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Talkin' Treo - v092107

Fri Sep 21, 2007 - 10:40 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 21 September 2007

I suppose if Dr. Seuss were still around, he could probably write a follow-on book to his ( "Oh, the Places You'll Go!") and it would be titled something like "Oh, the Things You'll Do on the Go!" Let's see... we can text, watch Broadband TV, as for directions to be texted to us and even accelerate the dating process. Indeed, these are interesting times.

Speaking of interesting, Palm continued to be in the news. In a way, following the company is sort of like watching your favorite baseball team down the stretch (the last few weeks of the season). You get that "laugh a little, cry a little" feeling. At least things aren't dull here in the world of Treo.

So without further ado, Let's Talk Treo!

Palm News

Palm Financial News: Palm Previews Q1 FY08 Results

On Tuesday, Palm reported preliminary financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008, ended Aug. 31, 2007. Full results will be reported Oct. 1, 2007. Based on preliminary financial data, Palm expects revenue to be in the range of $359 million to $361 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008. Smartphone revenue is expected to be in the range of $300 million to $302 million for the quarter, and smartphone sell-through for the quarter is expected to range between 685,000 units to 690,000 units.

  • Analysts were expecting revenue of $359.9 million, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.
  • Excluding charges for stock-based compensation, amortization of intangible assets, patent acquisitions, revamping costs and the sale of land, the company said it expected a profit of 8 to 9 cents a share for the quarter.
  • The company's outlook for the quarter represents a substantial drop in earnings from the year-ago period, when the company had a profit of 16 cents a share, or 21 cents when special items were excluded.

Treo 750 in Canada - Part 2

This week, Palm Canada announced the availability of the Treo 750, the first Treo (and Windows Mobile 6 device) to run on the Rogers Wireless High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network.

According to IntoMobile, "As Canada's sole GSM wireless carrier, Rogers will be getting an exclusive on the Treo 750's 1.3 megapixel camera, 300Mhz Samsung processor, 128MB RAM, Bluetooth, and quad-band (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) GSM radio with 2100Mhz HSDPA."

Rogers Wireless is Canada's leading wireless communications service provider, serving more than 6.2 million wireless voice and data subscribers and approximately 211,000 one-way messaging (paging) Rogers Wireless subscribers. The Rogers Wireless network provides coverage to approximately 94% of Canada's population.

You may recall that a month ago, Palm Canada and TELUS announced the exclusive availability of the Treo 755p in Canada.

Talkin' Palm

Palm, the company, continues to be a popular topic of discussion as folks try to determine if there's a future or not. Here we go again with another round of "half-empty/half-full" news and analysis.

First up, CNET News noted that a senior engineer that helped develop the Treo 700 and Treo 750 is making his exit.

"Palm tucked the notice into an SEC filing Wednesday that Michael Farese left the company last Friday after just two years. No successor was named in the document. The same day a Massachusetts semiconductor company announced Farese will be joining the company as president and chief executive. BitWave Semiconductor makes radio frequency integrated circuits for cell phones."

PalmInfoCenter pointed out this story, written by The Guardian ("Can Palm find a way to survive?"). The point that everyone is jumping on is the quote from Ed Colligan, Palm's CEO, about the availability of a Linux Palm.

"The bulk of Palm's software development spending is thus now aimed squarely at revamping Palm OS5 to work on a Linux core. But even that may be slipping: though earlier Colligan said that would appear in 2008, Palm this week told the Guardian 'it will be 12 to 18 months' before a Linux Palm appears."

Cliff Edwards of BusinessWeek wrote a story ("Almost On Palms And Knees Nimble rivals have the Treo maker struggle"). He remarked, "But until it delivers on broader promises of new software and a more contemporary lineup, Palm seems likely to continue its long slide."

Andrew of Treonauts comes to Palm's defense.

