What can I say about South Florida that hasnt already been said? If you watched the Super Bowl, you know how wet it was. And if you watched the commercials during the game, you witnessed some wild (and definitely some "what the heck were they thinking?") stuff. Ill admit that I was amused to find the Treo featured in the PNC commercial.
My Treo 700p got a workout during the trip. I used it for directions a number of times (Google was definitely my friend). Since Im a Sprint customer, I tried to use it to track the game when I was between televisions (my JetBlue flight was scheduled to depart 1 hour after kick-off). Sprint had put out a press release about their Super Bowl "benefits" so I figured, what the heck, Ill give it a try. I was expecting more play-by-play action, but somehow I kept ending up at a screen with the scoreboard (which was being refreshed on a regular basis). Needless to say, I was very glad when the pilot got the bird in the air and I could watch the game live (and give my Treo a well-deserved rest).
From the looks of things, the world of Treo did not rest while I was away, so without further ado, Lets Talk Treo!
Again, the focus of the press releases issued by Palm had to do with their global expansion.
Treo 750 in Europe
Palm announced the Palm Treo 750 smartphone, previously available on Vodafone's 3G/UMTS network since September 2006 in the UK and across much of Western Europe, will be made generally available across Europe via Palm's online store and from retail outlets in the coming month, beginning Feb. 6. This move broadens the customer base that will be able to benefit from the Palm experience on Microsoft's Windows Mobile(R) 5.0 operating system and adds HSDPA capability, underlining Palm's commitment to its European customers.
Treo 680 in Mexico
Palm and Telcel announced the availability of the Palm Treo 680 smartphone in Mexico.
Treo 700wx in Brazil
Palm and Vivo announced the launch of the Palm Treo 700wx smartphone, the first Treo smartphone in Brazil that runs Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition. Now available on Vivo's 3G network, the Treo 700wx combines a great mobile phone, comprising the functionality and ease of use for which Treo smartphones are known, with the power and security of Windows Mobile favored by many businesses.
These global expansion announcements seem to be following a template. Please follow the various links if you want to read more.
Its Back! Copper is Now Available
Two columns ago, I wrote about the disappearance of the Copper-colored Treo 680.
Jennifer at TreoCentral reports, Copper is Back!
This, of course, makes me wonder if the Copper Treo 680s had been abducted by aliens. Wheres Scully and Mulder when you need them?
And one last story for the "Palm Files." Business 2.0 magazine just did a piece on Palm founder, Jeff Hawkins brain project.
Per the article, Hawkins company, Numenta is developing a new computer memory system that it says can remember the patterns of the world presented to it and use them, the way a human does, to make analogies and draw conclusions.
If it works as Hawkins expects, the applications and business opportunities will be stunning. They could range from the mundane - helping radiologists or airport security officers to read X-ray images, predicting machine failures in factories, improving manufacturing yields at chip plants - to the mind-boggling: predicting tornadoes and stock prices, making smart cars, unraveling the mysteries of the cosmos. "I know this has to work because this is how the brain does it," Hawkins says.
Talkin Treo 680
Lets shift gears and talk about the Treo 680.
Its Whats Inside
Ive always been someone who likes to take things apart to see what makes em tick. Thats why I found this story from PalmInfocenter so interesting.
Apparently the photos are part of what was submitted for the FCC approval process.
PC Advisor Talks Treo 680
Talkin Treo 750
This "Out of the Box" review by Glenn Derene includes a video.
Alli Flowers over at MyTreo.net offers her first impressions of the Treo 750:
"The Treo 750 is a slick little device, but it won't sway me to give up the Palm OS. Of course, if you're new to the smartphone scene, and not burdened by the thought of making a jump to a new operating system, the Treo 750 is a great choice."
Problems with the Treo 750?
PDA Blast! tipped me off to this from PhoneScoops review
of the Treo 750:
"When a cell phone is good at everything but making phone calls, it's difficult to recommend it. This is unfortunate because additions like contact search from the home screen and threaded messaging make the Treo 750 one of the easiest to use Pocket PC phones.
