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Talkin' Treo

Fri Mar 17, 2006 - 1:15 PM EST - By Annie Latham

Week ending 17 March 2006

Maybe the Leprechauns of lore had a reputation for being aloof and unfriendly, but the 21st Century Treo Leprechauns are quite the opposite. They want you to continually explore your Treo smartphone and learn all the different things it can do so that you too can possess the metaphorical pot-o’-gold. And they are eager to help you zap a few snakes along the way (might as well rid the Treo world of poseurs). So here’s a run down of what’s going on in the world of Treo.

BTOC: Big Treo on Campus
The Scholastic website had an interesting story
about how one school district in North Kansas City (MO) got smart. After initially considering buying all its administrators cell phones so that they could keep in constant contact, the district opted instead to buy Treo smartphones. It appears that the rationale behind the purchase was the Treo offered more options.
Since deployment, the administrators have found that the Treo was not only undeniably useful when trouble arose, but was also great for everyday tasks.
“It would kill me if I ever lost this thing,” said Amy Casey, assistant principal of Gracemor Elementary School.
The article concludes “when you can’t live without it, that’s a pretty good indication that a new technology has made its mark.”

Palm News:

Although Palm is in what’s called the “quiet period” before their earnings announcement scheduled for next Thursday, March 23 at 4 p.m. Eastern, there was one announcement this week.

More Palms Deployed:
FoxHollow Technologies, a medical device manufacturer, has deployed more than 330 Treo smartphones running GoodLink(TM) from Good Technology, Inc. The Treos will help its highly-mobile sales force, senior management and other employees maintain contact with physicians and colleagues while in the field.

Best of Show – Treo 700w:
One thing Palm didn’t announce, but should be very proud of—is having the Treo 700w picked as one of the “Best of Show” products at the Federal Office Systems Expo (FOSE), the government's largest gathering of information technology professionals. More than 200 industry contenders competed for the coveted Best of FOSE Awards. A team of editors from Government Computing News and Washington Technology chose the winners.

A Palm Pilot is Born:
It was ten years ago this month that the Palm Pilot 1000™ and Pilot 5000™ organizers made their debut. Alex over at Treobits wrote about it.

Perhaps some sort of anniversary party is in the works. Maybe that will be disclosed during the earnings call.

Elsewhere in the World of Treo – Announcements Abound!

MobiTV Gains Executive – WiFi and Content to Follow
MobiTV, the Emeryville, California-based company that powers numerous mobile television services around the world, has made a new senior management appointment. Dale Knoop joins MobiTV as senior director of business development from US mobile network operator Sprint, where he served as general manager of multimedia for more than six years. His new role will include strategic content acquisitions as the company expands into live television and made-for-mobile programming. He will also be assisting the company's move into new areas, including WiFi.

Smackdown! WWE Mobile Pushes SMS into Your Treo
This week, World Wrestling Entertainment announced that they are launching an exclusive mobile alert subscription package that will be a precursor to a plethora of new web and wireless programs they plan on rolling out later this spring. For $3.99 per month, WWE fans will be able to stay connected by having alerts delivered directly to their mobile phones through SMS (Short Messaging Service). As part of this package, subscribers will be provided exclusive WWE content each week, including breaking news about WWE Superstars, “Monday Night Raw®” and “Friday Night SmackDown®” previews and results, and special Superstar columns, as well as news about special events, such as the upcoming “Saturday Night’s Main Event™” on NBC this Saturday, March 18. In case you were wondering, the market for this is actually quite large. According to WWE’s spokesperson, there are 10 million unique visitors each week to WWE’s “Raw” and “SmackDown.” The audience tends to be young and very tech savvy.

Podcast Generation Coming to a Treo 700w Near You
AcroDesign Technologies has just released a complete podcasting solution for Windows Mobile Pocket PCs (including Treo 700w). The AudioBay Podcasting application provides everything needed to publish a podcast. For example, within a few minutes, users can record a podcast episode using the Treo 700w’s built-in recorder and then upload it over a wireless Internet connection, to AcroDesign Technologies' hosting service. From there, it will be made available to the public as an RSS feed to download and play on desktop PCs or mobile MP3 players. Click here to learn more.

Here are some interesting things going on in the Treo Community:

The folks over at PalmFocus have started a Treo 650 Software compatibility list that is definitely worth checking out.

