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Talkin' Treo -- v060906

Fri Jun 9, 2006 - 7:07 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 9 June 2006

This week, it was more Ps and Qs and reviews. So let's talk Treo!

Palm News

Palm's Q4 /FY06 Financial Results Call Set
Palm will be announcing its fourth quarter and fiscal year end 2006 financial results on Thursday, June 29, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Pacific), followed by a conference call for the public at 4:30 p.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. Pacific). The conference call will be hosted by Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer, Andy Brown, chief financial officer, and Sandy O'Halloran, senior director of Investor Relations. Click on the link above for details.

Palm Strengthens Position in UK Market
This week, Palm announced that the Treo 650 is now available on the O2 network (O2 is a leading provider of mobile services to consumers and businesses in the UK). The addition of O2 strengthens Palm's position in the UK market and furthers Palm's Treo smartphone presence in Europe.

Who's Talkin Treo 700p this Week?
This week, it was Walt Mossberg ("The Mossberg Solution") in The Wall Street Journal, Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post and Eric Benderoff of The Chicago Tribune providing their thoughts on the Treo 700p.

In "The Mossberg Solution" for this week (registration required), the the subtitle is "Smartphones Get Smarter: Motorola Q Is Light and Slim, But Treo Is Still Tops Overall." In it, Mossberg writes:

"You might like the $199 Motorola Q because of its price tag or striking design. If you don't use email too much, or if you've never used another smartphone, you might not miss the more user-friendly features that the Treo 700p has to offer. We wish that the sleekness of the Motorola Q could be combined with the intuitive features of the Treo 700p. For now, we'll stick with what works best -- the newest Treo."

If you don't have access to the Journal online, try this link.

In The Washington Post: Smartphone Challengers Fail to Displace the Treo 650, Rob Pegoraro made some interesting observations:

"Apparently, history in the smartphone business stopped in late 2004. It's not that manufacturers haven't come out with anything new since then. But none of these hybrids of cellphone and handheld organizer has had the appeal of Palm's Treo 650�

�You could call the 650 the iPod of phones, except that Apple's music players have evolved dramatically over the last year and a half -- while the Treo has not. So why have competitors had so much trouble hitting this stationary target?"

And now for something completely different:
The TECHBUZZ column in The Chicago Tribune (registration required) was one of the first to take the side of the Treo 700w vs. all the other smartphones. Eric Benderoff writes:
"I've been testing both versions of the Treo--one with Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 (700w), the other with the Palm OS (700p)--and I believe that for new users, Windows is easier to learn and navigate than the Palm operating system.
He goes on to say:
"The Windows software on the Treo 700w prioritizes what I think is the most important reason for getting a smart phone, which is staying in touch in an organized manner. After understanding the basics, you can explore the myriad of options a smart phone offers. From browsing the Web, sharing pictures and even creating a Word document on the fly, there is plenty you can do. Smart phones are basically mini-computers in the palm of one's hand.

But the Palm OS still has one clear advantage: After a decade of developing mobile software for its personal digital assistants, there are by far more Palm applications to entice users. These range from trip planners to expense account organizers to gaming favorites like solitaire."
Interesting. And continuing on that Treo 700w thread, according to Brighthand's list of the most popular PDA's for the month of May, the Treo 700w is still number one. This list is compiled based on the number of views each product page receives. So every time you click on a product on the Brighthand Site, you're giving it a vote in their monthly rankings. Other notables in the top ten include the Palm TX at #3, the Treo 650, dropping two places, to #7, and the Motorola Q debuting at #8. FYI. The Treo 700p looks like it is rising quickly, already at #10 in June per the latest tally on Brighthand's site.

That "Other" Smartphone
This week, David Pogue of The New York Times reviewed the Motorola Q.
Motorola's Q: Lovely Phone; Ugly Software (registration required)

"Videos look deliciously clear on this little screen � at least they do once you wipe off the grease; not since the iPod has a gizmo's shine been so easily marred. The 60 megabytes of free memory means you won't be loading up the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy anytime soon, unless you expand the storage with Mini SD memory cards."

"Over all, though, there's a considerable gulf between the superiority of the Q's hardware and the limitations of its software. Are you willing to jump through so many button-pressing hoops, and pay such high Internet fees, to get the Q's $200 price and gorgeous looks? Depends on how much you like double-edged swords, roller coaster rides and clouds with silver linings."

Recent TreoCentral Guides & Reviews

Don't miss TreoCentral's extensive take on the Treo 700p - By Michael Ducker and Harv Laser

"The Treo 700p combines an excellent state-of-the art hardware platform with classic easy to use software. New users will love this device, though existing Treo owners should upgrade only if they really want EVDO. Palm needs to watch its back, as competition is finally catching up, and future Treos will need to innovate further in both hardware and software than the Treo 700p did over the Treo 650 to stay at top of the field." � Michael

In my view, it boils down to this: the single most compelling reason to upgrade from a 650 to a 700p is EVDO. Near DSL data speed is a joy. Bonuses are more than double the internal memory, better camera, a much more robust, expanded, and modernized software bundle in ROM, and a lot of little improvements here and there that take time to discover." � Harv

Colorform my Headset - By Annie Latham

"In my opinion the BT160 is what it is� a unique, very fun and fashionable way to move up to a Bluetooth headset without looking like a Borg. If the 33 included faceplates don't do it for you, go wild and make your own. The customization possibilities are literally unlimited as long as you've got a good supply of glossy printer paper and a sharp X-Acto blade handy. The BT160 didn't live up to Jabra's distance-from-phone sound range claim, but for its modest price, it's a great value."

