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Talkin' Treo - v081707

Fri Aug 17, 2007 - 11:47 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 17 August 2007

From the tease (“Casing ‘da joint, looking for clues”), you probably think that I’ve slipped into full-on Sherlock Holmes mode. Actually, I’m referring to the number of Treo case reviews that appeared this week (over a half dozen) and the number of helpful hints (AKA clues) that I saw. And on the software side, there were so many programs (new and updated) available for the Treo that Jennifer’s column is now split between Palm OS and Windows Mobile. The point being, the world of Treo never rests. And with the “coming soon” Foleo added to the mix, you can be certain that there will always be something new and exciting to talk about.

So without further ado, Let’s Talk Treo!

Palm News

It seems like this story is causing nightmares for Palm:

In brief, Palm has temporarily taken down the Verizon Wireless Treo 700p and 700w/wx updaters as a result of reports from customers who have experienced data network connectivity issues after installing the software updaters on their device. As noted on the Palm Blog:

“The issue is caused by a device setting that affects connectivity to the Verizon Wireless network under certain situations and only occurs on devices that have installed the updaters. Users receive an error message and typically can reconnect to the data network after a short period of time. This data connectivity issue does not affect the device or personal data in any other way.”

Taking Over the World

There was one global expansion press release this week.

Treo 750 in Turkey

Palm Europe Ltd. and Turkcell Communication Services PLC, a Turkey-based, leading cellular communications provider, announced the availability of the Treo 750 smartphone for Turkcell's network. Supporting GSM EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA, the Treo 750 comes with a full Turkish overlay, enabling local language support and translation of menus.

It’s a Palm Thing…

While checking out this week’s news on Palm’s website, I stumbled upon this Site: www.palmthing.com.

It looks like a new sales/marketing tool to demonstrate the type of things you can do with the Treo. The Site also encourages Treo users to tell their own story:

“There are tons of things to do with a Palm smartphone. We want to know what you do with yours. Share your own Palm Thing story with the community. If it sounds like something the world should know, we just might turn it into an animated feature on the site."

Note to Palm’s marketing folks – You might want to publicize this a bit.

It’s a Treo Thing…

How’s this from the wayback machine? In a slideshow posted over at the Business 2.0 blog, the original Treo was noted as one of seven “Game-Changing Cell Phones.”

Talkin’ Foleo

PC World

PC World’s Erik Larkin posted his thoughts on the Foleo:

“As the Palm guys at the conference put it, the Foleo is meant to be ‘what happens when a PDA grows up,’ rather than a shrunk-down laptop. The applications are similar in look and feel to what you'd use on a smartphone, but are of course easier to use with the larger screen and full-size keyboard.
But the Foleo is far more limited than any given smartphone in terms of programs. It has 14 programs, including a basic word processor from Dataviz, a Palm calendar and mail program, and a Web browser based on Opera 9.”
“At 2.5 pounds, the Foleo is a good deal lighter than most laptops. And it does appear to be a simple, ready-to-go option for working with your smartphone's e-mail or performing basic tasks. It's also easy to use your Treo as a Bluetooth modem for Internet access in places with no wireless, though you'd need to check with your service provider to see what their policy is on such access. But for $600 ($500 with a $100 mail-in-rebate), I'd hunt around for a used laptop, especially if I already had anywhere-access with my Treo. I settle for a limited selection of limited-function apps on a smartphone as a trade-off for it fitting in my pocket. If I'm going to have to carry something around, it may as well be a laptop.”

ZDNet - The Mobile Gadgeteer

Matthew Miller, in his Mobile Gadgeteer blog, posted a video about the Foleo

“I was able to play with the Foleo a few times at the Palm table and put together the short video walkthrough you see below. I was filming and operating the Foleo at the same time and see that my video is of to the right a bit, so sorry about that. I should be getting a Foleo to evaluate for 30 days in a bit and will be able to post many details photos and usage experiences at that time.”

More Foleo Details

Laptop Logic posted an article that included a drill down of the latest specifications of the soon to be available Foleo.

Engadget’s “Switched On” Takes on the Foleo

“If anything, Palm's Foleo seems like it was designed to elicit instant geek cred. It's small, thin and light, and its solid state storage helps provide long battery life. It has instant-on capabilities and supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It even runs Linux and all for only $500. However, quite to the contrary, much of the reaction to Palm's latest mobile foray has run the gamut from confusion to scorn, with some calling the product "Folly-o" or "Fooleo."

This is the first of a multi-part write-up.

