1 2 Previous Next 28 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2007 1:18 PM by AndyO
Scott Mesch Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
The iPhone does many things in a spectacular way. But Apple has not given the BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL any priority. The iPhone does not do the basic functions of a PDA, which most business people carry (or can do with a BlackBerry phone).

For instance, the iPhone does sync your calender and address book, but only to a limited extent. It syncs the note field of each contact but only up to the first 256 characters or so. After that, it truncates all the rest of the notes for a contact. (I'm not sure what it will do when you try to sync back again with these "partial" note fields). You also cannot search your contacts or notes. There is no ToDo/Task list capability.

These are not hard things to implement, since the Mac Address book and iCal already do them. Apple has chosen to not give priority to these features. I hope they will soon provide support in an iPhone update.

While I love to listen to music on my iPod, I would much rather have the full PDA capability on my iPhone, ahead of other features that Apple has given priority to. For now, I will still have to carry around my PDA with my iPhone.


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  • 1. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    kdba Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree emphatically! In fact if my wife had not insisted on having her own iPhone, I would have waited until those features were available, but I didn't want to carry two wireless accounts. As it is now, I also have to carry around my Treo running my Palm OS.

    In addition to Scott's observations regarding To Do/Task lists, there is no comprehensive alternative for creating/synching "memos", although I suppose some crude work-arounds with "Notes" might have to suffice. I have hundreds of detailed "memos" that I need and no practical way to synch them and search them as I can on the Treo.

    I too was a but surprised that Apple had not worked out that need before launching the iPhone. I know that there are many who are holding off until that feature is available. Since it seems to just be a software solution, I too hope that it is implemented soon. One work-around that I considered was to create Google documents online, but that is no good for any confidential information.

    I am also unable to export in Vcal format the many (10,000+) Palm calender events over several years that I currently have stored in my Date Book on my MacBook Pro and that I search frequently. The Palm Desktop (4.2.1) appears to be exporting the items in the Date Book and then as it nears the end it just crashes. Any ideas? The Palm Desktop software does not give me the option to export just part of the data. I also understand that there may be a limit on how much gets exported for each record/field, but since I can't get it to finish creating the export, I'm can't confirm.

    One more thing...does anyone else have a need for iSilo to run on their iPhone?
  • 2. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Steve Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    I'm just curious why you thought it would have PDA capabilities.

    Apple never claimed it was a PDA and it doesn't do anything less than what was shown in the keynote, commercials and the little getting started... although it does do more than was shown in there.

    Before I got my iPhone I made sure of what features it had and that I could live without the ones it doesn't have.

    As for not being geared toward the business professional, I agree with you on that and I think even Apple would agree with you on that, but then they never claimed it would be.
  • 3. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Harry Edwards Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    Steve, I almost agree with everything you said except that if I remember correctly, Jobs keynote mentioned it would be better than current smartphones. Most smartphones do have business functionality, i.e. file transfer, task and note syncing, etc.

    Also, I think it wasn't unreasonable to expect some PDA functionality since this technology has been around for awhile. For example, iCal is an OS X and the iPhone was created on OS X, then why purposefully leave out tasks on the iPhone?

    I almost bought one on opening day but quickly realized this isn't a "smartphone" or business gadget. It still serves it purpose and has great potential. I'll hold off buying until Apple adds basic PDA functionality, i.e, search, syncable notes and tasks, etc.
  • 4. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    stockscalper Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    Sorry, but I disagree. I replaced a Blackberry and Palm with my iPhone and I couldn't be happier. I can go to a web based office clone and make changes in Word docs sent in email attachments. Try doing that with any other PDA. On my Blackberry when somebody attached a PDF you couldn't ever read the text, but on the iPhone is crystal clear. Remember, this is only version 1.0. Apple will have updates before Leopard comes out. It's only going to get better and better.
  • 5. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Steve Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    I almost bought one on opening day but quickly
    realized this isn't a "smartphone" or business
    gadget. It still serves it purpose and has great
    potential. I'll hold off buying until Apple adds
    basic PDA functionality, i.e, search, syncable notes
    and tasks, etc.


    Thanks Harry, that's exactly my point.
    You checked what features it has / doesn't have and didn't get one, that's great, it's not for everyone.

    I just get upset by people putting it down for not having things no one said it would have.

    Thanks.
  • 6. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    hank roberts Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    I was expecting PDA capability --- I'm still using a Kyocera 6035, both because it's got a better antenna (works on remote mountain sites where no other cell phone can reach the closest tower --- I do a lot of field botany) and because it's also a basic Palm OS PDA. Exceedingly helpful.

    I was hoping for something first suggested long ago in the newsgroups, I recall someone from Apple even participating for a while. It was when the Palm III was still in use, long ago.

    And I asked, how come I can't use the Palm, connected to my Powerbook in my backpack or briefcase by its direct cable, to pull up and read and edit text files? The Powerbook was able to run closed with the screen off without melting. The PDA was able to interface (nowadays it could be bluetooth or something).

    It's nuts not to be able to use a handheld computer as a general purpose computing device ----- it's got to be in there.

    I keep thinking, the Martians must be the ones who get to use Apple's hardware to its full extent. We know they have only one eye (mono not stereo vision) or we'd have stereo viewable computers for humans by now; the Apple phone screen is certainly good enough to split into two images, stereo left and stereo right, and a mere prism-lorgnette viewer is all it takes for most people to see stereo in that format.

