Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Goodlink 5

Recently I upgraded to Goodlink 5 on my Treo 700p. Observations so far:

  • It is slower, and has slowed down my whole Treo. Even Solitaire is sluggish.
  • Nice features for accepting calendar appointments -- you no longer have to send acceptance, or be prompted for a comment.
  • I thought the Conversation view (press "C" with a message highlighted for a shortcut) was useless, but then I had a bunch of email to get through after a long meeting and it actually helped me make short work of long threads.
  • Having an RSS reader is a great feature and the implementation is pretty good, but my main complaint is that it kind of fails at the main function of an RSS reader, which is to keep track of what you have and have not read. It's kind of annoying to read the same things twice or sometimes three times. And I only have I think 5 feed subscriptions. Still, I actually think it's a more professional implementation than QuickNews, which I actually paid for but never really use. (Having the feeds periodically refreshing might be the cause of Treo slowness. Still, QuickNews took like the entire 7-minute time period from waiting for the elevator to getting on the subway, and if you forgot to do it, forget it. I basically stopped using QuickNews months ago, but am reading feeds on the subway again.) The Good-like interface where the center button both opens and closes the article, and "p" and "n" go through the articles, is really well thought out and immediately easy to use. If they took more care in ensuring I didn't sometimes have to read the same things I would call this a must-have upgrade.
  • Related to the above, the news ticker thing (the way the RSS reader alerts you) is a bit annoying. It seems to scroll through articles a bit too fast, to the degree that it actually makes you sort of tense to not read them. But RSS feeds are a low, low priority item so maybe I should turn the bar off. Then again, I'd never read the feeds like with QuickNews. Hmmm…
  • Still getting used to the Send/Receive shortcut key changing from "s" to "z". Slightly annoyed about it. Have so far never meant to use the "filter by sender" function, though I suppose it could also be helpful in triaging a massive amount of emails.
  • The starred ("Priority") items could have used a little more thought, in my opinion. Or else I need to stop overthinking the function. (Eh, wrong blog for that ;) I extensively use Automatic Formatting in Outlook and initially thought this was kind of a neat way for Goodlink to have this as well. But for work, a critical Goodlink function is that high priority emails vibrate my Treo, and I use some rules to make sure the "crying wolf" factor is minimized -- e.g. your emails to me go in the jail if you forward a lot of inappropriately high priority vendor emails, or if you are a vendor that sends me high priority emails. So as much as I would like it for emails sent just to me to be starred, I need emails that are high priority to vibrate my Treo and I don't want or whatever vibrating it. Still, this is a nice first attempt at helping you separate low priority emails from higher priority, but it comes at the expense of the paging function I require in my line of work.
  • I've had Goodlink 5 for maybe two weeks and this morning I got the dreaded GX_ASSERT error, which meant I had to reprovision Good on my device. I don't know if I should blame Good/Motorola or Palm for that.

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