Thursday, March 13, 2008

The n800 a Month Later

Last week Apple announced the SDK for the iPhone and iPod Touch. While I'm sure that a lot of cool stuff will come out of this, I still prefer my Nokia N800.

I'm going to quickly repeat the differences between this and Apple's offerings.

First, it is not a phone so don't compare it to the iPhone. If you really want to use it for phone calls then you can make using voice over IP on WiFi. If that isn't good enough then get a bluetooth enabled phone. The n800 will connect with it. If you shop around then the n800 and phone will cost less than an iPhone.

From here on I will compare the n800 to the iPod Touch although some of the comparisons are valid for both.

The biggest difference is how open the n800 is. You can store any file you want on it multiple different ways. The most obvious is through USB. If your PC can take a memory card then you can copy directly to the card. By default, Windows XP has a Shared Documents folder. The n800 will connect with this allowing you to copy and paste files through the network.

You can use an external keyboard, either through bluetooth or through a USB OTG cable. The OTG cable also lets you connect external disk and thumbdrives. I have to admit that I have not gotten this to work, yet.

Steve Jobs explained that Flash animations are too much for the iPod and iPhone so they will not support it. These work just fine on my n800. In fact, nearly every web site I have tried works including news sites with streaming video.

I have several movies, MP3s, and videos I converted from YouTube (this takes specialized but free software).

It is a pretty good platform for comic books. I have several comics as scanned images. The built-in image viewer is ok but the Quiver Image Viewer is better. I can see the entire page at once but too small to read. If I zoom one level I can see half of the page and can usually read the word balloons. If the lettering is too small then I zoom a second time and I can see a quarter page, larger and clearer than life.

Unlike the Apple SDK, programs developed for the n800 can run in the background. On the iPod Touch, you cannot switch to a new program without closing the current one. I usually let the Claws email run in the background while web browsing.

I could go on but you get the idea. The iPhone is a phone that also offers Internet. The iPod Touch is a media player that also offers Internet. The n800 is an Internet device that has been shrunken to pocket size.

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