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  1.    #1  
    A number of threads have been created discussing the use of 3G and/or SMS for instant messaging "in the background" (i.e. while these apps aren't the "current" app).

    I think both approaches are reasonable in handling what are (for messaging, anyway) the flaws of the Palm OS (no true multi-tasking) and Sprint's data services (no simultaneous voice/data channel).

    The pro's of both approaches are the same: the ability to send and/or receive messages at virtually all times.

    The con's are different, however. For Chatter, it would be that messages can't be sent and/or received during a voice call (or while the data connection is being established). For VeriChat, it would be that the system requires use of a paid server to relay SMS messages and that it must rely on Sprint's SMS gateway servers, which can, on occasion, be very slow and/or flaky. Both suffer from the inevitability that their hosting servers will be down at times.

    Reasonable people will differ about which of these is "better". IMO, they are simply different.
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by mblank
    The con's are different, however. For Chatter, it would be that messages can't be sent and/or received during a voice call (or while the data connection is being established).
    Actually you cannot send messages while on a voice call with Verichat either. You can recieve though.
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by mblank
    A number of threads have been created discussing the use of 3G and/or SMS for instant messaging "in the background" (i.e. while these apps aren't the "current" app).

    I think both approaches are reasonable in handling what are (for messaging, anyway) the flaws of the Palm OS (no true multi-tasking) and Sprint's data services (no simultaneous voice/data channel).

    The pro's of both approaches are the same: the ability to send and/or receive messages at virtually all times.

    The con's are different, however. For Chatter, it would be that messages can't be sent and/or received during a voice call (or while the data connection is being established). For VeriChat, it would be that the system requires use of a paid server to relay SMS messages and that it must rely on Sprint's SMS gateway servers, which can, on occasion, be very slow and/or flaky. Both suffer from the inevitability that their hosting servers will be down at times.

    Reasonable people will differ about which of these is "better". IMO, they are simply different.

    mblank's reasoning is mostly sound modulo a few things:

    I have 65 users in my buddy list across the different platforms. If I keep a IM connection alive when I am not in the IM application ("the Chatter approach"), I get a lot of chatter back-and-to my phone with IM protocol keepalives, and people changing status and coming online and going offline and idle. When on my PC, this is not an issue, as it does not interfere with anything.

    On my Treo, all this "chatter" is quite harmful. It drains battery life about 4 times faster than if I was simply in "standby mode". Also, I miss voice calls because of this "chatter"; this issue has been discussed elsewhere in this forum in the context of periodic email checking. I have noticed that this means that my "useful" battery life is cut down by about 33%.

    On devices other than the Treo 300 (which has unlimited data), this chatter can also run up a high data usage bill especially if the carrier rounds up data usage to the nearest KB every minute (or 5 minutes) of being connected. When I am in Europe I use a Treo 270, and with the "chatter" approach would probably be paying for atleast 1KB every 5 minutes-- about 288 KB per day, i.e., about 8.5MB a month.

    Try launching MSN Messenger Force on you Palm and Keep it active all the time and you will see all this.

    For Treo 300 users the worst thing is that Sprint's algorithm for data connection reaping is based on how "always on", (read "laptop like") your phone looks to their monitoring server. If you try to keep a TCP connection (with some data transfer) open to a single IM server IP adress all day long, your data connection will be reaped more often. I've also heard stories of some people's accounts being frozen for "always on" usage from their laptop connected to their Treo. I think they want you to pay $99 a month for that type of usage.


    Now when we have 1xRTT EV-DV (and EDGE in the GSM world), all of this will hopefully cease to be important.
  4.    #4  
    Great post.

    Presumably, any IM client (including VeriChat and Chatter) will chew up more data connection time as the number of "contacts" increases, due to increased presence data flying back and forth.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by mblank
    Great post.

    Presumably, any IM client (including VeriChat and Chatter) will chew up more data connection time as the number of "contacts" increases, due to increased presence data flying back and forth.
    The VeriChat servers do not send "presence" data to the Treo/Palm when you are not "in" the VeriChat application.

    In a future release you will be able to specify interest ("buddy pounces") in the "presence" status (one-time or continuous) of specific buddies when VeriChat is in "standby" mode. Then, the VetiChat servers will send filtered information to the Treo only for these buddies as governed by your "pounce" settings. This information will use SMS for its transport.

    PDAapps
    Last edited by PDAapps; 01/12/2003 at 01:40 PM.

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