Now that Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, its time to settle back into our regularly scheduled routines
at least for a couple of weeks. Palm certainly did. They hit the ground running this week after a little bit of a break. The Verizon Opens Up story was this weeks Android being covered by many media outlets and bloggers. And in a nice change of pace for this column, there appears to be more clues to bolster the news. So without further ado, Lets Talk Treo!
Palm was back in the saddle this week with a number of announcements. On Wednesday, Palm's CFO, Andrew Brown made a presentation at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference in Arizona. You can access the webcast at http://investor.palm.com/events.cfm.
And while we are in the financial mode, an interesting post appeared via Fortune/CNN in the Big Tech blog written by Jon Fortt. He talked about the number of folks who are shorting Palms stock (NASDAQ:PALM).
According to information released by the Nasdaq stock exchange, bets against Palm have surged over the two weeks between October 31 and November 15, making it one of the five stocks that short sellers are beating up most. Other stocks that some traders are placing big wagers against include Sirius Sattellite (SIRI), ETrade Financial (ETFC), Level 3 Communications (LVLT) and Microsoft (MSFT)
Even so, the sheer scale of the anti-Palm short selling is staggering. There are nearly 105 million shares of Palm outstanding, according to the companys most recent report. And Nasdaq says about 35 million were held by short sellers as of November 15, about 10 times the average volume of Palm shares traded each day. The short position is more than three times higher than the Nasdaq average.
Jon mentions All that negativity seems like a bit much, given the things Palm still has going for it. He quotes Richard Doherty, director of the Envisioneering Group, who said Im not writing them off yet.
Palms Global Expansion Continues
Treo 755p in Mexico
This week, Palm introduced the Treo 755p smartphone on the Iusacell network in Mexico. The 755p runs on the Iusacell 3G Mobile Network, the only third-generation network in Mexico managing data-transmission speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps, which provides users with advanced data applications.
Treo 750 in Brazil
On Tuesday, Palm and Claro announced the availability of the Treo 750 in Brazil. It is the first Windows Mobile-based Treo to take advantage of Claro's network. Claro is one of the main mobile phone operators in Brazil. Founded in September 2003, it acts throughout the country in 21 States and the Federal District, is present in over 2,300 cities and services more than 28 million clients. In November 2007, Claro started operations with Third Generation's services (3G) for about 33 million of people in 37 cities of Brazil.
Looks like Verizon has posted a teaser page on their site now saying that the Treo 755p will be coming soon. Per the story posted by TreoCentrals Jennifer Chappell, the Verizon 755p looks to be teal green color. Now that's different! I always enjoy seeing color variations in Palm's smartphones.
Lets take a look at whos been talkin Treo 500v recently.
Tim Carroll did a very thorough review and provided his thoughts:
The Treo 500v is soulless. If youre a smartphone geek, you should definitely look elsewhere. If youre Average Joe looking to buy your first smartphone, then the price and looks might suck you in, but the sad truth is youd probably be just as happy with another device. With no truly unique features t o speak of, the 500v serves its purpose but it wont engender loyalty. Better luck next time, Palm.
Tony Smith wrote, D'you know the most interesting thing about Palm's Treo 500v? It's a Windows Mobile smartphone without a stylus. For years, we've been noting PDA and, later, smartphone makers' attempts to overcome the Microsoft OS inability to work one-handed, but until now no one's quite succeeded. He also commented, It's a Palm device that might have been made by Nokia.
Palm's Treo 500v isn't the 'power users' Windows Mobile device - no Wi-Fi, no HSDPA - but it's an impressive attempt at bringing the handset family into the reach of the mainstream. It's wonderfully compact and it looks good. Palm's new UI is a big improvement on the standard WM one, and its micro-keyboard is as easy to use as anything on a BlackBerry or HTC device.
Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More
Rockin Robin! Smartphone Round Robin Continued
This whole month, the community editors from the SPE community sites TreoCentral (Treo & Centro), CrackBerry.com (BlackBerry), WMExperts (Windows Mobile) and Phone different (iPhone) have been participating in the Smartphone Round Robin.
