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Talkin' Treo - v072007

Fri Jul 20, 2007 - 11:24 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 20 July 2007

Here in the SF Bay Area, we were �treated� to a rare summer �rain,� if you can call it that (a whopping .01 inch). And it was a big (Should I say ginormous? Nah, that was so last week�) deal here.

But I digress. In the world of Treo, there was talk of travel (and travel-related software) and new Bluetooth products. And, of course, there continues to be Foleo Fever.

So without further ado, Let�s Talk Treo!

Palm News

Palm Files SEC Form 10K -- Annual Report

Though Palm didn�t issue any announcements this week, they did file their 10K (annual report) with the SEC. You can pick up a lot by skimming the section called �Management�s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation.� For example, this is how they describe themselves:

�Palm, Inc. is a leading provider of mobile computing solutions. Our leadership is the result of creating devices that make it easy for end users to manage their lives and communicate with others, to access and share their most important information and to avail themselves of the power of computing wherever they are. We design our devices to appeal to consumer, professional, business, education and government users around the world.�

And the company�s fundamental beliefs:

�Palm was founded on two fundamental beliefs: the future of personal computing is mobile and the mobile computing solutions that we create should deliver a powerful computing experience in a simple and intuitive manner.�

And the company�s objective:

�Our objective is to be the leader in mobile computing. We intend to achieve this objective by providing our customers and end users with high quality innovative products, services and support that are easy to use.�

Interesting stuff. The message to the shareholders is pretty clear. And when I think about the series of Treo smartphones that Palm has delivered this year and the Foleo that is on the way, it all makes sense.

Talkin� Foleo

Speaking of the Foleo, I had a chance to play with one Thursday night at the Sneak Peek Palm held in San Francisco. In brief, I liked what I saw. I�ll provide my thoughts some time next week. Meanwhile, here�s what some other folks thought about the Foleo and the Sneak Peek event.


Sascha Segan wrote:

�They have a potentially impressive product on their hands. The Foleo has a bit of heft at just over 2 pounds, but it didn't feel all that heavy - it definitely would have taken a weight off my back if it replaced my IBM Thinkpad T40.�

Krunker News

Felix Lung wrote:

�I'll reserve my final judgement on the Foleo when it comes out at the end of the summer. Until then, I think there is a market for the Foleo - I just don't think it's as large as Palm hopes it would be. If Palm would provide more functionality than just email and web browsing to the Foleo, then I would be far more positive (and hopeful) of the device. One thing I can say - the Foleo is not revolutionary by any means. It's just a device that straddles the line between notebooks and mobile phones (yet not nearly as featured or an expensive as a UMPC)."

Palm Addict

�If you blog or want to write, they built this machine for you. Docs to Go looks great on it. No more squinting at the small screen. The battery life stands at four or five hours. Avvenu already partnered with Palm to make their file sharing service available on the Foleo. I don't want to call it a Foleo application yet (let the iPhone weasles call websites apps*Snicker*Snicker*). But the rep made it sound like that might be possible in the future. The Foleo definitely takes advantage of Web2.0. �And it was so light, just 2.5 lbs. It felt good and sturdy. There's no spinning disks inside, I could wave it around. And just the turn on/turn off/switch apps time is amazing. This is really going to be the deal sealer. This product needs to be touched to truly convey the advantages.�

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Clue: Postcards From Your Treo - By Jay Gross

Professor Jay has put together an excellent piece on how to use your Treo to send postcards. He notes the advantages of taking this approach:

��Cell phone pictures have other advantages for sending postcards from exotic (or not) places. This is a case where the low resolution of Treo images � compared to my fancy (and heavy!) digital SLR � pays off. The Treo cameras� resolution isn�t so large that emailed pictures would choke people�s inbox limits. Besides, they�re as good as the snapshots I got with my little Minolta. Another advantage is the email itself. You could just send the pic as a multimedia SMS, but watch out that your intended recipient can accept such files and doesn�t mind paying whatever his or her cell carrier charges for the privilege. If you also send them as attachments to emails, the cell carrier charge is probably on you.�

Review: AutoFile Plus - By Andre Kibbe

Andre checked out AutoFile Plus, an application targeted towards the true road warrior. It�ll help you keep track of things like fuel economy (mileage), trips (business, personal), service intervals and expenses. He wrote:

�If you have more than one car and any serious need to keep track of all things vehicular, for yourself or your company, AutoFile is a must-have�it blows paper log books off the road. If you have only one car and have a fairly routine commute, AutoFile may not be for you. Seeing everything that the program can track, even if you only use a fraction of it, may have you reverting back to seat-of-the-pants maintenance before long.�

Review: SplashTravel Professional Edition - By Jay Gross

Jay, with travel still on his mind, tried out the professional edition of SplashTravel. It consists of fifteen applications in a single menu that covers pretty much everything you need � wherever your travels may take you.

