Cingular 2125 Second Impressions

April 27, 2006

This is an extension to my first impressions from the day before. One thing I had to do in order to use things was install ms outlook. I’m not a big fan of outlook for personal usage b/c I think it’s a bit of an overkill. Anyhoo, this is little write up is kinda geared more along the lines from the GTD perspective. I’m gonna kind break things down by the number of steps it takes to do something.

Enter a task
The main difference in entering a task between palm os and outlook is defining the category. This can be done quite easily in palm and a bit more convoluted in outlook. The categories tab is i the lower right hand corner of the task screen and I have to click that, then scroll through my categories to check it. It takes a bit more work to do and simple changing to a category in palm and entering a task. However, with the use of quick keys like “ALT +G” to go to the category selection, and “ALT+S” to save the task, it’s not that bad.. just a bit more clunky.

View a task by context
To me, this is where the big difference shows itself. With a Palm OS PDA, To see a task by context/category simply required selecting the category from the drop down or cycling through the categories by continually pressing the tasks quick key. Very simple.

To do the same thing in a windows mobile environment on my phone, I have to:

  1. Find the tasks application. Not so easy using the jog dial as perhaps my hands aren’t sensitive enough to manuever it correctly or something. If I’ve used it before, then it’s listed on top of the “today” screen, otherwise I have to hit “start” and “more” until I cycle through the listing. No real shortcut key to take you directly to tasks. Maybe I can find more in a manual or something.
  2. Once the tasks are listed, all are shown. To view by contect I have to hit “menu”, “filter by”, “category number”

I guess for me, the real kicker is step 2. It literally takes 3 steps to see tasks by context whereas palm OS can do it with a simple selection of a drop down. Note, this may not be comparing apples to apples b/c palm pda has a touchscreen whereas my phone does not. However, I believe when I tested the 8125 with a full touch screen, the same steps are still required to see tasks by categories. That’s still 3:1

One thing I miss about the Palm OS is the simplicity and ease of usage. I read somewhere they hired a usability engineer or something like that to count the number of clicks it takes to do something and try to drop the number. This makes it quite easy to “Get Things Done” if it only takes 1 step to get in the right context versus 3. Also, with the windows mobile os, once I switch to another app and then go back to the tasks, I have to refilter the categories. Why can it not just remember last used category? This way I’d always see my @Calls first??

I’ve been debating if I should return the 2125 and go for the Treo 650, however one of the things that’s plaguing me is all the complaints of random resets and lockups with the treo device. How badly do I want the palm OS, an OS of simplicity and ease of use that will no longer be enhanced with newer versions? ????


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