Phone differents Mike Overbo provided his thoughts (again) on the Treo 680 (he reviewed it for TreoCentral last November). Interestingly enough, he found some similarities with the iPhone.
Using a Treo is a lot like using an iPhone, though. It looks to me like Apple borrowed pretty liberally from Palm OS, which was probably a smart idea since Palm OS is very usable, very easy to grasp, and still pretty easy on the eyes.
To follow along, go to the following website: http://smartphoneexperts.com/roundrobin/ or go directly to the Round Robin Forum. Remember that every day you post in the forum you are automatically entered to win the smartphone of your choice.
Also, please note that the deadline for the contest has been extended one week to give the editors more time to really look at the last devices. The last day to post (and win) is now December 7!
Review: MunduIM - By Harv Laser
Harv checked out Mundu IM from Geodesic. Mundu is like VeriChat in that it allows you to connect to many IM services, including AIM, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, GTalk, Jabber and MSN, and keeps track of your contacts.
All in all, Mundu is a fantastic app at a bargain basement price that, if youre an IM junkie, you wont be able to live without. It's VERY similar to the defunct VeriChat in many ways, and even better in others, especially since it costs lunch money and there's no yearly fee. Mundu's GUI is beautiful and logical, with easily fingerable buttons and tabs
Mundu's immense versatility and configurability add a ton of value to its meager price tag, though its (current) inability to run on the 755p is a bummer. In the end, Mundu offers a LOT of value for very little money, and before paying for it, you can run it in trial mode to test the waters for a whopping five days at no cost or obligation, so its definitely worth a shot.
Review: Motorola S705 SoundPilot - By Douglas Morse
Douglas tried out the Motorola S705 SoundPilot Bluetooth Stereo Controller for Treo 750, 700wx which simultaneously connects to your compatible Bluetooth-enabled phone while streaming music from a separate music source, allowing you to listen to and wirelessly control your favorite tunes without the worry of missing a call.
Is the Sound Pilot perfect? Not at all. The music isnt quite as nice as Id like and callers report that Im a bit too echoey, though I can hear them extremely well. Is this a fantastic device? Absolutely. First of all, the 330 foot range (line of sight for longer distances please) is not marketing hype. This thing really stretches. The built in radio is not only a plus, but the sound quality is wonderful. Controls are easy to use; the unit is lightweight and compatible with your favorite headphones. The LED display gives you caller ID and much, much more information. This one is a huge winner.
Clue: Centro Intro: pt 1: Get to Know Your Centro Centro - By Jay Gross
Jay has put together a nice guide to help new Centro owners become familiar with their new toy. He steps through many of its features and functions.
overall its an impressive critter. I love mine, and Im looking forward to further exploration of its features and functions here, in the hope of turning you on to your Centro, too. Ah, but all thats another story, on hold for another part in this on-going series. The good news is: well take off next time from the very beginning, with a shopping trip.
Review: Video Poker Teacher - By Harv Laser
Harv had a chance to play around with Video Poker Teacher by Last Day of Work. He noted that Simulators and teaching programs like this one serve their purpose relaxation, and to help you learn proper game play.
Personally, I believe that the Double-Double-Bonus version of the game is, by far, the most interesting, as it offers a variety of tasty and lucrative mini-jackpots, besides the ever-elusive 40,000 to 1 odds King of jackpots: The Royal Flush, which is of course THE hand that you are always hoping to hit. Play VP long enough, and eventually, you WILL hit a Royal.
In this episode, the hosts discuss Palm on Nokia tablets, why they love third party applications, and a bit more about the Smartphone Round Robin (Mike on 680, plus CrackBerry Kevin on the 680). They also take a look at whats going on in the community and the usual smorgasbord of random yet interesting stuff.
Elsewhere in the World of Treo
Review: Palm Treo Ultralight Wireless Bluetooth Headset
Andrew at Treonauts gave the Palm Ultralight Wireless Bluetooth headset (manufactured by Plantronics) a try.
