What will replace my Palm?

Palm Tungsten e2

I have been a Palm user since 1999. I have long depended on my Palm for my schedule, my address book, my check book, my e-reader, and as an alternative to carrying pictures in my wallet (I don’t carry a wallet). I love the fact that I can easily sync everything for access on my desktop or in case I lose my Palm and therefore, my schedule book (what a nightmare to lose all my scheduling!).

I currently have the Palm Tungsten e2 and am very happy with it. The battery life is great, the screen gorgeous, and it’s a pretty fast device. Better yet, it is very easy to sync it with my Ubuntu 8.10 desktop (linux) using j-pilot. But, palm is no longer making non-smartphone devices.  Looking toward the future, what am I going to replace this device with?

There are a few things I simply must have in a replacement PDA.

  • Scheduling
  • Address Book
  • E-reader
  • Sync with linux

There are also things I don’t really care for.  I’m not looking for a phone that does it all.  Right now if I run the battery down on my Palm it’s not the end of the world.  If I run the battery down on my phone it can be a big problem.  So I’d rather keep the two separate.

Secondly, I don’t require internet.  It is a nice option that I’d probably use, but not if it requires a subscription plan.

The Contenders:

Ipod Touch

I have a good friend with an Ipod touch.  It seems to do everything and have everything I might want in a PDA.  It is missing one extremely important function: there’s no way to sync it with a linux OS.  There are hacks and work arounds that will get music on and off of the thing for you, but currently no work-around for syncing the calendar (which is the whole point for me).   Why Apple? Why?


The Google Android OS for smart-phones might be an option.  Like I said, I don’t want a phone that does everything.  My hope is that some day the hardware is available to give me the features I need without a phone, or without the necessity of having a phone plan with it.  We’ll see.

I guess I’ll just keep searching as I wait for the perfect replacement to appear on the market.  I’ve go the dollars to spend but no product to spend them on.  Perhaps I need to develop and sell my own solution?

31 thoughts on “What will replace my Palm?

  1. hello,

    Have you decided yet?
    How about the PalmPre?
    As a long time palm user, I’d love to use it.
    I’m still waiting for that phone over here in Belgium.

    AVR freak, Palm user, diver, runner,dad

  2. While I’m not a fan of the G1 necessarily I’m going to bet it’ll do everything you listed. I’m not really a huge fan of it for a number of reasons. I don’t think it makes a good Palm M500 PDA replacement by any means of the imagination (that is what I moved from- although I still am carrying around my M500 so… hmm ). It has some qualities about it though that every new device have just about- like Internet. The thing with the G1 is you don’t actually need to sign up for a real phone plan to use it. You can hack the thing to get around the ‘you have to login to your google account’ stuff before you can do anything problem (except add GSM providers)- or just purchase a prepaid SIM card from AT&T for $25 then login once and never be bothered to use the Internet except from a 802.11 access point. I use astrid for my palm todo list replacement. I find it to be not as good… but it does let me sync it via my 802.11 connection which is nice. The address book I use is aContacts. I’m on Ubuntu 9.10 and have no problem using it with it. The e-reader app I’m not sure about… I can’t imagine that would be an issue. The screen on any phone though I cringe at the thought of trying to read a book on though. Even a PDA with a bigger screen I have to cringe. The G1 works really well for Internet web browsing, sending text messages, and sending email if either of those are of use to you.

  3. Hey- I’m also still looking for a solid Palm PDA replacement.

    I desire:
    Slim: .4 – .5 (thinner the better)
    Physical programmable buttons like the Palm Pilots for: Notes, Calandar, Todo, etc.

    Syncing and reverse updating of my todo list (schedule) with the web so my secretary can schedule appointments for me when I’m out of the office.

    Uses: GSM

    Real freedom not just the suggestion of it: It disgusts me that I can’t even program the buttons on my G1 phone- a phone that is suppose to be based on free software-but in reality is locked down and restricted in ways where I can’t easily modify it. Maybe this is a feature and not an issue of freedom; as I could probably technically modify it. My problem is the phone is designed despite that so that I can’t in practice do so as a regular user-and some of the applications that run on top aren’t free either. I’m not sure what is and is not free. Just making the point we’re being solid crippled device despite everything all the other goodness the technology (Linux/open source software) is bringing us.

  4. I’ve migrated to Google Calendar. I haven’t found a hardware replacement yet but I’d prefer something that is unlocked and a native Linux environment. For now I’ve got a netbook that will bridge the gap until suitable hardware becomes available.

  5. I am a self confessed geek’s geek. I love technology and am a Goto guy for thousands of people. I got my first palm, the original Palm Pilot, in 1996. I replaced my 10 year old Franklin Daytimer Paper Based Organizer in the course of one week and I have never looked back. I have setup devices of all descriptions for people of all types and helped many more with their “How do I …..” questions.

