I just discovered that the camera in my Treo had a very sophisticated self-timer. I also found out that if you aren�t careful when you use your Bluetooth headset with your Treo, you may run into a situation where you can�t hear your caller and vice versa. Seems like I�m always learning new (and sometimes eclectic) things while conducting research for this column. So let�s talk Treo.
Treo in Rio This week, Palm announced the availability of the Treo 650 on the Vivo Network in Brazil. It joins Vivo's portfolio for its Smart Mail corporate service, which allows real-time access to email, calendar, contacts and tasks. The service is compatible with corporate servers, such as Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, as well as with private IMAP and POP accounts, such as Terra, UOL, BOL, iG and Gmail. Vivo Smart Mail uses the CDMA 1xRTT network available in 19 Brazilian states and the Federal District, allowing data transfer and Internet access speed at 144kbps.
Palm in Healthcare: Facilitating Clinical Trials Last week we mentioned that healthcare is a business area of focus for Palm. An announcement issued by Palm this week further supports this. Palm and invivodata, a leader in electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePRO) solutions for global clinical research, are working together to improve the reliability of clinical trials by providing patients with better tools for capturing/sharing information about their experiences during clinical trials. The Palm TX handheld is being coupled with invivodata's wireless modem cradle, for use in clinical trials.
It's nice to know that our Treo's cousin is playing a role in reducing drug development costs.
Palm Explains Why the Treo 700w Email Update Was Pulled Ed over at Brighthand wrote a story about the Treo 700w email update being pulled off Palm's web site just a couple of days after it was posted. Since there was no explanation, many users assumed the worse�that perhaps Palm had discovered a serious bug in the new software. Ed investigated it and assured his readers that they could relax. Here's the explanation that came from Palm:
"After posting the 700w update, Palm received feedback on an issue that appears to be affecting a small percentage of 700w customers running the update. Some decompression software applications may be having difficulty decompressing the .zip file downloaded from the website and, as a result, the installation process will not start. Palm is looking into adjusting the updater, as well as reviewing customer feedback on the installer."
So far, the "updated" update had not been re-posted.
Elsewhere in the World of Treo
It's a Good Thing Good Technology, the leading provider of industry standards-based enterprise handheld computing software and service, announced the immediate availability of GoodLink 4.8. This newest version of the popular, award-winning messaging software and service enables enterprises to deploy, centrally manage and secure growing smartphone deployments with greater flexibility and ease, unlocking the power of mobility for businesses worldwide. Additionally, users can now choose from a broad range of Palm OS� and Windows Mobile devices, including the new Palm� Treo� 700w smartphone from Verizon Wireless.
Sling Media Releases SlingPlayer Mobile Software In the March 24 issue of Talkin' Treo, the SlingPlayer was discussed. This week, Sling Media announced the official release of SlingPlayer� Mobile for Slingbox� owners. SlingPlayer Mobile is a new software package that gives Slingbox owners the ability to watch and control their home TV from any network-enabled mobile phone or handheld computer (PDA) powered by Windows Mobile. The SlingPlayer Mobile software available today is compatible with devices that run Windows Mobile Pocket PC 5.0 and 2003 Second Edition. Sling Media will deliver a version for non-touchscreen devices based on Windows Mobile Smartphone later this quarter.
Chapura Updates Outlook Synchronization Software for Treo 700w Chapura, Inc., an innovator of synchronization technology for mobile personal information managers (PIMs), announced that its popular Outlook synchronization software, PocketMirror Professional for Microsoft Windows Mobile, now supports the Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Editions of Windows Mobile 5.0. This updated version of PocketMirror Professional offers owners of the Palm Treo 700w a way to transfer more information between Outlook on the desktop and Outlook Mobile on the handheld than allowed with ActiveSync alone. PocketMirror Professional for Windows Mobile also offers owners of these mobile devices a near desktop-like toolset for organizing personal information on the go.
Developer One Launches Agenda Fusion 8 and CodeWallet Pro 2006 for Windows Mobile Handhelds Developer One, a leader in the development of productivity enhancing software solutions for Windows Mobile handheld devices, announced the launch of Agenda Fusion 8 and CodeWallet Pro 2006. Both are major updates to the company's two flagship applications.
Agenda Fusion 8, which delivers mobile time, contact and task management features comparable to fully featured PC software solutions, is loaded with some of the smartest, business-focused features to-date.
Dual Reminders, which gives users the opportunity to not only set a reminder, say 30 minutes before an important meeting, but to make it nearly effortless to set up another reminder on the night before, or two days before.
Call Log Integration with Contacts, delivering a simple and effective way to view the call log of a specific contact without having to scroll through the rudimentary call log that is included in phone-enabled Pocket PCs.
Contact Event Integration (Birthday / Anniversaries), offering an at-a-glance view of upcoming birthdays for business associates, clients, family and friends.
CodeWallet Pro 2006 provides a convenient and secure solution for managing sensitive personal and business information on a desktop computer or mobile device. The application offers completely secure organization of passwords, credit card information, website favorites, contacts, online shopping accounts, insurance policies, memberships, PIN codes, and anything that users want to keep handy yet outside the reach of others.
Get Yer Sticks out: GolfTraxx Golf GPS with VoiceIt has Arrived This week, GolfTraxx http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/4/prweb375603.htm target="_blank">announced the official launch of its Powered By VoiceIt, 100% open standards Golf GPS solution for the Palm Treo 650, Palm Life Drive, and Pocket PC with a built-in PDA Voice Response. GolfTraxx has partnered with VoiceIt Technologies, LLC to deliver this state-of-the art golf GPS solution.