In terms of sound quality I found both my inbound and outbound calls to be loud and clear thanks to the headsets DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chip but I was rather disappointed by the extremely limiting 3 hours of talk time.
Overall, the Palm Ultralight Wireless Bluetooth Headset is a very light and extremely comfortable to wear plus it delivers very good audio quality. However, given its rather poor battery performance and bulky charging options I would be considerably more inclined to recommend the Jabra BT5020 or still better my Editors Choice Jawbone Headset.
Review: Cardo S800 Bluetooth Headset
Douglas Moran at GearDiary has offered his thoughts on the Cardo S800 Bluetooth headset.
From a functional standpoint, this is a great headset if you have a standard cell phone with Bluetooth, such as my wifes RAZR. For the iPhone, however, its not as useful; the listen to music until a call comes in, then press the button to answer it function is unavailable with this particular Cardo headset, and since that is one of the best parts of the phone functionality on the iPhone in my opinion, thats a serious loss.
So the bottom line is, if you dont have an iPhone, and you dont mind the aesthetics of the device, this is an excellent headset.
Review: Smartphone Experts Skin Case for Palm Centro
Andrew at Treonauts also took a look at the Smartphone Experts Skin Case for the Palm Centro. Made from a durable, flexible, dust-free silicone, it has an open faced design which gives you total access to all of the Centro's functions and features.
The Centro Skin Case provides a thick (1mm), smooth and extremely elegant rubber skin (available in Clear, Black and Pink) that has been molded near perfection to fit like a glove around your Centro to protect it against bumps and scratches
The only complaint that I have with the Centro Skin Case is that the profile around the keyboard is unfortunately raised instead of recessed which means that your fingers will find it just that little bit harder to hit the keys particularly if you have large hands.
Review: Robo Puzzle Game by Herocraft
Sion Phillips at MyTreo.net played around with a new puzzle game by Herocraft. Its star is the lovesick hero, Robo the robot. In brief, Robo's girlfriend, Eny, has been kidnapped, and the task is to navigate through 74 levels of increasingly difficult puzzles to rescue her.
Like many games for the Treo this isn't the most original game I have ever played: it reminds me of several old school puzzle games. But to be honest, when a game is as well designed and executed as Robo, I don't think this really matters. $12.95 is a reasonable price for a game with so many levels that will keep you occupied with many hours of problem solving.
Clue: Centro Stylus
Kris Keilhack over at Palm Infocenter did a quick write-up on the Centro Multifunction Pen Stylus by Seidio.
Last year I reviewed a selection of aftermarket Treo 650/700-series replacement styli and found the Seidio Multifunction Stylus to be the best of the lot, so I would definitely feel comfortable purchasing the Centro version from Seidio.
Clue: PocketTunes Starts Blog
PocketTunes has just started a blog that covers the latest news, tips and stories about Pocket Tunes. It can be reached at http://www.pocket-tunes.com/news/.
Clue: Watch CNNs Top Videos with Kinoma Player
Kinoma Notes, the official blog of Kinoma, the creators of Kinoma Player 4 EX and Kinoma Producer 4, has just posted a clue on how to get CNNs top videos using the Kinoma Player.
Clue: Killer Mobile Applications
Mike Slocombe just posted a story titled Twelve Killer Mobile Applications.
Agendus, GoogleMaps, Resco Explorer, Resco Photo Viewer, and Note Studio are the top 5. Make sure to read on to see all twelve and Mikes rationale.
Clue: YouTube Pocket Videos on Windows Mobile
CoolSmartPhone has pointed out YouTube Pocket, a Pocket PC Portal of YouTube that allows Windows Mobile PocketPC/Smartphone users to watch YouTube Videos. It works in conjunction with The Core Pocket Media Player (TCPMP) and is FREE.
