What happens when 140,000 people return from the holidays only to hop a plane to Vegas for the opportunity to navigate through 1.85 million square feet of exhibition space? In the world of Treo, that means things have kind of slowed to a crawl. Or rather, speeded up to a crawl from a dead stop. While Palm and the Treo werent headliners at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), they did make an appearance. And as you will see below, some newer products were seen in places unexpected (humm
kind of like Elvis).
So without further ado, Lets Talk Treo!
News: Palm Hosts Special Screenings of "27 Dresses," Starring Katherine Heigl, to Benefit The Princess Project
On Monday, Palm announced that they are working with The Princess Project to host eight special screenings of the upcoming 20th Century Fox romantic comedy "27 Dresses," starring Katherine Heigl. The Princess Project is a nationally recognized organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides prom dresses to girls who could not otherwise afford them. The first 27 people to arrive to each screening with a dress donation for The Princess Project will win a brand-new Centro from Sprint. The screenings actually already took place on Thursday, Jan. 10, in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
Check out the write-up by TreoCentrals Jennifer Chappell here.
And Paul Loeffler used his Centro to moblog from the red carpet premiere of 27 Dresses. He noted the Treo 755p makes a cameo in the movie.
Palm Files SEC Form 10-Q Quarterly Report
On Wednesday, away from the cacophony of the CES show hall, Palm filed its Form 10-Q with the SEC. This is pretty much a formality, but you can glean some interesting tidbits from it:
We believe the mobile computing solutions market dynamics are generally favorable to us. The high-speed wireless networks which enable true "always-on" connectivity are fueling the growth of the market for smartphone devices. With our computing heritage, we are able to work closely with carriers to deploy advanced wireless data applications that take advantage of their wireless data networks.
The smartphone market is emerging and people are beginning to understand the personal and professional benefits of being able to access email or browse the web on a smartphone. We intend to lead on design, ease-of-use, and functionality, and serve a broad range of customers with products focused on their needs. We expect this market to expand and we are focusing our efforts in order to capitalize on this expansion.
Lets hope the second to last sentence is really true.
Colligan Left off the List
Its a Good Thing
As I was perusing the Weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal, I came upon a story by Herb Greenberg titled, 'Worst' CEOs of Year -- of 2008, That Is. He wrote that it wasnt too early to think about which chief executive will be the worst in 2008. He wrote:
And I was primed to put Ed Colligan of Palm on the list, until I heard from Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners, whose firm late last year bought around 25% of the struggling company. "Ed Colligan is one of the most important reasons why Elevation invested in Palm," Mr. McNamee said. Having known Mr. McNamee for 20 years, my guess is he wouldn't have bothered to call if he didn't mean it.
As mentioned, the talk of the town was the goings on taking place in Las Vegas this week during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). A lot of ink was given to the Bill Gates keynote, since it will be his last as a Microsoft employee.
When it was Jerry Yangs opportunity to take the stage, he let attendees know
it is time to get Yahoo yodeling again." With that, he talked about several mobile efforts including a redesigned mobile home page and a beta of Yahoo Go 3.0, which is open to widgets created by outsiders.
Mobile Gadgeteer Notes: Mobile Phones Not a Big Part of CES 2008
Though a lot of mobile phone pundits took a timeout to attend CES, it seems that there wasnt much news to report. Matthew Miller, The Mobile Gadgeteer stated:
I spend a lot of time writing about mobile phones on this blog and was hoping to see something new, unique, or amazing at CES in this area. Unfortunately, CES 2008 was not the year of the mobile phone with nothing major announced IMHO. Back at CES 2006, Windows Mobile 5.0 was announced, but I think with the way the internet is so much a part of our lives today companies no longer have to wait for major shows like CES to announce products. There was quite a bit of news in the ultra portable/UMPC market that Ill talk about in another blog post with an image gallery.
First Look: Treo 800w Glimpse at CES
As reported by TreoCentrals Dieter Bohn, during his keynote presentation at CES a slide behind Bill Gates clearly showed a new Windows Mobile Treo smartphone (image right) that looks quite different to any leak that we have seen before and which many are guessing is none other than the highly anticipated Treo 800w with built-in GPS and WiFi expected to be released in the coming months.
There is no way to know if this image is just a mockup or a final design but initial reactions have nonetheless been very positive. This rugged and robust looking Treo 800w smartphone appears noticeably slimmer than the Treo 750 while retaining a large 320x320 touchscreen and full size QWERTY keyboard.