Since no one else is reporting the problems we've had, it is possible the Treo 750 will work well for you right now. However if you're not willing to take that chance, you may want to wait to see if Palm releases a firmware update for it. Even if they don't release an update specifically to improve the radio performance and fix problems, they have stated an update will be coming to upgrade the 3G to HSDPA. It is possible such an update will also fix our dropped call issue as well."
Some Treo Commentary of Note
Before we leave this section, Id like to highlight a few articles commenting on the Treo.
Chris Cobbs of the Orlando Sentinel mentions the new Treos
in his column:
"Today's Palm Treo cell phone shares both characteristics of the old VW, delivering a useful assortment of calling, Web browsing and electronic daybook features in a gray case with a thumb-style keyboard that varies little even as the product receives internal tweaks. Two new Treos from Cingular, now part of AT&T Inc., show how the product continues to cling to its basic look and feel even as designers fiddle with it."
Infoworlds Mike Barton, in his blog entry, talks about why he traded his Blackberry for a Treo 700p.
"Much is said of the BlackBerry, and its killer app -- its very pushy and addictive e-mail service, which usually beats Microsoft's Exchange to the delivery line in my experience. Now the Treo 700p and 680 can do the same -- for much cheaper."
Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More
Review: smarTVideo - By Harv Laser
Harv has taken a look at smarTVideo which looks like a competitor to MobiTV (you may recall at this time last year, I was talking about watching the Olympics on MobiTV and I was having a problem adjusting to the idea that "TV" wasnt necessarily live or relevant).
From the looks of Harvs piece, it is clear that mobile TV has a way to go before it is a must have.
"smarTVideo Technologies, Inc. d/b/a uVuMobile (just to keep the lawyers happy) brings live, streaming commercial television and tons of other video content to your Treo 700p. It's an interesting, if somewhat limited (in scope) service. There are channels I'd LOVE to see them add. What their plans are for adding more channels in the future, I couldn't tell you. They wouldn't tell me. But I'd walk on hot coals if they offered TCM, Bravo, A&E, and a few other faves.
Maybe you're a Wall-Street maven and you just have to have CNBC and Bloomberg with you everywhere you go. Or a news or weather junkie, or you love to watch current movie trailers. They've got you covered, and there's plenty more. Don't get me wrong; they do carry quite a bit of content, their subscription fees are, well, reasonably reasonable, and what they offer may perfectly suit your needs."
Kinoma Player 4 EX upgraded! - By Harv Laser
I was very jazzed to read about the upgrade just released for the Kinoma Player 4 EX. Harv has written a great story about all the new features, including a bigger Kinoma Media Guide (with access to AtomFilms!). Check out his write-up for details.
Review: Monaco Flip Case for Treo 680/750 - By Douglas Morse
Douglas had some nice things to say about the Monaco Flip Case:
"Ive tested innumerable cases and this case has all of the things I look for. Easy access to all features coupled with all around protection. The removable clip flexibility is easy for a case maker to implement, and Im surprised more dont do it. I am also impressed by the price. Ive seen similar cases for ten bucks more, and Im not sure where the money is going. For my money, the Monaco case is a great choice. When Im not testing other cases, this is the one Ill use for day-to-day use: until I get restless or find something better."
Review: RexRegina Stanton Nouveau Chocolate Croc Case - By Jennifer Chappell
Now heres a review thats quite timely with Valentines Day right around the corner.
"I really love the RexRegina Stanton Nouveau Choc Croc case. My Treo 680 is well protected inside the case and I know that the integrated belt clip can't accidentally pop off or break. My Treo fits perfectly and snuggly inside the case and I can put my Treo inside facing in either direction. I like that because I know that I don't have to have the Treo inside a particular way, all lined up with anything. I like simplicity. The case is just gorgeous and makes a great fashion statement and jazzes up my Treo 680 each time I carry it. I've gotten many compliments on the case. The price is a bit high but you're paying for a beautiful case made of quality Italian leather."