Clue: WildCharge (Sorry, not for Treo)
Katherine Boehret, in the Mossberg Solution column, has written about the WildCharge pad (www.wildcharge.com), which is an innovative way to keep your devices charged. She described it as a small, thin pad covered in panels that conduct electricity. It plugs into the wall and lies flat on a desk or nightstand, serving as a place where devices in need of a charge can be dropped, casually and effortlessly, to start juicing up. Unfortunately, it only works with Motorola RAZR phones with support coming soon for the Apple iPhone, Nano and some BlackBerry devices.
Right now, no matter how slick your portable media player, smart phone, laptop or digital camera, its still enslaved to its power cord. The WildCharge pad cuts out the cord and lets forgetful, busy people stop worrying about plugging in each of their devices. WildCharge would be improved if its adapters were built into phones.
Even more exciting is the thought of public places using WildCharge or similar technology so that when you can walk into a restaurant, you can rest your cellphone on a table and have it powering up in the background. Now thats something we can all get a charge out of.
News: Mozilla Commits to Firefox for Windows Mobile
Ed Hardy at Brighthand has written a story that talks about the operating systems Mozilla is targeting for its Firefox mobile browser. He references a blog posting by Christian Sejersen, who is heading up this project, that states a version for Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 is in development and will be available soon.
News: Opera Mini 4 Downloaded More Than 1 Million Times in 10 Days
Opera revealed that Opera Mini 4, the newest version of mobile Web browser, was downloaded more than one million times in the 10 days following its worldwide debut on November 7. Operas CEO, Jon von Tetzchner said:
"The people have spoken: Opera Mini is their mobile browser of choice. Everything we do comes down to listening to our users and giving them what they want. The tremendous reception for Opera Mini 4 is proof that consumers want the freedom to choose the same experience, the same Web, regardless of what device they use."
News: Sprint and the NFL to Broadcast Live Game Coverage on Mobile Phones
On Tuesday, Sprint and the National Football League (NFL) announced they are giving Sprint wireless subscribers access to live NFL game coverage on their mobile phones. Coverage will include red zone drives and other key moments of all games televised on NFL Network in 2007.
The live telecast of NFL Network is available to Sprint subscribers round the clock via NFL Mobile and Sprint TV. Unlimited access to NFL Mobile is available with any Sprint Power Vision pack at no additional cost. To access NFL Mobile, Sprint customers can text "NFL" to 7777.
News: Verizon and NHL Deal Mobile Video Alerts
Verizon Wireless and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced the launch of NHL game video alerts, enabling hockey fans to receive video messages of game highlights on their mobile phones, moments after they happen on the ice.
Customers can purchase the NHL game highlights video alerts package for $2.99 per month/per team by going to www.verizonwireless.com/nhl and clicking on the Alerts tab. Verizon Wireless customers can also sign up via text message by sending the keyword representing the team of their choice (ex. DUCKS or SENATORS) to the short code 7825 (PUCK).
News: Verizon Opens its Network to Other Devices
In one of the biggest stories of the week, Verizon Wireless announced plans to open its network to devices other than the ones hand-picked by the company. This decision means that customers will be able to buy devices of their own choosing and run them on Verizon's network (that is, if the technology is compatible). It also means consumers will be able to get special features and applications on their phones not offered by Verizon. However, there was no indication of how much more expensive this would be.
Understandably, there has been quite a bit of analysis about this deal and the connection to Google and Apple. All Things Digital columnist, Kara Swisher pondered the significance of the move:
Was it a bold way to thwart new rivals, like Google and Apple, who are promisingbut have yet to delivera world without the fascist rule of the Soviet ministries, as Walt Mossberg has called the cellphone carriers, with new phones, networks and software?
Or perhaps a clever PR feint by the U.S.s No. 2 carrier to get regulators (and consumers) off its back as an auction looms for new wireless spectrum, in which Google convinced the Federal Communications Commission to set aside some for a new open network?
Or maybe more consumer confusion, since pricing is unclear and Verizons CDMA technology is not compatible with more GSM networks?
Her column includes comments from a number of industry observers.
