As an admitted Apple fan, I, like many, am waiting for next month’s release of Apple’s iPhone. Since I have some concerns about the features, contract requirements, and price, I’m not certain that I will be getting one, but it is certainly a possibility. I’ll have to see what the initial reviews are and see if I can get my hands on one for
While I’ve been waiting, I decided to see how capable my current phone is. Surprisingly, quite a bit. I have a Sony Ericsson S710a which I got about two years ago and only used it for voice as I never saw the need for paying for a data plan and would rather call someone than “text” them.
The goals I was shooting for was to as closely emulate my “Internet presence” that I can obtain on my computer via my phone. That includes having a respectable browser, access to my mail server (via imap), and IM (AIM or Google Talk) availability.
The first step was to add data to my wireless service. AT&T (formerly Cingular Wireles, formerly AT&T Wireless) has a MediaMAX 200 service which includes unlimited gprs/EDGE data and 200 sms messages a month for $19.99. Not too bad and I’m surely going to get my money’s worth this first month. I can scale it back later if I will be using less.
Next, the browser. Opera Mini is a free java browser by Opera Software. It’s a decent browser and while I kinda wish it rendered the full page rather than thinning down the page for display, it is probably the better way to go to improve speed and reduce the amount of data transferred.
Email support also worked out. The built-in email program supports imap and even can do SSL (encrypted) connections. The only down-side was that server certificates have to be smaller and the 4096 bit cert I got from CAcert for my imap server couldn’t be imported into my phone so I ended up generating a 1024 bit self-signed cert which did work. After importing, the phone can see my inbox and can even check mail on a schedule, but I’ll keep that disabled.
Lastly is instant messaging. The phone has an AIM client built in and while it looks reasonable, I don’t like it and am trying to find a Java client that supports Jabber (Google Talk) as well as AIM and uses the data network rather than SMS messages (which is metered with the current plan).
I think I still will end up getting an iPhone but I certainly am having fun seeing how functional a device that I used to just take and make calls on can be.
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