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Talkin' Treo – v061507

Fri Jun 15, 2007 - 12:22 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 15 June 2007

According to an AP story, 11.9 million viewers watched "The Sopranos" finale. That brought HBO to the edge of a historic feat: a show on a pay cable network available in about 30 million homes was more popular last week than all but one show on the far larger world of broadcast television.

Why this gets mentioned in a column about all things Treo is that this was an extremely slow news week. My sense is that Palm and others have joined those 11.9 viewers who are still trying to figure out what the heck happened in the closing minutes of the final Soprano episode.

The other thing that seems to be dominating the news is the iPhone, which is due in stores on June 29. I could easily fill a column with iPhone-related news. But, alas, this is not “Talkin’ iPhone.”

One story I’d like to point out appeared in The New York Times. In it, John Markoff (“That iPhone Is Missing a Keyboard*”), discussed the “billion-dollar gamble” Apple is taking by not having a mechanical keyboard. Also, there is a nice comparision chart that accompanied the story which shows the Treo 750, Blackberry Curve, Samsung Upstage and Danger Sidekick 3.

As for Treo-related stories, we had quite a few case reviews. And on the news side, mobile content deals seemed to dominate.

So without further ado, LetÂ’s Talk Treo!

Palm News

So how slow was this week? Palm issued no press releases. Plus, there hasnÂ’t been an update to PalmÂ’s blog since June 5.

Taking Over the WorldÂ… Not this Week

Furthermore, there were no global expansion press releases issued this week.

Still TalkinÂ’ Foleo

The Foleo talk kind of died out this week.

CBS Radio News

HereÂ’s what Larry Magid, the on air Technology Analyst for CBS Radio News, had to say:

“The market will decide whether this device takes off or, like so many other Internet appliances and ultra mobile devices, this will simply appeal to a small niche market.”

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Review: Seidio UltraSlim Rubberized Hard Case - By Harv Laser

Harv checked out Seidio’s rubberized, UltraSlim case – one that he really “wanted to like.”

“The RU (Rubberized UltraSlim) is a minimalist case, probably the thinnest and lightest Treo hard case there is. Although all of its cut-outs are basically perfect, It doesn't offer ANY frontal protection to speak of, and snapping it together, even WITH the instruction sheet in front of you is a chore, although after you've done it a few times, it gets easier. How long those very shallow clips and rubberized coating will last, after a lot of snapping, unsnapping, and handling, is anyone's guess.”

Review: Smartphone Experts SnapCase - By Jimmie Geddes

Jimmie tried out the Smartphone Experts SnapCase for Treo 700p, 700w|wx. He remarked:

“Cases are meant to keep your gadgets protected and I believe that the Smartphone Experts SnapCase achieves this task. If you want a strong, durable case that doesn’t add any noticeable bulk to your Treo while still giving you access to all of the functions of your Treo, you can’t go wrong with the Smartphone Experts SnapCase.”

Review: Smartphone Experts OpenFace Case - By Douglas Morse

Douglas looked at the OpenFace Case by Smartphone Experts for Treo 755p and 750:

“This is another winner from Smartphone Experts. The case is of high quality (perhaps the reason for the slightly higher than expected price tag) and is of elegant design. The range of color choices is also strong, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding something appropriate. The case feels good in the hand.”

TalkinÂ’ TreoCast

In this episode, along with the usual news and reviews, the hosts discuss the Palm Foleo and PalmÂ’s corporate shakeup.

Elsewhere in the World of TreoÂ…

Commentary: RIM Shreds Palm?

This week, Smart Device Central’s Jamie Lendino wrote a piece describing how the “BlackBerry maker (RIM) is running roughshod over Palm with new consumer-focused handsets.”

“How is Palm responding to this deadly volley of products? Apparently, by not doing much of anything at all. Palm's latest handhelds – the Windows Mobile-powered Treo 750, the middling Treo 680, and the barely-improved Treo 755p – are highly competent. But they also show that the company is afraid to take a risk, a strategy that will prove to be more dangerous in the long run.”

