Thursday, February 28, 2008

iPhone dreaming

We're getting new mobile phones at work tomorrow. We're on the AT&T network, and the new phones come as part of our contract renewal. The stock phones are Motorola Razrs in black, and we're fine with that; they'll be a step up from our current phones. They'll also be more complicated, with a bit of learning curve. Our current phones don't have e-mail or cameras or other extra features, so the Razr will be a big step up in terms of features and capabilities.

While I was contemplating the phone upgrade, I started looking at PocketPC-based phones. I've got a little unexpected cash that just arrived from a job I did a few weeks ago, and something like this seems like a good use of it. I've been looking for something to replace my mostly-defunct Dell Axim handheld, and now would be the time. Unfortunately, our local AT&T retail outlet doesn't carry anything that I can use as a replacement. They sell iPhones, though. And these have a great screen for reading text, with a nice zoom function (assuming I can find a way to load text in the memory, instead of reading it from a web page). I stopped by the store today and played with one for a while, and I'm extremely impressed. I think it'd be a heck of a toy, and it would replace all the electronica I carry around with me all the time. Text reader (via web), web browsing, phone, camera, PIM, and an overall useful collection of toys.

But there are disadvantages. The first: it's expensive. I'd be constantly worried about breaking it or losing it. The second: it's expensive. It costs a lot more than the check I just got, and I'm unwilling to spend the difference on something that isn't paying off bills. The third: it's expensive. If I'm going to spend such a huge chunk of cash on something, it had better be perfect. And while iPhones are wildly cool, they have problems. The fourth: it's expensive. Even if I paid for the phone myself, it would cost an extra $20 a month for the service, and that's money the Arts Council would have to pay (given that it would, technically, be my work phone). So I suspect I'll be sticking with the Razr.

But I've had fun daydreaming about the iPhone. I tend not to daydream about things that aren't in the realm of possibility; no Lamborghini dreams, no beach vacation in Cozumel dreams, no iPhone dreams. But since I got the unexpected check and we're replacing our phones anyway, the iPhone moved into the realm of possibility, and it's been fun thinking about what I could do with it.

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