess the iPhone is more suited as a read-only type device than the Treo.
 

Alli

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At some point I had gotten away from SplashID and moved to eWallet. I took it with me when I went to Windows Mobile, and then just bought it when I got the iPhone and did a sync - flawless and painless. I'm still hoping syncing capabilities will eventually be available over 3G and not just WiFi so that I can sync if I'm not at home. I sure won't pay for two WiFi connections at a hotel just so I can sync eWallet and Docs2Go!

I am really loving syncing with Goggle. Once I got all the dupes out, and got my repeating events sorted, it's been a breeze. I tried Toodledo, but I didn't care for it at all. It was easier just to set Tasks as an appointment. Toodledo also seemed to make a mess of my calendar, listing days with No Tasks Due whether I wanted to see them or not.

I am currently using both Pocket Informant and Agendus. I know...sounds weird, right? Both companies have addressed the iPhone from different directions, so that at the moment, rather than competing products they are handling totally different functions. I expect that will change in 2 updates when Agendus adds full Google calendar support. (And then I'll dump PI, cause I am an Agendus fangirl!) So for now, calendar is in PI and tasks and contacts are done through Agendus. I also got TaKePhOnE just because it was a comforting purchase to make.

I'm still pushing the use of CompanionLink. For those of you coming from Palm that haven't tried it - DO IT. My iPhone syncs to Google, but Google syncs via CompanionLink to my Palm desktop (yes, you read that right) where I use Agendus for Windows Palm desktop edition. I can still pull up Agendus or the Palm desktop on my pc even if the net is down and see what appointments are coming up or someone's phone number is.

Sorry for the ramble. I still get really excited about all this stuff. :)
 

MikeM

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I've migrated from Palm over to iPhone earlier this week.. I dare say the move has been revolutionary. Can't remember how far back my history goes with Palm, but I'll remember this past Tuesday for sure.

Prior to iPhone I was forced to carry three devices... My Centro was not much more than a picture viewer (Splashphoto) and a phone. I use a GoDaddy emal account then never worked properly. I was plagued by resets, poor screen IQ and web speeds so slow I never bothered. Texting had it's obvious limits and trying to listen to music was a waste of time.

I also carried a 160g ipod and a Magellan GPS...

At this point, only a few days in, I can't imagine a better product than the 3Gs... Well, the one thing I would like to have is for the screen to time out after two minutes, but without the necessity to swipe when it is woken up. I have yet to find an app that will turn off the phone & WiFi. I used to use Central on the Palm platform and have the phone power down and audio mute set for 11:30pm and back on at 6:00 AM. And Central had the HD wipe if the phone was lost..activated by a text message. I know MobileMe will do this, but I haven't jumped on-board yet.

I now have contacts & calendar events sync'd from my office pc, media from my home PC, IMAP email, full text messaging and all the other bells and whistles... Palm products were going to go on fleabay, but nobody wants them...
 

alokeprasad

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Does using Agendus make sense if I am using Exchange Activesync for my calendar and emails? Can I use it at home for my personal contacts and calendar along with Activesync?

PS: Some have indicated that with OS3, iPhone can have both Activesync and another PIM databases on the device at the same time. I would really like to verify that before buying my iPhone
 

Alli

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Right now Agendus isn't doing calendar at all on the iPhone - it's more like the original Action Names, if you go back that far as a Palm user. Their next move is to sync the calendar to Google. You'd be able to use Exchange and Agendus for calendaring, cause they use different databases.

Agendus does use the iPhone's contacts database.

I've read where you can use two PIM databases, but it honestly sounds like more work than anyone would want to do.
 

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