My Conversion from Treo to iPhone

For my not-too-techie readers, you will not enjoy this post.  I’m going to seriously dork out on you.  I’ve now had my iPhone for over three weeks and I’m still can’t say I’ve completely moved my life off of my Treo 650 and on to my iPhone.  Here’s what I’ve done so far and how I feel about things:

Initial Impressions – It’s Awesome!

Shortly I’ll detail some of the shortcomings of the iPhone and the challenges I’ve faced as I’ve tried to move all of my “stuff” from my Treo to my iPhone, but the overall initial impression remains – it’s awesome.  I am aware of the shortcomings, but I’m not really annoyed by them because of how freaking cool the iPhone is.  It’s a lot like how hot girls can get away with a lot more crap than not-as-hot girls.  Such is the iPhone.  Let’s look at my details of the switch:

Double Move

I wanted to move all this data not only from the Palm platform onto iPhone, but I also wanted to switch from my slow and dying PC laptop onto my iMac.  An ambitious move I realize, but I moved my iTunes home base for my iPod to my Mac a few years ago and it just seems happier there.

Relocating Contacts

I thought the contacts seemed like the most important thing to move, and they also wound up being technically the easiest.  I was able to export all of my Palm contacts into a CSV file, email that to myself, and then download them and import them into the Address Book on my Mac.  It still wasn’t easy though – I don’t know if I did every thing right, but I lost all of my Categories from palm and all of my contacts were just dumped into one big list in Address Book.  I knew I should probably go through them – I had over 900 contacts and I’d pretty much never erased a contact that wound up in my treo.

The great thing about Address Book on Mac is that you can create “smart” groups.  For instance, I set one up where the conditions said to include everyone who had a phone number that started with either 404 or 678 or 770 or whose city was Atlanta or state was GA.  Voila – my Atlanta group was instantly created.  The big downside?  iPhone won’t import smart groups – VERY ANNOYING Mr. Jobs!!!  There’s still a decent workaround – just copy all of the contacts in the Atlanta Smart List and paste them into a static list.  Sure the group won’t update dynamically over time, but it’s still pretty quick and easy.

Calendar – easy and yet not so easy

First the easy part – when I set up my work email (MS Exchange), all I had to do was check a box to sync the calendar and instantly all of my work stuff was on my iPhone and synced back and forth.  I had been led to believe that you had to pay extra for an exchange sync, but it does everything I want with the setup I have – it even maintains which messages are read/unread between my work laptop and my iPhone.

The  problem was getting my old calendar items off of my Treo and onto my iPhone.  Long story short, there was no easy way to do this (that I could find).  What I wound up doing is using Yahoo Auto-sync (a free feature in Yahoo’s calendar) to upload all of my calendar info from Palm Desktop up to Yahoo Calendar.  I was then able to export from Yahoo to a CSV file, and then (after some cleanup) import that CSV into MS Outlook.  It was still a pain in the ass, and a lot of the details were lost.  As I understand it, there is a way to have two calendars on the iPhone (work and home), but I haven’t got that figured out.  It also doesn’t seem possible to me to sync the calendar in two places (like a work computer and a home computer).  That surprised me.  I was also surprised to see that Google Calendar doesn’t easily sync with iPhone – I just would have expected two cool thing such as these to get along.  Maybe someday.

To Do List

I cannot find a simple “to do” list in the App store.  This seems crazy, but for me it’s true.  I’m waiting to figure out how to transfer my “to do’s.”  Surely someone can create an easy to use “to do” list?


A very annoying feature of the iPhone is that there’s no way to syncronize memos between the computer and the iPhone.  So if I wanted to copy a long chunk of text and have it in my iPhone… no dice – at least not for memos.  My workaround here is to copy all of the memos I had on my Treo into draft emails in gmail.  Gmail works great on the iphone, and it’s pretty easy to access and edit drafts, so that’s how I’m currently rolling with my Memo substitute.

Other Stuff

  • No MMS on iPhone – just retarded.  Fix that already, will you?
  • No Vindigo for iPhone – so sad.  I feel like Vindigo has just stopped trying (kind of like Palm, though Palm isn’t quite as bad).  I still haven’t found an app that shows local bars/restaurants and lets me keep a “my favorites” list.  Somebody help me out!
  • YouTube on the iPhone – so much cooler and handier than I anticipated.

There’s more to be said, but it’s taken me a long time to write this much, so I’m just gonna go ahead and click “publish.”  Feel free to pipe up in the comments if you’ve got an iPhone and/or an opinion.

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