I confess to occasional iPhone envy until I remember my experiences with AT&T and the fact that I can't (legally) tether the iPhone to use as a modem. So I thought I would drop a little story about how nice it was to have my Verizon xv6900 (HTC Touch) Windows Mobile phone with me this trip. To make a long story short, my flights got screwed up and I had to drive, unexpectedly, five hours from Atlanta to Mt. Airy, NC.
I started the trip up with a one hour conference call on a Bluetooth headset. Then I had about two hours of podcasts on my phone which I played through the car's stereo with a connector cord I carry. The final two hours were spent with TV. I placed the phone low on the console and played episodes of the Dollhouse and 24 that I had recorded on my Media Center machine and moved to the Touch to watch on the plane. Before you freak out, I spent most of the time watching the road and listening while only occasionally glancing down.
For the drive back, I didn't have any recorded TV episodes and only about 2 hours of new podcasts. My solution was to fire up the Slingbox and sling live episodes of Survivor and CSI while driving. The Slingbox did its typical sputtering for about a minute while it buffered the data and after that, it was just rock solid. I don't recommend watching TV while driving but it sure did help pass the time. An hour of music played from the phone wrapped up the trip.
My VZ Navigator GPS application kept me from making any wrong turns and when I stopped for dinner I read an ebook on the phone with eReader. Admittedly, being prepared by actually having the Slingbox app, TV shows and podcasts didn't hurt but as long as I had a connection I could compensate even when I didn't have media on the device.
Oh, and I misplaced my stylus before my trip so all of this was accomplished via touch. I'll wait while that sinks in…
With the upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.1 the phone seems to be running better and syncing is much smoother. Bluetooth and Bluetooth stereo management is flawless. I think the only things I now envy about the iPhone are the capacitive digitizer, the accelerometer and parts of the interface. I certainly don't envy the iTunes requirement or the AT&T lock in. All of the Verizon reps I've spoken to have actually been pleasant. (I'm not naïve, that's just been my experience.)
So for now, I'm happy with the Touch. Time to go kill some Zombies on it with Zombie Buster!