Tuesday, August 26, 2008

HELP! Doc needs Tech advice

Normally I'm the one who's doling out some advice here on this blog, but I'm man enough and smart enough to know when to ask for help when I'm in over my head.

Here's the situation...

I need a device (cell phone) that will allow me to essentially do all the same things I'd be able to do from my laptop (PC), and do it on a screen that won't cause me total blindness.

Right now, I have a Samsung Blackjack (which I've liked for the most part). Unfortunately, Yahoo has changed some of its sync technology, so I'm looking for a new way of having calendar, contacts/address book, e-mail, web browsing & cell phone functionality all in one. I don't mind switching to Gmail or whatever other system, as long as it allows me to edit appointments via my phone and keeps my address book entries sync'd properly (unlike Yahoo Go! has been for well over a year now).

I've heard good things about the iPhone 3G, but also heard a good deal of complaining. Not being too enlightened on the pros & cons of all that's out there, I figured turning to the more experienced folks in my audience might lead me to something better that I wouldn't have ordinarily considered.

Any ideas from the tech-savvy folks out there? THANKS for your help!! I'm looking forward to reading your replies & comments on this one in a big way.


mc said...

Go to the Apple store near you, Mark, and ask one of the geniuses (that's what they're called) to walk you through the iPhone.

Go ready with questions about exactly the kind of work you'd like to do and test it out.

Note however it takes about 2 weeks to get used to the input on the touch screen.

That said, hands on is the best way to make a comparison.

hope that helps -


mc said...

PS, just stating the obvious, but most devices are compromises. Which device best meets your functionality/usability requirements? what are the questions that you have?

If you go to the Apple store, you'll get a terrific experience and expertise with the iPhone.

That said, what are your other candidate phones? Have you given them a spin in the shop?

Once you've done that or even prior to, it can be very useful NOT to make your decision in a store where folks can be on commission (at AT&T shops they are i believe). My reason for suggesting the apple store is simply for the hands on experience and info about what it can do.

If you check out some of the online forums that will offer opinions on comparisons between the models of interest, that can usually be the best way to get the best info, once you've held these suckers in your hands. Guarneteed someone else has asked "what should i pick? Nokia xxxx or iphone?"

Or you could just get an iphone :)


Jo said...

Sounds like you're not a heavy text messager! The iphone 3G is definitely the way to go. It's glorious screen is just wonderful for web browsing and doing email.

Like the others mentioned, typing is something you might need to get used to but i'm pretty fast on it now!

Gee said...

The iPhone 3G. I had the same needs, this device does most things my laptop can do... Except for flash video sites. I haven't tried mobile bankng yet, but it is useful for most other tasks. Works well with gmail. Definitely visit the Apple store with a list of questions. Good luck...

Gee Cee

Spencer said...

Hey Doc,

Though I haven't upgraded from the iPhone v1, I can wholeheartedly recommend iPhone 3G. Believe me, I know there are pros and cons to every device, but like mc says, each device is a compromise.

The only aspect to the equation of Doc + iPhone 3G I'd be concerned about is that (I'm reasoning) you use a Windows compatible PC, which is entirely do-able with iPhone, but the end user experience will definitely be a little rockier in the deployment phase.

And, as far as keeping everything (address book, calendar, email) synced seamlessly, there is no better way to go than Apple's MobileMe service. Again, dependent on actually using a Mac.

I hope that helps sir. I'll see you tonight and can field any questions you may have!

Anonymous said...

iPhones have great screens -- amazing resolution -- but you may not be able to type as fast as you can on Blackberry.

That said, it has the best web browser, and good enough mail, calendaring, and of course maps and applications.


Franz Snideman said...


I too have heard that the I-phone is great...however...there have been lots of problems with them.

I have been using the PALM Based cell phones and they can do everything as well. Documents, multiple e-mail accounts, Google maps, internet, yada, yada, yada.

I have the Palm Centro right now....and I love it!

Good luck!

Mark said...


This is Mark from your last Kettlebells class at Inosanto Academy. I would be glad to talk to you about the pros and cons of different devices and what would be best for your situation. I work in the wireless industry as a specialist on smartphones. Many phones are good on their own merits but for business use the best phone really depends on how you do your email/calendar setup and how it integrates with it.

Dr. Mark Cheng said...

Mark, that'd be great. Please drop me a line at dr.markcheng@gmail.com and let me know how to get a hold of you.

Erin said...

Hi Dr. Cheng,
I had a Palm Treo Smartphone and it worked really well for me. You'll notice I use past-tense to describe it. The poor thing died after four years of hard use a few months ago. I'm hoping to get a new one when I get a better job.

It synchs easily with Palm or Windows software. You can also get online with them and send and receive emails.

I think it would be worth your time to check them out.