My new phone

A few weeks ago, my cell phone started acting a little flaky. Nothing fatal, but strange things like charging problems, and getting stuck in a strange “not on, but not off” state, which made me think that its time was nigh. I’d had the phone for about three and a half years, so it’s not necessarily surprising — I got it a couple of months before I moved down to southern California, I believe. I’m definitely not the kind of person who gets a new phone every year — my previous (and first) phone was more than four years old by the time I replaced it. It had an interface more reminiscent of Game & Watch than any proper phone.

So, for once, I decided to get a nice, new, gadgety phone that could do more than make phone calls and take poor pictures. I picked up the AT&T 8525, which, to go on a brief tangent, is a terrible model name — it’s called the Hermes by its manufacturer, HTC, a name that I think is much better. It runs Windows Mobile, Pocket PC edition.

My experience so far has been pretty darn good. The funny thing is that I had an easier time getting accustomed to all of the fancy Windows Mobile applications than I did tasks like making a phone call. I’m very much taken with the ability to do things like keep appointments, tasks, and messages on my phone, and even more so with being able to access the Internet from just about anywhere. I downloaded the Google Maps mobile version, which is awesome — it’s pretty much like the normal, fully-fledged PC Google Maps experience, but not running inside a browser. (Speaking of which, Internet Explorer Mobile works OK, but some sites tend to give it fits. I haven’t tried Opera yet, but maybe I’ll have to give that a shot.)

Part of my (somewhat flimsy) justification for getting this phone was that I wanted to futz around with developing applications for smartphones and Pocket PCs. They’re capable enough now that I think it might be interesting to develop something for them, rather than just a royal pain. I haven’t gotten around to any of that yet, though, so we’ll see how it goes.

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