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Review: Smartphone Experts SafeGuard MetalCase - By Jennifer Chappell

Jennifer tried out the Smartphone Experts SafeGuard MetalCase for the Treo 755p, 750, and 680. Made of aircraft grade aluminum, it has a tough anodized finish. The inside of the case is lined in a “velvety soft and protective” neoprene which helps protect the Treo from getting scratched when being put in or taken out of it. The one she reviewed was Champagne colored. She wrote:

“I think that the Smartphone Experts SafeGuard MetalCase provides a great deal of protection for my Treos...
… I love the design and color of my case. It's one of the most attractive cases I've ever owned and I'm proud to carry my Treo in the case. I've gotten several compliments on the case. Like me, people are impressed with the color and the smoothness of the finish on the case.”

Review: Smartphone Experts SafeGuard MetalSlider for Treo 755p, 750, 680 - By Jay Gross

How about a hybrid case that has a sleek and sturdy metal backing to protect the Treo, while its clear plastic front gives you maximum visibility and accessibility to the keyboard and screen? In brief, that’s what the Smartphone Experts SafeGuard MetalSlider for Treo 755p, 750, 680 is all about. Jay wrote:

“The SafeGuard Metalslider is a great looking case that performs outstandingly in its intended job. It slips on and off easily and quickly, but doesn’t really need to, as it has cutouts for all the Treo’s controls and buttons, including the side-mounted SD card slot. Use a good screen protector, which you should have anyway, and watch out for toting the Treo in the same bag with those Martian meteorite samples. I could wish for some sort of strap to secure it into the case, and especially for a window of some kind to offer more protection to the screen. The plastic clip could use some rethinking, too, though it works just fine as is.”

Review: Smartphone Experts SidePouch for Treo (All Models) - By Douglas Morse

Douglas took a look at the Smartphone Experts Side Pouch. He noted this case “has the usual things you’d expect from a pouch case these days: A top flap with a hidden magnetic closure that flops and snaps shut in place without a metal piece in sight. A belt clip that slides simply over your belt (I’ve tested some that were too loose and some too tight, but this is just right) to hold the pouch firmly in place.”

“The case is a bit boxy, but does the job. Although I prefer the P6 pouch case and I suspect I would like the P7 case as well, this seems to be a bit sturdier.”

Game Review: Happy Lines By Jay Gross

Jay, quite literally, had a chance to play around with Happy Lines by HeroCraft, a Russian/Ukranian supplier of a huge range of games for an immense variety of cell phones and PDAs. He describes the mission being “to organize the little button-like creatures by fives or more, in horizontal, vertical, or diagonal rows. Or four-place boxes, in some cases.”

“Happy Lines brings a smile to addictive fun on Windows Mobile and Palm OS Treos. Its playfields are attractive, its characters colorful, and its game play simple yet challenging.”

Clue: Treo Software Roundup - By Jennifer Chappell

This week, Jennifer highlights over a dozen Palm OS programs and a half dozen of Windows Mobile programs that are new or have been recently updated, including: Astraware Sudoku, BackUp Pro, Initiate Pro, mp3 Clock 2, Multiplayer Championship Poker, NeatFreak Pack, PdaNet, PdaReach, TraceCrash, vCardManager, several Skb programs, TerraTrack Recorder, and wmRingToneMaker.

Elsewhere in the World of Treo…

Review: ListPro

Andrew over at Treonauts checked out ListPro, a list and information manager for Pocket PCs, Palms, as well as Windows desktop or notebook PCs. ListPro makes it easy and convenient to synchronize lists between your Pocket PC or Palm OS handheld and Windows PC, and use them on both. He wrote:

“There’s no doubt that I consider ListPro to be one of the best business applications for the Treo and it’s been at the top of my favourite software list for some time now.
ListPro is extremely simple, powerful and fun to use – so much so that I often find myself creating yet another list just because it’s so easy. ”

Review: Handmark Pocket Express 4 Windows Mobile Smartphone (beta)

This week, Jamie Lendino of Smart Device Central, posted his thoughts on Handmark’s Pocket Express 4 for Windows Mobile devices:

“If you're on Windows Mobile, Pocket Express is still worth a look, although you might find it easier to bookmark a bunch of Web sites such as USA Today, ESPN, and Google. You'll find much of the same information, though not quite all in one place the way Handmark presents it.”

Review: SplashID

Ryan Rix at Tam’s Palm Blog, has written a review of Splash ID, version 4.03. It is a password manager with a number of new features.

“So, why, should you use SplashID over, for instance, SmartList To Go? SplashID can not only be used as a Password Manager, but also as a secure way to store other tidbits of information, such as contacts, and small notes that you would like to keep separate from your normal data set.”

