iPod Touch as a PDA?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by russculler, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. russculler macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008
    Mobile (that's AL, not on the road)
    Anyone out there using their iPod touch as a PDA? What are advantages and drawbacks as you see it? How easy is it to add appointments and contacts on the fly? Can you sync via WiFi since there is no Bluetooth?

    My wife is an artist and it seems tempting as a replacement for her Palm ex. Having the advantage of carrying viewable photos of her work to show to clients while handling other PDA jobs. Or is it to soon to make this leap. Any rumors on when Apple might add Bluetooth capability (especially for external keyboards)?
  2. slappy sam macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    I'm a photographer and a big part of my getting the touch was to use it as both a pda for contacts, calendar, email, tasks (which they don't integrate with outlook... yet :() etc. The other thing that made me want the touch over other pdas was its screen, which is nothing short of amazing. My photos look great on it - they can take up the entire 320x480 screen and scrolling through them or setting a slideshow up is really easy. And itunes is automatically syncing to a folder I have, so when I go out and shoot, I process my images and the ones I like go into that folder - all edited, and then automatically sync to my touch.

    The onscreen keyboard is great. I had an axim and didn't like it at all, but this is super easy to use and no stylus/clumsy external keyboard. Sync via wifi/bluetooth? Not really sure what you mean here, sync with the computer's contacts/calendar by wifi? Not that I know of... sync with email on wifi of course.

    -photos look awesome
    -easy to add contacts/calendar and easy to view/access
    -little things like google maps, and weather are very handy. I use google maps to view places nearby I think might be good for photography, and pin them
    -internet! and mail!! Two great features. I was driving in town ~40-50mph and picked up a wireless signal while driving that speed and got a new mail message. How cool is that...?
    -is an ipod, so I use it in the car for music etc. I can also put some video podcasts on there...

    -Doesn't sync with tasks
    -Isn't a phone
    -No voice recording
    -Doesn't sync my dropped pins with google earth
  3. Renator macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    I've used Palms since the mid 1990s and have had several of them. Palm TX was the latest. I began looking into the Touch last fall. It did not have the functions that it got with the January upgrade. That sold me. I switched into the Touch in late January (or whenever the upgrade was available); bought the 16 gig. With it I can carry photos along with my entire audio library including some, ongoing podcasts.

    You can schedule on the fly very easily. The only way to sync, however, is by USB and iTunes. The only other thing I miss is a more audible alarm. The Touch does not have a speaker. There is "squeaky" thing that makes a weak sound for an alarm and a reminder pops up on the display.

    Other than that, I've not missed my Palms at all. The neat thing is the awesome sync with my Mac iCal and Address book. That's flawless.

    Hope this helps.
  4. qwerty12345 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2008
    i had the palm Lifedrive, and it worked fine, but i never could play videos, and the itunes got stuck every 10 min.. so with Ipod touch, is like 10 times better. i use it a LOT, almost all day, and yes i use it as a PDA, i use calendar a lot, notes, mail, weather, safari too, and with the jailbroken, i downloaded some programs like a moneytracking to keep my expenses, and another of how much gasoline im consuming every week, then i just sync to my laptop thru itunes, i've never been happier with a PDA, i probably will have this and wait for iphone 3th generation... about 2 or 3 more years...
  5. Platonist macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2006
    I use my Touch as a PDA almost exclusively. I listen to the occasional playlist or podcast, but mostly I use it to manage contacts, email, access the web, take (brief) notes, and manage my calendar. With Omnigroup bringing out Omnifocus for the iPhone/Touch I will be using it even more. As an academic, the Touch has been wonderful. It lets me keep in touch with students, add meeting times on the fly, read student papers and ebooks (in pdf format), and write myself reminders.

    The Touch handles everything I need in a PDA, and does so very well.
  6. DuckSoup macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2008
    Upstate Central NY
    For me, the frawbacks of it as a PDA is the fact that there is no spreadsheet-like app, nor a decent app like a Notepad or Wordpad. For those two lackings, my Touch has not replaced my PDA. The Notes app is OK in its own right, but not robust enough for me.
  7. statik13 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2008
    I guess it depends on what PDA functionality you want to use.

    I was planning to switch from my Palm to a Touch a few months back but found that it didn't quite meet my needs yet.

    For me, the features I found missing are:
    1) Audible alarm loud enough to wake me up in the morning and a silent (vibrating) alarm for meetings
    2) Ability to hook up an external keyboard so I can write comfortably for extended periods
    3) Third Party Apps.
    4) Ability to import all my Notes, contacts, calendar info from the existing Palm desktop.

    #3 is going to be addressed soon and I could probably figure out some way to do #4 but the other two are show stoppers.
  8. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    It's working fine for me as a PDA, and the update that is coming later this month will only make things better.
  9. andybno1 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    the touch at its heart is a mp3 player with additional apps it was never really made to be a PDA points 1 & 2 wont happen due to it just being a MP3 player essentially, although I think with it being an MP3 player external speakers would be a bonus.

    point 3 already excists as jailbreaking the touch will bring you a installer app which can install 3rd party apps

    point 4 is a possibility, iTunes allows you to sync (I'm using windows here) from Outlook, windows address book and yahoo address book. Sync Calendar from Outlook (the only email client installed on pc not tried others)

    I remember a all in one app for the touch which let you view all office documents, but I cant find it right now but I did find this spreadsheet viewer: http://ipodtouchapp.blogspot.com/2008/04/office-document-reader.html

    There is also this web app: http://www.apple.com/webapps/productivity/mobilewebdocs_johnswanson.html
  10. russculler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008
    Mobile (that's AL, not on the road)

    A couple of you mentioned jailbreak(ing). What's that about? Does it void warranty? If I chose to do this, are there any 3rd party apps for keeping mileage? This was one of the key apps that my wife was using on the Palm before she failed to charge/sync it, and lost a ton of info.

    On that line, how is the iPod Touch recharged? Does it gain power from the USB connection or need to be plugged in every night to keep from losing what's stored?

    What is this update expected to change?

    To clarify: Is this the only way to back up info kept on the Touch? I have heard of other iPods being used like external drives. Is this an option with the Touch? And if so, can it be seen over my local WiFi network as a drive?

    Thanks to all for the very helpful discussion.:)
  11. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."

    You may have to wait until the next version of the Touch or the newest mobile device from Apple to get Bluetooth.

    I was going to get a Touch, but got an iPhone instead since I was able to unlock. I use the PDA apps all the time (they're the same).

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