TT 2Cents: What he has written is harsh, but nothing we havenÂ’t heard before. The question is: Is Palm listening?

Clue: Extended Battery Cases

For those using an extended battery for their Treo (i.e. SeidioÂ’s 2400mAh Extended Battery), Andrew over at Treonauts has put together a helpful guide to cases that will fit. He covers holsters, side pouches, top pouches and skin cases.

Review: Piel Frama Leather Case

Lisa Gade at Mobile Tech Review provided her thoughts on the Piel Frama leather case for the Treo 750, 755p and 680. She wrote:

“At 60 Euros (approximately $80US), the case isn't cheap, but if you're after the look of luxury in a handmade Spanish leather accessory for the Treo, the price might just be right.”

Review: Plantronics 665

Mobile BurnÂ’s Brendan Cartledge tried out the Plantronics Discovery 665 Bluetooth headset:

“The small silicone gel ear buds that ship with the Discovery 665 are amazingly comfortable. The device can be worn with or without the ear loop, and we found it was equally comfortable in both situations, though the ear loop did add a little extra security… Overall, the Plantronics Discovery 665 is an impressive unit. As an upgrade, it is probably a few improvements short of being worthwhile, but for those new to the market, this is a very tidy piece of equipment.

Review: Warden “Real World” Treo Security

Tadd Rosenfeld at MyTreo.net provided his recommendation for software that provides “real world security” for the Treo. He wrote, “In my view the best compromise between ready access and security is Warden” with the following three settings enabled: Short Password, Delayed lock and Remote lock and data obliteration.

He is referring to Corsoft CorporationÂ’s Warden Security for Treo. This program was reviewed by TreoCentralÂ’s Jay Gross in March.

Clue: Keeping Your Smartphone Safe

PDA Street’s Naomi Graychase has put together a nice story on how to keep your smartphone waterproof, sandproof and all over “fun in the sun” proof.

Review: NY TimesÂ’ Pogue Looks at Noise Canceling Headphones

David PogueÂ’s column this week in The New York Times covered his test of 10 pairs of noise-canceling headphones. While most of us have heard of Bose, some of the others may be a surprise.

TreoCentralÂ’s resident audio expert, Harv Laser has looked at some additional ones that should be considered:

umeVoice theBoom Quiet: The Best Noise Cancellation for Both Ears

In response to PogueÂ’s column, Harv wrote:

“…they have a jack-in mic, and it's THE most spectacular noise-canceling mic on the planet… check out their Web site for sound samples that are NOT cooked.. so not only are they ANR (Active Noise Reduction) full-sized cans, but you can also use them to make and take cell phone calls… and you can literally whisper into that remarkable mic while surrounded by noise so loud you can't even hear yourself think, and the party you're talking to on the other end of the call will hear ONLY your voice and think you're sitting in the hushed quiet of a library…”

Jabra C820s Stereo Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation: Bose on a budget?

Harv remarked:

“Not as high quality as theBoom Quiets, and no mic, and yes, these 57 year old ears COULD hear a faint hiss when the ANR was turned on and music was not playing through them… Half the price of theBoom Quiets and like them, a hard clamshell carrying case with all the usual jacks and stuff…”

Review: Skin-It Treo 700w Skin

Skinit Inc. is a leading provider of personalization solutions and removable skin products for consumer electronics devices. This week, Pocketnow.com posted a review of Skin-ItÂ’s Treo 700w Skin. Jeffrey Brent Swerdlow remarked:

“…for those like me who keep the device ‘naked’ in their pocket, these skins provide the thinnest protection I have seen to date. Even a silicone skin adds quite a bit of bulk to the device and those types of skins also collect lint like a magnet. The Skinit.com skins are very thin, yet durable. They also do not attract lint. These skins do not reduce the need for a good screen protector, though.”