�Globally savvy with user settings that accommodate almost anywhere, SplashTravel performs beautifully � look up a city, find out the current weather or the forecast for anyplace on the globe, and keep up with airline flight delays. Its converters cover anything you�re likely to encounter worldwide.�

Note: For another take on SplashTravel, check out the review by Bert Latamore of ComputerWorld that was mentioned in last week�s column.

Review: BlueAnt Sonic Bluetooth Portable Speakers for Treo 750 - By Douglas Morse

Douglas tried out BlueAnt�s Sonic Bluetooth Portable Speakers. They have �a great feature set as they are portable, can be used wired or wirelessly, off an AC adapter, or on the rechargeable battery.� Would he recommend them? Read this review and find out.

Clue: Treo Software Update Roundup - By Jennifer Chappell

This was a busy software week for Jennifer. She covered more than 16 applications for the Treo, including: Dial Directions, Fake Call, MemMaid, Mundu Radio, Phone Disconnect, Resco Media Suite, Splash Wallet Suite, SpeakSMS, Picture SMS and SMS Commander. Plus, she provided info on Verizon�s updates for the Treo.

Elsewhere in the World of Treo�

Commentary: Treo over iPhone

Palm Addict�s Dean P. Simmer wrote a piece explaining his rationale for replacing his old Treo 650 with a Treo 755P instead of an iPhone. Some of the pluses on the Treo side include: the Treo�s real keyboard, Opera Mini, Palm OS (�while dated, has thousands of applications that improve and enhance the user experience and functionality�), and full support for Microsoft Office documents as well as syncing with Outlook. Plus, �PocketTunes and mOcean allow users to sync their devices with their computer-based media players, similar to the iPod/iPhone feature with iTunes.�

Review: BlueAnt V12 LCD Bluetooth Headset

Andrew over at Treonauts checked out BlueAnt�s V12 LCD Bluetooth headset. This full-featured headset has an automatic backlit LCD screen that offers advanced features such as 12 number caller ID, battery and volume level indicators, and the last 10 number caller history. He wrote:

�If you�re looking for a headset with a versatile and useful LCD, very good call quality and excellent talk time then there is no doubt that I would very highly recommend this headset. �

Review: Palm Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard

Brighthand�s AWright tried out the new Bluetooth wireless keyboard from Palm.

�About the only issue that I had with the new Wireless Keyboard from Palm is that pairing it with my smartphone required the manual and a specific Bluetooth pairing code. Usually, devices have a generic code, but that it wasn't the case with this item. So me trying to get this up and going on the road had to wait a extra day, but when I did, things were smooth sailing. And yes, I'm typing this article on the new Wireless Keyboard. It's good enough to replace my desktop's keyboard.�

Game Review: Happy Lines Puzzle Game�s Sion Phillips played around with a puzzle game �that is simple to pick up but gets complicated very quickly.� Happy Lines is available for a wide range of operating systems including Windows powered Treos and Palm OS Treos (the Treo 650 or later models).

�When I first started playing the game, it reminded me a lot of an Astraware game I already own called Atomica, which also involves arranging coloured balls to form groups and score points. The more I thought about it Happy Lines reminded me of lots of similar puzzle games. However, I think Happy Lines, with its different rules for different levels, will offer more longevity than most games of this type. Unlike the other games, with Happy Lines you have the option of just playing your favorite level all the time or you can try to play through the whole game.�

News: Namco Networks and Big Fish Games to Launch Casual Online Games in the Mobile Market

This week, Namco Networks, a leading publisher and developer of wireless games and network content, and Big Fish Games, a leading developer, publisher, and distributor of casual, family-friendly games, announced a partnership to bring Big Fish�s popular online games to mobile phones in North America for the first time. The partnership kicks off with the scheduled launch of Atlantis Sky Patrol�, a casual puzzle game that�s �perfectly suited� for mobile.

Clue: GPS Options Per The New York Times

In the Circuits section of the Thursday New York Times, there was a story by Larry Magid (�Global Positioning by Cellphone�) that discussed various navigation (and tracking) options that are available whether or not you had GPS functionality in your phone.

One of the companies/services mentioned in the article was TeleNav, the first company to launch a GPS navigation service for mobile phones in the U.S.

�TeleNav offers a service that turns phones from Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and others into a full-fledged G.P.S. navigation device by using the phone�s speaker and color screen. Like most G.P.S. systems, it has a �points of interest� database, but because it is connected to the cellular network, it receives updates in real time. That enables a �gas by price� service that finds nearby stations with the lowest prices. TeleNav�s �share address� feature is similar to Helio�s Buddy Beacon. If you beam your address to other TeleNav users, they can plot you on a map and get directions to your location.�

Note: Last month, Harv Laser reviewed TeleNav V5.0.

