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Talkin' Treo

Fri Feb 10, 2006 - 11:48 AM EST - By Annie Latham

Week ending 10 February 2006

A BlackBerry Would Be Sweet (or so he thought)

An interesting story appeared in the Chicago Tribune’s “My Tech” column (February 4, 2006). The author, Alex Goldfayn (AKA The Technology Tailor) talks about whether to replace his Treo 650 with another Treo or a BlackBerry. It was quite the emotional dilemma for him. Whereas he loved his Treo, it had not handled life’s “hard knocks” well—resulting in needing to replace the unit many times. When a sweet BlackBerry 8700c arrived for him to review, he felt compelled to give audition it as a 650 replacement. After all, “the BlackBerry has a reputation for surviving under the harshest conditions. It is made from what appears to be a harder plastic. And I've rarely heard about hardware malfunctions on a BlackBerry.” How did the audition turn out? Check out his column (Free Registration Required).

Makes the Switch Easy, But at What Cost?

Rob Pegoraro, the “Fast Forward” technology columnist for The Washington Post, recently wrote up his thoughts on the Treo 700w. His review included a comparison between it and the Treo 650.

He concludes “after spending almost three weeks with a 700w loaned by Palm, however, I can't call it an obvious choice over the 650. Some people shouldn't consider anything but the 700w, but others would waste their money on this, which sells for $400 to $620, depending on a buyer's tenure with Verizon and service contract.”

He also states “with the 700w, there's never been an easier switch from Palm to Windows Mobile. But Treo 650 users who use their handhelds as phones first and Web devices second shouldn't feel compelled to make that move.”

You Look Marvelous! Enterprise Pub Favors Treo 650

Jason Brooks, a senior analyst for Ziff Davis, makes some interesting points in Treo 700w Outshone by 650. He stated that he can see how the Treo 700w “is certainly worthy of consideration at companies that have standardized on Windows Mobile—perhaps as a client for applications built with Microsoft's .Net Compact Framework.” But as far as aesthetics are concerned, he notes “The Treo 700w isn't as good-looking as its year-old Palm OS-powered sibling, the Treo 650.” Plus, the Treo 650 has a crisp color display (320-by-320-pixel color display) that beats the Treo 700w (with a mere 240-by-240-pixel display) hands down.

Treo 700w Does Palm Apps

This week, Brighthand reported on a Canadian company, StyleTap that has developed an application that allows you to run thousands of applications (and games) originally written for Palm OS® handhelds on the Treo 700w. The StyleTap® Platform lists for $29.99.

If StyleTap works as claimed, it could end up playing a key role in helping those trying to decide whether to replace their Treo 650 with another 650 or a new Treo 700w.

Do the Write Thing: Calligrapher Released for 700w

Calligrapher, the popular award-winning handwriting recognition software by PhatWare Corporation is now optimized for use on “square screen devices” such as the Treo 700w.

CalliGrapher analyzes pen strokes written in any application window or in the designated Write Pad area, then converts those pen strokes into text and sends the recognized text to the target application. Employing advanced fuzzy logic and neural net techniques, CalliGrapher recognizes arbitrary alphanumeric strings as well as words contained in its integrated dictionary.

CalliGrapher 8.2 can be purchased from the PhatWare website for $39.95.

It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Treo – The SureXpress Treo Story

Drivers for SureXpress parcel-delivery service are handling a lighter load this week, thanks to the deployment of Treo smartphones equipped with bar code readers. With just one device, they can scan and track parcels, send and receive messages, AND make phone calls. According to Palm’s announcement, this Treo solution accelerates the delivery process, cuts billing and collection times to one day from 14 to 21 days, reduces errors, and enables a more real-time environment for customers to track their packages.” I’m sure that UPS and Federal Express drivers will be envious.

More BlackBerrians at the Gate

There’s no doubt that the wireless e-mail market is in transition. With the widely known problems experienced by BlackBerry’s parent, Research In Motion (RIM), many companies are poised to take over the market. Ryan Kim, staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, talks about some of these companies in his story (BlackBerry is being squeezed from all sides; New options are giving customers unprecedented choices).

He writes, “After years of dominating the wireless e-mail market, RIM is finding the field is quickly catching up. In the last two years, device manufacturers and software makers -- including many from the Bay Area -- have developed a broad array of handsets, improved their e-mail programs and taken advantage of advanced high-speed networks to narrow the gap on the BlackBerry. They are ready to tap an emerging mobile e-mail market that analysts predict will explode in the next few years.”

The general consensus is that BlackBerry’s days of being the hands down leader in mobile e-mail market are numbered.

I Want My MobiTV

With the 2006 Winter Olympics opening in Torino on Friday, February 10, now is as good of a time as any to try out MobiTV—so that’s what I intend to do. According to MobiTV’s website, NBC, CNBC and MSNBC are all content providers. Unless there’s some licensing snafu, I should be able to see Bode & gang in the palm of my hand. Stay tuned.

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