iPod touch as a PDA?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Sceneshifter, May 30, 2009.

  1. Sceneshifter macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2007

    next week I'm getting a Touch, but not so much for listening to music!

    I would like to know if you have any tips on what apps I should get, to make this ipod into the perfect pda. The best calendar app, the best budget tracking app, the best 'time tracking app' (like, you worked X amount of hours for client X, and Z amount of hours for client Z, etc... to see exactly what you should charge after a day/month of work), and all other apps I'm not thinking off!

    I hope someone here has done this before me and can help out. The google searches only get me outdated info, and I suppose there's plenty of new apps that came out recently..

  2. Brewerpaul macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Clifton Park,NY
    For a calendar app, I use Pocket Informant and like it a lot. It also integrates "To Do" lists. There are some free Lite versions of other calendars that aren't bad, but they don't have the to do feature.
    I'm happy to say I'm not in a job where I have to worry about tracking a budget or billing client hours!!!:D
  3. thunderweb macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2008
    Bend OR
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I've seen a few folks use it as a PDA. They even had that sleeve with the sticky note and pen.
  5. klb028 macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2006
    I really like the idea of this thread. any other suggestions? :)
  6. saligh22 macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2009
    you probably have to buy too many apps and spend a lot of money
  7. MaxPower49 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 11, 2008
    I use momo for syncing notes and I like it a lot.
  8. xeller macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    As soon as the developers get a desktop version for momo, I will get the app. I'm tied to having desktop apps with my pda and it's hard habit to break.

    For those who used Docs to Go on their pda, it's now available in the app store for the iphone/ipod touch. $4.99 intro price. I just downloaded it.

    Indepth look at the app here: http://blogs.zdnet.com/cell-phones/?p=1277

    Soon I will be ditching the pda and full-time with the ipod.
  9. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I tried to run this as a week long trial last week, i had some issues and it was probably a bad week to borrow my Dad's.

    I ran into some issues, i didn't feel like i could do as much testing because it wasn't mine - and my kids kept trying to steal it to play games. HMPH.

    So i'm back to using my Treo, and have a better handle on what issues i will run into when i make the switch at some point in the fall hopefully.

    I did really like the interface of Pocket Informant though, even if i didn't get my iCal stuff to google to get it to PI..... and SplashShopper is not as good as HandySHopper.
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Get rid of the games and you won't have kids trying to get it to play them.
  11. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    True.... but i wanted to try them out too. Heck, i'd bought TWO and still don't own one. :D

    AND, my Dad today wanted some of the games i'd put on there back... i have no clue what he did, but they were all gone. Fixed that up for him.

    Mainly, the kids will just have to save up their pennies for their own :D (ok, and me too)
  12. Phat Elvis macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2005
    Phila, PA

    I use the iPod Touch as a PDA. It's awesome. I use the Notebook app and sync it to the web - it takes the place of the notes program from Palm. A Palm Tungsten E2 costs $200. An iPod Touch is as low as $230 - and plays videos, music, and is a Wifi device. It's not even a comparison.

    I don't use a cell phone at work - and don't want to carry one - so the Touch is perfect for me. The iPhone itself would be better (if it could pick up a signal in my house).
  13. djembe1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2009
    Tomorrow marks one month since retiring my barely-limping-along Palm TX and replacing it with a Touch. The big three were the PIM functions, password safe, and my Bible.

    Easy ones first. I downloaded the free Olive Tree BibleReader, and all my previous purchases for the Palm were waiting for me in my library (part of the program). SplashID was almost as simple. I copied the desktop file from the PC I synced the Palm to, installed the free cross-grade of the Mac desktop program, then had to buy the iPhone program. No problems whatsoever.