    Right now, NOTHING will replace the palm platform. I have tried many many times and I keep going back to a palm. Either the Centro (which also has a phone) or a standalone unit (I like the E2 too but also had 2 pricier TXs that I liked). The latter units can still be found on EBay, but the only carrier worth a darn in Canada (Bell) has discontinued the Centro so ……

    I’ve tried the Pre – it sucks. I’ve tried Windows Mobile – it sucks. I’ve tried Android – it sucks. I’ve tried iPhone – it sucks! Absolutely nothing beats or even comes close to the raw functionality, simplicity, and power of the palm OS. Its fast, it syncs 15 years of my life in seconds. It searches almost instantly. Add-on applications will make it do everything except make my morning coffee for me – and most are free!

    Like another reader, I carry two devices, a phone and an E2. I am an outdoors guy and I’m kinda hard on my devices. I drop them, lose them, drown them. Thats my fault I know. But at least with a palm, I buy a new one, sync it, and I running again in seconds. I have no idea what I will do when there are no E2s left.

    Everyone I know who has a palm loves it. For Pete’s sake, even my 80 year old mother has one (an E2) and loves it! What the heck is the matter with PDA makers? Why can’t they see what really works for real people and improve that instead of jumping all over the darn place.

    Unfortunately, like others in this thread, I am looking for the right migration path away from Palm because they have dropped the ball and left me in the cold with nowhere to go.

  6. I’m a computer professional and I like to think I can adapt to anything! I purchased an Android phone and boy does it SUCK when it comes to supporting Palm like applications. I’m so fustrated that I can cry!! I’ve have a Palm for over 13 years and haven’t found anything that comes close to the efficient way that Palm handles data entry, searching and backup.

    Palm PLEASE at least come out with an Android app. that includes your calendar, contact and memo functions. I have no problems paying $$ for it. In fact as far as I’m concern it can be my most expense application I purchase for my Andriod. PRETTY PLEASE!!!!

  7. I love my Zire 72s, and it’s bound to go dead on me sooner than someone develops a similar device where I can continue to use my palm calendar, memos, note pad, and so much more. Syncing with desktop is another aspect I can’t live without. Quite disappointing that palm created such a powerful do-it-all device, and no one has picked up the slack.

  8. I can’t wait to see what HP will do with Palm. Every day I live in fear that my Zire will die and I’ve spend the last 4 years looking for a replacement!!

  9. Like Father Earth said: the Palm is irreplaceble for the time being. Currenty, I carry a business phone (WinMo), a private phone (Android) and my Palm TX. The Palm is the only device that let’s me quickly take notes, serves as a reader and let’s me organize my information in an outline (ShadowPlan). Current smartphons have too small a screen, don’t take handwriting or don’t have the apps I need. Tablets are too big and a pain to write on but who knows, they will improve.

  10. Incredible. I too am a longtime palmpilot user, ever since 3com in fact. I got one of the very first units. Right now I’m nursing a couple of aging Sony Clies, one for my wife and one for myself. My wife’s new laptop is Win7 64 bit, and synching is a full-on PITA. I guess I could go find a couple more Palm OS units to take care of the age issue, but the truth is that the world has moved on and I need to move on as well.

    I see the palmpilot as a robust, private means to mobilize calendar, address, notes & lists, password safe, and odds/ends such as instructions for my home phone’s answering system. It’s a brain extension. I don’t want to replace a single solution with 5 separate ones, and I don’t want to replace a totally private solution with something that stores data on somebody else’s hard drives halfway around the world. I don’t care if it is also a phone, as long as it isn’t insanely large, and as long as the battery life is reasonable. And it has to let me sync everything in/out of it the way I can now – to/from my own, private systems.

    Apparently, and unbelievably, I may not find any such thing. I am off to search now. This was google’s first best hit, but not an encouraging one. Good luck to us all!

  11. I agree. The smartphones promised much, and they suck. It seems the phone companies pander to the entertainment aspects of these devices above all else. Who cares if people want to use PDAs for serious purposes? As long as we can get people to subscribe to applications they will pay for over and over again they have a goldmine. The users become completely dependent on them, and ALL of the data on the smartphones can be grabbed from you via internet. No way do I want to give up my Palm Pilot. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE somebody bring back this elegant and useful device!! It was working well for everybody…why try to “fix it?”!!! The smartphones are not smart…and they are dumming us down!

  12. I’m clinging to my Palm E2. I just bought a new Android phone. It’s sleek, it’s sexy, it does all sorts of things (no wonder people are on their phones in every spare minute.) But what I want is a calendar that will ALERT me when an appointment is due without me staring at the (bleep) phone all the time. YOU WOULD THINK that someone would have taken all the great features of the Palm and try to improve on it. My new expensive phone gives me one short ding when an appointment comes up. Not in the room – too bad. Too loud around to hear it. Oh sorry. One little sound is not going to get my attention and I refuse to be plugged into my phone every waking minute. I want to sync with my computer, I want to color code, I want to print off lists of to do’s and prioritize them. I want MEMOS that correspond the the categories that I select. I don’t want to miss appointments.
    I was so excited about the Palm Pre and then was told by my sales guy not to get it (of course by then they weren’t carrying it). I know I have to back up my information and phase out of my palm. I am not a happy camper!