The integrated application suite features 2-way voice communication between player and device. In addition, the TomTom SiRF STAR III wireless Bluetooth GPS receiver has been integrated into the Golf GPS solution. Upon command, GolfTraxx accurately calculates shot distances anywhere in the world using GPS coordinates, with the PDA stating those distances aloud. Finally, GolfTraxx records each shot played on the course into a database during the played round. Additional features include a female voice stating distances to multiple targets on every hole including front, center and back of each green, and exporting of all shot data to a desktop computer for later use and analysis.
Blogging from Your Treo For those who are curious about the new field of mBlogging (mobile blogging), in Everything Treo's newsletter, there was an interesting mention of how you can blog from your Treo.
Treonauts Discusses Silence & the Bluetooth Headset Andrew over at Treonauts has posted an interesting story about a problem some Bluetooth headset users have when they mistakenly answer calls using their Treo. They can't hear anything because calls automatically get routed to the Bluetooth headset. He states:
"Nobody appears to have figured out a way to provide users with the simple option to set their BT preferences in such a way that:
If call answered on phone > route call to phone
If call answered on headset > route call to headset"
Seems like a reasonable request. Hey Bluetooth headset vendors, listen up!
Recent TreoCentral Guides & Reviews
Check Out TreoCentral's Hidden Treasures. This week, the second article in a series by Jay Gross (staff writer and professional photographer for over 40 years) talks about, among other things, the Treo 650's self-timer feature (something most Treo users don't know about).
Just in case you missed it, here's the link to the first article of the series that details how to massage pictures from your Treo's camera into images of which you can actually be proud.
"I see this device as a go anywhere, hands free solution and it may eventually become my primary �go to' device, over my current Bluetooth ear piece. The MV900 is by far the best performing hands free speakerphone I've tested. It mostly lives up to its claimed features and was definitely a hit with people on the other end of the call, many of whom weren't sure if they were on speakerphone�
The combination of the portability, mics, speaker loudness and clarity, DSP, voice command interface, and most importantly, echo and noise cancellation, make this unit a top choice when shopping for a hands free device."
This article ran on April 17 and was mentioned in last week's Talkin' Treo. On April 25, the developer renamed it "mOcean" [perhaps to avoid the wrath of Apple]. Some features have changed since this review was posted, and some new features added, including iTunes syncing and equalizer presets.
"mPod is going in exactly the direction that other companies are overlooking for the Treo community. I hope other developers take note of the concept and seize the initiative to make superb, sexy applications like this one. It's not perfect, it seriously needs an equalizer, but it's a shining example of companies who takes a world-class interface idea and bring it to the Treo. Next time you're sitting at a restaurant table and your friend whips out his iPod, you can whip out your Treo running mPod and say �Check this out. Can yours make phone calls? Browse the Web? Send email? I didn't think so.' "
Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community
Shall We Play A Game? How about Bejeweled? This review came from Mike Slocomb at Digital Lifestyles.
"Perhaps it's because we're a bit old school, but we preferred the no-nonsense simplicity of the original Bejeweled over the whizz bangery of the later version, but both games remain cunningly addictive. Install at your peril!"
BoxWave Versa Charger Review by MyTreo.net Derek Simmerman at MyTreo.net has just posted a review of the BoxWave Versa Charger. He writes:
"Although pricey, I recommend this Treo accessory. It's a well-designed travel charger, and people on the go will appreciate the convenience."
Sena Treo 700w LeatherSkin Case Review by TreoMobile Kevin Muller at TreoMobile just took a look at Sena's LeatherSkin case for the 700w:
"It seems a lot of time and thought have gone into the creation of the case. Many times it seems that usability of the phone functions is a secondary thought of case makers � in this case, the LeatherSkin Case by Sena excels in allowing unhindered use of almost all the great features the 700w has to offer. Sena has managed to do all this with a very stylish design."
Closing Thoughts: Don't Want to Go Blind, Get More Vocal
In The San Francisco Chronicle there was a story this week by Ryan Kim about how "tapping" into voice-recognition technology will change how we interact with our cell phone.
Acknowledging how frustrating it is to search on a 2-inch screen that only displays 10 entries at a time, several companies (Promptu, V-Enable, VoiceBox Technologies) are working on creating solutions that utilize an already familiar cell phone behavior: speaking into the phone. Advances in voice recognition technology are getting to the point get where users should be able to say a search term into the phone and be rewarded in seconds with results.
"In my opinion, the right way to do it is through voice recognition," said analyst Roger Entner an analyst with Ovum (a research firm specializing in the convergence across telecoms, IT services and software). "If you do it right, you find what you want very quickly in a way that is natural to people. Just talk to the damn thing."
Ironically, The Wall Street Journal had a story (registration required) in Tuesday's Personal Journal section about how PDA use causes eyestrain.
It leads off by talking about a Treo user, Chris Kwak, a 31-year-old financial analyst who regularly pops Tylenol to dull the headaches he gets from focusing on the tiny font he has chosen for his device. Besides using his Treo for email and checking stocks, he recently "plowed" through the novel The Da Vinci Code.
Just the thought of it makes my eyes hurt. Palm has been doing what it can to help alleviate eyestrain under what I'd describe as normal operating conditions (I'd place reading a novel on the extreme side). The article explains:
"Many gadget makers, including Palm Inc., offer �transflective' screens that have a backlight for low-light situations, but also have the capacity to reflect natural light. Also, the glass displays on Palm handhelds are treated with special polarized films that bend light in ways that allow users to see the screen clearly from many angles.
The screen resolution on handhelds has also improved over the past several years, making it easier for companies to render fonts and images clearly on the smalls screen."
The article closes with a recommendation is that is something we've all been told before (early and often): Take frequent breaks (i.e. Avoid using your Treo for long periods of time).
Now if those companies developing voice recognition technology for cell phones would just hurry up, we'd be able to have a more balanced approach to how we interface with our Treo.
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