In brief, Andrew put together a nice piece that basically says, it's not all that bad. He starts framing his argument by providing an outline of the six types of smartphone hardware designs that currently exist ¡V to show where the Treo fits. He points out:

"People have repeatedly complained about the relatively bulky Treo form factor but in this respect there is a surprising little fact that you should know about your Treo that nobody has bothered to ever mention before. Namely: The Treo 680, 750 and 755p are still the smallest and lightest smartphones featuring both a large high resolution touchscreen and full QWERTY keyboard on the market today!!!"

He also notes:

"...for all its faults our Treo remains an absolutely superb device."

Feel better? Good. Now let's shift gears and talk about the new Treo 500v.

Talkin' Treo 500v

The following are some first looks of the Treo 500v:


Andrew wrote:

"The Treo 500 is not meant as a replacement for your existing WM Treo 750 (or earlier) nor your PalmOS Treo 755p/680 but it does offer a very good entry level Treo for those people who have not yet entered the smartphone revolution. Having said this, the Treo 500's looks and form-factor alone may yet tempt some existing Treonauts to seriously consider making the switch to this new device."
"Finally, although I won't write a full review of the new Windows Mobile user interface that the Treo 500 offers (video above via Jason's WebLog) I can nonetheless tell you that I have been rather impressed by its speed and overall simplicity (please note that the video is running much slower than the actual device). One of the key UI developments is an intuitive and graphically appealing "carousel" screen which allows you to quickly navigate both horizontally and vertically through the smartphone's key application categories (from Recent Programs to your Favorite Contacts and Message Centre). It's true that without a touchscreen or dedicated hard buttons common tasks may take a few more clicks but overall I didn't find this to be a great barrier to daily usage."

Digital Lifestyles

Mike Slocombe of Digital Lifestyles has put together a 3-part review of it.

"Our first impressions of the phone were very positive. Although the white finish is asking for trouble with messy types like us (we prefer the look of the grey number), the handset looks fresh, contemporary and rather stylish to our eyes. It felt pretty sturdy too..."
We're rather impressed with this phone. Despite our previous misgivings about Windows Mobile devices, the 500v offers a fast, very neat and intuitive interface that is dead simple to use.
We reckon the 500v is a fine return to form from Palm and comes highly recommended. Can we have the Palm OS version now, please?"


According to the IntoMobile blog, Jason Langridge, "the Mobility Business Manager for Microsoft in the EMEA region and a total geek," hooked up his Treo 500v to his PC via a program called Pocket Controller to show what the user interface of the 500v.


This post by James Allan Brady references a review by some un-named person. It points out the bad:

"The first was that they were still using the 2.5mm headphone jack instead of the 3.5mm one that's pretty standard. The second was the loss of the audio off switch on the top of most Treo's. The third was that although the keyboard was usable, it was still pretty small."

And the good:

"They did like some things about it, namely its small size and big screen for such a small device. They also like that Palm finally traded in the proprietary data/charging ports for a more standard mini USB port. Also, the fact that it was fairly cheap, and free with certain plans, from Vodafone was noted as an upside."

To close out this section, it looks like Shane McGlaun of i4u.com, has done a sort of "end around" that points to the Treo 500 being destined for the States at some point.

"I found some FCC documents that show approval of the Treo 500 and 500v for sale in America. While there are no images attached to the FCC report for the phone, we could assume that the phone will share all the same features as the Treo 500V released in Europe."

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

Review: TEC Shirt from SCOTTEVEST/SeV - By Jennifer Chappell

Jennifer took a look a the TEC shirt from SCOTTEVEST. She points out that Scott Jordan was a corporate lawyer with a love for gadgets before coming up with the idea of "designing clothing as a Gear Management Solution."

"The SCOTTEVEST/SeV clothing line isn't what I'd call inexpensive, but the clothing is well worth what you pay for it. You can pay $70 for a long-sleeved shirt in an expensive store, but it's just a nice looking shirt. The TEC Shirt is a nice looking shirt that will let you carry your gear with you. The shirt looks great, is very comfortable, and hides your toys inside."

Note: Scott Jordan appeared on CNBC's "The Big Idea" this week.

Review/Clue: Review: Kinoma Producer 4 - By Harv Laser

Harv took a look at a Kinoma Producer 4, a program that makes it easy to convert the video, animation files, photo files and audio on your computer to a highly compressed format usable on the Treo and other mobile devices.