    Heck, I've made stereo movies on my Powerbook successfully, four years ago, ones that most people can view onscreen even without a prism device if they can see stereo by 'uncrossing' their eyes as many people can:

    http://www.ankh.users.sonic.net/clouds-stereo.mpg
    http://www.ankh.users.sonic.net/CatLooking-1064k.mpg

    I've been able to view those on my Clie PDA. This sort of capability can't be beyond the Apple hardware. I only hope they're using the first "phone" version to develop the screen and box as a real computer.

    Put two cameras on the back side of the device, and you've got a stereo movie camera, handheld, with wireless upload capability ---- not just a "phone" --- but a real tool.

    Where IS the general purpose computing access to this hardware??



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  • 7. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Harry Edwards Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    stock, you must not care about tasks, searches and syncable notes then, unless you've found a work-around. I just don't see how the iPhone (currently) can replace the Palm or Blackberry at this point.

    I agree with you though, that the iPhone will only get better. Hopefully sooner than later because I've been needing a PDA for sometime now.
  • 8. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Jeff Greenberg Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
    I have to agree with Stock on this one. I'm replacing my Clie, my Razr and my iPod with the iPhone. There are a few things on the Clie that I'll miss but not much. I mosty used it for contacts and calendar and the iPhone does these. It lacks a few things but it's not a bad set of features for a 1.0 product.
  • 9. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Randy Gerdes Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I miss the To Do list from my Palm, and a handy 3rd party app called Handy Shopper. I also wish it could sync with Memos I compose on the full size keyboard (I was using Entourage before, which let me do this).

    I mentioned this to an employee at the Apple Store and he said that Leopard's Mail app will have some To Do functionality and he thinks the iPhone wil catch up to it then. I have heard there are several features not yet activated...not sure it's true, but would not be surprised.

    I'd be happy if the iPhone would sync with my iCal now...cannot get it to work.
  • 10. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    hank roberts Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    Chuckle.

    I admit, one of my big hopes is that the iPhone will replace, in particular, the Clie TH-55 for a whole lot of people. I'm hoping a bunch of used ones show up for sale. That was the peak of the Clie PDA design, nothing's come close yet.

    Imagine one of those with a modern Apple screen and it'd be -- nice.
  • 11. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Jeff Greenberg Level 3 Level 3 (585 points)
    Chuckle.

    I admit, one of my big hopes is that the iPhone
    will replace, in particular, the Clie TH-55 for a
    whole lot of people. I'm hoping a bunch of used ones
    show up for sale. That was the peak of the Clie PDA
    design, nothing's come close yet.

    Imagine one of those with a modern Apple screen and
    it'd be -- nice.


    Well, mine is a TH-55 and you're right it's the best PDA I've ever owned. Maybe it will be on eBay someday soon

    The screen is the same resolution as the iPhone just not as bright. But the TH55 has its own share of problems:

    -- The Intellisync software locks up ever 5 to 7 days and needs to be re-installed. I've gotten really good and quickly removing and re-installing it so that I can sync up with Outlook again.

    -- The on/hold key is bouncy and often snaps into the hold position when I try to turn it on.

    -- The musc player features of the TH55 are extremely lame. Ditto for the video player.

    -- After all these years I still can't figure out how to stop the Palm calendar from warning me about appointments (I use the Clie calendar only).

    -- The web broswer is essentially useless for modern web sites.

    -- Incredibly bad camera

    -- No phone

    In spite of its foibles it's a pretty good PDA. I'm just hoping that I can consolidate into a single device with the iPhone.
  • 12. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    DebMcc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Does anyone have a suggestion for preliminary set up for an iphone sync? In other words, what apple software should I start trying to syc my palm software with the hopes that iphone will add new functions?

    I am also hoping that an iphone can replace my visor and my ipod. It is disappointing to read that the power users are not happy yet. I currently just use the hotsyc function on my palm visor to back up but do not sync with any software on my computer.



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  • 13. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    HeyJP Level 4 Level 4 (2,375 points)
    Apple has announced that Mail in Leopard will have a Notes capability. Apple may be waiting until Leopard and/or iLife 2007 comes out to support notes synching.

    I've heard rumors that search will be forthcoming (spotlight light) which I would really like in contacts. I have 1500 names and scrolling thru the list is a bit tedious. Also I am always trying to find "the graphic artist Bill introduced me to" since my feeble mind can no longer remember crap. Search in contacts would be nice... and I'll bet available soon.

    Also, it just seems a natural that Apple will synch ToDo lists also from iCal.

    Then, I'm good!!

    Jim
  • 14. Re: iPhone missing PDA capabilities?
    Scott Mesch Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I do not feel defrauded or cheated. The iPhone is a wonderful device!

    When I used the term, "Business Professional", I really meant any working adult. I am not suggesting that the iPhone have every Enterprise capability.

    But I think there are millions of working people, soccer moms, and even college students, who would benefit from the iPhone having basic PDA capabilities. Many people keep notes about their contacts, need to search for some information they've forgotten, need to keep copies of certain documents on their iPhone, and want a ToDo list, etc.

    Steve Jobs said the iPhone uses MacOS X. All these functions are now available in the Address Book and iCal for MacOS X.

    The iPhone does much more sophisticated things, we just would love to not have to carry around a separate PDA, when it would be very easy for Apple to implement these PDA capabilities in the iPhone. I really hope they do. It will be at the top of my wish list for the iPhone.
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