You know what happens when you throw a holiday right smack in the middle of the week? Thats right
You get a really, REALLY slow news week. Looks like Palm shut it down after their earnings announcement. No doubt, they were lying low, hoping for all of the iPhone hullabaloo to die down.
In the category of Put up your dukes, lets get down to it, PalmInfocenter has published a nice comparison of the Treo vs. the iPhone. According to Tim Carroll, when you break it down category-by-category the Treo still has a slight edge over the iPhone.
And speaking of edge, one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone has been how painfully slow AT&Ts EDGE connection is. Bill Slowsky let me know that fast is not for everyone.
Of course! How could I have forgotten that? Thanks, Bill!
By the way
Bills wife, Karolyn reminded me that Saturday is a very special day: 7/7/07. She said that a whole bunch of people are getting married on that date because of the luck of the 7s.
okay. I guess this is what you get on a slowsky news week. Oh well. So without further ado, Lets (try to) Talk Treo!
As mentioned above, there was nothing officially announced this week from the folks in Sunnyvale. A few folks weighed on Palms earnings:
Rich Smith at The Motley Fool, posted a piece titled Palm Hears Crickets, where
he pointed out:
it's not all bad news at Palm. Inexplicably for a year-end earnings release, it included a cash flow statement that only covered the last quarter of the year. But I've mated these numbers with its cash flow results for the previous three quarters of the year, and arrived at the sum of $143.5 million in free cash flow generated throughout the course of the fiscal year. For the record, that's about 250% as much as its GAAP earnings, and enough to price the company at less than 12 times trailing free cash flow. Not necessarily a bargain, given analysts' prediction of sub-10% profit growth going forward, but it doesn't make the stock look terribly overpriced either.
In another story, written by Sarah Jane Tribble of the San Jose Mercury News, Ken Dulaney of Gartner Research was quoted comparing the Treo to a classic car:
it's a wonderfully designed device that can last forever, but most consumers want something new.
He also used a movie analogy:
"It's kind of like movie studios; they're all about their latest hit product," Dulaney said. With so many companies in the market, it's getting tougher to do "wow" ideas, he said.
Tribbles story talked about Palms new relationship with Elevation Partners, which was co-founded by U2 lead singer Bono. Apparently, Bono, who was in Tanzania at the time of the announcement, had a message forwarded to Palm's employees:
"Let me join you in this great adventure. Let us change the world together."
Based on the next story, its pretty clear that this change wont happen overnight.
Delay of Game Linux OS for Palm
Ed Hardy at Brighthand reported that Palm wouldnt be releasing any devices with Palm OS II (AKA Linux) until sometime in 2008. This means that Palm will continue to release Windows Mobile and Palm OS based devices in 2007.
Per the story, Palm sees its two operating systems meeting different needs. He quoted Palm CEO, Ed Colligan stating:
"We see Windows Mobile particularly playing more strongly in the enterprise, medium businesses, and internationally, and our Palm OS products being more consumer based," said Colligan.
Which leaves the Linux-based Foleo where exactly?? Stay tuned.
While the rest of the world continued to go gaga over the iPhone, a few have spent time with the Palm Foleo.
A TreoCentral forum member, Andre, provided his first impressions, based on walking in on a sneak peek that took place at his local Palm store.
I expected the Foleo to be smaller than it was, and was pleasantly surprised. The base of the unit is particularly thin, perhaps 7mm. The pewter finish is quite elegant, distinguishing it from plastic casings, not unlike a Titanium Powerbook. The exterior, despite its muted metallic look, did not feel cold to the touch. It seems to have some kind of coating that gives it a softer tactile complexion than a first glance would suggest. The weight measures in at 2.5 lbs on paper, but psychologically it feels dramatically lighter than a typical laptop. When held, the Foleo feels more like a book than a laptop: the weight rests in your hand rather than distributing itself over the length of your arm and shoulder. You can perceive heat with your fingers at the base of the unit after half an hour of continuous use, but it doesn't run hot in your lap.
Ed Hardy at Brighthand recently spent some time with a Foleo prototype unit, and wrote a story where he shared his first impressions. He has included a video to demonstrate the instant on feature in action.
And ComputerWorld had an article titled Is there a teeny next-gen laptop in your future?
It talks about new devices, like the Foleo, that are trying to fill the niche between smart phones and laptops.
Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More
Review: Conklin Systems' CSOnline - By Harv Laser
This week, Harv looked at a VT100/ANSI terminal emulator and Telnet client for Palm OS organizers called CSOnline. He concluded:
This is a beautifully-designed program with excellent documentation, and whose developer offers a very high level of support. CSOnline could use a few minor tweaks and with a couple of additional features, especially a battery gauge and a backscroll slider, would be close to perfect.
Review: Moto S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones - By Douglas Morse
Douglas tried out Motorolas S9 lightweight (lighter than an average pair of sunglasses), behind-the-head Bluetooth active headphones. He wrote:
If you want a headset for energetic pursuits in the home or on the street, I highly recommend this headset. Yes, there are slight trade-offs for sound quality and comfort, especially when compared to Motorolas other offerings. The track controls are the best Ive used. Its a bit pricey at over a hundred dollars, but you can see where the money is going.
Note: Motorola just started a marketing campaign for the S9 featuring a fictional dance troupe called the Wirebreakers.
Clue: Treo Software Update Roundup
- By Jennifer Chappell
In this weeks overview of Treo software, some of the programs Jennifer discussed include: Spb Traveler, Spb Wallet, SplashData, Backup Buddy, RingCare Mobile, CallRec, PowerMan, Tradewinds 2 (see review below), Photo Dialer 2 for Windows Mobile and CallsToJournal for Windows Mobile.
Elsewhere in the World of Treo
Talkin Treo 680
PC World in Canada has written a review of the Treo 680.
If you want a mobile device that can do many of the things a cell phone can but will hold its own as a business device as well, then the Treo 680 is a solid choice. It even looks the part -- not as austere as a BlackBerry, but classy enough that it won't look out of place in a boardroom either.
Review: Motorola Slider Bluetooth Headset H800
When all is said and done, the Motorola Slider Bluetooth Headset H800 is comfortable and good-looking. It doesn't offer the audio quality of the Aliph Jawbone or the Plantronics Voyager 510, nor does it offer many new features. Still, for a hundred dollars, you can get yourself a headset that at least does everything you need pretty well.
Review: SmartPhone Experts Leather TopPouch
Andrew at Treonauts looked at Smartphone Experts TopPouch, a universal genuine leather case that will fit all Treo models. He compared it to the SPE UltraSlim Leather Holster. Will it become his new favourite? Read this review and find out.
Review: Batteries for the Treo 755p
Andrew also provided his thoughts on battery options for the Treo 755p.
There are now three batteries in a range of 1600, 2100 and 3200mAh capacities to choose from. Being a power user (pun intended), he has some good recommendations for what combinations of products to purchase to keep your 755p going and going.
Review: BlueAnt Supertooth Light Bluetooth Speakerphone
Brendan Cartledge of Mobile Burn has just reviewed BlueAnt Supertooth Light Bluetooth speakerphone.
The BlueAnt Supertooth Light is an excellent Bluetooth speakerphone and leaves a very nice taste in our mouth. It has a simple, yet sexy look and anyone could quickly become accustomed to the intuitive controls. With excellent inbound audio quality, adequate outbound audio, amazing battery life, and a price of under US$100, this is one Bluetooth speakerphone that is a smart and very capable alternative to a professionally installed hands free kit. In using the unit we were unable to fault it and it truly has earned a rating of Highly Recommended.
Review: Opera 4 Mini
Tam Hanna (TamsPalm-the Palm OS Blog) posted a review of the Beta version of Opera Mini.
Overall, its difficult not to like this 260k Java freeware. It makes a pretty fast browser with really good page rendering and very good HTML support - and it also renders pages in a very usable fashion. While a smaller font would have been desirable; the program does and excellent job overall
for me, it is a must-have! Congratulations to Opera for finally giving the Palm OS a really usable web browser!
News: Resco Audio
Resco has just released Resco Audio Recorder 4.0 for Windows Mobile Pocket PC. Per their press release:
Resco Audio Recorder has many features that make it a unique recorder. Recording doesnt get any easier -- all it takes is a single button. It also supports recording in various formats so that users can choose which format suits their needs the best. The application also includes a powerful file manager, player and a sound editor -- all the tools needed to create a finished recording. The design was specially made so that it wont be hard to navigate through the application so that it makes no difference whether a power user or a beginner.