Traveling with the Treo: St. Louis - By James Hromadka

"I primarily use the Treo for text messaging, browsing the Internet and phone calls, but I found another use for it in St. Louis: SD Card reader."

Smartphone Experts ClearCase - By James Hromadka

" The ClearCase is great for those who want a stylish, smooth, slim case for their Treo but don't like the rubber issues that rubber skin cases bring, or the cold feel of a metal case. This case is not only high-tech but also easy on the wallet. The only real problem is its tight SD card holder."

Reviews & Guides from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

Everything Treo Reviews Facer Pro - Christopher Meinck writes:

"Facer is a launcher program that enhances the user interface and functionality of your Treo adding a Today screen reminiscent of the 700w...

If you've hit the home button on your Treo, then you are familiar with the applications launcher that is part of the standard Palm OS. From here, you can access your applications, modify your preferences and neatly organize your applications into categories such as Games, System, Applications, etc. Pressing the Home button rotates through these various categories. Facer is a replacement launcher that looks to upgrade your user interface and make it easier to access frequently used utilities and applications on your Treo."

"Facer Pro allows you an endless amount of options for customizing the look of your Treo, but most importantly the user interface. The integrated Today screen, customizable gadgets and graphic interface makes it a worthy upgrade for Treo 650 owners. For Treo 700p owners, it's recommended that you wait until some minor quirks are fixed."

Word Monaco Solitaire Review - Over at, Sion Phillips has posted a review of Word Monaco (Smart Box Design LLC):

"Word Monaco solitaire is a novel twist on a familiar card game, which results in a truly novel game. It can range from simple to impossibly difficult depending on user defined settings. At $14.95, Word Monaco doesn't break the bank (or should that be Casino?)."

Beam Me � Scotty! - Andrew at Treonauts has a nice story (and good reminder) about the business card functionality that's available on the Treo. He states that:

"...Palm had actually been one of the first companies to present a truly innovative solution to the stupidity of business cards by allowing people to �beam' their details from device to device in pure electronic form saving precious time and hassle in the process."

This article is well worth reading.

What Pocket Tunes Can Do for You - Thanks to TreoHQ for pointing out this one. There's an interesting post over at MobileRead that unveils "Six awesome things you didn't know Pocket Tunes could do." Here are a couple of examples: #4) Listen to XM satellite radio via the web, and #6) Listen to podcasts, and automatically sync the content with iPodder or iTunes. The author writes:

"I'm very much looking forward to trying all this out myself. Certainly, it's not a comprehensive list of the things you can do with Pocket Tunes, but it's some of the neatest things that you might not know about."

Talkin' Treo Mailbag
This is in response to the Jabra Bluetooth 160 ("Colorform My Headset") review that appeared on earlier in the week:
Hi Annie,

I read TreoCentral frequently and love the reviews. Since this is your first time using a Bluetooth headset with the Treo 650, you might want to know that the 10ft range is common to the Treo 650. It is not the headset's range but the Treo's range. The Treo 650 does not handle Bluetooth well. You might want to try pairing the Jabra BT 160 with another Bluetooth phone. You will probably find that the range is around 30ft. I do not know the range of the Treo 700w or 700p but you might want to try them out with this Jabra headset.

Just know that the headset's range is probably as advertised but the Treo 650 commonly has a range of 10ft or less.

Sincerely, Nathan Moses

Endnotes & Ponderables

In AppleBerry the next Big thing?, Simon Avery of the Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada) writes:

"Is the day near when you will get music on your BlackBerry and e-mail on your iPod?
The idea of an �AppleBerry' partnership between Research In Motion Ltd. and Apple Computer Inc. was floated yesterday by Peter Misek, an analyst with Canaccord Capital Inc., who last year accurately predicted a partnership between RIM and Intel Corp. Such a deal would have huge merit because each company lacks what the other provides. RIM wants a firm foothold in the consumer market and Apple doesn't have a presence in the booming wireless data sector, he said."

For sure, this is an idea that has been kicking around for a while. If it does happen, let's hope Steve Jobs goes into it wholeheartedly (as opposed to what happened with the Motorola SLVR.

Cell Phone Breathalyzer?
This is an interesting story. According to the, in Korea, there's a cell phone (GSM LP4100) that has a built-in breathalyzer which gives a silent instant read on blood alcohol level and displays it on an LED screen.

We think this phone is dialed in about making a potentially embarrassing but necessary tool discreet. It empowers clubbers to stop themselves in their slurry-speeched tracks before they leave a regrettable voicemail message, let alone make a regrettable move behind the wheel."

(Editor's note: the auto industry has debated and demonstrated cars equipped with a breathalyzer to prevent them from starting if the driver's "three sheets to the wind." Such a device would have to discern the difference between liquor and Listerine, but anything that keeps drunks off the road is worth contemplation. � Harv)..

That's a wrap!

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