This two-parter includes a Q&A session with one of Kinoma's executives who answered questions about how Producer 4 works. In brief, Producer was designed with the "I just want to convert my files, not pilot the space shuttle" consumer in mind.

"You've got a hard drive full of videos in many different formats, old and new. You want to play or stream them on your Treo with Kinoma Player 4 EX. Some of them are just too "fat" or too old - Kinoma Producer 4 is what you want. This tiny, elegant, inexpensive Windows or Mac program takes your video (or audio, or many other file formats), and converts their pixel dimensions, frame rate, bit rate, and scads of other parameters in ONE pass, in real-time OR FASTER, (depending on settings).. and writes them back out so they'll play beautifully on your Treo or MANY other hand-held devices without spending a fortune, or needing a degree in rocket science."

Talkin' TreoCast

In this episode, along with the usual news and reviews, the hosts discuss the the Foleo cancellation, the Treo 500v, the Centro and take a look at the new members of Palm's Board of Directors. Plus, they answer some listener mail, and hit up the forums.

Elsewhere in the World of Treo...

Review: Treo 750

PalmInfocenter's Tim Carroll offered his thoughts on the Windows Mobile based Treo 750:

"Palm has a lot to be proud of in the Treo 750. Sure, the hardware's a little outdated. The standard Treo form factor has seen distressingly little change over the years. And Windows Mobile has its... quirks. But overall, it's an extremely versatile device that can, out of-the-box, handle nearly anything you throw at it (except perhaps a house brick), and the wide variety of third-party software available makes it endlessly customisable. For the corporate user it's easily one of the best mobile solutions currently available and comes highly recommended."

Review/Analysis: Windows Mobile 6

Over at Smart Device Central, Jamie Lendino provides his thoughts on Windows Mobile 6:

"During my recent review of the HTC Advantage, something became clear about Windows Mobile-based smartphones: The OS needs plenty of work, yet device manufacturers are looking the other way...
In fact, Windows Mobile 6 is the Windows Vista of smartphones: an unwieldy, bloated, and slow mess of an operating system. It fixed some problems and looks nicer than Windows Mobile 5. But it introduces other issues, runs sluggishly on new hardware, and as a result, doesn't feel ready for prime time."

Review: Otterbox 1921 for the Treo 680/750/755

Sion Phillips at MyTreo.net checked out the heavy-duty, Otterbox 1921 for the Treo.

"I don't think this a case that your average Treo owner would use every day of the week. However, if you enjoy outdoor pursuits like hiking or mountain biking and want to take your Treo with you without fear, then seriously consider this case. At $99.95, it's expensive but offers unrivaled levels of protection."

Review: InnoPocket Black Deluxe & Metal Deluxe Cases for Treo 680

Shane Nelson at MyTreo.net took a look at the InnoPocket Black Deluxe case and the InnoPocket Metal Deluxe case for the Treo 680, which features a smooth aluminum frame.

"Overall the case is stylish, very durable, and feels comfortable in the hand. With only two minor issues, I believe this case represents a superb choice for consumers who constantly smack their phones into things or are prone to dropping them. It's a sound investment for the Treo user looking to protect the electronic investment!"

Review: Mobi Plug-in SD and microSD Reader

Over at our sister site, WMExperts, HobbesIsReal checked out the Mobi Products Plug-in SD and microSD Reader and was pleasantly surprised:

"The Mobi Products Plug-in SD and microSD Reader worked beyond what it promised. The added unexpected surprise that this card reader supports SDHC formatted cards adds value to this card reader all by itself, let alone having a dedicated MicroSD slot, which is not common in most card readers¡K For only $14.95, it is well worth every penny."

Review: BlueAnt Z9 Bluetooth Headset

Also at WMExperts, there was (yet another) review of BlueAnt's new Z9 Bluetooth headset. Malatesta notes:

"On a whole, not too shabby! The device is quite small and elegant-looking, with a polished black finish -- dork factor here is considerably low¡K Overall the Blueant Z9 Bluetooth Headset is a nice choice for a new BT headset. With the BT 2.0 standard and updatable firmware, the Z9 looks to be relevant for quite some time. BlueAnt seems to be a very good company, listing numerous ways to contact them, keeping the device simple (yet powerful) and including everything you need in the package."