Review: Voice on the Go A Road Warriors Dream
Voice on the Go is one of the most innovative and ingenious concepts created yet for our beloved Treo smartphones. With 5 years of research and development, you get a user experience that is exceptional. As someone on the road quite a bit myself, I find it comforting and reassuring to listen to my emails, make calls, and check appointments without worry about taking my eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. With voice-activated software that doesnt need to be trained and is simple beyond comparison, everyone should try this service.
News: 1-800-Flowers Goes Mobi
1-800-Flowers, an innovator in online retail marketing, has just launched 1800flowers.mobi.
As part of our commitment to ensure customers can reach us whenever and wherever they are, 'mobi-lizing' our web site makes perfect sense," said Christopher Barca, Director of Website Merchandising at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. "Our .mobi site lets mobile customers see a wide variety of floral arrangements with the ability to access their accounts from a mobile phone."
1800flowers.mobi allows users to shop for flowers by a variety of occasion categories, including birthdays, anniversaries, get well and same-day delivery. If users have an existing account at www.1800flowers.com, they can access it from the 1800flowers.mobi site.
News - IDG launches Mobile Alert service via VoiceIndigo
Mobile media company VoiceIndigo announced a partnership with technology media, events and research firm International Data Group to deliver breaking news alerts via mobile devices. VoiceIndigo will power branded mobile news services for IDG properties including CIO, Computerworld, InfoWorld and Network World; opt-in subscribers will receive SMS alerts guiding them to mobile-optimized audio commentaries and detailed reports via the mobile web.
Clue: Kinoma and Slingbox Related?
According to this post on Kinomas new blog, SlingPlayer Mobile for Palm OS is built on the same proven Kinoma technology at the core of Kinoma Player 4 EX and Kinoma Player Embedded built into your Palm Treo 680, 700p or 755p.
Clue: Palm Learning Guides
In Palms newsletter, they mentioned the availability of Treo Self-Paced Learning Guides that cover various features of the Treo, setup and use. Each online, interactive guide takes you step-by-step through actions that will help you become more a proficient Treo user.
Thoughts on a Dream Phone
This one showed up last week, amongst all the iPhone hoopla. Now that the noise has died down, its time to circle back and see what CNET UK's Andrew Lim described would be the perfect cellphone.
News: Sprints New Ad Campaign
This week, Sprint launched a new advertising campaign. Created by Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein Partners, it was designed to position Sprint as forward-thinking while its rivals (such as market leader AT&T and number two Verizon) use ads to play up their abilities to handle current technology snafus like dropped calls and limited coverage.
It uses the tag line "Sprint ahead." If that sounds vaguely familiar, its because that same line was used briefly in 1998 by Interpublic Group's McCann Erickson when it handled the brand.
"We've revived it. It's in a different kind of context," said Jeff Goodby, co-chairman of San Francisco-based Goodby. "It was about telephone long-distance in those days, these days it's about speed."
Commentary: These ads look strangely familiar too. Without the volume on, Id swear it was a Microsoft People Ready ad.
Game Review: Tradewinds 2
Tam Hanna (TamsPalm-the Palm OS Blog) had a chance to play around with Tradewinds 2, the sequel to Tradewinds - a best-selling game of Far East trade and pirate adventures. Tradewinds 2 offers players a brand new adventure based in the exotic seas of the Caribbean. He wrote:
Overall, TradeWinds 2 is a must-have for everyone who loves turn-based strategy games. One cant imagine how much fun trading and fighting can be
until one has played this game. The first version of TradeWinds was a bit shallow to play, but TradeWinds 2 is much more challenging and less repetitive. Its graphics and background music are quite nice, too.
Endnotes & Ponderables:
Dooh! Here comes The Simpsons
According to this story in Mobile Entertainment, Jamba, a mobile portal owned by News Corp, will be offering the biggest direct-to-consumer (D2C) content campaign the US has ever seen. Coinciding with the upcoming release of The Simpsons movie, they will be making available all kinds of Simpsons content. However, a quick perusal of their U.S. site, called Jamster, doesnt show anything related to The Simpsons just yet (though theres plenty of Jessica Simpson stuff). Oh well.
What you can see right away, at a 7-Eleven near you, is a store transformation into a Kwik-e-Mart. Seems that over the weekend,
7-Eleven Inc. turned a dozen stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame, in the latest example of marketers making life imitate art. Those stores and most of the 6,000-plus other 7-Elevens in North America will sell items that until now existed only on television: Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knockoff of Slurpees. To the disappointment of some, theres no Duff beer.
Thats a wrap!