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Talkin Treo v042007

Fri Apr 20, 2007 - 10:07 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 20 April 2007

In a week where there was a BlackBerry service outage and Intuit had problems handling the unexpected increase in TurboTax users e-filing at the last minute, it’s nice to know that world of Treo kept going and going without missing a beat. So without further ado, Let’s Talk Treo!

Palm News

It was relatively quiet at Palm this week. They made their requisite global expansion announcements (see below). And buzz about Palm being for sale lingered (this time, Infoworld speculated that Dell would be buying Palm). Seems to me that Dell has its hands full doing battle with HP on the computing front.

Otherwise, the big “news” from Palm was the update provided by a product manager on the Treo 700p ROM maintenance release. Posted on the Palm blog, the word straight from the horse’s mouth is “as I type this, our best estimate of customer release will be the week of May 28th.”

Sure beats getting info via the rumor mill.

Taking Over the World…

Palm issued two global expansion press releases this week.

Treo 680 in Colombia

Palm and Comcel announced the availability of the Treo 680 in Colombia. Comcel, owned by Mexican group América Móvil, is the major mobile phone company in the country, has almost 16 million (out of a 25 million total) subscribers in Colombia.

Treo 680 in Honduras

Palm and Claro announced the availability of the Treo 680 in Honduras. Per the press release, Claro is a subsidiary company of America Movil Group, the leader wireless telecommunications company in Latin America and the fifth one worldwide. It has more than 110 million mobile users and enforces its presence across the continent with Claro in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Review: Tooth Ferry Headset Carrier - By Jay Gross

Jay checked out the Tooth Ferry, by Nite Ize. It quite literally ferries your Bluetooth headset around in a dedicated headset holster. Sure beats rummaging around trying to find your headset in a purse or backpack. And let’s face it, some folks don’t want to wear their headset everywhere they go. He writes:

“Nite Ize’s neat Tooth Ferry ($11.95) puts a firm grip on a variety of surfaces. It adds a handy stashing place for your headset, and makes it supremely accessible. The well made, well thought out product makes your Bluetooth headset easy to use and harder to misplace.”

Note: Andrew at Treonauts also weighed in on the Tooth Ferry:

“Whether you use a holster or a side pouch case such as the bestselling SPE P6 Pouch case, the new Nite Ize Tooth Ferry offers a very elegant and complementary solution to always carry your wireless headset by your side and have it ready to answer calls quickly.”

Review: Palm Treo 680 Dual Design Case by Fortte - By Jennifer Chappell

Jennifer took a look at this stylish Dual Design Case for the Treo 680. What makes it dual is that it is an open face case made of fine leather, plus, it has a removable flip cover protector (thus, two styles of cases in one). She remarks:

“I really love the Fortte Palm Treo 680 Dual Design Case ($39.95). The leather is soft and beautiful and I love the Renaissance Forest Green color that I picked out. This case protects my Treo very well and it does so in style. I'm very impressed with this case and love it's great functionality. I have the choice of using the open case alone or sporting the Treo around with the flip cover attached. This case really suits my needs and I know that it's going to continue to look great as the beautiful leather begins to show patina with use. I've gotten several compliments on the case.”

Review: Palm Backup Beta - By Jay Gross

Last week, Palm announced a new online backup service that will automatically save a copy of your Treo's data over the air to a secure server. Jay tried out the Beta (not ready for prime time) version of it and provided his thoughts:

“Palm’s Backup Beta offers a simple, automatic solution to keeping your personal information recoverable in case of disaster(s) by making an over-the-air, encrypted copy of the data to Palm’s servers. It doesn’t back up everything in the Treo, but stores enough of the Treo’s essentials to get you running again, in case of worst-case scenarios. What the service costs when it exits beta will determine whether it’s worth investing in, but for now it’s free.”

Talkin’ TreoCast

In this episode, along with the usual news and reviews, the hosts discuss the new version of the PalmOS that is based on a Linux kernel. They also get into a fine debate about the Windows interface.

Elsewhere in the World of Treo…

Review: Treo 680

“The Treo 680 is a return to form for Palm and a relief for die-hard followers. However, I am hoping that Palm is already hard at work on a slim and slinkier version.”

Review: Treo Battery Chargers

Andrews over at Treonauts took a look at two new battery chargers. In his view, the Palm Treo Battery Charger “is by far the most elegant as well as extremely small and light.” Whereas, the Seidio Multi-Function Treo Battery Charger “is more versatile with the option to charge both via USB and AC Power as well as offering the ability to charge both your spare battery and Treo smartphone simultaneously.”

“Now that I’ve had the opportunity to travel with both battery charging solutions I have to admit that I’ve also come to the same conclusion and chosen Palm’s version as my favourite – its compact size and terrific design really wins the contest.”