Review: QuadCharge Universal Charging Station

Last week, TreoCentral's Harv Laser provided his thoughts on the Gomadic QuadCharge Universal Charging Station. This time, it was The Gadgeteer, Julie's turn to weigh in on it:

"The QuadCharge Universal Charging Station from Gomadic is definitely a handy tool that can help you organize and de-clutter your office. If you're also trying to find a more Zen-like existence, this product might be perfect for you."

Review: Gizmo Project for Treo

Tam Hanna looked at Gizmo Project, a free multi-network instant messaging program for the Treo. He wrote:

"Overall, Gizmo Project for Treo definitely still lacks the optical polish of its competitors. However, the freeware already makes a decent MSN communication tool - if you don't already have Mundu, give it a whirl!"

TreoCentral's Jennifer Chappell took a look at it back in June.

News: Nokia on the Move (Again!)

Another bold move was taken by Nokia this week. They announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Enpocket, a global leader in mobile advertising. Enpocket provides technology and services that allow brands to plan, create, execute, measure and optimize mobile advertising campaigns around the world. By acquiring them, Nokia will accelerate the scaling of its mobile advertising business, leveraging Enpocket's platform and strong partnerships with advertisers, publishers and operators. In addition to key assets, through this transaction Nokia is gaining a team with strong expertise in global mobile advertising across disciplines.

Review: DIRECTIONS - Voice to Text Message

"The Mossberg Solution," a feature in The Wall Street Journal, talked about a service called Dial Directions that cuts the time it takes to get directions from a cellphone. It uses voice recognition and text messages. Per the reviewer, Katherine Boehret, "it works as it sounds: You dial the word 'directions' into a cellphone (347-328-4667) and speak the address, name of business chain or event to which you need directions. Step-by-step directions are instantly sent to your phone via SMS, or text message." This free service is now available in nine metropolitan areas, including New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento, Calif.

"If the company can correct some of its hit-or-miss aspects, this free service could be a big help, especially for people who don't own smart phones. But even if you do own a smart phone, it's faster than typing in data and waiting for a Web browser to retrieve the directions. If this service can improve its ability to find nearby businesses, this alone could be really useful."

News/Trend: Sprint and Fixed-Mobile Convergence

Sprint has announced the limited launch (select areas of Denver and Indianapolis) of AIRAVE, a femtocell - meaning compact cellular basestation - for enhanced coverage and unlimited wireless calling in the home from Sprint compatible cell phones. The plan will cost $15/month for individuals ($30 for families) on top of current cell plans and include automatic roaming to the cellular network when outside of the home. Some of the things Sprint AIRAVE will enable customers do to include:

  • Get enhanced coverage in their homes.
  • Talk all they want while in their homes, without worrying about using their wireless minutes. Unlimited incoming and outgoing calls and nationwide long distance are included while using a Sprint phone at home.
  • Take advantage of enhanced coverage and unlimited home calling without having to purchase a new phone. All Sprint phones are compatible with the AIRAVE.
  • Reduce their monthly communication expenses.
  • Have their calls automatically transferred back to the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network when they leave home.

News: Sprint, Microsoft Deliver Mobile Search Innovations

Sprint was busy this week. In another announcement, Sprint and Microsoft said they are providing Sprint customers with the a fully integrated GPS location-aware mobile search service in the U.S. with entire Internet search on Sprint phones. Voice search with visual results by Live Search for mobile using Tellme technologies will also be available on select Sprint phones as a separate download. The new services enable people to find Web, local, and phone content easily using traditional input methods or voice.

News/Trend: Mobile Dating Billions?

According to a study by Juniper Research that was released this week, "Revenues from mobile dating and chatroom services are expected to pass $1billion by 2010." Globally, the number of users of such services is expected to rise from just over 40m in 2007 to 260m in 2012, driven by strong demand in both developed and emerging markets, including more than 60m users in the Indian sub-continent.

