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Talkin' Treo - v082407

Fri Aug 24, 2007 - 11:34 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 24 August 2007

If I were to pick a theme for the week, it would be “finding the way.” Many of the stories that bubbled up had to do with GPS navigation. Plus, there was a report stating that the use of Google’s mobile services (Google Maps and Google Mobile) is on the rise, with traffic to Google's maps, e-mail and mobile searches on mobile phones and wireless handheld devices rising 35 percent between May and June. And Engadget stepped up with a fine piece of writing in an open letter to Palm, which if the company would read and internalize, may help the company to find the way to continuous and sustained growth in the increasingly competitive smartphone market.

Note: This just in at deadline ­ Ed Colligan has responded via Palm's blog, stating, "Although I can't say I agree with every point, many are right on. We are attacking almost every challenge you noted, so stay tuned." They ARE listening! Way cool!

A company that has found the way, is our parent – Smartphone Experts.

Inc. magazine ranked Smartphone Experts 1st in Retail and 37th overall on its just released, 26th annual Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Way to go! Congratulations!

So without further ado, Let’s Talk Treo!

Palm News

It was relatively quiet this week with only one press release being issued – another in their global expansion series.

Treo 755p in Canada

Palm Canada and TELUS announced the exclusive availability of the Treo 755p in Canada. TELUS is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $8.9 billion of annual revenue and 10.9 million customer connections including 5.3 million wireless subscribers, 4.5 million wireline network access lines and 1.1 million Internet subscribers.

Talkin’ Foleo

Part 2: Engadget’s “Switched On” Takes on the Foleo

Ross Rubin, in his “Switched On” column continued his musings about the Foleo this week. Here’s one snippet:

“For now, the low-hanging fruit for the initial product include students, conference attendees, bloggers, reporters and the like who want a light, inexpensive text-crunching machine and information workers on the leading edge of a Web-based workflow. Foleo's symbiotic relationship with smartphones may serve it well should a rash of other low-cost and lightweight Linux laptops make their way into the market and validate the space, but basing the product's value proposition on such functionality clouds its appeal at launch. Palm's positioning of the Foleo as the first in a series of products implies that the company has the patience to sort out the features Foleo will need to find its true calling.”

Note: If you missed it, here’s the link from last week.

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Review: Seidio Super Slim Crystal Case for Treo 700p/wx with 3200mAh Extended Battery - By Harv Laser

Harv took a look at the only hard-shell case that works with the Seidio huge 3200mAh battery. He wrote:

“Seidio's new Super slim Crystal Case for EXTENDED Treo 700p/wx with 3200mAh Extended Battery is a beautifully form-fitting clear hard-shell case with perfect cut-outs and is the only case of its kind (of which I'm aware) that is specifically designed to accommodate a Treo 700p/w/wx with the mammoth 3200mAh battery and fatter battery door installed. Although we're talking about over thirty bucks (when you factor in the case plus shipping) for a couple of feather-weight pieces of plastic, so be it – it has no competition. If you're a power-hungry Treo 700 owner and use that huge battery for all the reasons it exists, and are looking for a slick, low-profile case specifically designed to hold the combo, look no further.”

Clue: Back to School Roundup for Treo-Toting Students - By Jay Gross

It’s that time of year, when thoughts shift from “fun in the sun,” to “Back-to-School.” Professor Jay has provided some excellent tips on software and accessories that’ll make the return less daunting for Treo-toting students. Starting with Webster’s dictionary for Palm OS, Jay talked about everything from note-taking software to Bluetooth headsets to music options.

Note: Speaking about Back-to-School, PopGadget did a story this week on Back-to-School gadgets.

Review: BodyGuardz Protective Skin for Treo 755p, 750 - By Douglas Morse

Douglas took a look at BodyGuardz, custom-fitted, protective skin for the Treo made of scratch-proof transparent film. BodyGuardz are made from the same material that is used by auto manufacturers to protect the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements.

“Although the BodyGuardz aren’t for me, they might well be for you. They protect the device from basic nicks and scratches, add a gripping surface, and are reasonably priced.”

Clue: Treo Software Roundup - By Jennifer Chappell

This week, Jennifer talks about Pocket Tunes for Palm Foleo and highlights a dozen Palm OS programs and a more than a half dozen of Windows Mobile programs that are new or have been recently updated, including: ExpenseLog, iSilo, Krome, ListPro, Pro Pack (BackUp Pro, Destaller Pro), SketchPad, SU:Spikders, TraxItAll, YourCall, CeleTask, MemMaid, Penguin Panic, Spb Traveler and Yukon.

