question about PDA

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by foliady, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. foliady macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2004
    I would like to buy a PDA but I don't really know about the compatibility of the PDA with Mac.

    Is PPC compatible with MAc?
    Is Palm compatible with Mac?
  2. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Of the 2, I've had better luck with Palm Pilots. They sync much easier with Macs than PocketPCs.

    While PocketPCs can sync with Macs, you will need a 3rd party program like PocketMac (there's another, but I don't remember the name right now.) which will not be free.

    I have a Tungsten C (Palm) which syncs with my G5 no sweat. I have an iPaq 5450 which took a lot of work and still I couldn't install programs. Guess there's always Virtual PC (added cost if you don't already own it.)

    As for the devices themselves, I like them both and can't make a recommendation either way. For ease of use with a Mac, I think Palm wins hands down (or Palm down .. hahahaha ... sorry.)
  3. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    i have no problem with palm. and i think they recently decided to continue full support on a couple of their handhelds for macs. (before they were going to stop making mac compatablity)
  4. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Yeah, my m515 broke and I have a Zire 72 that should arrive today in the mail. I like Palms better than the PPC. I guess I like the fact that on Palms you only have one app opened at a time. On PPC you have to remember to hit the little X in the corner or you'll have a bunch of stuff open. Kinda wish the address book would sync better. I'd like the pictures to sync and the addresses put in the right categories.

    Now I just have to worry about moving app data from my old Palm to the new one. :(
  5. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    IS this confirmed? Are they making a Palm Desktop for OS X for the upcoming Palm OS Cobol? Last I heard they were dropping support for OS X altogether. :confused: That would be good news if true.
  6. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL

    NOT TRUE. The X in the corner does not close the application. Think of the apps on the device like a stack of cards. You open one (Take a card and put it in your hand) open another. (Take another card and put it in your hand on top of the first.) and another (Another card.) Now you hit the X once, twice, three times to "close" all three apps until you are at your today screen.

    Its an X so it closed those apps right?

    WRONG...The X simply takes that app (card) and places it at the bottom of the stack of cards. So those 3 times you hit X in reality you aren't closing the app you are placing it behind the today screen. So after a few days you very well could have several dozen apps running and not even know it.
    To get back to your apps you click on the list of open apps found on the start menu.
    This IMHO is where all the bitching about Pocket PC comes from. Why it's so slow. Why it crashes. The OS is supost to manage memory by closing out of the least used apps when it gets low on system space. The problem? Open up your MP3 player, open up a spreadsheet, open up a PDF, and open up your e-mail. You may only have 4 things running that takes up only a few MB of storage for those active processes but they are HEAVY processes that hit the CPU and slow everything else down.
    This has been a MAJOR nagging point for even those who support the Pocket PC platform and is why there are prob about 2 dozen of free apps closer/app management utils on the market.
    All designed around dealing with a point MS can't get past and that point is that their devices aren't Palm's. The fundamental core of the system has more in common with a desktop computer then a Palm. (Palm's core being extremely primitive.) They can't treat the method they use to deal with apps in the same way Palm does.
    I consider this point in the same vein as Apple not providing a 2 button mouse. Its stupid and its simply someone not admitting that they can't do things like that.
  7. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    In my experience with PDA's over the years. That being:

    Palm Pilot (Original) -> Apple Newton (Still use it.) -> Casio Cassiopeia E-11 -> Palm V -> Compaq iPaq 3535 -> Compaq iPaq 37xx -> HP Jornada 568 -> [To be determined this fall]

    And supporting about 30 Palm's in the office I work I think both the Pocket PC and the Palm have their pros and cons. Both are solid platforms. Both do the basic PIM functions relatively well (In Palm's case very well.) But that is where the similarities end. Palm is a great organizer. When you start to get into more complex functionality and capabilities you start to run into problems. Pocket PC started off with a more robust OS out of the gate.
    This resulted in issues with system stability in Pocket PC 2000. (We are currently on Pocket PC 2003 SE.) Since that time the underlying OS has been upgraded from Windows CE 3.x to 4.x and enough tweaks have occurred to make it relatively stable. (I liken it to still being Windows 9x but its a Windows 98 version. Not as good as a Windows 2K or XP release but not bad.) So why be concerned with a more robust OS? Basically it can do quite a few things that Palm can't. Pocket PC (Officially called Windows Mobile but I refuse to give up that name damn it!) 2003 SE has built in landscape support. Which works out well for e-mail reading, movie watching, and web browsing. Built in support is slick as heck. You don't have to worry about 3rd party apps and since its built into the OS software developers can take advantage of this mode for the device. So developers like softmaker can make their software natively support landscape:

