iSuccumbed

August 12, 2010

Yes, I succumbed. Or more accurately, iSuccumbed.

I’ve been a loyal Palm fanboy for more than a decade. I’ve had a series of Palm devices, including the Palm VII, several Treos, and finally the Palm Pre. I’ve touted Palm for years and even converted numerous (but not countless, I admit) folks to the Palm mentality.

When the iPhone was released several years ago, I was quick to disparage it. It lacked a physical keyboard. It didn’t sport a┬ávisual notifications that would linger after the screen shuts off. Its vibrate alert was dweeby. Its push email, other than for its own me.com emails, is half-hearted. Apple is resistant to hacky-innovation. Heck, at that time, the iPhone didn’t even have copy-and-paste.

So, as millions upon millions of iPhones were sold in its various incarnations, I continued to resist its siren song. I fought the lemming lure and stayed steadfast to Palm (now HP/Palm) and its wonderful WebOS devices.

And yet, earlier this week, I succumbed.

I ordered an iPhone 4, and it’ll arrive soon. I cannot wait.

So why did I succumb? Two words: FaceTime and Apps. (Ok, so that’s three words – but somehow “and” just doesn’t count.)

FaceTime

Using FaceTime, two iPhone 4 users can hold a two-way videophone conversation. FaceTime also takes advantage of several iPhone 4 features: a camera in the front, and another in the back. And FaceTime makes it possible for the user to “flip” the view from front to back without having to flip the camera – a very useful feature.

Videoconferencing via a smartphone ain’t new. Not much innovation there. Yet, Apple is able to come up with hardware that works well and sell enough units that they become part of the mainstream. And because of the sheer number of devices with these features, developers and businesses take heed and develop nearly countless (ok, over 200,000) related apps.

Take, for example, ZVRS – a video relay interpreting service for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or have communication disabilities. ZVRS partnered with Apple and built an app in which iPhone users can make “phone calls” while communicating via sign language through ZRS’s interpreters. Niiiiiiiiiice.

ZVRS iPhone app

The iPhone hardware and its associated (and massive) ecosystem are the two main reasons why iSuccumbed after so long. At this time, Palm simply does not have the numbers (both smartphones and apps) to keep me. I’m certain that with HP’s recent acquisition, Palm will release new hardware – but it has waited too long, and I am moving on.

Don’t get me wrong. WebOS, I firmly believe, is still superior to iOS. I particularly love how WebOS multitasks (and the fact that it has multitasked from day one). I adore the gesture areas outside the screen on the Pre and Pixi! Yet the numbers and new hardware simply aren’t there (yet?).

No, wait. I’m at least giving the iPhone a 30-day trial period to see if I truly like it (and AT&T) enough to abandon Palm altogether.

Stay iTuned.

Arrgggghhhh!

July 15, 2010

Methinks I’m having too much fun with my Palm Pre and the various photo touch-up apps available on it. 

Here’s one, using gems from the Palm Pre’s Camera Fun! app:

And here’s myself looking a bit, well, puzzled (via Pre’s Photo Effects Plus app):

Puzzled Josh

To make this photo of a shark eating lil scared me, I simply used the “Change Frame” option on the Photo Point app. 

More self-mocking photos coming soon! :-)

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