Talkin’ TreoCast

In this episode, along with the usual news and reviews, the hosts discuss ROM issues, the Foleo and the upcoming Palm Centro. Also, this week, listeners continue to play a role, as time is spent responding to emails from the TreoCentral community.

Elsewhere in the World of Treo…

Review: BugMe!

Diana at MyTreo.net took a look at Electric Pocket’s BugMe!, a media-rich notepad with powerful productivity and communications capabilities. She wrote:

“Overall, BugMe is a great application for taking quick notes on your Treo with the flexibility to do much more. Combined with the freeware add-on, PopMe, it's a valuable tool.”

Review: BlueAnt Z9 Bluetooth Headset

This week, it was Mobility Site’s turn to offer a first look at the new Z9 Bluetooth headset by BlueAnt. In this one, Jack Cook provided two videos where he actually makes a call. He pointed out the video has radio interference during the call that was picked up by his video recorder and notes, “The sound that is heard was NOT audible to the ear during use nor was audible on the Z9.”

Review: Palm GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition

Palm Infocenter’s Kris Keilhack played around with the Palm GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition 2 featuring the new TomTom Navigator 6 software. He wrote:

“One of the best PDA accessories I've ever used and certainly Palm's best accessory release ever. Quite simply put, Palm may have found THE new killer app for its Treo line (Windows Mobile and Palm OS) with this stunning assemblage of goodies. It's a rare event when hardware and software mesh so seamlessly to perfectly to suit the needs of mobile travelers of all experience levels. Palm would be well served to aggressively market this package and the Treo's adaptability to navigational duties. I would also encourage Palm to offer a version of this bundle for their TX/LD/Tungsten models, especially for mobile users who might prefer a larger 320x480 screen.”

Note: As mentioned, GPS navigation was a popular topic this week. In the San Francisco Chronicle, there was a story, “Find your favorite things with a GPS-enabled phone" that discussed uses beyond finding your way when you’re on the road. One of the programs mentioned in the story is Earthcomber, which was reviewed by TreoCentral’s Harv Laser a while ago. The story also referenced CNET Ratings. Another related story delved into the more traditional uses of a GPS navigator – to keep from getting lost.

Review: MobileTracker for Windows Mobile

CoolSmartPhone.com has posted a review of a new version of Mobile Tracker by Skylab Mobilesystems. This application tracks your movements via your built-in or external Bluetooth GPS receiver and produces easy-to-use data that can be brought up in Google Earth or Google Maps. Version 1.3 has a newly designed interface to make everything easier to use and setup.

Review: TCPMP for Palm OS

This week, Jamie Lendino at Smart Device Central recommended that the Treo be used as a portable media player by tapping into the capabilities of The Core Pocket Media Player (TCPMP). Originally written by Gabor Kovacs, it is an open-source, platform-agnostic video player for smartphones. He noted:

“By downloading and installing TCPMP and the correct plug-ins, you'll be able to play dozens of media formats, including DivX, XviD, FLAC, H.264, Vorbis, WAV, AVI, AC3, MPEG-1, MP2, and MP3. It also supports "container" formats, such as AVI, ASF, OGG, and even QuickTime. The program is good enough to be built into Palm OS, though some persistent audio issues somewhat soured me on the player.”
“Despite its confusing pedigree and audio issues, I still recommend the current, free TCPMP 0.71 to Palm OS Treo owners. It's a useful way to get your media fix on the go, virtually irrespective of the kind of files you want to play.”

Review: RNS:: RapidMovie - Time-lapse Camera for your Treo

Tam Hanna has discovered a program that brings time-lapse capabilities to the Treo. His review looked at version 1.0 of Rapid Movie on a Treo 680.

“Overall, Rapid Movie delivers what it promised…time-lapse recordings for Treo. If the resolution/quality of your Treo’s camera is good enough for your needs, the 15$ can be a great investment…”

Clue/Roundup: Mobile Blogging Clients for Windows Mobile

Over at WMExperts, there was a “smackdown” of client-based approaches to mobile blogging from SplashBlog, MobiBlogr, TypePad Mobile and Vox that are “almost universally free.” Which one offers a tremendous amount of control of what gets uploaded, how it is labeled, tagged and gives the closest experience to desktop access to your blog? Read this piece to find out.