Review: Seidio Crystal Case for Treo 700

MyTreo.Net’s Ardell Hood checked out the Seidio Crystal Case:

“The Seidio Crystal Case is excellent for showing off your device, because you hardly notice that it is there. Some of the cases available for the Treo are very nice. The Crystal Case is the only one that retains the factory beauty of the phone. One of my major concerns with the Seidio case is that it would add unwanted weight to the phone. Treo owners be honest, this phone is not a Razr or Motorola Q. While talking on the phone there is no considerable bulk added to the Treo. The only fault I can see aesthetically with the case is that it isn’t available in different tints. A nice blue tint to the case would be interesting but then again that is a user preference.”

Review: Seidio Rubberized Treo Case Review

Kris Keilhack at PalmInfoCenter tried out Seidio’s Ultraslim Rubberized Hard Case:

“The case is just as thin and I hope for it to be and the smooth rubberized, back panel is ideal for easy pocketing. The Seidio Super Slim Rubberized Case encloses the Treo within a fantastically smooth, lightweight shell only 1.2mm in thickness. In my opinion, it also drastically adds to the device's aesthetic appeal (yes, I still think the BlackTie 650 was the best-looking Treo ever).”

Kris delves into whether this case works with various combinations of batteries and battery covers.

Review: Otterbox Palm Treo Case

PDA Street’s Joe Moran took a look at the Otterbox, Model 1921 ($129.95), for the Palm Treo 680/750/755, a case known for its ruggedness. It has its own keyboard and side buttons that, when pressed, directly manipulate those on the Palm device.

“They all worked very well, and the keyboard even retains the backlight, though it's somewhat dim—especially on the edges. Even the camera lens gets a window, though you do lose access to the self-portrait mirror.
…A Treo ensconced within an Otterbox certainly becomes bulkier (5.16 x 3 x 1.96, HWD), but it's a great way to protect your device from rain, dust, and impacts.”

Review: Vaja Visor Leather Case For Treo 755p

The folks at TreoBits tipped me off on this review, which appeared in a blog called “Morning Paper.”

“If you are in the market for a sturdy thin case to care for your treo, the Vaja could be the case for you. As always with Vaja cases, you can design your own. Pick colors, cut outs and or add ons. This of course creates the old "ding" on the cash register, but I think that with a starting price of $90, this case as is, is perfect.”

Review: BlueAnt z9 Bluetooth Headset

Vincent Nguyen tried out the new z9 Bluetooth headset by BlueAnt, and he was impressed:

“The BlueAnt z9 Bluetooth Headset is the new gold standard for all future Bluetooth headsets - hands down. It earns a 4.9 out of 5. I’m not the only one that thinks the z9 deserves the highest award possible, because it was the winner of a CES 2007 Innovations Design and Engineering Award!

Note: Mentioned two weeks ago in this column, TreoCentral’s review is expected soon.

Review: Garmin GPS 10x: Smart Phone Navigation

Arik Hesseldahl, a technology writer at BusinessWeek, has reviewed the Garmin GPS 10x Bluetooth wireless receiver.

“In most situations, so long as the signal holds steady, this combination of a pocket-sized GPS receiver and a handheld device is terrific. If your need for a GPS navigator is only occasional, and if you already own a BlackBerry, Treo, or Windows device such as the Motorola Q (MOT)—sorry, no iPhones—it's a great way to get the benefits of GPS without breaking the bank.”

Note: While on the topic of GPS Navigation, The New York Times had a story this week (“Dutch Company Bets on Interactivity to Make G.P.S. Devices More Useful in the U.S.”) about how TomTom, the world’s largest maker of car navigation devices, wants to build its United States presence and create “a constantly updating digital map.”

Review: TAKEphONE 7 in Two Parts

Mentioned by TreoCentral’s Jennifer Chappell in her software roundup, TAKEphONE is a utility that ”turbo-charges the Treo’s contacts/phone applications and provides a lighting-quick way to access your address book and then call, email or SMS listed contact.” It was recently reviewed by Mike Slocombe at Digital Lifestyles. He wrote:

“Although the screengrabs may well undersell the application a bit if you’ve spent the last week being dazzled by the polished sheen of the iPhone, once you’ve had a play on TAKEphONE we reckon you might be writing it down on your ‘must-have’ application list. The program makes searching for contacts extraordinarily fast, and with one-touch options letting you call, text and email contacts in seconds, it’s a great program for people with large address books. The interface is also hugely configurable, letting you set up the program to your needs.”

Click here to read Part Two of this review.