News: NeoMagic Corporation Demonstrates Mobile Handheld Solutions at CES
The reason this story appears up here and not below with the rest of the news is because the name NeoMagic caused me to do a double take.
NeoMagic Corporation, a company that has been around since 1993 and is known for delivering semiconductor chips and software that enable new multimedia features for handheld devices, has gotten back up on the radar with three announcements tied to the CES show. The company demonstrated its Windows Mobile OS based Manufacturing Kit, the Neonode N2, a digital mobile broadcast TV device, and its wireless IP camera solution.
The Smart Phone Manufacturing Kit based upon the Windows Mobile OS has been designed for OEMs that wish to significantly reduce development and design time, enabling them to put feature-and-application-rich smart phones in customers' hands in approximately 6 months rather than the typical 18-month process.
When I checked their website, I saw that they had been putting out press releases on a regular basis. Since I thought they faded way like many businesses from that time period (early 90s), I was pleasantly surprised to see the name pop up.
But I digress
Back to our regularly scheduled column.
Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More
And while some members of the TreoCentral community were sampling the wares on display at CES, the home team was busy cranking out reviews.
Review: The Ultimate PalmOS Video Poker Simulator - By Harv Laser
Harv continued his tour down the Virtual Strip (Fabulous Las Vegas) this week when he gave Electron Huts Vegas Video Poker a try. Unlike most of the other PalmOS video poker applications that are available, this one features nearly every casino variant of the game, including on of Harvs favorite Double Double Bonus. As an added bonus, Virtual Strip isnt a memory hog (only 65KB!) and can be installed and run from a SD card, or fit snugly into internal memory.
..If Video Poker is your game, and youve been yearning for the ultimate multi-denominational, multi-game PalmOS video poker simulator, with more (and more accurate) variants of the game than any other app has, Electron Hut Vegas Video Poker ($11.95) is without a doubt the best (and least financially damaging) way to go. In terms of accuracy and playability, it cant be beat and it offers unlimited hours of fun and frustration to amuse you in your spare time. In fact, you might even forget that youre still at home.
Talkin Centro accessories
Review: Mobi Products 5.5 Inch Wrist Lanyard for Centro - By Jay Gross
Jay checked out the new 5.5-Inch Wrist Lanyard for the Centro by Mobi Products that lets you wear the Centro like a piece of jewelry (and its only $4.95!).
Your Centro does not have to take up space in your pocket, purse, or book bag, Simply wear it with a lanyard. This convenient Mobi Products wrist lanyard comes in black, red, or blue, and does the job quite nicely. Before you venture out into the cruel (to say the least) world, however, Id recommend adding some screen protection, at the very least.
Review: Body Glove Scuba Case for Palm Centro - By Andre Kibbe
Andre gave the Body Glove Scuba Case for the Palm Centro which is made of water resistant, matte black neoprene a try. It comes with a belt clip that doubles as a two-position kickstand for mounting the Centro upright.
Unless youre looking for a rigid, impact-resistant design, the Scuba Case is the near-perfect solution for the Centro. Its one of the few cases that lends itself to maintaining the Centros aesthetics and pocketability. Heavy stylus users might consider a different solution, like a holster or hard case that exposes the screen, adding a third-party screen protector. The case alone is close to ideal, but the detachable clip knob and the clips adjustable kickstand make this product remarkable more useful than most competing cases.
Review: Golla Gale Brown Pouch for Treos (All Models) and Centro - By Jennifer Chappell
For the fashion-minded, the Golla Gale Brown Pouch is a viable option for carrying a Treo or Centro. So what did Jennifer think of it?
The Golla Gale Brown Pouch quickly became one of my favorite Treo accessories. The pouch is stylish and I've gotten many compliments on it. People appreciate that it's universal and they know that they can carry their MP3 players or most phones or slim cameras in the pouch.
I like the design, fabric, color, and features. I can carry it just about anywhere, and I enjoy traveling light, which this pouch lets me do. The brown color goes great with my Copper Treo 680 and I feel that my Treo is well protected.
The extra pockets are a big plus for me since they keep me from having to carry a handbag around. If you're looking for a lightweight, pouch type case and like corduroy in this rich brown shade, here ya go.
