Continuing with the TyTN II

October 28th, 2008

Continued from here…

One of the things I was worried about when I got a slider phone was whether it would be sturdy, and here I can most unequivocally state that there is nothing to be worried about. While I haven’t tried throwing it about or banging it on the floor, I have not been overly cautious, and there have been no squeaks or rattles at all.

The other thing that I like, as I said earlier, is the WiFi. It makes using email and other internet enabled applications simpler and faster. But there’s an odd problem with WiFi on the Kaiser. As it was shipped out of the box, the performance/power setting for WiFi was 50/50, but I was unable to browse. Later, when I moved it to 100% performance, I had no issues.

But coming to browsing – when is M$ going to ship a decent browser with their mobile software? I want something fast but useful. When I try browsing with IE mobile, it sucks. Then I tried Opera Mobile, which is nice, but sucks because it is too heavy. Maybe when Fennec gets released, it will do for the mobile web what Firefox did for the desktop.

And as I see it, the problems with the Kaiser are mainly with the OS. Even the keyboard problem is a software problem – mainly. Adding a calendar event – go to calendar, click menu, new, and then enter the details. In PalmOS, just go to calendar, tap on a time and start typing. It’s quicker to create complicated events in WinMo, but for a basic event, Palm wins hands down.

It’s very similar throughout the OS – whether it’s contacts or tasks or messaging. And then there are such glaring inconsistencies. For example, cut and paste. In some applications, I can tap Menu->Edit->Cut/Copy/Paste. In some others I can just hold down the centre button of the d-pad and a context menu pops up, and in other cases I have to tap and hold on the screen for the context menu. Why can’t we have one consistent method (or preferably all three in all apps)?

The biggest advantage, though, with regards to the OS is the flexibility of installing a huge variety of 3rd party applications. Even though it is claimed that PalmOS has more applications available (especially free ones), most of them are now outdated and not maintained. WinMo applications cover a whole lot of ground ranging from ones that almost completely hide the underlying OS like SPB Mobile Shell, to others like Fring and Dashwire for communication, to proper RTS games like Age of Empires. And unlike with the iPhone, anyone can make software (the SDK is free to download) and you don’t need to use iTunes to add applications. And of course, Apple won’t be around to stop you from selling the app you make.

It’s much nicer to use the Kaiser than most other smartphones that I’ve seen, especially because of the touchscreen+keyboard combination, but it’s not perfect. It’s not as neat and clean as the iPhone, but it is functionally more powerful. It’s not as simple to operate as a Blackberry, but is more extendable. So, for now, I like it – mainly because there is nothing really better out there. But if it were up to me, I’d want a Treo Pro running Android (in about six months when the hardware and software settle down)!

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