Palm, iPhone, & DataViz Documents to Go

If you've owned a Palm for years and thoroughly enjoyed using DataViz Documents to Go, then loving the iPhone and still toting your Palm has been irritating. Well, the irritation may be coming to an end.

Why? Because Documents to Go (DTG) should soon be available for your iPhone.

DTG was considered by many to be the Cadillac (okay, maybe we should say Lexus now) of the word processing programs for the Palm and it was one of the reasons the Palm was such a success, especially with lawyers. You could take your document and load it on your palm and then edit it on the road using DTG. Then you could print it out and you were ready to go.

iPhone, on the other hand, was static with documents.

There was no editing on the iPhone itself and you had to use internet sources or tricky tactics to use the iPhone not to actually edit on the phone but to go on the internet and edit documents there. That was a hassle because it meant figuring out how to upload the doc, use the iPhone to get to it, edit it there, and then wait until you returned to the office to be able to do much about it. Hassle, hassle, hassle.

Well, DataViz says (on their Twitter, click here) that they have just sent the final DTG app to Apple for approval and posting to the store. In a few days you could have DTG on your iPhone.

It still isn't clear what all the app will do but it's logical that DataViz will want it to be as much like the "normal" version as possible. You can bet that means that you will be able to view Word, Excel and likely PowerPoint files on your iPhone. The technical challange deals with being able to edit any of those. The Word documents very likely will be editable on your iPhone and maybe even an Excel spreadsheet, but PowerPoint just may not be ready for prime time yet. We'll have to wait a few days to see.

Still, DTG on an iPhone is long overdue. They aren't talking price yet but whatever it is will likely be no more than the Palm version and probably much less, given the average app price. Regardless of the price though, we'll very likely order up DTG asap. QuickOffice just never was my cup of tea.

Meanwhile, iPhone plans to reduce its third operating system Summer 2009 and intentions are to enable some significant editing abilities and that undoubtedly is part of what pushed DataViz to get DTG out the door. If they wait too long, the market share projections for DTG could well change as other products come online.
When we get the new DTG, we'll be able to see what's real and how much of the old DTG is lost like vaporware. For now, cross your fingers and get your credit card ready.

Ron Burdge
Helping lawyers helping clients since 1978.