Elsewhere in the World of Treo
Roundup: Treo and Centro Accessories - Editor's Choice Roundup
Andrew over at Treonauts has posted an article that summarizes that sites Editors Choice for accessories (cases, Bluetooth headsets, chargers and cables, etc). Its a great rundown of some of the terrific products that have been released for the Treo and Centro. Plus, theres a coupon code for 10% off any item from my Editors Choice accessory list.
Review: Palm Slip case for Centro
Alli at MyTreo.net checked out the Palm Centro Slip Pouch with Lanyards, a stylish case made of Nappa leather with synthetic accents ($29.99).
All in all, I'm disappointed with this case. Palm should leave the designer look to designers. Dooney & Bourke already have a case out for the Centro, and that's the way it should be.
News: Handmark to Acquire U.K. Mobile Game Maker Astraware
On Monday, it was announced Handmark, a global leader in mobile media, has a definitive agreement in place to acquire Astraware, the worlds leading smartphone gaming studio. Astraware will be the dedicated UK-based game studio for Handmark.
The acquisition of Astraware will reinforce the position of Handmark as the leading developer and publisher of high-end smartphone titles. Handmark publishes best selling smartphone versions of Tetris, Scrabble, and other games, as well as the award-winning Pocket Express mobile news service with millions of subscribers spanning the U.S, Canada, and the U.K.
News: NewsGator Releases New Versions of Client Products; Best-of-Breed RSS Readers Now Free
On Wednesday, NewsGator announced the general availability of NetNewsWire 3.1, FeedDemon 2.6, and NewsGator Go! for Windows Mobile 2.0. The public beta of NewsGator Inbox 3.0 also began on Wednesday. The award-winning products for PC (FeedDemon), Mac (NetNewsWire), Microsoft Outlook (Inbox), and mobile (NewsGator Go!) deliver a best-of-breed RSS reading experience that synchronizes through NewsGators online platform. All of the new product versions deliver a better user experience with the inclusion of significant performance, usability, and relevance enhancements.
NewsGator also announced that all of its client RSS reader products are now available free of charge and include free synchronization along with other services.
News: FranklinCovey's Web-Based Planning and CRM Application, PlanPlus Online, Now Smartphone Compatible
On Monday, FranklinCovey (NYSE:FC) announced that PlanPlus Online is now accessible from any smartphone with a Web browser, such as a Treo/Centro, an iPhone, a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile device. Developed jointly by FranklinCovey and COMPLETExRM, PlanPlus Online is a secure Web-based application that provides planning, sales management, customer relationship management, team collaboration and process management for small and medium-sized businesses via the Internet. Its familiar "planner-like" interface is based on FranklinCovey's renowned planning and time management methodology. The application offers team calendaring and scheduling and an integrated contact manager that easily tracks all important client information, sales opportunities and activities through a customizable sales process.
News: BlueAnt Unveils New Products
At CES, BlueAnt announced some new Bluetooth accessories: M1 Stereo Speakers, the SuperTooth 3 Speakerphone, and the V1 voice-controlled headset. All three should be available during Spring 2008.
Per their press release:
The BlueAnt V1 is the world's first voice controlled Bluetooth headset. It allows users to easily control most functions of their headset using the revolutionary 'BlueGenie(TM) Voice Interface(1)' from Sensory, Inc. Talk to it and it will talk to you. Ask it for assistance - and it will assist you in getting the right command. This headset eliminates the combinations of button pushes, button holds and flashing lights synonymous with advanced Bluetooth devices. One activation button provides you with total control of the V1's entire function menu system via an easy to use voice interface.
It provides up to 6 hrs talk-time or 200 hrs standby.
News: E.P.A. Seeks New Life for Old Cellphones
According to a story that appeared in The New York Times, the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) is launching a public education campaign aimed at getting consumers to recycle their old phones.
The $175,000 campaign Recycle Your Cellphone. Its an Easy Call will rely heavily on public service announcements, particularly in lifestyle and technology magazines read by the 18- to 34-year-olds who trade up to new cellphones most often. The ads will stress environmental and social reasons for recycling. The agency also plans to release a podcast in which recycling specialists elaborate on their methodologies.