News: HP’s CloudPrint Uses Cell Phones for Processing Documents

This week, Hewlett-Packard Labs unveiled CloudPrint, a free service that allows you to share, store and print documents easily using your mobile telephone.

“"This will appeal to any person who is mobile who doesn't want to carry their laptop all the time," said Bernardo Huberman, a senior fellow at Palo Alto's HP Labs. "This makes it easier for people who are mobile to only carry a mobile device."

This article describes how it works. PC World also did a write-up about it.

Clue: E-Mail Basics for Windows Mobile

Naomi Graychase at PDA Street has written about e-mail basics for those with Windows Mobile devices. This is the second of the series. To look at part one, click here.

News/Clue: Avoid Termination Fees with Cell Phone Swap

Eileen Ambrose of the Baltimore Sun wrote an article about online companies that help consumers swap cell phone contracts to avoid early termination fees.

“Celltradeusa.com and Cellswapper.com are the two major players in this fledgling industry. Both charge about $20 to the consumer unloading a contract once one or more prospects are found. That's a lot cheaper than termination fees that run $150 to $200 per phone line, according to Eric Wurtenberg, co-founder of Celltradeusa.com. "Family plans have three or four lines. That's $600 or $800," he says.”

Needless to say, the wireless carriers can’t be too thrilled about this “end-around” approach. The story notes that Verizon has taken steps to offer more flexible termination terms: “Verizon, for instance, now has a declining termination fee that starts at $175 and drops $5 for every month of service.” Will others follow their lead? Stay tuned.

News: Handango Releases Q2 2007 Yardstick

This week, Handango, the world's leading provider of smartphone content, released the 2007 Second Quarter edition of the Handango Yardstick, a quarterly report on the state of the mobile content industry. For the second consecutive quarter, the Motorola Q and BlackBerry Pearl ranked first and second, respectively, in terms of the most revenue generated and the most applications sold through Handango storefronts. The Treo 650 landed in 5th place, Treo 700p in 7th and Treo 700w/wx in 8th place. The report lists the top Palm OS application as PocketMirror followed by Agendus. On the Windows Mobile side, MobiTV was the top seller.

News: NFL Football Schedules for Palm OS

ToySoft has just released mySchedule NFL 2007, a program that provides the regular season schedule for all 32 NFL teams, as well as their rosters, AFC and NFC standings, DirecTV listings, weekly NFL scoring and score summaries. It lists for $14.95.

News: CBS Makes Mobile Moves

AdWeek reported that CBS Mobile has partnered with Verizon Wireless and MediaFlo, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, to create a dedicated channel for TV show, Big Brother 8 . The show will appear live and continuously on V Cast Mobile TV, free of charge to its subscribers.

Also, MocoNews reported that CBS is making full-length Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson episodes available on V Cast Video. These episodes will be accessible for roughly 24 hours until replaced by the next cycle of shows. The commercial-free shows will be offered as a series of video shorts.

Game News: Castlevania Coming Soon to Mobile Phones

Konami Digital Entertainment reinforced its commitment to the mobile games market this week by announcing a new mobile game based on one of the company’s legendary videogame brands - Castlevania. Featuring never-before-seen game play, storyline features and original music, Castlevania: Order of Shadows for the mobile platform will be available next month on most major carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Networks.

iPhone Bill Follow-up Story

Last week I talked about the ginormous iPhone bill and referenced a YouTube video. I guess AT&T was finally mortified enough to make a change. This week, AT&T announced it would shorten the bills of iPhone users, and eventually all its wireless subscribers, by making a summarized billing the rule rather than the exception. AT&T notified iPhone owners of the change to summary billing through the mass text messaging of the following statement: "AT&T free msg: We are simplifying your paper bill, removing itemized detail. To view all detail go to att.com/mywirelesss. Still need full paper bill? Call 611."

Endnotes & Ponderables:

The First $10.5M Cell Phone

I guess I wasn’t the only one to notice the full-page ad Sprint ran in The Wall Street Journal touting the world’s first $10.5 million cell phone. The folks at Motley Fool did a write-up on it. Curious, I did a quick Google search, and discovered a YouTube video that carries the idea much further.

It’s clever and an attention getter. Too bad it is pushing a BlackBerry (the 8830)!! Oh well.

That’s a wrap!

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