News: Sprint to Offer Loopt's 'Friend Finding' Service

In a story that appeared in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Sprint Nextel Corp. announced the launch of Loopt Inc.'s "friend finding" service, �demonstrating large cellphone operators' increasing interest in location-based mobile services.�

�The service from Loopt, of Mountain View, Calif., allows users to view on their cellphones the location of friends who are also Loopt users. The service tracks phones using the Global Positioning System and other network technology, updating users' locations every 15 minutes. To address privacy concerns, users must grant permission to others to track their whereabouts and can choose at any time to stop broadcasting their location.�

News: Verizon and Sony BMG to Bring Geometry Wars to �Get IT Now� Phones

This week, Verizon Wireless and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, announced the exclusive release of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved Mobile on select Verizon Wireless Get It Now-capable phones. Developed in conjunction with Bizarre Creations, the game is faithful to the console original while taking advantage of the on-the-go nature of mobile phones, making Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved Mobile a highly-addictive small screen masterpiece.

News: Verizon Launches Veoh Channel

Verizon also announced they have teamed with Veoh (, the leader in Internet Television, to launch a Veoh channel on the Verizon Wireless V CAST service. Veoh features what the press release refers to as �the best selection of video content on the Internet.�

�To date, more than 85,000 video publishers � from independent producers to some of the best-known brands in music, sports, politics, and entertainment � have chosen Veoh as a distribution platform. With Veoh on V CAST, Verizon Wireless customers now have access to the "Best of Veoh" video collection that includes animation, comedy, entertainment, drama, and Web-series video. The programming was selected specifically for the mobile audience from video clips published on and is continually refreshed to help keep V CAST customers entertained while on-the-go.�

News: New Mobile Browser

Quarta Mobile has officially released mDigger Reader 7.6 � �a revolutionary new type of Internet information browser for mobile devices running on Windows Mobile.� This award-winning program works together with mDigger Service to deliver content from a large number of Web resources in a format complementary to users' mobile devices. It enables offline information browsing and a sleek user-friendly mobile Web experience.

Both the program and service are being offered to the public for free and are now available at:

Trend: Mobile Email Skimmed

According to a recently published report by ExactTarget ("E-Mail Marketing for the Small Screen"), E-mail users tend to read their messages in a different way on mobile phones than on PCs.

  • �Nearly nine in 10 mobile e-mail users skimmed messages on their phones, and then read the full version on desktop or laptop computers.
  • Smartphone users mainly checked mobile e-mail to stay connected and read urgent messages, but rarely read commercial e-mails.
  • Mobile e-mail users usually did not click on links within e-mails � just over half had ever done so. Nor do they make online purchases with their smartphones.�

Clue: 5 Tips for Creating Mobile Content

Here�s an interesting story by Troy Dreier about how what kind of video looks best on a portable device and what you need to do to create content to the small screen. He spoke with Erika Lewis, vice president of content and programming for GoTV, who actually recommended a cross-platform approach:

�While you want your work to look good on a mobile screen, don't plan on only delivering it to cell phone users, advises Lewis. While 232 million people have mobile phones, she says, only 5 million subscribe to some kind of video service.
"You need to get visibility across everything to get people to want to buy your service," Lewis says. That means creating a cross-platform approach that supplies video for online broadband distribution and even television.�
News: Samsung, JCDecaux and LAX to Give Travelers a Power Boost

This week, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Samsung Mobile (a division of Samsung Telecommunications America) and airport advertising contractor JCDecaux launched charging stations in all terminals at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), allowing travelers the convenience of free electrical re-charging of their mobile phones, laptops and other personal electronics. Fifty-one 8-1/2-foot-tall, pole-like charging stations have been installed throughout the boarding areas in Terminals 1 through 8 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The Samsung Mobile Charging Stations have four outlets per station, allowing multiple travelers to re-charge their electronic devices. They are designed to re-charge personal electronics designed for U.S. voltage (i.e., 120 volts). The electrical re-charging stations are designed with a small shelf to hold electronic equipment.

Endnotes & Ponderables:

A couple of months ago, I mentioned in this column a viral video, Ray Ban did called �Catch.� This week, Adweek noted there�s a new viral video for Ray-Ban from Ben "Benzo" Kaller, the director of "Catch.� The new one, "Bobbing for Glasses," stars Kaller and his creative partner Steve Hanft, and shows the pair dunking their heads into water buckets and surfacing with pair after pair of Wayfarers instead of apples.

By the way, "Catch" generated 2.7 million views on YouTube.

That�s a wrap!

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