    The PIMs were another matter. I do miss DateBk6. I loaded iCal from the Palm Desktop on the PC using instructions found via Google (and a whole lot of experimentation). ToDos (Tasks) went to ToodleDo.com (instructions there), syncing to Appigo Todo on my Touch. Contacts transferred easily (another Google search) to the Mac Address Book, and from there synced to the Touch. I held off on Memos until I upgraded to 3.0 two evenings ago. After getting the Notes sync to work (requiring reboots of the Mac and the Touch), I took the easy way out and copied and pasted the text export of my Palm memos into the Mac Mail Notes (Hint: Change the Mail Preferences first to a preferred font for Notes - that way you can read them). I had only 38 memos that weren't Palm-related (therefore not to be transferred). Cut and paste was faster than trying to find an automated solution (unlikely since it's only been 5 days since anyone would even consider sending Memos to Notes).

    Bottom line? I'm really happy with the change. I'd still be on the TX if the digitizer hadn't failed and the glass replacement hadn't made things worse. I had been planning an escape route for months, knowing that this TX, like the one before it, had a limited life. I'm gradually going through the "B list" of programs I had on the TX (there were over 100 that I grouped from "A" (those above) to "D" (don't replace)). I'm in no hurry (meaning many of the "B"s were really "C"s).
  14. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    Glad its working out!

    I'm ahead of you because i already have all my Palm stuff going to the Apple apps with iSync. Well, really just calendar & address book. I demo'd Pocket Informant when i borrowed my Dad's Touch last week - its much "better" and what i'd probably go with.

    Last night i wandered around some medical apps - i'm still not finding what i totally need (although, i'm compromising on the Palm side too), but found a few things that will work great.

    I've been using Datebk so long now i don't even know what features i use on it that aren't on the regular cal! LOL!

    Oh darn, i did forget to try my ereader books (is that the one? used to be peanut press).

    The other thing is that ergonomically i had some issues with the Touch, i kept feeling like i was going to drop and break it (then have to replace it for my Dad). I think i'd need to go case shopping.

    ANYWAY, i appreciate everyone that takes the time to let us know how it's going!
  15. djembe1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2009
    I was on a PC - actually, a couple. In March I bought a new iMac, and quickly converted the oldest PC to a virtual machine under Fusion (where it has lived, unbooted, since its tests were complete). I held off on converting the newer PC, primarily because I knew the Palm TX was dying, and I didn't want to gum up the Mac with a short-lived Palm install. So now that I no longer need to sync the Palm, the PC will get virtualized and shut down.

    That decision made my conversion harder, because I couldn't iSync the data in, and I also had to learn about the concept of multiple calendars, instead of one calendar with several categories of appointments.

    After having a Palm for so many years, some of the habits have been hard to break. I'm so proud of myself. It's been a whole week since I last turned on my Touch and instinctively reached for the upper right corner to take out the stylus.

    BTW, I felt the same way about dropping the Touch for the first week until I got my iSkin. It has just the right (minimal) amount of bulk and "grip" for me to feel very comfortable holding it.
  16. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I"m currently using a Treo 700 - this one has a funky thing on the edge of the screen, but overall - i rarely have to use my stylus. But it was a hard habit to break... i so know what you mean :D

    I'll have to look at the iSkin's next time i'm out. My Dad had a skin on it and it bugged me because it didn't fit well. I use a Boxwave one on my Treo, so i'm used to the grip they offer. Really, i think i want it to have a single platter hard drive in it - my Video iPod is a good thickness! LOL!!

    I just have to keep reading and hunting down apps - i'm not sure when i'll get to actually BUY one. My phone is newer (insurance replacement), so i'm hoping it holds out for me.

    Feel free to update how it keeps going. I'm sure i'll be here to read! LOL!!
  17. djembe1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2009
    My son had an iSkin on his first iPod, and so he recommended I look at that brand for my Touch. The iSkin fits snugly, and includes a screen protector. It adds a little to the size, but not too much, and it is easy to grip without attracting dust.

    It's nicely sealed up. With my Palm I worried about catching an errant raindrop in the SD slot or the power switch. Now. as long as the jack is down, there are no openings on the top.

