This was my first “handheld” device.
It was a NEC MobilePro 200. My neighbor had bought it, but never found a use for it, so I got it in exchange for some web work I did for him. It had Mobile Word and Excel, Solitaire, and a 56k modem in the PC card slot I could use for dialing up and checking email. I couldn’t sync it with my Mac, but aside from that it worked great. I could do spreadsheets and documents in science class comfortably, and when I wanted to be a real nerd, find a phone line someplace to check my email. It was a really big device, but it was a great work companion.
But eventually, like everything else electronic, it died. I don’t remember why. I just remember being sad it wouldn’t boot anymore. So it was time to upgrade. And I upgraded to this…
This was the Handspring Visor. Mine was Bondi Blue-ish, just like the one in the picture. They had licensed Palm OS, and I could actually sync it with my Mac. This device, though, was very different than my last. It was small, and I could easily fit it in my pocket and hold it in my hand, but it never worked well for spreadsheets or documents. Even if the handwriting recognition wasn’t a problem, the small screen size was. But it worked well enough for writing reminders and doing my calendar.
Through the years I cycled through a few more devices….
All these devices are really based on the same paradigm as the Handspring. They play games, maybe some music, and have a lot of read only or quick notation uses, but not really much in the way of working with documents (even if the picture of that Tungsten with Slideshow To Go session wants to make you believe otherwise.)
So I’m going to give the iPhone 6 Plus a try because I miss the experience I had with my MobilePro. I want to have a large screen that is comfortable enough for making some edits to a complex spreadsheet, or even add a few slides to a Keynote presentation while I’m waiting for lunch to be prepared. And the world has changed to support this paradigm. My documents are available to me from anywhere via iCloud, but my current iPhone hasn’t been a great device for edits on the go. I love my iPad, but the iPad is the sort of thing that goes into my laptop bag, not something that is carried on my person.
It’ll be an experiment. I know it’s going to be painful for one handed usage. Maybe I’ll go back to the smaller size next time. But I’m willing to struggle through paying with my groceries with a giant iPhone to give it a try.