My Palm Tungsten E decided to format the SD card again, the one where I keep my backups and extra Bible versions and free books I’m reading.  That bothers me, significantly.

So I decided to look around to see what was available for a replacement PDA.

I have chosen to go with the Android operating system.  Part of it is a peeve against Apple – they overcharge for nicely-designed stuff, and they control what can be sold in their application store.  I prefer Android’s “wild west” mentality, with the OS much more open, and much more need for the buyer to beware.  So an iPod Touch is off the menu.

I have been interested in the Samsung Galaxy Player, the Android equivalent to the Touch.  It’s not a phone, but it does have wifi.   BestBuy is selling it for $270 – in Spanish, before they took it down – and has been answering questions about it in English.

But I’m still a little irked – I’d have to buy a pricey device that doesn’t even do phone calls (don’t get me started on Microsoft buying Skype), and we’re considering buying smart phones at the end of the year when out current contract is up.  But the data plan prices are steep – not a sure thing.

So what about the alternative – go with Boost Mobile (Sprint’s prepaid division), buy an Android phone, have the Android device in pocket and only spend money one time instead of a device now and a subsidized phone for two years?  Boost has a $50/month all-you-can-eat plan, which includes voice, text, and data.  They also have a “shrinkage” option where if you pay on time for six months, you get a $5 reduction in your bill.  Repeatable three times.  So we could buy our Android phones, have full internet access and unlimited voice/text, and be paying $70/month (total) in a year and a half?  It’s like buying the MP3 player and getting a free phone!  Where’s the downside in that?

Glad you asked.  Boost doesn’t have great coverage – they don’t even cover the entire area inside the circle freeway around Cincinnati

The white/cream spaces indicate no coverage.  The lightest green is noted as “fair”.  If I want “fair”, I’m waiting until the end of July.

Also, as insult on that injury, Boost’s phones don’t offer tethering.  We can’t use our phone as a wifi hotspot and connect a laptop that way.  I have seen people do that on the bus, and it’s cool.  Not a critical thing, but very nice.

In the big picture, focusing on things that are more important, Laridian’s PocketBible still has not been released for the Android platform.  And that’s a deal-breaker.  I read the Bible daily on there, own a dozen or more Bibles for that platform, and want to keep on encouraging them to produce top-notch work by buying their products.  And I will, once they release it for the Android and I have an Android device.

Unfortunately, that combination is not as close as I had hoped.

So no changes, no new toys.