    I bought a Palm T3 from Best Buy. Just before 1 year was up, Palm replaced it due to digitizer drift. Just before the second year was up, I exercised my BB extended warranty (for the same drift on the replacement) and they replaced it with a TX. Repeat the year 1 exchange with Palm, and then add a longer-lived replacement, and Palm discontinuing the TX, and you have my need for the Touch.
  18. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I had the unexpected opportunity to purchase my Touch and went for it (knowing new ones were coming - i'll upgrade to something bigger when some money is repaid to me).

    So to update where I sit as my Touch being my Palm/Treo replacement.

    Calendar - i have been using DateBk on my Palm since the get go, um, 8 years ago? (when the first Sony Clie was out). The build in Cal was NOT working for my scheduling needs, Pocket Informant does all i need - and i'm even starting to use the ToDo in it. Worth the $12. I'm syncing to Google with the free CalGoo program, so my desktop is in sync and my Treo would be if i'd sync it. The automated sync over wi-fi with PI to google is nice in that regard. I've mostly dropped using the cal on the Treo (and if i did it would be trouble because i have a ton scheduled that are not on there at this point. UGH.)

    Medical Tracking - i have yet to find a single app that works in this area. I have however found 2 that work for me, illness tracker and Growing Up. I can keep appt notes in illness tracker, and the height/weight stuff in Growing up. Growing Up is a nice clean interface and does this task well without making me think i'm using a "baby tracking" type of software (my DD has a growth disorder and tracking height is huge for us). I was attempting to use Health File on the Treo - it stunk in the height tracking area, but i could keep the rest of the stuff together easier. Appointments could be scheduled in it and put on the Calendar.... obviously this is an Apple "problem", but there also seems to be a lack of "doctor appointment summary" type of App's for the Touch. If anyone knows of one let me know!

    Gas & Mileage Tracking - I had been using MPG by Catamount on my Treo in the past. It wasn't on there right now for some reason. I was going to buy it for the Touch - but figured i'd look at the rest of the apps out there. I settled on Gas Cubby and Trip Cubby. I really really like these apps - heck, i've tracked 2,775 miles related to medical visits since mid-June (hence, the need for the appointment stuff up above). I also will be averaging 150mi/wk for OT & ST therapies for one child and am in the process of a divorce - i need to track the mileage.

    Handyshopper - is still not duplicated. Splash Shopper has some mega issues (they are responsive to them on their forums), but since i'm still using the Treo - i'm sticking with Handyshopper. I'm going to have to work on my SS list and see if the latest version fixes a few things and attempts to make it useable.

    Contacts and Mail mirror what i have on my desktop, i've had to use the mail at a meeting even to check dates. It's been nice.

    I haven't easily replaced another app i'm using - it creates date/time entries on my calendar. I'm still using the Treo for that, Handyshopper and phone calls (and SMS). But that is about all - everything else has been moved over. The biggest issue i run into is battery life and not having it on my hip like my phone. The kids realize that it isn't ALL for fun and accept that i need it working for me. I try to make sure it's charged for one of them to play in the waiting room of our various appointments though.

    I'm not wanting to buy a case for it to reside next to my Treo right now, but i'm going to have to do something soon if i'm going to rely on it for the "portable brain" features. I just haven't found one i like.....

    ANYWAY, i have other apps that i'm using daily - but i wasn't using that kind of app on the Treo right now. I'm trying to integrate more stuff so it does become more of my "portable brain", so i'm always on the prowl. I'm pondering the Notebooks app.... but i need more storage space. 8gb ain't big enough! LOL!!

    So there i am for now....
  19. kwajkat macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2009
    Anyone have recommendations for keeping track of videos and books? I currently use videolist and booklist from Wakefield Soft on my pda. So far they haven't developed anything for the itouch. Am also looking for a good genealogy app that doesn't require a Mac.
  20. sharoo macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2009
    First priority - Address Book!