News: YourCall 2.0 Released

iambic has released YourCall version 2.0 for Palm OS, a comprehensive, multifaceted solution for Treo call management. It was created to help Treo owners, whether casual users or business professionals, proactively handle all aspects of the mobile communications process. It is a tool that can capture your post-call dialogue and offers a variety of useful follow-up actions you can take after you hang up. It simplifies the steps you take to return calls, add contacts, schedule meetings, tasks, memos, e-mails, and SMS linked to your last telephone conversation by automating excess start-up steps.

News: Verizon Makes it Easier to Get the Info You Want

This week, Verizon Wireless unveiled its new, redesigned service that makes it easier to access top content from providers such as ESPN, Bank of America, USA TODAY and MapQuest. With Mobile Web 2.0, customers can still access e-mail, news, sports, weather, and information from the nation's top content providers, including ESPN, Bank of America, USA TODAY and MapQuest, plus now they can take advantage of the new features, which include: new content channels, new search functionality, improved graphics, dropdown headlines and improved content placement.

News: AOL Launches Mobile Search

As reported by Om Malik, AOL has launched a new mobile search.

“Unlike its previous mobile search offering, AOL folks have worked out an interface that requires minimal triple-tap typing. Using keywords and tabs, it is easier for mobile surfers to find some of AOL services such as maps, movie information and local information.
AOL executives label this an “action oriented information access” approach, and have integrated Click2Call features into the new beta offering. This allows phone owner to tap (or highlight) on any phone number listed in the results and initiate a call. These features will drive additional revenues for AOL, and will also appease the carriers, as it can prompt more airtime usage.”

News: Mobile Social Networking Stats Released

M:Metrics just released, for the first time, its measurement of mobile social networking. They announced that 12.3 million consumers in the United States and Western Europe reported accessing a social networking site with their mobile device in the month of June.

“The American audience for mobile social networking sites was the largest, with 7.5 million, or 3.5 percent, of mobile subscribers. Italy follows, with 1.3 million or 2.8 percent, then the UK with 1.1 million, or 2.5 percent, Spain with 751,000 (2.3 percent), Germany (1.9 percent) and France (1.7 percent). MySpace garnered the most mobile users in the United States and United Kingdom whereas MSN was the forum of choice for mobile Web 2.0 users in the other geographies surveyed.”

Clue: Freeware Applications for the Treo 755p

Palm Loyal’s Carl Brooks has written a piece about the free applications that Treo 755p owners should consider. He knows from personal experience, “All of these applications have been tested on the Treo 755p, actually I used all of these on my own device.”

Note: He also wrote a story about essential freeware applications for the Treo 650.

Clue: Pimp Your Treo

CrunchGear’s Matt Hickey discussed add-on software and tweaks that will make your trusty Treo faster, easier to use, and far more productive.

“So there you have it, a few simple downloads and your Treo is suddenly far more useful, not to mention fun. If you want a phone with QWERTY there are pleny out there. But you’re a Treo user, and now you can act like it.”

News/Clue: Using the Treo’s Volume Buttons To Scroll

TreoSkey is a new, freeware, Treo utility for Palm OS powered Treo devices that enables you to use the Treo's side keys as an up and down scrolling mechanism for navigating some applications. It changes the volume up/down keys to the 5-way up and down and remaps the single side button to the 5-way center select.

News: Barroom Ads Get Bluetooth For Mobile Content

In a story that appeared in MediaWeek, Zoom Media & Marketing, an out-of-home media company specializing in “place-based lifestyle networks,” has announced the launch of an interactive out-of-home network leveraging Bluetooth technology in 100 bars and restaurants in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Through a partnership with Kameleon Technologies, Zoom will combine backlit boards with a Kameleon Mobizone device that allows consumers to download free multimedia content to Bluetooth-enabled phones and other devices.

“Now we can offer our advertisers the opportunity to ‘broadcast’ free ad-related like video trailers, music tracks, movie previews, sports clips, and coupon offers to complement their in-bar campaigns,” said Lee Levitz, vp of marketing for Zoom.

Endnotes & Ponderables:

The “Ginormous” iPhone Bill

You’ve probably seen it by now. There’s a video on YouTube that shows a woman unpacking (yes, you read right) her iPhone bill from AT&T that arrived in a box.

I thought it was a joke or some sort of spoof. But I guess it was “real” based on the number of stories that hit about it. Read more here.

Speaking of AT&T, over at David Pogue’s blog at The New York Time, he comments on the data roaming charges some users incurred when traveling overseas, that drove their a phone bill to over $5,000. Gee, what does that statement look like? Is it delivered in a crate?

That’s a wrap!

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