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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Treo 680 and here's my nutshell review as a Mac user: Piece of Crap. I loved the Palm OS and Hotsync on my PC. On the Mac, it's a mess. I won't go into details except to say installation was a nightmare and after 3 days of hacking at it, I still cannot get a Hotsync to complete without errors.

So I need a new smartphone. I would like some kind of keyboard though, slider is okay. I mainly need address book and iCal sync. As well, I would like to be able to download simple documents and read them on my phone (very simple spreadsheets and text files, PDF if possible). Being able to download emails to my phone would be useful as well. I don't need to send and receive however since I don't have a data plan.

I'm wondering what manufacturers to focus on. I've heard lots of good things about Nokia. Is the Symbian OS the way to go? Sony Erickson?

Oh and yes, I will get an iphone if and when it reaches the hinterland. I need something now though.
 

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I had been searching for the perfect Mac-friendly Smartphone for a long time, and late last year I found what I believe is the closest thing to perfection until the iPhone comes out. The Nokia E61.

What I liked:
  • Fully iSync compatible, syncs full address records with contact photos, full addresses with notes and iCal calendars/tasks wirelessly over BlueTooth.
  • Install phone apps via BlueTooth file transfer--no third party software required.
  • Wi-Fi, so I can check email and surf the web without getting raped by Rogers, when at home or I have access to a public hotspot.
  • Well designed, easy to use interface. Better than Motorola and Sony Ericsson phones I've used. Definitely better than Palm OS. I've owned many Palm PDAs in my time from the very first USR Palm Pilot Personal to the latest Palm TX. I finally got rid of the TX since I got the E61 as I have no need for it any more.
  • Quad-band GSM and BlueTooth.
  • Great QWERTY keyboard that is easy to type on. I send SMS messages all the time now.
  • Large, crisp colour screen.
  • WebKit based web browser! Uses the same rendering engine as Apple's Safari! Very good full web experience (for a phone).
  • Nice slim design, aluminum body matches my MacBook Pro nicely. Actually, only the back is aluminum, the front is faux aluminum plastic.
  • Customizable GUI with easy to install themes.
  • Great reception, battery life and call quality.
  • MicroSD memory card slot for expandable memory.
  • MS Office compatible office suite, supports Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Good third party application support (eBook reader, Adobe PDF reader), games and other useful apps.

Cons:
  • No camera (wasn't much of an issue for me).
  • Requires Windows to update the phones firmware, which you don't have to do, but the firmware updates do improve reliability and functionality sometimes. It works in Parallels on an intel Mac though, and I've heard it works in VirtualPC on a PPC Mac.
  • Not available from North American carriers. You have to buy an unlocked model from an importer. I bought mine from SN Traders in Mississauga, ON. If you buy one, I recommend getting a unit imported from Hong Kong or the UK. They have the best english keyboard layout. Other European models have a lot of accented characters which you'll probably never use in place of characters that are more often used.

If you don't need Wi-Fi and would prefer to buy a supported phone from a Canadian carrier, the Nokia E62 is the identical phone without WiFi for North America and is available from Rogers and Fido for $200 with contract. Note also that the successor to the E61 is also out now, the E61i. The major difference is they added a 2 megapixel camera, and changed the style a bit. Like the E61, the E61i is an import. What is it with North American carriers and their hatred of WiFi equipped phones?

Let me know if you have any questions, will be happy to answer them if I can.

Good luck!
 

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I remember reading somewhere that Palm officially discontinued support for the Mac conduits. As dona83 said: Get The Missing Sync by Mark/Space.

The only problem with TMS is that you need at least OS X 10.4.x to use its full functionality. If you use anything less, you don't get the full featureset (some things don't sync or sync properly, i.e. custom fields in calendars, labels, etc).

I've got the 650 and it works great with my Mac.
 

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For me, I've invested way too much money into Palm OS software to abandon it. Documents To Go 8, Quicken for Palm, a few games, utilities. $200 in total. Then there's the hardware cost itself. $40 for an excellent syncing software is more worth it than $300 for a new smartphone IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
dona83 said:
I spent $399 for my phone. I am loath to spend another $50USD just to get the thing to work properly. Let me ask you think about TMS - does it handle email? Will it sync my new messages into VersaMail? How can TMS bring documents into my Palm?

I might consider TMS more seriously if they had a demo version. Pay $50 and cross my fingers? Don't know about that.
 

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Is a Treo 600 the same thing as a Handspring Treo 600?
 

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I spent $399 for my phone. I am loath to spend another $50USD just to get the thing to work properly. Let me ask you think about TMS - does it handle email? Will it sync my new messages into VersaMail? How can TMS bring documents into my Palm?
I was using VersaMail on my Palm along with Mail.app on my desktop, and never had issues. Keep in mind, that both programs downloaded their own email from my POP server on their own, so TMS didn't facilitate syncing mail downloaded from one and uploading it automatically to the other.

As for getting documents into the Palm, you just drag and drop into the "Install" tab in TMS itself. There are two windows (for internal and external memory) and you d&d into the destination you desire.

I will say that TMS has severe issues if you sync your Palm with more than one computer, but from conversations with tech support this partially revolves around the Apple Truth Database that runs in the background to sync AddressBook and iCal. I haven't tested syncing to multiple computers that both run Palm Desktop. (I was using TMS at home and Palm Desktop with Palm Outlook conduits on my WinXP machine at work).

If you do some web searching, you're bound to find good and bad on the product. But for the ability to sync custom fields, pull all fields from AddressBook (i.e., multiple addresses for one person), and sync labels, sync with iCal and AddressBook in general, that was good enough for me. iSync just doesn't cut it when compared to TMS, even with TMS' problems.
 

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I spent $399 for my phone. I am loath to spend another $50USD just to get the thing to work properly. Let me ask you think about TMS - does it handle email? Will it sync my new messages into VersaMail? How can TMS bring documents into my Palm?

I might consider TMS more seriously if they had a demo version. Pay $50 and cross my fingers? Don't know about that.
You can use Missing Sync for 14 days without paying a fee. I can attest to this as I am right now testing it with my new Treo 700p that I picked up a few days ago. So far syncing with my MBP seems pretty flawless. Yes it does much more that either Palm Desktop or iSync ever could. I will probably shell out the money when my 14 days are over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't see where you are getting a trial version of Missing Sync. I hit the download link and it asks me for my credit card number.

tendim:

What are you using as a mail conduit? I don't see how you can sync Apple Mail with Versa Mail without a third party conduit. Maybe I'm missing something really obvious.

From the Palm website:

"MACINTOSH USERS:
VersaMail is installable on Apple Macintosh computers running OS 10.1.3 and higher. However, Mac users can't currently synchronize their email between VersaMail and Macintosh desktop email applications."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: I'm able to install TMS demo. It didn't say anything in the download page that you can install as a demo. They should think about fixing that.
 
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