But since reinstalling Mac OS X 10.4 after a hard drive failure earlier in the year, I can no longer get the two devices to sync. Notwithstanding the fact that synching in general just stinks, I fault the Treo. PDAs are obscurely designed and uncooperative in all but the simplest use cases, and trying to get a Treo that had previously been synchronized with the exact same computer to sync again is too much to ask, apparently.
Every time I think about spending the time to resolve this, to get the Treo to somehow get back on speaking terms with my Mac, I groan and I procrastinate. This is a familiar feeling; in spite of the Palm’s much ballyhooed elegance, I’ve always had this experience, since owning my first Palm OS device in 1998. There’s a veneer of elegance to a Palm device, but it doesn’t take much digging to unearth the aging, uncooperative infrastructure beneath the superficial user interface.
The Moribund Mobile Phone Market
As I said, the sad thing is that all mobile phones stink, not just the ones sporting Palm OS user interfaces. Few enough of them work with iSync, and when I go down the list of such phones, none of them seem to promise a particularly pleasant user experience. Which is to say, none of them capture the right combination of hardware compactness and software elegance that, well, only Apple can produce.
It might have been reasonable and even canny for the company to eschew the PDA market while it slowly entered entropy, but the mobile phone market seems like an inevitability; it’s not just their existing customers who would rush to any cellular device that bears that trademark Apple ease of use, it would be legions of new customers, too, who are constantly looking for an improved mobile phone experience, and who regularly and enthusiastically chuck out their current handsets in favor of cool new ones. How can the company resist? I’m hoping they can’t.