Smart Phone / PDA



Note: Most organization failures are caused by people using inappropriate systems, so take a moment to decide which scheduling system will best fit your needs.

The iPhone

 The iPhone is Apple's contribution to the Smart Phone market, and has gotten a very positive reception, especially among those who like gadgets. It has a very simple and easy-to-use interface, a built-in ipod, and access to an "App Store" with thousands of applications to customize what your iphone can do. The applications vary in price and quality, but you can get an app for almost anything you want to do, from tracking appointments to turning you iphone into virtual bubble wrap.

And that's good, because the built-in calendar on the iphone is pretty terrible. Fortunately, there are plenty of calendar apps out there, or you can use the web browser to access an online calendar.

The iphone uses an on-screen touch keyboard for data entry. The system is pretty efficient, and Apple has done a good job of programming its auto-correct so that, for example, typing "dor" results in the iphone entering "for". But the auto-correct can't operate in cases where your typo is a legitimate word, as in "It's doggy out today", and not having the tactile feedback of actual separated buttons makes it harder to hit the correct key in the first place, especially for people with large fingers.

iPhone Summary

Price $300+
Entry Method On-screen QWERTY keyboard
New Appointment Creation Tap on "+" button to add an event
Recurring Events Limited Flexibility; can occur every day, every week, every 2 weeks, every month, or every year. (So a Tuesday/Thursday class has to be entered as a repeating event for Tuesday and another repeating event for Thursday)
Pre-event alert Limited flexibility; 5/15/30 minutes, 1/2 hours, 1/2 days. Allows you to set 2 alerts (so you can have the alarm go off 1 hour before AND 5 minutes before)
Available views Day (detailed schedule), Month (there is/is not an event today), list (all your upcoming events)
Syncs with Nothing
Service Providers Available AT&T
Task List None native. A task manager will need to be downloaded from the app store.
Other Thousands of "Apps" available to do anything you might want, including improvement of the calendar feature.

On what devices can I get it?
The iPhone OS is only available on the iPhone itself, or on the iPod Touch.

Where can I get it?
At Apple.com, or use their store locator to find a location near you. You can also get used ones on ebay.

Android OS

Google recently entered the market for PDA operating systems by releasing the G1, a smart phone available on the T-mobile network; several other smart phones using the Android OS have followed

The major advantage of the Android phones is that they integrate with Gmail (Google’s email), and Google Calendar seamlessly. Unlike most operating systems, which have the ability to sync with the calendar on your computer, the Android phones actually use the same calendar as your computer, because the actual calendar is stored online. Changes made on one will appear on the other as soon as it connects to the internet. See the page about online calendars for a full explanation of Google Calendar’s pros and cons, but the summary is that Google does the best job of allowing you to track multiple calendars for multiple people.

Android Summary

Price $100 - $600 depending on which phone and how much your service provider wants you to renew
Recurring Events Extremely Flexible: every n days, every n weeks, specific days every n weeks, every n months (by date or day), or every n years
Pre-event alert Fairly flexible; every 5 minutes up to 30, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hour, 3 hour
Available views Day (detailed schedule), Week (detailed schedule), Month (list of events on this day)
Syncs with Google Calendar. Can be made to sync with other software, but it's a chore and not always reliable.
Service Providers Available T-mobile, Verizon, Sprint
Task ListIntegrated, but not terribly effective task software

Blackberry (RIM OS)

Blackberry was the first to enter the market with smart phones, and is still synonymous with smart phones in many people's minds. Most blackberries still have some sort of jog dial, although most of them have more of a rollerball or joystick that allows 2-dimensional movement; as a result, fewer of them have touch screens, and almost all of them have off-screen keyboards.

Blackberry Summary

Price $150 - $650, depending on which blackberry you want and how much your service provider wants you to renew
Recurring Events
New Event Creation "Click" on the time slot when you want it to occur.
Pre-event alertFairly flexible but not very far out: every 5 minutes up to 30, 45 minutes, 1 hour - 12 hours, 1 day, or 1 week.
Available views Day (detailed schedule), Week (Busy/available), Month (Do/do not have event on this day)
Syncs with Because of how long RIM OS has been around, most things will sync with it, but it syncs best with Outlook.
Service Providers Available T-mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T
Task List No


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