Decisions, Decisions: Palm Pre or iPhone?

[An account of why--after months of planning to buy the new iPhone when it came out--I chose to purchase a Palm Pre just ten days after launch and two days before the reveal of the iPhone 3GS.]

Let me say up front that I don't have any investment in thinking of the Palm Pre as an "iPhone killer." I don't personally think it is (or needs to be), and I certainly don't gesture towards a " Palm Pre vs. iPhone" contest lightly. I understand this can be a sensitive subject.

That said, as an unsatisfied Blackberry Pearl user who had been off contract with Sprint for four months, my choice--as I came to see it--was between the iPhone 3GS and the Beta Palm Pre.

For the months leading up to the launch of the Palm Pre, I was certain (beyond all doubt) that I would buy the next iPhone when it came out this summer. I consider myself a Mac person: I love my Macbook Pro. I love my Nano. I even love iTunes. And, I'll admit it...I'm a total sucker for the Apple brand image and what I have come to associate with it: the user interfaces, the packaging, and perhaps most importantly, the fact that every Apple product I have purchased has worked for me without any grief. Until about a month ago, I was unwavering in my intent to purchase the new iPhone when it emerged.

And then I started reading about the Palm Pre. It really wasn't until Pre launch day that I started to doubt my imminent iPhone purchase. I had started following the buzz on PreCentral.com as I waited for information to trickle in on MacRumors.com about what I was sure would be my new iPhone.

However, by the time the disappointingly familiar iPhone 3GS was revealed at WWDC (say what you will...I was hoping for a much more exciting hardware upgrade), my interest in the Palm Pre's multitasking, notifications, and physical keyboard had grown quite a bit stronger--as had my interest in WebOS. Adding insult to injury, pricing monthly service at both AT&T and Sprint reminded me that iPhone users who want unlimited SMS and MMS are really not taken care of by AT&T: The SMS pricing seems excessive and MMS was not immediately available with the new iPhone.

My decision, therefore, began to seem less and less obvious. So I did what any temporarily cell-phone-obsessed person would do: I read as many comparison reviews (found this user review particularly helpful) as I could find and made a list of reasons to get/not get the Pre, which I posted to the forums so that I could get feedback from other users.

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To Pre or Not to Pre

The chance to test drive the new Palm Pre seemed like a gift from the gods. On the same day I read about the opportunity, I was moments away from taking a hammer to my iPhone.

Now I love my iPhone but I was having issues with it that customer service didn't want to deal with so I was scouring the Internet for alternatives. Those issues have since been solved but I couldn't turn down the offer to see what the Palm Pre was all about. Given my penchant for changing cell phones more often than the Boston … Read more

Documents To Go for iPhone: First Look video

Documents To Go (with and without support for Microsoft Exchange attachments) is one of our favorite applications for turning your iPhone into a home office. But it's not anywhere near complete and it has some formidable competition in the form of Quickoffice Mobile Suite, another premium offering.

If you're in the market for a document editor and creator, this video will give you a peep at what Documents To Go can offer in its first application release.

Easy-to-read news and squad-based battle: iPhone apps of the week

How long does it take you to sync your iPhone? I have the 16GB 3G, about 9GB of music, almost 2GB of apps, and about 60 photos. My "Other" category shows up as more than 2GB (!) in iTunes, but that might be worthy of a separate post. In any case, from start to finish, syncing my iPhone on my Windows PC (it's where my music library is) takes almost an hour. A lot of that time is spent backing up or transferring purchases, but it just doesn't seem right that it should take that long.

A … Read more

Rocking out with stereo Bluetooth

Now that the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware has added stereo Bluetooth functionality to the Apple iPhone, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit stereo Bluetooth and what it promises.

Stereo Bluetooth, or A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), is essentially a Bluetooth profile that lets you stream music from one device to another without the use of wires. The technology has been around for years, and almost all music phones have this feature. In fact, it was quite a big letdown that the original iPhone and iPhone 3G did not have this built in when they first launched, considering the iPhone's iPod heritage. Still, it's better late than never. The iPhone OS 3.0 update also brought stereo Bluetooth to the iPod Touch 2nd gen. If you have a music player instead of a phone, you can also purchase additional stereo Bluetooth adapters, like this Motorola D650 iPod adapter.

Stereo Bluetooth headphones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some, like the Motorola Rokr S9 HD, are meant for active lifestyles, as it's shaped to hug the sides of the head. Others, like the Samsung SBH-600, are meant for serious audiophiles, especially with its promise of surround sound and bass boost. We also like the mono-to-stereo headsets, like the Plantronics Voyager 855, that can change from a mono headset to a stereo version simply by connecting an additional ear bud. One of the more popular stereo headsets among our readers is the Jabra BT3030, which isn't really even a headset so much as it is a pendant that you can use with any pair of 3.5mm-compatible headphones.… Read more

iPhone heat issue much ado about nothing

OK, folks, it's time to step back, take a deep breath, and relax.

There has been a lot of talk today about Apple supposedly admitting it has heat issues with the new iPhone 3GS. The simple fact is that is not true.

What Apple did do is update a previously published tech note advising customers of the safe operating temperatures of the iPhone. Now, why would Apple do this? Because it does it every time it releases a device like the iPhone 3GS. It's standard procedure for the company to continually update tech notes for all its products. … Read more

Researcher hopes Apple fixes possible iPhone SMS security hole

A security researcher said on Thursday that he hopes that Apple has a fix later this month for what he believes could be a vulnerability in the iPhone that could allow an attacker to gain control of the device remotely via SMS, according to IDG News Service.

An attacker could exploit a possible weakness in the way iPhones handle SMS (short message service) messages to do things like use GPS to track the phone's location, turn on the microphone for eavesdropping, or take control of the device and add it to a botnet, Charlie Miller, co-author of The Mac … Read more

AT&T breaks sales records with iPhone 3GS launch

The first day the Apple iPhone 3GS went on sale was the biggest sales day ever for AT&T, according to an internal memo sent to company employees that has since been published in various blogs.

That's right, iPhone Day 2009 beat out the two previous iPhone launch days, as well as surpassed traditionally heavy retail sales days such as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and December 26th, the day after Christmas.

The new iPhone may not have added a whole bunch of new bells and whistles, but it seems to have certainly been a crowd pleaser. … Read more

MobileMe updates support for iPhone and OS 3.0

Apple has updated a support document that details MobileMe enhancements for an iPhone running iPhone OS 3.0. The updates include the following features.

Mail On an iPhone or iPod Touch, a user can search all messages including those stored on the MobileMe "cloud" (server). You can search in the From, To, and Subject fields.


iPhone 3GS users can publish videos to a Gallery album. If no Gallery albums exist, an album is automatically created when publishing a photo or video from the iPhone.

Push Contacts and Push Calendar

There's an option to merge existing contacts … Read more

Apple updates heat advisory for iPhone 3GS

Last week, Apple revised a support document about iPhone temperature to include the iPhone 3GS. The June 25 document cautions iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS users to operate their handsets within acceptable temperatures. It makes the following recommendations:

Recommended operating temperatures Operate iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a place where the temperature is between zero and 35 degrees Celsius (32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Low or high-temperature conditions might temporarily shorten battery life or cause the device to temporarily stop working properly.

Recommended storage temperatures Store iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a place where the temperature is between -20 and 45 degrees Celsius (-4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit). Don't leave the device in your car, because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range.

Symptoms of overheating

iPhone will no longer charge iPhone display will dim Weaker cell signal iPhone temperature warning screen appears (see below)… Read more