Clue: How to Incorporate Mobile IM Into Your Company
Over at eWeek, Jack Gold, president and founder of J. Gold Associates, has written a piece about the use of Instant Messaging (IM) in a corporate setting. He noted:
Most IM installations are ad-hoc in nature, being driven not by company strategy, but by user demand. This is a very risky situation, as companies face increasing security threats all around and the need to set and enforce policies that will provide a level of protection against data breaches, and compliance regulatory malfeasance. Further, a widening array of clients, particularly mobile IM clients, will cause increasing stress on an IT infrastructure that is already over burdened.
The article goes on to discuss some of the key decisions companies should evaluate when deploying a mobile IM system.
Android Follow-up Story: Delay of Game
There was a lot of buzz when Android and the Open Handset Alliance was announced by Google (See Talkin' Treo - v111607) back in November.
And the thought of winning the $$$ prize offered in the Android Developer Challenge (http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20071112_android_challenge.html) got a lot of attention.
Well, according to a post on VentureBeat, theres been a delay of game.
It quotes a note to developers from Dan at Google:
As you probably know, the Android Developer Challenge submission period for the first round is scheduled to run from today, 2 January, through 3 March. Unfortunately final testing revealed some cross-browser bugs in the application we'll be using to allow you submit your work. We're fixing those now, and will have the site up and running as soon as we possibly can. At the same time that the submission application becomes available, we'll also make the final Terms and Conditions of the competition available. We apologize for the delay, and thank you for your patience!
Guess Palm isnt the only company suffering from delays.
Trend: Mobile Search Projected Growth
According to eMarketeer, revenues related to mobile search, including ad-sponsored directory assistance (free 411) and mobile Internet ads, are projected to pass $1.4 billion in 2012, by The Kelsey Group. That growth depends on perfecting the mobile search interface, something that no company has done yet, said John du Pre Gauntt, senior analyst at eMarketer.
Trend: ESPN's Mobile Site Has More Traffic Than Its PC Pages
Per a post at Mobile Phone Blog, ESPN's mobile NFL content outdrew its PC NFL content.
"We're having extraordinary growth on ESPN.com's NFL pages, but we're also seeing extraordinary usage with mobile devices as well," said Ed Erhardt, president-ESPN ABC Sports customer marketing and sales, calling mobile "a big part of the future as it relates to how fans are going to consume sports."
News: Sundance Channel Programming Now Available On Verizon Wireless' V CAST Service
On Tuesday, the Sundance Channel and Verizon Wireless announced that Sundance Channel's short form programming is now available on Verizon Wireless' V CAST Video service. Sundance Channel on V CAST includes video clips from prior Sundance Film Festival coverage, as well as animated and live action short films and Sundance Channel original programming. In addition, daily video clips from Sundance Channel's "Festival Updates" from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival will be available to V CAST customers from Jan. 17-27, 2008.
News: Online Multimedia Content, from Music to Podcasts and YouTube, Coming to Windows Mobile Devices through LobsterTunes and TVersity
This week, TVersity and Electric Pocket announced they have teamed to make it easier for people to access their multimedia content on Windows Mobile devices. Electric Pocket's LobsterTunes will now enable TVersity users to stream their music--and soon other forms of multimedia--to Windows Mobile devices.
More on the Year Ahead
Brighthands Thoughts on 2008
This will be a year in which the biggest mobile news stories will be about devices running Linux. Early in the year the headlines will be about the iPhone 2 and the iTablet, but Google and the Open Handset Alliance will make the biggest splash in summer and fall with several cutting-edge smartphones running the new Linux-based operating system Android.
Palm will spend this year laboring over its own Linux-based operating system, but this won't debut until 2009. In the mean time, the company will release a couple of Windows Mobile-based Treos targeted at business users, but not a single new one running the Palm OS. Instead, versions of the Centro will be this company's main consumer focus in 2008.
Endnotes & Ponderables:
When pondering large gatherings of people, like CES, the other event that comes to mind is the Super Bowl. Even though it is taking place in early February, that doesnt mean that marketers are holding back on grabbing mindshare.
On Monday, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) announced it anticipates that football fans across the country will devour 49.5 million pounds of Hass avocados during the Big Game on February 3. That's enough to cover Arizona's University of Phoenix Stadium football field, end zone to end zone, 19.1 feet deep in Hass avocados. Big Game Day is projected to be one of the largest Hass avocado consumption days of 2008, with an estimated 99 million Hass avocados set be eaten by consumers.
Ready to storm your local farmers market or Whole Foods? You might want to check out avocadocentral.com, where the fine folks at the Hass avocado board have posted tips and recipes.
Thats a wrap!