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Using on your Treo

Mon Jul 17, 2006 - 1:48 PM EDT - By Dieter Bohn

Tips for using on your Treo

I mentioned that loads fairly fast because it's made up almost entirely of text. However, if you go visit your site with your Treo, the first thing you're likely to notice is that it isn't exactly ideal because it loads up all your tags before it actually shows you your bookmarks. So on a Treo there's a lot of scrolling to do before you get to your actual bookmarks. There's a 'skip to content' button at the top sometimes, but it doesn't seem to work very consistently for me.

Another problem is the way that Blazer formats text - a little too large and not very space-efficient. Setting Blazer's font to "small" does help with this quite a bit, but it also means that other sites may be a little too small to read. Man, how I wish that the PalmOS (and Blazer in particular) would modernize its fonts. How long has it been?

In any case, if you don't mind a bit of scrolling, works fine on a Treo. Why should you care? Let's say you're at the grocery store and you know you had bookmarked a great recipe for chili, but you can't remember the site. Well, if you had tagged your bookmark with, say, "chili" or "recipe" it's a relatively simple thing to just plug one of those into the search field to find your bookmark.

There are a few fixes for that annoying scroll issue; my personal favorite is to not take my Treo directly to the site but rather to use a service called, as their site says,

[...] is a "mashup" that combines the online bookmarking service with Google Mobile. This allows you to browse through "mobilized" versions of your bookmarks from your phone browser or other limited-display browsers.

You simply point Blazer to and log in with your username and password. Then, anything you've tagged "mtag" from your desktop gets listed for you there, most recent first. So basically you're browsing the web and you find a great site that you'd like to visit on your Treo (like, oh, I don't know, so you click your bookmarklet, tag it "mtag," and then the next time you use your Treo you can go to and find the bookmark to that site. The other nice thing about is that it has a search field at the bottom for your other tags. Just like on, you can even search multiple tags with a space ("chili recipe") to find your bookmarks even faster.

My only gripe about - and it's a big one - is that it only appears to let you browse your own bookmarks and tags. That's a huge letdown. According to the developers, they only cache the bookmarks of users who have signed up - I suspect that would be a little too much for them to cache the entire database. The bright side is a developer for kindly filled me on a nice workaround, which I'll explain in a bit.

Tricks to speed up on your Treo

If you don't feel comfortable giving your password to a third party, there are other ways to speed up One option for getting your recent bookmarks quickly is to use a trick that I found here. It's a 'hack' where you bookmark a specialized URL on your Treo that only seems to show you part of the page. The steps for getting and bookmarking this URL are:

  • Copy the following:
  • Change the words in all-caps to your username, the tag you're using to save stuff for your Treo (I use 'mtag' ), and count to the number of links you'd like to display.
  • Set that new URL as a bookmark on your Treo and voila! That bookmark will return a nice and clean list of links along with their tags.

Unfortunately, this clever trick also limits you to looking at only a single user's tags, and it doesn't offer any easy way to navigate those tags - it's just a simple, straightforward list of your recent bookmarks.

There's also the online service that's popular with the mobile crowd: skweezer. You can enter your bookmarks page into the skweezer window and it'll return a fairly nice and light version that you can bookmark.

You can also use the Google mobilizer to shrink your page down. I personally think that skweezer's version renders a bit nicer for me, but it's also not as fast as Google.

Anybody else thinking that there's a real opportunity for somebody to develop a little Palm app that takes advantage of the api?

So there it is: a great way to save bookmarks from your desktop to your Treo (somewhat) painlessly. Now get bookmarking and start sharing!

Discuss this article here.

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