Review: Energizer Energi To Go Cell Phone Charger

Tiffany at Brighthand tried out Energizer’s Energi To Go Instant Cell Phone Charger with her Palm Treo 700w. Powered by Energizer e2 Lithium batteries, this lightweight portable charger was designed to enable calls to be placed within thirty seconds of activating on most phones. Here’s what Tiffany thought about it:

“…this is great for traveling because in minutes the Energi will have you talking again. It fully-charged my Treo, which had about 10 percent battery life left, in less than an hour. Overall the Energi To Go is what I call the "emergency talk device" because that is what it is good for..”

Note: Energi To Go runs about $20.

Review: Smartphone Experts (SPE) Hardcase for Treo 750

Over at WMExperts, Jeff checked out the Smartphone Experts Leather Hardcase for the Treo 750. This slip-on case ($29.95) blends usability with protection.

“After using the SPE Leather Hardcase, I can confidently state that it is a great case for anyone looking for some extra protection without losing any functionality of the Treo 750.”

Other reviews of this case appeared on TreoCentral and Treonauts.

Review: The Core Player

Duke at Everything Treo tried out Core Player Mobile by CoreCodec on his Treo 680. It is a technology agnostic media solution that transforms mobile devices like mobile phones, PMP, GPS, and PDA's into a next-generation multimedia experience without the need to replace legacy hardware. He writes:

“This app does a great job of playing many different media files on a Palm Treo, and also has the ability to play MP3’s. But as an all around media player it probably doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles that one could find in say Kinoma’s media player with its ability to stream audio and video.”
“The Core Player is certainly better than its freeware counterpart. It’s easier to install, the user interface is much more attractive, customization of the audio, and the ability to build play-lists could make this the only media player you need for your Palm Treo.”

Review: StyleTap for Windows Mobile

Yardena Arar at PC World tried out StyleTap for Windows to see how well it let her run Palm applications on her Windows Mobile device. She writes:

“StyleTap may not be perfect, but it might tide you over until a new Palm-compatible device comes along--or help ease your transition to one of the increasingly popular Microsoft Windows Mobile-based alternatives.”

Note: This was reviewed in November by Douglas at TreoCentral.

Clue: Logging onto AOL From Your Treo

Jamie Lendino at SmartDeviceCentral provides a handy guide on how to check your AOL mail and instant message your buddies right from your smart device.Clue: Converting YouTube Videos for Windows Mobile Viewing

CoolSmartPhone posted a fine tip on how to get your favorite videos from YouTube to your Windows Mobile device.

Game News: Word Monaco Solitaire and Farkle Dice for Treos Released for Windows Mobile

On Monday, Smart Box Design announced the release of Word Monaco Solitaire and Farkle Dice for Treos running Windows Mobile.

“Our customer’s response to our Windows Mobile games has been great,” says Todd Sherman, President of Smart Box Design. “We’ve had numerous requests for Treo versions of our most popular games which is why we are thrilled to release our first Treo compatible games, Word Monaco Solitaire and Farkle Dice.”

Note: He’s referring to Windows Mobile Treos. A Palm OS version of Word Monaco Solitaire has been available for quite some time. It was reviewed by TreoCentral’s Jay Gross in June 2006.Word Monaco Solitaire is a word-creation card game, and Farkle Dice, a multi-player scoring dice game. Both of these feature new art tailored for the unique Treo screen and integrated system volume control—the system volume integration instantly mutes the game for incoming or outgoing calls.

Game Review: MobileStream’s Meteor Breakout

Tam Hanna took a look at what he’s referring to as “Arkanoid for Palm OS.” Meteor is a Breakout remake where you have to destroy bricks, saving your meteor from enemy missiles and getting as much power-ups as possible.

“Overall, congratulations to MobileStream. Meteor Breakout is the new king of Arkanoid clones for the Palm OS. The game has extremely interesting gameplay and looks damn cool - a must have for every Arkanoid lover with an OS5 handheld…”

Endnotes & Ponderables:

This week’s ponderable:

The New York Times had a story this week about a company called ShopText that has introduced a system that lets people buy products instantly using text messages. Talk about immediate gratification! This process eliminates the need to go to a store or even visit a Web site.

JupiterResearch’s Julie Ask offered her thoughts:

“It's an interesting idea and one that I'd love to see take off. I question though, whether or not it is a ‘new form’ of impulse as the title of the article reads.”

Humm… In a way, we are already being conditioned for immediate gratification (note the reaction to the BlackBerry outage mentioned in the beginning of this column), so the fact that we’ll be able to shop even faster shouldn’t be a surprise. But do we really want to? Something to ponder…

One More for the Road….

At the end of one of my columns in March, I talked about “Cell Phones for Soldiers” as being a great way to properly dispose of your old phone and do something good in the process.

Earth Day is this Sunday. One thing you can do this weekend is dig out all your old unwanted electronics and take them to an e-Recycler. For example, Earth 911 has a website with a helpful recycling center locator to help folks divest themselves of their old tech garbage in an ecologically responsible way. Something to ponder.

That’s a wrap!

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