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Old 07-14-2005, 06:55 AM   #1
Bob Russell
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Multiple PDAs

I've never successfully used more than one pda device at a given time. The great advantage of a pda has always been that it's there and has up-to-date information. And I don't believe there's a good way to manage the synching of shared content across dissimilar devices.

For example, if I have a Treo 650 and a LifeDrive (I do have a Treo, but I still drool over LifeDrives) then I might not pick up the LifeDrive too often. Ebooks are my favorite way to read, but I don't want to have to page through a book looking for the last page I saw, so I don't want to read a book from muliple devices. Same with a video. I usually only watch portions at a time, and use my TV at home anyway. Similarly PIM info is only useful in the central location.

I suppose I could use the LifeDrive for web browsing via wifi, or games (I don't really play games on my pda anymore), or as a reference book. But to be honest, I'd rather browse the web with my pc, and it's not worth keeping a device charged just for reference works.

What I wish we'd see is some built-in synching funtionality that can handle multiple devices. You can't just synch everything because it might not be compatible, or might not all fit on the small device. But if you could specifiy items to share like a Handyshopper database and Outlook info and eReader/iSilo content and bookmarks, it would allow me to actually pick the device I want for the particular day. If I didn't need a phone one day, I'd sure love to be able to carry a bigger screen.

So basically, I'm wondering how other people are using multiple devices, and whether anyone thinks we'll ever have true multidevice synching.
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:37 AM   #2
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I personally have 3 pda's but I only ever use one at a time for PIM and other day to day info otherwise it becomes a complete nightmare trying to work out which device has which calendar entries. My treo 650 is the device that is always in my pocket, I sync this with my PPC (which is used mainly for GPS and to take notes with a portable keyboard) via outlook. I also have a tungsten c which is a total extravagence as it's just a portable telnet and mail connection around the house! I don't bother with PIM on this at all.
Multi syncing would be wonderful and I'm surprised no-one has done it yet. For palms even being able to specify files in the backup folder on the pc to sync across multiple devices would be great. You would have to sync your devices in the correct order I guess.
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:00 AM   #3
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I currently use two pdas at the same time.

I have a Dell Axim x50 for work. It connects to my work computer, and syncs my work contact information. I use it to go into the plant and record notes, write emails to be sent when I get back to my desk, and keep track of my rather large task list (46 projects currently, I guess that is what happens when you are the only electrical engineer at a chemical facility that used to have 3!).

At the beginning of the day, I take the x50 out of my bag and dock it with the computer. When I am at my desk it pretty much stays there, as it is really just an extension of Outlook.

For personal stuff I have a Palm Tungsten T3. This syncs with my Powerbook at home. I use it for personal schedualing, contacts and task list. I also use it as my checkbook, fuel log, personal diary, Bible, newspaper and book reader . When I get to work, it goes into my desk drawer until lunch when I read my plucker pulled News. I also have some work contact information on the T3, as when I am away from the office, I don't carry the Axim.

I use two devices because work mandated that I no longer connect the T3 to the work network, so I made them purchase me the dell. But I am not going to spend my own money on getting the Axim to connect to my Powerbook (even though I am tempted to make my next handheld a WM device. Wouldn't that be funny, the thing I count on the most would be the only thing in my house running windows ).

Which ever device I am carrying lives in my Optech USA neoprene case on my hip. The TT3 in a clear case and the Dell in a Bulldog cover both fit perfectly. At the end of the work day, I take the dell, put it into my bag, and put the TT3 back on my hip.

Over weekends the Dell just sits in my bag, waiting for the work week.

Last edited by johnsoax; 07-14-2005 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:05 AM   #4
Alsicole
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I have an Ipaq 2750 and a Clie UX50. I also own a Zodiac 2 which I use for demoing games for work. I have different applications installed on each device and so they do tend to get used for different things.
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:44 PM   #5
Brian
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I have my Treo 600 that goes with me everywhere, which I use for voice, PIM using Agendus 9, password storage (Splashdata) and shopping lists using Handyshopper.

My Zodiac 2 goes with me when I take along my Spire backpack:

- GPS navigation with my bluetooth GPS and Mapopolis
- Ebook reading
- Movies with TCPMP
- Audible.com
- Podcasts and music with Pocket Tunes
- Digital camera companion/photo viewer for my Lumix FZ5, which takes SD cards. The Zodiac's 2 SD slots really do come in handy.

Each device has its strengths and weaknesses. The Treo is pushing the upper size limit for a phone, but it's screen isn't ideally suited for multimedia. The Zodiac excels as an entertainment device and for ebook reading, but doesn't integrate PIM with voice communications like the Treo.

I keep both devices synced to the same Agendus for Windows desktop.

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Old 07-14-2005, 01:21 PM   #6
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Currently, I (myself and my wife) have a Zodiac2, T3, and an ipaq HX2755. My primary is the hx2755, adn my wife uses the Zodiac2. And no, they DONT get along.

My T3 is having digitizer problems, which is why I went out and purchased the iPaq. As such, the T3 is still "functional" but handwriting is problematic and so it now sits in it's charger, plugged into the wall on the wayside.
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:48 PM   #7
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I abhor convergence and I believe that ultimately its a dead-end. We're going to end up with modular devices that can have "snap-in" capabilities, not hard-wired devices with multiple capabilities. This is the future of mobile devices.