And over in the blogs at ZDNet, there is an interesting tip on how to use your Treo as a Bluetooth modem with a MacBook Pro.

Follow-Up Items Related to Previous TT Stories

Palm vs. Blackberry – An Ongoing Story
Network Computing did a story this week about how Research In Motion (RIM) is facing tough competition. Some highlights:
Palm, which last year had 18.6% of the PDA market compared with RIM's 21.4%, according to Gartner, seems to have gained momentum since adopting Windows Mobile 5.0 as an alternative platform to the Palm OS late last year. Palm came out with the Windows-based Treo 700w and has three more Treo-type devices planned for this year.

Treos beat BlackBerrys in a comparison test to determine which to provide to executives at Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative. "It was based on personal preference," IS manager Ian Fleming says. For one, execs disliked the unique scrolling wheel on the side of the BlackBerry.

For companies to push employees' E-mail to BlackBerrys, RIM requires the purchase of its BlackBerry Enterprise server, priced at between $3,000 and $4,000. Last month, Microsoft released an upgrade that lets Exchange servers directly push E-mail to Windows Mobile 5.0 devices--meaning no investment in middleware for businesses already using Exchange.
Looks like a momentum shift towards Treo.

Another Take on the RBC Study
Last week, we mentioned the findings of a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, indicating that Americans may not be as enamored by the idea of watching TV and listening to music on their cell phones as mobile carriers had hoped. Dale Gilliam III, Director of Primary Research for TDG (The Diffusion Group), a “think tank” comprised of some of the nation’s most accomplished consumer technology analysts, has written an interesting piece in response. Here’s a clip from his Parting Thoughts:
“… evaluating the appeal of novel services such as watching video on a handheld device is much more complicated than asking a simple true/false question. Too often evangelists and naysayers grab on to simplistic research in order to prematurely extol or condemn emerging services such as mobile video. That's too bad, especially when detailed research is available to evaluate accurately the nature of these new opportunities.”
The complete report is well worth reading.

Recent TreoCentral Reviews:

Don’t miss the Earthcomber review by managing editor, Harv Laser
Earthcomber is a novel, fun twist on mapping software. Use it with or without a GPS receiver. It’s more than just a driving or walking navigational aid. Rather than merely helping you get from here to there and back again, its forte’ is helping you discover what’s around you; fine tune it to target your favorite stuff and then just go exploring for enjoyment. Who knows what you’ll find?

Seidio iSound FM Transmitter
If you need to impress a room full of people with sounds that live on your Treo, whether spoken word audio books or music, the iSound FM Digital Transmitter Kit lets you broadcast to quality nearby audio components (Basically, any FM receiver). It brings to automobiles the joy of Treo music, too.

mr Handsfree Blue Vision
If you want to try a Bluetooth speaker phone, the mr Handsfree Blue Vision is a laudable contender.

RAZR H3 Headset
If the Jabra JX10 looks cool because of its diminutive size, the RAZR H3 headset looks cool because of its futuristic design. Good looks aren't everything, but they can be enough. Is the RAZR H3 the full package or just another pretty face?

Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

Chris at Everything Treo took a look at the Smartphone Experts P6 Pouch Case.
“…priced on the low-end of Treo cases, but don't let that fool you. I found the case to be well constructed, durable and a perfect fit for any of the newer Palm Treo smartphones including the Treo 700, Treo 650 or Treo 600.”

Alli Flowers at MyTreo.Net has written about the Seidio emergency charger
I keep the emergency charger on my purse strap and the battery in my cosmetics bag. Small, unobtrusive, and inexpensive, it's a must-have for total piece of mind.

Andrew at Treonauts discusses three options (not all viable) to charge a spare battery while on the go.

The pdaBlast! Staff reviews 1 Button Launcher Pro
1 Button Pro allows you to launch your favorite applications without pulling out the stylus. It works like a charm and is in fact quite handy.

Talkin Treo Presents - “Didja Know”
Did you know that text messaging is a bigger business than the movie industry? According to a story that appeared at Engadget Mobile, revenues for texting in 2005 were about $75 billion, vs. $30 billion for Hollywood. Text is even bigger than the video game biz, which only brings in $40 billion. And, to top it off, texting has a 90% profit margin. Wow!

Some Fun from the Treo Leprechauns

That’s a wrap for this week!

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