Bye Treo, hello iPhone


It happened. I have switched to the iPhone 3G. When the first iPhone hit the market I resisted because I couldn’t imagine that the new shiny gadget from Apple could help me out in the daily tasks I was so accustomed to with my Treo. I have been a palm user ever since I can remember.

My latest Palm device, the Treo 680, was a perfect combination of a phone, a calendar and task manager. I could read email, read my news feeds, view documents. In short it suited my needs.

When the iPhone 3G was first announced I was still under the impression that it wouldn’t meet up to my daily needs. I love gadgets but I am a very practical person. The device itself isn’t enough, it has to help me out in my workflow. When the device was announced in the Netherlands I had to wait several weeks due to heavy demands for the device. The news about bad coverage and other problems made me doubt for a while but when the call came that my reserved iPhone was waiting for me I just went ahead. Mainly because I wanted to buy a mobile internet solution anyway and the deal here in the Netherlands is very atractive (30 euro for 150 minutes and 150 text messages and unlimited data (3G and when available tmobile Wifi))

One of the main reasons to switch now is that my life isn’t that packed with projects that a failing system would hinder me. I have enough on my plate (12 projects and about 60 next actions), but there have been busier times. So I could take the risk of having to fiddle a bit fitting the new iPhone to the way I work best.

Whenever I get a new computer, phone or whatever gadget I prefer doing a complete cold-turkey switch. That is: bring over the data and turn off, sell or destroy the old device. In this way I am forced to figure the important things out and not take the easy fall back scenario to the old and trusty one.

In short, the transition has been great, the iPhone feels like a glove. It took me less than an hour to be up and running with my email, calendar, tasks and contacts. I will blog more about my iPhone experience but here are a couple of noteworthy things I have encountered:

1. Smooth transitions between the different aspects of the iPhone.
When I listen to a podcast in the car and someone calls, I just make the call, end it and I am taken back to the podcast. I never have been able to get the Treo do that.

2. Visual voicemail
This is so handy. I used to hate voicemail. For the simple reason that calling your voicemail and going through the silly voice response system is ugly at best. Now I have a list of voice-mails and can see instantly who left a message.

3. The screen
Surfing the web, reading email or documents is so much better to do on this screen in comparison to the Treo screen.

As with all technology there are things to wish and problems/errors to live by. That is also true for the iPhone. It’s not perfect. Humans aren’t perfect so the things humans create aren’t perfect either. That is just a given fact. I am happy with the result.

The thing I miss most is the ability to edit word or excel documents preferable in Google Docs. I won’t be using the iPhone to write long articles or an ebook. But being able to edit or proofread texts and fill in a spreadsheet for expenses for instance would be a great addition. For now I have created a workaround for a couple of documents with the Google Forms option.

More on how I use Evernote and other workflow things will follow, write a comment about what you would like me to cover about the iPhone and GTD.