    Why is the screenshot so big? That leads me into point two. The latest release of the device has native VGA support out of the box in some devices. OEM's are having problems getting their hands on VGA screens. Now first thought would be to think that ICK. Too small. I don't want to be squinting at the screen. Under normal circumstances yes. That would be a concern. However MS has implemented, similar to Sony when they went to a higher res then Palm's 160 x 160 screens, pixel doubling and font resizing so in the end it looks like this:
    QVGA (Standard Pocket PC's):



    If you can't tell I'm in love with VGA screens.[​IMG]

    In the last two years Palm has done a remarkable job at brining their hardware up to par. They are just about there with a few issues. Palms typically are now pricier then their Pocket PC counterparts when you look at the features provided. I think this will change in the next 18 months or so but for now that where we are at.

    Beyond the hardware the PPC OS acts like a true OS in some ways. Part of this is why Palm is faster then the Pocket PC. It’s a double-edged sword. The core of Palm OS is not a true file system but a set of databases and the method of how Palm programs function is drasticly different then how the Pocket PC works which again is more like a miniPC then anything else.) This allows Palm and its core PIM functions to be DAMN fast. But on the flip side of the coin it's a serious limitation to what can be done with and in the OS. Example would be creating a mounted drive with the device. This can be done in Palm OS but Sony did this with some creative acrobatics via software. In addition to that Palm OS still doesn't have the ability to multitask. So lets say you want to work on a quick and dirty e-mail and you want to cut and paste info from a word doc into the e-mail. In Palm OS you can't have both apps open at the same time.
    Palm again has done some creative tweaking to the OS to allow some apps to be open at the same time but I believe that it's only the core PIM and MP3 player apps. Supposedly Cobol, Palm's next major iteration of the OS, will rectify this situation but I'm not going to hold my breath.
    Actually I'm expecting a whole heck of a lot from Cobol because if it doesn't deliver Palm is going to be in trouble. But that's another topic.

    I personally think both platforms have their place. Palm for basic PIM with some additional app capabilities. Pocket PC for more computer like functionality. (For the love of god you can open, view and edit CAD files on a PPC! And someone, can't remember the company, is working on video capture on a Pocket PC :eek: ) General rule of thumb. If you can do it on a PC you can do it on a Pocket PC. Games, movies, word, excel, powerpoint, acrobat, web, IM, photo manipulation, CAD, network monitoring tools, remote control, GPS, video out to projectors for presentations, consumer IR to remote control average consumer appliances. Heck there is a sled for the iPaq for providing EKG's for paramedics. (Actually there are a ton of solutions for the vertical market.)

    It really depends on what you want to do. I personally am either going for:

    HP 47xx.
    -624MHz XScale CPU
    -4" VGA screen
    -183MB of storage space. (Keeping in mind that a certain % is required to run programs and such.)
    -WIFI and BlueTooth
    -SD and CF card slots for storage and accessory expansion
    -touchpad navigation


    The Dell Axim X50. [You guys think you are nuts about hardware. Pocket PC sites have been dredging up as much info they can get on this model. So far I've seen at least a dozen leaked drawings of what it's going to look like] So far most of it came from the FCC site.

    The model is going to sport a
    -624MHz XScale CPU
    -3.7" VGA screen
    -128MB of storage space. (Keeping in mind that a certain % is required to run programs and such.)
    -WIFI and BlueTooth
    that was figured out because of this FCC picture:

    In both cases the devices are going to be spendy but I've gotten into the grove of one new PDA every two years so plunking 500-650 on a new system doesn't hurt as much. As for your original question about compatibility. MS doesn't have a version of ActiveStink for OS X which, trust me, is a good thing. If there is anything that should be complained about on the Pocket PC its their craptastic sync software. Activesuck isn't fit to hold Palm hotsync's jock strap. Its slow, its buggy, it’s the Windows ME of the sync software world. Fortunately several other vendors have stepped up to the plate with syncing software that integrates into Apple's iSync flawlessly.
    The first of these solutions is that runs, I think, around $45. Spendy. The second is
    Which is just as spendy at $50. So if you are looking for compatibility its there but it will cost you some extra $$ to get it and its not a full solution since installing apps is somewhat a PITA and 3rd party conduits like Pocket Quicken doesn't works since they are based around Activesync oops activesuck.
    Palm compatibility is there for now. They have full compatibility out of the box with hotsync and Palm Desktop. As I said before last I heard Palm is dropping support for OS X when they move to Cobol. Again there is which directly link to iSync. So all in all its pretty much a tossup.

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