iPhone, Google Android, Windows Mobile 6.5, BlackBerry or Palm? The market place for smartphones is changing quickly as the functionality provided by the various operating systems improves. For example, Apple just announced that it will release of iPhone 3.0 which will add a large number of features including data tethering (i.e., using your smartphone as a modem or aircard for your laptop) and universal search. While our old friend Palm is releasing the Palm Pre Phone soon with a touch screen making it similar to iPhone.
Given the existing options and the options facing us in the near future how should an attorney decide which smartphone to buy. The American Bar Association’s ABA Site-tation suggests that the operating system and available software, rather than the phone, are becoming the key factors in determining whether a smartphone is useful, and points us towards a number of great web-sites providing comparisons of the smartphones and the operating systems. For a comparison of the five leading smartphone platforms (based on pre-release evaluations of iPhone 3.0 and Palm Pre) look at Gizmodo. For a one-on-one comparison between iPhone and Google Android look at Lifehacker and for iPhone versus Blackberry you can look at two articles in the ABA’s Law Practice Today, iPhone v. Blackberry Storm: Blackberry Storm and iPhone v. Blackberry Storm: iPhone. I want to think the folks at ABA Site-tation for bring our attention to these excellent resources so you can make a smart decision on this critical piece of equipment.
Personally, I found of great interest the large number of additional features that are or will shortly be available in all of these operating systems. Moreover, in light of our concern in Massachusetts about compliance with M.G.L. c. 93H security requirements for personal information, I was particularly interested to see that Windows Mobile supports secure emails. The issue of encryption and email security on smartphones will become of major concern on January 1, 2010, and LOMAP will continue to explore these issues over the coming months.