Three months in and despite the increased rumors of this “compelling” new Apple smartphone that is just about to be released I’m not the least bit concerned. The Treo has now become an indispensable part of my life and it won’t easily be replaced.

Mostly I’m at my office M-F but whenever I leave the Palm comes with me. Most frequent tasks include:

  • listening to music while typing things like this
  • listening to my podcasts and radio shows on the subway
  • taking pictures while traveling (both locally and on trips)
  • IM with friends when idle
  • checking info online w/o going home first (like property listings this weekend in manhattan, maps, weather, restaurant ratings)
  • lookup words with the dictionary while reading books
  • get alerts from Nagios about the status of my web servers
  • check email occasionally (like when girlfriend runs to the bathroom while out to dinner or waiting for movie previews, etc.)

It is pretty impressive that the Palm can do as much as it can simultaneously considering it only has 64 MB of memory (even less when you add apps). My desktop will eat through as much RAM as it can get no matter how few tasks are running. To that end, the Palm does hiccup a bit when doing 4 or so things at a time. Most common skips:

  • music skips when your network changes
  • typing skips occasionally when listening to music (if you type really fast)

I know a lot of people are really glad that the Treo 680 is going to be sans-antenna stub. Personally, I’m ok with the antenna because it is just enough to protrude above the cell phone sleeve of most bags and pockets, helping you to grab it when it’s ringing.

I was also considering some of the complaints I’ve read about the usefulness of the touch screen (or lack thereof due to needing to unsheath the stylus). I could be wrong, but I’d bet that most people who’ve experienced trouble trim their nails down to the bone. If you leave a little white (guys, this is ok to do) then pinpoint tapping is possible.

I’ve also decided that documents-to-go really looks like hell. Hope Palm didn’t pay too much for that license.

As much as I love the Treo, this version may not be for everyone. Ideal candidates in my mind are:

  • politicians (contacts, GB of contacts!, email)
  • salespeople (see politicians)
  • tech people (modem, ssh, text editors, IM and more)
  • geek chic (phone, SMS, iPod, video, computer all in one? No brainer)
  • writers/journalists (leave the chunky journal, camera, dictionary, and thesaurus at home)

If the price point comes out right the 680 will include “almost everyone” as it will do some multimedia (music player, video) as well as allow more people to jump on the QWERTY bandwagon for IM, SMS, and email.

Until someone else “gets it right” the Palm is still as relevant as it once was. Don’t let the whining media tell you otherwise.

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