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Talkin’ Treo -- v072806

Fri Jul 28, 2006 - 6:18 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 28 July 2006

Guess Motorola thought they’d help us handle the record heat by introducing “cool” new phones with funny names: Krzr (pronounced 'Crazer') and the Rizr. Perhaps these guys have names with vowels missing to emphasize that they aren’t from the “smart” side of the family, if you know what I mean. But I digress. With vowels firmly in place, let’s talk Treo (special emphasis on the eo )!

Palm News

HazMat Responders Get Smarter and WISER

This week, Palm announced that the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the largest medical library in the world and an organization within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has created a free application for emergency responders called Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) that runs on the Treo. The WISER application gives emergency responders access to relevant information on more than 400 of the most commonly encountered Hazardous Substance DataBank (HSDB) substances. The user interface is designed to present the data to the emergency responder in a format that is easy to access and comprehend during an emergency, as well as during disaster-preparedness training.

Coming Soon: PalmSource 1-Day Developer Conference

Ed Hardy at Brighthand reports that PalmSource is going to hold a “Developer’s Day” in August. It will be part of the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo. The PalmSource Developer Day will be targeted towards Linux developers who are interested in making mobile versions of their applications. Attendees will be getting an overview of the components of the successor to the Palm OS, currently called the ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP). They will also receive early access and hands-on experience building applications for this upcoming platform.

Who’s Talkin Treo 700p?

In an article posted this week, and scheduled to run in their September issue, PC World named the Treo 700p as one of the top PDA/phones (along with the Motorola's Q and T-Mobile's Sidekick 3). The Treo 700p replaces its predecessor, the Treo 650, at the top of the chart.

“Despite a steep price ($650 with a two-year contract from Sprint) and unimpressive battery performance, the 700p wowed us with its thoughtful design and lightning-fast speed. Like the Windows Mobile-based Treo 700w (number four on our chart), the 700p includes support for high-speed EvDO networks, which makes surfing the Web using its Blazer Web browser a real pleasure. The unit also features a speedy 312-MHz Intel XScale processor and 128MB of total on-board memory, making the device feel noticeably faster than the 650 at most tasks. But, as noted, the 700p offers mediocre battery life: It lasted just under 5 hours in our battery tests.

Also, this week it was Jack Cook of Mobility Site, who offered up impressions of the Treo 700p. He writes:

the design of the Treo is without question the best that I have had the opportunity to use. It is a perfect fit giving total comfort with each use.

The Sprint network was FAST for web access and the cell coverage was the best I have experienced...there were no dropped calls and I always had a signal! If they improve the web access, it will become the provider of choice for many of us.

Palm has created an A device and I have no hesitation in giving it my highest recommendation.

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Parrot Rhythm n Blue Car Stereo - By James Hromadka

James has written a review that explains how you can turn your car’s cabin into your own personal conference room with the Parrot Rhythm n Blue car stereo kit. Most integrated car kits are purely speakerphones, but this one has the added bonus of being a full-featured car stereo. He writes:

“In a world where "convergence" has come to be accepted as meaning "Jack of all trades, Master of none," The Parrot Rhythm n' Blue Car Stereo does a good job of combining entertainment and productivity in one place inside your vehicle. It combines an excellent Bluetooth handsfree car kit with a capable CD/MP3 player and a decent tuner. My only real gripe with the Rhythm n' Blue is the difficulty in switching among radio bands. It would have been nice to have better automatic synchronization with the Treo 650, but I have a feeling that it's a failing of the Treo and not a failing of the Rhythm n' Blue.

If you plan on making a lot of calls on the road and are in need of a new car stereo, the Rhythm n' Blue warrants a serious look if it is within your budget.”

Loud Music in the Middle of the Night: A Hybrid Headset Comparison - By Jay Gross

Jay writes:

“My search for comfort and quality in a Treo headset isn't over, but for the time being it's parked pretty well on the Palm Hybrid Headset/Headphones. Although, Seidio's set has several much nicer features, namely the retractable spool, the inline volume adjust, and better sound quality, that earbud movement is just too much for me to take.”

Macs & Treos - By Dieter Bohn

If you are a Mac user, then this article is for you. It contains some helpful hints on how to get your Treo and Mac to play nicely. He writes:

“And a tip of the hat to our own Michael Ducker, who pointed me to what is going to now be my most-used Treo Mac utility. If you have Bluetooth on your Mac, do the following: Open up /Applications/Utilities and drag the program called "Bluetooth File Exchange" down to your dock. Now any file that the Treo can recognize can be sent just by dragging it to the dock! “

Solutions for Inputting Text on a Treo 700w - By Tim Hillebrand

Tim tries out several alternate methods for inputting text into his Treo 700w, and shares his thoughts:

“The built-in Treo 700w thumb board is a handy tool for text messaging, short emails, or keying in a contact, but it is cumbersome for serious composition. Of all the alternative on-screen input applications I tested, I found TenGo to be the most efficient, intuitive, and workable solution right out of the box and for these reasons I highly recommend it.

If you have the luxury of a desktop or table for a portable keyboard, the Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard is the best solution and works beautifully with the 700w Pocket PC. The only drawback is that while it has nice, full-sized keys, typing numbers and special characters required awkward function key combinations. Nevertheless, you can easily leave your laptop behind and still enjoy a high level of productivity with your Treo 700W using these text inputting methods.”

News & Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

WEP’s Happening?

Andrew at Treonauts looks at the new Samsung WEP 200. He writes:

“Overall, the new Samsung WEP200 is an extremely good, comfortable, small and light BT headset. Having said all this, my undisputed favourite BT Headset remains the Jabra JX10 but any Treonaut looking for the tiniest of headsets at a slightly lower cost should look more closely at the Samsung WEP200.”

Earthcomber Introduces Movies on the Move

Earthcomber just introduced “Movies on the Move™,” the first GPS-enabled movie guide offered in the US. This free download for Palm OS and Windows Mobile-powered handheld devices, makes it easy to locate nearby theaters and even provides what’s showing and when. So far, Earthcomber’s show listings cover nearly 5,400 theaters and 30,000 screens.

Note: For those of you in sweltering parts of the country, this free application can come in handy. Remember theater = air conditioning. Now that’s cool!

Endnotes & Ponderables

And speaking about finding your way around using your handheld device, there was an interesting story in the Washington Post about how the powerhouses of the Internet, including Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., are introducing programs specifically tailored for the mobile phone, with hopes of creating an experience that puts these devices "on a level playing field with the personal computer."

However, according to The Wall Street Journal (“Cellular Carriers Work To Outdo Google, Yahoo”), the carriers aren’t taking that news sitting down. There’s a lot of money at stake in the wireless search and advertising market, so rather than partner with the big guys, the carriers are opting to build relationships with “with small start-ups that they can more easily control.”

One thing you can count on is that the Treo and other smartphones are the next frontier—and the way to access information from a mobile device can only get better.

That’s a wrap!

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