New Phone, New Lifestyle

As my old phone (which I have had for over three years) got more and more problems (it wouldn’t go to the right and bottom anymore, which makes navigation quite tricky) I decided to get a new one. As my calling and texting habits have also changed quite a bit, I also looked for another mobile provider.

They used to run this series of commercials on television for one mobile phone store called t for telecom, it used to star the late Steve Irwin. Their slogan was “your guide to the telecom jungle”, and after having spent hours and hours comparing prepaid rates to bill pay rates, bonus minutes, free texts, five different mobile providers and phone combinations, I can agree: it is a jungle. It is the least transparent market I know of.

But eventually I decided what would be the best provider for me: t-mobile, mainly because of their low international (SMS) text rate of 7ct. The next thing to decide was the phone. This is not easy either, I had two wishes which proved not that easy to accommodate:

  • A simple camera, VGA is fine.
  • An e-mail application that supports IMAP
  • The ability to send pictures over e-mail
  • A calendar application and ways to synchronize it with my Mac

After having looked at dozens of phones, I finally found a good deal: the Motorola PEBL v6:

So, finally I have a new phone. It has bluetooth which is really nice, I can now synchronize my calendar, transfer pictures to and from my phone while leaving it in my pocket. Great.

However for my calendar I always used Google Calendar and it does not synchronize with that. There is this J2ME application called GCALSYNC but it doesn’t appear to work on my phone. So I switched to using the Mac’s iCal application now. It works very well, very much like Google Calendar but without the many bugs and much faster. It’s very clear Google copied a lot of it in their calendar product, which is fine of course. I also publish my calendar to my (protected) WebDAV server on Dreamhost (where this site is hosted). So my calendar is reasonably safe. I have three copies: one on my phone, one on my iBook and another one on WebDAV.

Already for a while I switched back from Gmail to use Apple’s Mail, just to see if it works for me and it turns out it works remarkably well. I still use Gmail’s spam filter though (I simply forward all mail sent to my @gmail.com address to my IMAP mail account, Gmail only forwards non-spam messages). Now that I have all my mail on an IMAP server I can also quickly check it with my phone if I want to.

The reason I wanted to be able to send pictures by e-mail is so that I could start a moblog. A website that you can blog to on the go. I set up one now: Zef’s moblog, I will probably occasionally post pictures to it.