News: GoogleMaps & My Location
Per a story posted at CNET, Google is in beta with a new feature in its Google Maps for Mobile program that automatically sets your location even in phones that lack a global positioning system (GPS) device. Given that less than 15 percent of mobile phones are GPS-enabled, this feature will be helpful to many people.
The My Location feature takes information broadcast from mobile towers near you to approximate your current location on the map. According to the Google Map website, the My Location feature is available for most web-enabled mobile phones, including Java, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Nokia/Symbian devices.
Note: Most doesnt appear to include Palm OS-based smartphones.
News: Zipcar Leverages Mobile GPS to Find Nearest Car
You may have heard of Zipcar, a car sharing company that caters to urban dwellers in North America and the UK. They have a fleet of vehicles that can be rented by the hour (gas and insurance included). To make finding those cars easier (they arent rented from a central location like Hertz), this fall Zipcar unveiled a mobile tracking system.
Suppose a Zipcar member buys an expensive antique chair at a shop in Soho (be it New York or London). To find a car to haul it home in, they simply access Zipcar with a GPS-enabled cell phone to find the nearest vehicle and make an instant reservation, unlock the car by pressing the companys membership card to the windshield. Customer takes home the chair. Returns the car to a designated parking space. Presto! An urban logistics problem that would have caused severe headaches just a few years ago is made simple thanks to the mobile web and an innovative business idea. Entrepreneurs take heart: plenty of similar everyday hassles remain, crying out for solutions.
Excellent idea and use of mobile GPS technology! AL
News: Philips Helps Mall of America Shoppers Find Their Cars with SMS
Philips Electronics has come up with an interesting way to drive home their Simplicity branding message. They are helping customers at the huge Mall of America to use text messaging to find their cars after a day of shopping.
Under the program, shoppers are presented with Philips branded signage in the mall's parking garage that says, "Try our cell phone valet." They're instructed to send a text message to a 5-digit number. Those who send the message receive a reply informing them exactly where they parked.
Keeping with the simplicity theme, Philips is also sending a message with a link to Amazon.com, where they have a simplicity gift-giving guide (the Phillips Gift of Simplicity).
More Than Just Ads: Marketers Try to Add Value Via Mobile Phones
P&G, Coke and others are testing ways to leverage cell phones that doesnt involve media buys. According to Brian Morrisseys AdWeek story, these companies are developing applications to help consumers perform tasks, rather than messages that interrupt. Think Nike , the running-and-music system that enables runners to track and compare their training progress with others. One example is Vicks sending weather alerts during the cold and flu season. Just like Philips, they are looking for ways to keep the brand fresh in the mind of the consumer.
Endnotes & Ponderables:
"One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch
In his Pogues Post entry on Thursday, David Pogue wrote about the disappearance of one of his favorite Web sites: PopularityDialer.com.
Basically, it provided a free service that would ring your cell phone number at a date and time you specify. Its a great way to give yourself an out -an excuse to get away from a meeting (like in situations where you may have a hard stop). This clever service even had several pre-programmed messages that you could choose from, to make it really sound like you were really getting a call. Seems like good clean fun, until it isnt
Apparently, a bad apple had the PopularityDialer call an F.C.C. lawyer and shortly thereafter, the Site was slapped with the following citation:
"This is an official CITATION, issued pursuant to section 503(b)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), 47 U.S.C. § (503)(b)(5), for violations of the Act and Federal Communications Commission's rules that govern telephone solicitations and unsolicited advertisements."
Because of this, PopularityDialer went offline. Thats so wrong for a number of reasons, as David noted:
* PopularityDialer doesn't advertise or solicit anything.
* PopularityDialer has always offered a place to list your number if you don't want to receive its calls.
Hopefully, this silly citation will be rescinded. And maybe, some clever person will come up with a utility program that enables abusers of the system to be found
and perhaps tattooed with a scarlet A for abuser or BA for Bad Apple. Id like to think the F.C.C. has better things to do with its time. But then again, what do I know?
Thats a wrap!