  13. I am coming late to the discussion, but am still asking the same question in mid-2011. I am an over-60 geezer, admittedly not on the leading, bleeding edge of technology anymore (it’s more like the lagging, sagging edge). But I have been using Palm through 4 generations. Has anyone bumped into a solution? Is anyone still there. I am working with my E2, though I synch to Windows. In addition to calendar, I still depend on the address book (especially for its notes section). I am especially fond on the Memos section as a mobile scratch pad, but wonder if the security is all that hot. Has the iPod Touch evolved to the point where it can synch some of its apps to a Windows platform? Any update gratefully accepted.

  14. I wonder how many Palm users throughout the world look for the Palm replacement. It’s only a handful of applications we need to mimic on any of the modern platforms:
    – Calendar
    – Addresses
    – Notes
    – To Do
    – HandyShopper
    You name it. All with the descent cynch ability. Can we take our fate into our own hands? Can we hire SW developers to give a new life to the ‘old’ applications? How many SW people are already among the Palm fans? Let’s discuss.

  15. It is hard to believe that this thread has been going for nearly two years! I think this is the third aftermarket E2 and it’s failing to sync and the on-off is getting spotty. The end is coming.
    I need to find some kind of replacement. I carry a work Blackberry and a personal cell. I don’t need a smartphone; I’m looking for Notes and graffiti and all the other great functionality. I miss the fold up keyboard accessory.
    I haven’t found anything close that will fit in my pocket.

    • Again, it seems like we’re all asking the question and not coming up with solutions. It seems all the new technology is entertainment-based, and not productivity based.
      Will a blackberry function as a PDA if it is not activated as a phone?

  16. Incredible!! I have a Palm Tungsten E that is limping along, losing information here and there, can’t sync it, battery is almost dead – waiting for a new one. This was the second one I had and I love the simplicity, color coding, alarms, lists, sync capabilities – it has been the best technology I have owned – and I have owned way too much. I personally think it is all about having consumers ‘on the hook’ for services all the time. Otherwise I’m sure they would have fine-tuned the Palm since it had a huge following. It’s time some tech engineer revives this and keeps it simple – no internet or tracking devices serepticiously built in – I am lost without my Palm – other devices don’t even come close to this slick, beautifully designed system. I will continue to watch this thread for ‘the answer’.

  17. I am a Palm TX user. The functionality is great, and I am unable to find anything close to what I have in my TX.
    I don’t need a phone.
    I need to be able to have memos which can be password protected (keep important info with me).
    I do not want to put important information on the cloud to exchange it with another device through a google type account. I like the data synched with my personal computer privately.
    I will miss my reminders with an alarm if this one dies.
    Google’s calender pop-ups do nothing when my Palm Pixie is in my pocket (it turns off after 60 secs.)
    Surely someone must make a device with these functions?
    Is there any help out there?

  18. My Palm is on its last legs and I was searching for advice on what to replace it with. It seems we have not found a solution with all this technology.
    I gues it might have to be a A4 diary again.
    Dont you love progress.

  19. I, too, love my Palm Tungsten E2. I have been laughed at for still having it but I’m going to keep it for as long as I can. I guess I’ll keep trying to replace it on eBay if they can still be bought. Once the supply has been exhausted I guess I’ll have to figure something out. I enjoy syncing it, keeping the data private and having it independent of the Internet. Sad that good technology got killed.

  20. Oh man… this IS depressing. I was sure that I would find the answer by the end of this thread. After 13 years and six palm pilots, I can’t believe I’m considering going back to a ‘day-timer’. Surely there must be another option

  21. Oh man!!! My Palmpilot is dying and I thought maybe if I got an Android or Ipad it would replace it, but NO ONE talks about them having calendars, address books etc. Now I know why! I guess Ebay might be my best shot until someone figures out a phone-less, private information device. Thanks for all the comments.

  22. My old palm is barely hanging in there. I can’t install the software on my new computer so I keep my old one set up to synch and charge my Palm. I have a mobile professional services business. I don’t need a better phone. I want to keep my clients, my income, my invoices off a cloud and just between me and my desktop. What is so hard?

  23. I bought an HTC Android because I was told that my Palm Desktop would be able to sync with it but that I had to go to Palm for instructions. Oh my, that is when I found that Palm OS was sold to HP and subsequently sold to a third party and no one want to update or keep it. What fools! I haven’t found anything else that serves all my needs. What good is an e-mail address when I am trying to locate a physical location?

  24. Just give me my DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT Back!!!!! Make it work with this Playbook/Laptop, what is so difficult. RIM could save the entire company by just duplicating the old Palm software,,,it was so easy to use I could vomit just make it so I can edit on my home computer send it to the frigging cloud and take with me on this god awful PlayBook…..THE SAME LOOK AND FEEL! I give up. I’m sick and tired of third party apps that force me to use Google or Outlook…and screw BlackBerry desktop sync.

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