Treo 101: A Palm OS Guide for New Owners, Part 1 - By Jay Gross
If you or someone you know is looking for a quick way to become acquainted with a Treo, then check out this piece by Jay Gross.
Some highlights of this weeks TreoCast include a look at Google Maps for Windows Mobile-based Treos and a discussion on how to use GPS on a Windows Mobile-based Treo with free mapping software.
Elsewhere in the World of Treo
Time to catch up on some case reviews.
Review: SPE FlipCase For Treo 680 & 750
Andrew over at Treonauts writes:
"Overall, if you are looking for a high quality, elegant and slim leather flip-lid case for your Treo 680 or Treo 750 that also happens to offer terrific value (its priced at only $29.95) I have no doubt that youll be extremely pleased with this SPE FlipCase."
Review: Smartphone Experts UltraSlim Skin Case
Andrew also checked out the Smartphone Experts UltraSlim case for Treo 750 and 680. It offers extensive protection against scratches with half the thickness of other models and also more grip while holding the Treo thanks to the rubbers natural anti-slip properties.
"Overall I found the Treo 750 UltraSlim Skin Case (also the Treo 680 model) to be impressive and I wish that other Treo accessories manufacturers would demonstrate the same level of effort in their designs. I may not personally be a big fan of skin cases in general but I can nonetheless appreciate when someone has done things right."
Review: Treo Book
PalmInfocenters Kris Keilhack checked out Scott MacHaffies book Palm & Treo Hacks published by OReilly.
"I simply cannot call this book a must have for either novice or expert Palm OS users. It has its high spots in places and is certainly of some value to many users, but the $25 price tag is very hard to stomach. Most of the Palm OS users who are active online wont see the need for a printed guide of any sort. The fact that OReilly tries to target hackers with a mass market, high-priced book like this is highly suggestive of a publisher without a clear vision of the overall state of the Palm economy and its user base."
News: Printing from Your Mobile Phone
Start-up ZINK (as in zero ink) has unveiled a new way for consumers to print and experience full color digital images without the need for ink cartridges or ribbons. ZINK Imagings patented technology shifts the printing paradigm from an ink cartridge or ink ribbon, to a totally inkless system. Images magically appear on the ZINK paper without a drop of ink. The key to the ZINK process is the ZINK paper, which is protected by more than 100 patents and patents pending. Dye crystals are embedded in the ZINK paper and are activated by heat from a ZINK printer. The crystals then colorize, producing high quality, long lasting, durable, and affordable images. Theres a page on the companys website that shows how it works.
Game News: Watch out Gnomes! Hammer Heads for Palm OS Released
Now this looks like fun. Hammer Heads
by Astraware and PopCap Games lets you pound gnomes by just tapping the screen of your Palm OS or Windows Mobile device. Plus, according to the companys press release, you get to "meet several types of gnome, each with their own unique quirks, collect power-ups to aid you in your quest, and earn special speed bonuses if you're handy with your hammer!"
Wish I had this last week when I was stuck in JFK for 3 hours
Endnotes & Ponderables:
And now the end brings us back to where we started: The wet, wild & more Super Bowl. Not only did Sprint "swing and miss" with the Super Bowl coverage they were offering to their mobile phone customers, but they totally struck out with the ad they spent $2.6 million on for their Mobile Broadband product.
Connectile-dysfunction? Made me want to run and leave the room (too bad I was strapped into my airplane seat with nowhere to go).
Because so many of the ads from this years game were duds, I found myself yearning for some all-time classics. Then I saw this story and I had to laugh.
Whirlpool, the new owner of Maytag, is doing casting calls for the Maytag Repairman.
"In the new Maytag repairman we are looking for someone 25 years old and up, and someone who is reliable, energetic, upbeat and outgoing," said Jeff Davidoff, vp-brand marketing at Whirlpool, which purchased Maytag in March.
Hey, Jeff! As long as you are updating this advertising icon, please make sure he (or she) is carrying modern toolslike a nice Treo in either a holster or an Otter case.
Thats a wrap!