News: Verizon, Local Solutions Ink V CAST Content Deal

Local Solutions Network, a company that aggregates and delivers mobile content to wireless devices for about 140 TV stations, announced Monday a partnership with Verizon Wireless to deliver local TV video content to V CAST-enabled cell phones in 50 markets.

News: Pay by Voice (?!?)

The founder of one of the first online payment systems, Nick Ogden, has launched a new way for people to buy goods over the Internet or via their cell phones. The new service, called Voice Pay, uses biometric voice analysis to authenticate users. The company says its technology is so reliable that it will guarantee all payments.

News: USA TODAY Goes Mobile

USA TODAY has just announced an innovative text messaging service that provides real-time news and information to users through their mobile phones. They have partnered with 4INFO, Inc., a pioneer in mobile search and text messaging services, to offer this informative and entertaining service to its readers. Users sign up to receive free text alerts on the subjects (i.e. news, sports scores, stock quotes and weather forecasts to celebrities, movies, travel, etc). Promoted daily in the newspaper, anyone can sign up by sending a text message to the short code 44636, along with a key word for the subject desired.


SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT and MobiTV, Inc., the leading provider and platform for content delivery over mobile and broadband networks, just announced the addition of more than 2,500 music videos from SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT to the MobiTV service. MobiTV will put the videos into rotation immediately on their existing, branded music channels, giving fans access to a library of 7,000 music videos through their mobile service.

News: US Open Coverage via MobiTV

NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies and MobiTV announced the launch of NBC Sports Mobile to the MobiTV service. The two companies are celebrating the channel launch with live coverage of the 2007 U.S. Open Golf tee-off with Tiger Woods starting on Thursday, June 14.

News: Microsoft Fixes Windows Mobile 6.0 Vista Glitch

Microsoft says it has fixed a problem that made it difficult for Windows Mobile users to synch with Vista PCs. To fix the glitch, on Tuesday night, Microsoft launched Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1. It was designed for Vista users as a replacement for ActiveSync.

Trend: Doing More On the Go

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) ran a piece about how mobile workers are using handhelds to stay connected. Story provided some interesting stats:

“There are an estimated 50 million "mobile" workers in the U.S., those who have no desk or spend more than 25% of their time outside the office, according to Frost & Sullivan, a business-research and consultancy firm. Until now, many of them have used laptop computers to stay connected to their office computer networks. But increasingly they are using hand-held devices for access to the same information as they have in the office.”
“Many businesses, ranging from start-ups to giants like Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., and Research In Motion Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, are developing and marketing such work-related features for mobile devices. The Yankee Group estimates that about $5.9 billion of this software will be sold in 2009, up from $4 billion in 2006. If the costs of the devices, data plans and service contacts are included, the value of the market will be $28 billion in 2009, compared with $17 billion in 2006.”

Game Review: Zombie Attack

Kris Keilhack at PalmInfoCenter looked at Astraware/Deluxeware’s Zombie Attack – a game that challenges you to “stop zombies from running rampage and taking over the world!”

“It’s encouraging to see developers still releasing top-flight games for the Palm OS such as this. Seeing support for the larger-screened PDAs that Palm seems to have forgotten about is certainly welcome news indeed. In fact, this title seems much more suited to devices like the Palm T3, T5, TX and LifeDrive than their smaller Treo brethren due to the more comfortable styli and larger, higher-resolution screens found on the PDAs.”

News: Pinger Reminds Everyone – Don’t Text While Driving

This week, Pinger, Inc., a mobile voice messaging service, announced their support for the National Safety Council's Driving Safety Week, June 11-15 by offering the company's instant voice messaging service as a safer alternative to driving while texting. By using Pinger, safety conscious drivers can send expressive voice messages rather than typing on tiny phone keypads. Listening to a Pinger message often takes only a single key press.

Their announcement also includes helpful safe-driving tips.

Endnotes & Ponderables:

HereÂ’s a fun idea that was pointed out by Mia over at PopGadget.

ThereÂ’s a company called Emotibles that has created a new product called EmotiBuds that lets you customize your earbuds.


ThatÂ’s a wrap!

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