I’ve always had a PDA. My first PDA was a credit-card sized “databank” made by Rolodex with a 1 line segmented LCD. Since then I’ve had Newtons, Zoomers, HP 200’s, and more varieties of “Windows” powered devices than I can count. Oh yeah, did I mention I had a few Palms too? Just a few (hundred).

Even though I resisted, eventually I migrated from a separate PDA to a SmartPhone, of course a Treo running PalmOS. I was never blind, PalmOS was old. It wasn’t pretty or sexy but it’s breadth of applications combined with the openness of the platform brought unheard of power to an extremely mature platform. Currently I use a Pre, which from my point of view followed Apple down all the wrong roads. It’s a very nice device, but in creating that device they lost the power that made the Palm platform great: Developers.

I just wrote 4 paragraphs on the history of why the iPhone deserved to die but didn’t. That’s not what this post is about so I deleted them. I’ll just sum it up really quickly:

  • AT&T’s network is a joke.
  • Apple has draconian, unevenly applied, and poorly understood application store submission policies.
  • Apple has destroyed the market for truly high quality supported apps by encouraging $2 apps that contain mostly pretty fluff, but some how adjusted user’s expectations to be happy with the fluff.
  • The iApps DRM is restrictive and really accomplishes nothing other than locking you to Apple’s monopolistic distribution channel.

I bought an iPhone last week.

A local Ham was getting a iPhone4 and I picked up his “old” 3GS. There are a few Ham radio applications on the platform that I wanted to run and this was a great opportunity to check it out. I have no plans to ever activate it, I’ll be using it as a WiFi only device. I wanted the GPS though, and the iPod Touch doesn’t have that feature. The camera is pretty nice as well.

Everything I stated above is still true. Finding a decent quality app in the store is difficult, but I was surprised to see that after a few years there are more than a few decent applications to be found.

The 3GS is FAST. Seriously fast. There is no waiting. I thought my Pre was fast, and it was about equal to the 3G iPhone, but the S does make a huge difference.

I never did truly replace my Centro with my Pre. There were too many applications for PalmOS that just have no WebOS equivalent. I’m seriously considering going back to a 2 device model for a while where I have a phone, and a PDA. If I can just separate the decent applications from the crap in Apple’s app store a deactivated iPhone might work quite well.