I've been going through the pain in the a** that is restoring my Palm Profile account to a replacement phone, and it is triggered both the usual frustration as well as some suggestions to Palm for things to do to make it better. I thought I'd share them with others in the hopes of prompting debate and perhaps someone at Palm/HP will take notice.

<As background, insert here the usual rants about failed/slow/multiply retry profile attempts/etc>. In short, unless you have a trivially small number of apps, contacts, etc. and unless you are restoring from a location with a strong 3G signal, assume it won't go right the first time. Again, the context here is for situations like when a replacement phone has been delivered after your original has broken, etc.

So .... suggestions:

1) Allow the user to opt out of or delay the application and data restore after logging in to an existing profile account. If you need to make a call RIGHT NOW, you don't want to wait 20 minutes - 3 hrs (yes it took that long) for the profile to restore everything.

2) Allow management of the user's profile on the (regular) web. Perhaps the user could mark apps for deletion/no-restore? Have an emulator & the apps online as well so that the user could get access to app-based data while waiting for their replacement phone to be delivered. That would be a very nice differentiator from the competing smartphone platforms too.

3) Improve the online documentation for how to switch the palm profile you have associated with the phone. Make it a formal part of the Palm online FAQs.

4) Enable wifi from the point at which there has been a successful profile login, but before the restoration would start (again, make it possible to opt out of restore). For users in poor-quality cell zones this would improve the speed and success rate of restorations.

5) Allow transfers of apps and data between profiles. If IP or software license rights are a concern, only allow them to be on one profile at a time. IE, I could transfer an app to a new replacement profile I've created for myself. Or, I could transfer an app to my kid's new phone and stop him from bugging me about using my phone all the time :-)

6) Allow restoration of the profile over USB, similar to the old Palm Desktop approach.