Other findings from the report include:

  • At the present time, the largest mobile dating markets by user numbers are Japan and India.
  • The low level of fixed penetration in India, and the increasing tendency in the country to use mobile services directly as an aide not merely for dating, but for marriage, suggests that overall penetration here will be significantly higher than elsewhere in the world
  • Many customers will use mobile dating as an adjunct to, rather than instead of, their fixed internet dating services

News: VH1 Mobile Launches 'Pop Up Video To Go'

VH1, a division of Viacom's MTV Networks, redefined the music video experience when it premiered its on-air sensation "Pop Up Video" in the mid 90s. Beginning this week, VH1 Mobile is launching a new made-for-mobile version of this hugely popular VH1 series. Just like its on-air counterpart, "Pop Up Video To Go" displays "info-nuggets" -- graphic factoids that "pop" onto the mobile screen during music videos, giving viewers inside information, trivia and video production facts about their favorite artists and songs.

The premiere installment of "Pop Up: Video To Go," will launch with Gwen Stefani's "Holla Back Girl" and Fall Out Boy's "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs." Examples of the factoids viewers will learn include:

News: NY Deal - Subway Station Cellphone Service

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York announced that all 277 underground stations in their subway system are to be wired for cellphone use. The cellphone network will start in six downtown Manhattan stations in two years. Once it is shown to be working properly, Transit Wireless will have four more years to outfit the rest of the underground stations. Under the agreement, the first six stations are to be those at 23rd Street and 14th Street on the Eighth Avenue line, 14th Street on the Seventh Avenue line, 14th Street on the Sixth Avenue line, and Eighth Avenue and Sixth Avenue on the L line. This is for stations only - not the tunnels.

Clue: Mobile-Friendly Mashups

In the Circuit section of The New York Times, there was a "Tip of the Week" related to "mobile-friendly mashups." These are Web applications that mix information from more than one source, like combining a list of cell towers with a map to depict visually where you might actually get a great signal.

"You can find scores of mobile-friendly mashups on the Programmable Web site at www.programmableweb.com/tag/mobile. The Google Maps Mania blog has links to many new mashups and special creations for mobile and wireless browsers at googlemapsmania.blogspot.com."

Clue: Best Mobile Sites

Smart Device Central's provided a list of 12 top-quality mobile destinations worthy of your precious time on the go. All the sites listed have proper, short URLs and work reliably on handsets running different operating systems and browsers.

Trend: Mobile Broadcast TV Projected Growth

According to a report by Juniper Research, the worldwide annual consumer spending on mobile broadcast TV services is expected to exceed $6.6bn by 2012.

"Nearly 120m mobile users in more than 40 countries are expected to receive broadcast TV services by 2012, compared to less than 12m in 2007, with DVB-H the dominant transmission standard. However, the report cautions that services face significant technological and regulatory hurdles both prior to launch and as they bid to build a critical mass of subscribers."


eMarketer report "More than two-thirds of US adult mobile users can send and receive text messages, according to InsightExpress. The company found that while Gen Y texts the most, three-quarters of 45-to-54-year-olds can also text."

Endnotes & Ponderables:

And from texting, we flash back to the humble beginnings of the emoticon. This week marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first appearance of the smiley :-).

Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says he was the first to use the now ubiquitous keystrokes that gave birth to a whole range of emoticons. He posted the first emoticon Sept. 19, 1982 in answer to a discussion about the limits of humor in online test and how users could denote comments meant to be taken lightly. Despite the protests of many an English professor, who claim (quite correctly) that the limits of humor in text are the result of poor writing skills, emoticons are here to stay.

Here's a link out to an interview with Professor Fahlman.

Here are some excerpts from the Smiley Dictionary:

  • :-)) - brighter smile
  • B-) - wearing sunglasses
  • :-D - laughing out loudly
  • And over at the San Francisco Chronicle's Website, readers were asked about the most creative emoticon they've seen. Check out the responses.

    That's a wrap! ; )

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