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SmartPhone OS thoughts?
Bar Harbor
My current phone is getting battered enough that I am thinking about replacing it. I've been a Palm OS user for many years, but Palm OS is going away soon, so it seems like I should probably figure out what OS I'm moving to next. The major contenders seem to be Windows Mobile, Android, Blackberry, and WebOS. (A keyboard is an absolute must, which is why no iPhone.) Anyone out there want to evangelize (or demonize) any of these?

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(Deleted comment)
I can't evangelize WebOS, because it's not out, and I can't say great things about Android because so far there's only one model and I don't like the carrier.

However, my next phone is extremely likely to be one of those two.

I had the opportunity to use and test a bunch of phones last December. For overall usability, I put the iPhone at the top of the list, though I understand that if you need a keyboard it won't do.

I also tried the T-Mobile G-1 (Android-based) and the BlackBerry Storm. The Storm had this odd touch-screen interface that included physical clicking of the entire screen, and I never quite got used to it or got it to work the way I wanted it to when I wanted it to. Sometimes it was fine, other times it seemed to have a mind of its own. The G-1 wasn't too bad, it did have a nice keyboard when you slid the screen aside, but it had relatively few apps available for it. I actually still have that G-1 phone here -- they never sent me return instructions -- if you want to try it out.

The last phone I tried for that article was a Windows Mobile iPaq Business Messenger from HP. I found I didn't like the tiny (by comparison with the others) screen, and the keyboard felt awfully cramped for my fingers. If you're used to a Treo, you may not have that problem. And FWIW, I used to like Windows Mobile a fair amount, but I like it less and less as time goes by.

Android stands the best chance of further growth and software evolution, which will probably give it a longer usable lifetime.

I too am a long time PalmOS fan, so you might also think about the Pre, which will retain a measure of compatibility for running Palm apps if you have must-have apps.

A company has developed a Palm emulator for the iPhone, but Apple won't let them release it, as it is against Apple's policies to support any form of virtual machine on the iPhone.

you might also think about the Pre,

WebOS does sound interesting. And it'll supposedly be out on June 7th; if I were you, I'd wait.

Don't forget Symbian

I really like Nokia's N series. For some reason, people don't seem to think of Symbian phones as smartphones, but they really are. You get multitasking (take that, iPhone), an ecology of installable apps, a decent browser (though not as good as Safari), and usually pretty good email.

The N series phones don't have QWERTY, but the E series do.

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