Sunday, September 09, 2007

How to Shop for a Portable Device

What do I want? Do I even need a phone? When the iPhone came out, my first reaction was wishing it wasn't a phone. If I want a touch screen in my pocket, shouldn't I safe money and open my options with a Nokia Internet Tablet? The iPod Touch and the iPhone will be open, eventually. They can be coerced into running new things, already. The Nokia has a huge library of software, and can be made to run linux with lots of apps I already use. The price is undeniably better, of course.

Everything says "Don't get the expensive Apple device," and yet, I want to buy it. I even want the phone model, when I don't want a phone. What great marketting.

If I could find any decently open e-paper device, I'd jump on it before anything else.

3 comments:

Jesse said...

I'd like to just say that I have an iPhone and I love it - I've hacked mine using the software hacks to "open it up" - I've got games, Python/Ruby and a vt100 terminal installed, as well as an ebook reader and much more.

It's small, gets great power usage, and has a wonderful interface. While it is true - I am an apple fanboy - setting that aside for the moment, I find it to be a perfect mix of form and function.

Not to mention, I like hacking the device up. More on what I am talking about:

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/08/29/apptapp-installer-equals-easy-third-party-apps

darkness said...

The iPhone looked pretty good to me except for two things:

1. No 3G. (I want 3G more for the lower latency than for the higher bandwidth.) I just know that Apple will announce a 3G iPhone a few months after I buy a current model.

2. AT&T may not be usable in Charlotte.

To expound on that second point: presumably you want to use the iPhone's ability to talk to AT&T's network, and I believe you are in or around Charlotte. In general, Verizon is king here for coverage, and AT&T is still in second place. They've gotten better, but of the handful of people I've talked to on AT&T, they still report coverage problems. For example, Highland Creek (north side) coverage is bad, and coverage in some of the places in south Charlotte (particularly Ballantyne (sp)) is reported to be inadequate.

If you've already got AT&T and you're happy with the coverage, this is a non-issue for you. For what it's worth I've got a Verizon phone with the (expensive) tethering plan and an N800 (BT tethering to the phone), and I'm pretty happy.

Ycros said...

A decently open e-paper device? Try the Iliad, it's been around for a while now - http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad
It runs Linux, and they provide an SDK if you want to easily write your own apps for it.

The big problem I have with it (and probably the only reason I don't have one yet) is its price.

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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