    I'm in the same boat - my limping Palm TX finally expired and I bought a Touch purely as a PDA replacement (I actually FORGOT it was an iPod when I made the decision). I have to admit, I am having a wonderful time downloading games and experimenting with things like Pandora and maps and finding restaurants and movies online.

    But first priority as a PDA replacement was to get my 12 years of PalmOS address book into the thing. I finally got the data transferred over from my Windows XP machine (hint: if you don't have Outlook, use the Windows Address Book instead, using vCard format). Then I opened Contacts and was.... horrified. :eek: OMG, how can it BE this primitive? Okay, no linking capability, no custom fields - I can live with that. But there are no Categories!!! I have way too many entries for one huge flat database!

    After a little poking around I found a 3rd-party app called "Groups" that I'm pretty happy with so far. It lets you create groups right on the device itself rather than forcing you to go through a partner app on the syncing computer. It's all drag and drop, which I find cumbersome. I would be much happier if there were a checkbox method that would allow a whole set of addresses to be moved to a group automatically. But there is the advantage that a single entry can belong to more than one Group at the same time, which is an improvement over the PalmOS. I really miss the link fields and a few other features but as long as I have categories I can live with it.

    On the whole, as an address book manager, the Touch is a pretty poor replacement for the Palm. But with the addition of groups it's acceptable, and the other things you can do with this little puppy more than make up for that weakness, IMHO.
  21. sharoo macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2009
    Handy Shopper

    Another poster mentioned HandyShopper, a PalmOS app that I love. I am using Shopper as a replacement. It's pretty similar to HandyShopper, although possibly not quite as powerful. I haven't explored it thoroughly, but I would say it's about equivalent to HandyShopperV1. At $.99 it's a bargain.
  22. 101X macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    You should get textPlus to text on iPod Touch.
  23. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I don't have the group problem with the address book, my iCal groups from my Mac carried over. I was surprised i couldn't create a group though - but i just did it on the computer and mobileme took care of it for me (and I had mobileme LONG before the Touch, in fact, i still use my mac.com addy :D)

    Thanks for the shopper mention - i'm sure i have looked at it, but i'll look again. Although the Treo is easier to use in the store than the Touch.
  24. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Wow, I thought this was my thread that I made way back when the iPod Touch first came out - before the App Store.

    Back then, you had to Jailbreak one and put the iPhone apps on it.

    But now, of course you can use it as a PDA right out of the box. I see people use it as a PDA all the time. Sort of makes those Palm Pilots or Windows Mobile PDA's useless - compared to how easy it is to buy and put Apps on a Touch.

    You can just get a first gen 8 Gig refurbished for $159 and spend the rest of the money on a nice case and apps.
  25. sharoo macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2009
    2nd Priority - Task List

    I was quite surprised to find NO task list on the iTouch. Even my Motorola cell phone had one of those. However, there are lots of free ones to download that work every bit as well as the Palm one, which was nothing special. I went with "Lists FREE" (gotta love those straightforward names). Not only is it free, it allows hierarchical lists. I like it fine so far.

    But the list app I would rate absolutely WPF (Worth Paying For) is Put Things Off (PTO) from Spiffin Apps. It cost $2.99. This app is perfect if you're a compulsive list maker with a tendency to bite off more than you can chew on a given day.

    Clever animated interface with wooden trays and pieces of paper large enough to hold a fairly complete description of the task. With a flick of the finger you move your tasks around so you have just enough in the Today box that you might actually finish them. The tasks that didn't make the cut are in the Put-off box, and will come back to nag you in a configurable number of days. I set the interval at 7 days, which is handy for repeating tasks that I do on the weekend like "Pay bills." I still use Lists FREE to keep longer term tasks or other types of lists.

    Palm vs. iTouch: iTouch wins, even though it came without a default Task list. Even the first free app I downloaded was better than the default Palm app. The Touch interface is well-suited to lists apps.:)

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