That being said, I use a Tungsten T3 as my primary PDA, which talks over Bluetooth to my Nokia 3650 (the phone has a very capable PIM suite onboard but I don't use it at all), and both of those talk to my Motorola HS820 Bluetooth headset. The two requirements I have of a mobile phone are 1.) Voice dial and 2.) Bluetooth.

I use my PDA to look up numbers, which I send to the phone to dial over Bluetooth, and that connects to my headset to make the call. When I don't have the PDA in my hand (such as when driving or walking through an airport), I just tap the button on the side of my headset and voice dial whomever I'm trying to reach. At no point do I have to actually take the phone out, and in most cases, I never even have to take my PDA out to make calls.

I also use my HS820 as a wireless microphone and headset for my Thinkpad T42p laptop, which also has Bluetooth configured to do so (Linux, of course). I tap the button on the headset, the laptop wakes up and I can use my headset to talk over Skype or to listen to podcasts or whatever I want. I also use it to do dictation into notes verbally, using a speech to text app (its a bit rough, but it gets the job done, again, Linux).

Of course I have dozens of other gadgets that tie into this environment, but those are the three (well 4) primary devices I use every day. PDA + mobile + headset + laptop.

Everything works flawlessly, and I couldn't do all of this if it was stuffed into one single device (and I doubt I could have this level of functionality if I was running Windows).

If I want to switch out the phone, I can.. as long as it has voice dial and Bluetooth. If my T3 dies, I can replace it with another, or a Tungsten XXX (I'll never buy a LifeDrive, I find that whole platform utterly disgusting). The same goes for the laptop and headset.

Smooth, elegant, and uncomplicated functionality. That's the way it should be.

Last edited by hacker; 07-14-2005 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:17 PM   #8
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Using two "PDAs" on a daily basis.

1. PalmOne Tungsten T3: My favorite device for reading e-books, playing games and listening to MP3s (in exactly that order).

2. Nokia 9300: Nokia's "small" communicator. Smaller than the Nokia 9500, yet with all the good features like integrated cell phone and full keyboard, I use it for doing my business and private calls, for contact management, and as a datebook planer.

I don't use the contact and datebook features of the Tungsten at all, because for me there is no reason to carry these information on two separate devices. I figured that I have my cell phone more often with me than my Palm, which I use mainly for reading ebooks.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:16 PM   #9
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Right now I'm using a Treo 650 and a Dell Axim x50. I detailed on my blog why I'm using two devices , but I'd really like to just use one device. However, I don't particularly care for the Palm OS and that is holding me back from solely using the Treo for all of my needs.
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Old 07-15-2005, 08:39 AM   #10
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I use two devices and let me say that I was and may still be adverse to smartphones, though I have and use a Treo 650 now and have found a few redeaming qualities about using this ALONG with my NX70.

I use the Treo as...well...a PHONE, go figure But I also found out that the alarms are a LOT louder then any PDA I had before, so I keep my Agendus on there. I have used Agendus since the early Action Names days for keeping me on schedule with my appt's and "to do's", so the fact that I could hear the alarm from 1 level away in my house (like I'd ever leave my PDA that far away anyway!!!) made it a great tool, that I soon found I couldn't do without as the whole reason I bought my first PDA was to replace my DayTimer and be more portable and have alarms so I would not be stuck out and about without my schedule, contacts and such.

So to make a long story short as I won't type out the multitude of ways I use my PDA's today, I will simply say....

I use the Treo for things that I HAVE to have with me all the time and can tolerate the smaller screen for, such as Agendus, BugMe, Woman, Fuel Log, etc.....

I use my NX70 for things that if I go to the store for 20 mins, I can live without such as games and ebooks, also for things that I can't tolerate on the smaller screen such as ebooks, Bonsai, DayNotez, Word to Go, Tiny Sheet and many others.

I do find myself carrying 2 PDA's often which is my major grip with smartphones, I can do without a phone but not without my PDA! But for now, this works for me and I do like the ability to text on the phone anywhere I want

Btw, the phone was a gift, I wouldn't have bought a smartphone for myself, I would have bought a new PDA and kept my cheapo phone
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:13 PM   #11
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Cool Wanting a big screen PDA to go with my Treo 650

I'm a Palm enthusiast, and prefer the Palm OS. So, it makes sense to me to have my cell phone running Palm OS. Hence my Treo 650. Also, I love the built-in keyboard. But as an enthusiast, I have a hard time limiting my palm experience to a 2 inch screen. It's perfect for my phone but not so perfect for other uses.

My idea would be to take the Treo with me every where, and bring along a second big screen wi/fi device like a Lifedrive when I have the cargo pocket room for it. The LD would work great for web browsing, ebooks, my favorite blogs and for playing games.

It seems to me that it would be in Palm's best interest to help us out here so that the Palm enthusiasts who own Treo 650's would have a reason to get two Palms instead of just one. First, the two devices need to talk. I want to use my treo keyboard as a portable keyboard on my lifedrive. I want to move data back and forth wirelessly. I would love to synch the two devices selectively by application.

I would split up the software between the two devices but also would need some things on each. I'm hoping not to have to pay twice for that software by the way, but if both have the same user IDs, I'm guessing that synching would get all messed up. -- Janet, tech ronin
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