Talkin' Treo - v040706
Week ending 7 April 2006
Theres something really cool about being right in the thick of thingsand Palm is certainly in a good spot at the CTIA show (the largest wireless show in the world) that took place in Las Vegas this past week.
If CTIA were thought of as a weigh-in for the battle of the smartphones, all signs would indicate that Palm wins today by a knockout. While one competitor is working on its jab (Blackberry trying to expand into entertainment), and the other is trying to get its footwork together (Motorola extending into the enterprise), and in this corner, Palm is ready to rumble.
As already written about earlier this week, Palm announced a software update for the Treo 700w that will enable the Windows Mobile Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP), which includes Direct Push Technology. The free update, which is expected to be available later this month, gives Treo 700w users fast, automatic wireless updates of their email, calendar items, contacts and tasks, allowing IT managers to deliver this information directly from Exchange Server 2003 SP2 without incurring additional third-party infrastructure costs.
And in terms of title defense, according to a story that appeared over at Brighthand , Palm has been awarded US patent number 7002569, which covers building a device with a screen that can switch between a color display and monochrome in order to extend battery life. A patent doesn't mean that an actual device is around the corner. The significance here is that Palm is being very aggressive in shoring up all fronts (including their patent portfolio) as they battle for smartphone market share.
Feeling the Heat from Palm
Somehow, when the word patent is mentioned, BlackBerry pops to mind. Research in Motion, the proud parent of the BlackBerry, just announced earnings: They posted fourth-quarter profit of $18.4 million. Net income was 10 cents a share, after a net loss of $2.57 million, or 1 cent, a year earlier.
According to a Bloomberg story , Sales and subscriber growth this quarter may trail analysts' estimates, marking the fourth straight period Research In Motion disappointed investors.
RIM has been concentrating on trying to win back customers and expand their business. They just bought closely held Ascendent Systems, based in San Jose, California, to add software that lets users program their cell, home and business numbers so that a call to any device is directed to all of them. They are also working on developing features including camera phones and music players to increase sales to consumers and small businesses and expand beyond its current enterprise focus.
According to a research note written by RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky, Palm managed to win over 5 percent of U.S. BlackBerry users as customers considered alternative devices in the weeks before litigation between Research In Motion and Arlington, Virginia- based NTP was settled. Palm also used that period of uncertainty to start a huge'' number of trials at potential enterprise customers, said Peter Misek, an analyst at Canaccord Adams in Toronto.
Is Q Available?
There has been all kinds of buzz about Motorolas Q. This is supposed to be their long overdue smartphone . CNET posted an interesting story this week, titled: Motorola goes after BlackBerry. The thing is, the Q looks and sounds like what the Treo 700w is already doing. Check out this video and decide for yourself.
What Happens in Vegas
Wont Stay in Vegas
As mentioned last week, we intend to keep you apprised on whats been taking place at CTIA. A bonus edition of Talkin Treo will appear next week. Meanwhile, to whet your appetite, heres
an interesting roundup story from Wired .
Road Warriors & Beyond!
The phrase Road Warriors doesnt quite cut it when describing the next generation of smartphone users. The visual just seems so
so wrong. I imagine that its just a matter of time before some clever person coins a new way of describing this next generation. Meanwhile, here are a few stories of the Beyond that hit this week.
Alex over at TreoBits spotted this story from the Denver Post about new mobile workers that do all their business through a single handheld multimedia device.
As soon as Realtor Grant Hoffman sees a hot house for sale, he snaps a picture and fires it off by e-mail to clients using his new Palm Treo 700w "smart phone."
You know that smartphones are going mainstream when a story like this appears in a daily newspaper.
Hoffman, based in Lafayette, once used a digital camera to do his work. But downloading pictures to his office computer in order to send them by e-mail took precious time away from sales.
"This eliminates a couple of steps, actually," said Hoffman of the Treo. "It saves time, which is what it's all about."
Christopher over at Everything Treo wrote about a new Treo application that will be used by celebrity bloggers to power their blogs.
The special application is designed to take advantage of the text, picture, audio and video capabilities of Palm Treo smartphones. The new application will be used with BlogStar's groundbreaking mobile blogging entertainment service, which features daily mobile entertainment content co-produced directly with celebrity artist partners. The application will be available on Palm Treo smartphones to be used by BlogStar celebrity bloggersThe BlogStar Mobile service can also be accessed by consumers at www.blogstar.com or by text messaging the word "BlogStar" to 25647 ("blogs").
Elsewhere in the World of Palm
MobiTV Tops One Million Subscribers
This week, MobiTV, the global leader in television and digital radio services for cellular, WiFi and broadband enabled devices, announced that more than one million users now subscribe to its mobile television services worldwide.
Since launching its first mobile television service in November 2003, MobiTV has successfully sparked an entirely new business category, signed-on more than 50 international content partnerships and deployed its television services on more than 20 mobile networks worldwide. Read more here .
Avvenu & Palm Demonstrate Remote Access Service during CTIA
Avvenu, Inc., which recently received the prestigious PC World Innovations Award and the Best of Mobile Technology Award, demonstrated its free remote access and sharing service with strategic partners Palm and Motorola at this week's CTIA Wireless 2006 conference in Las Vegas.
Attendees were able to see how Avvenu transforms the Palm Treo 700w, into a portal that lets users access any of their files - from anywhere in the world they have an Internet connection.
Avvenu was just reviewed by TreoCentrals Harv Laser. Also, PC World named Avvenu to its 101 Fabulous Freebies List .
Task Manager, HandySwitcher, Updated
DinarSoft , the maker of very popular PocketPC titles like MemMaid and HandyMenu just announced the latest update to its popular task manager HandySwitcher.
HandySwitcher 2.7 provides users with a very easy way to manage running applications. This version has been optimized so that you can now use the navigation pad to fully control running applications.
By the way,pdaBlast! recently posted a review of HandySwitcher.
Bluefire Security Technologies Fully Supports the Treo 700w
As smartphones start to be used more and more as PC and laptop replacements, security requirements, especially when accessing corporate servers, need to be ratcheted up. Bluefire just announced a solution that has been optimized for the Treo 700w.
"The Treo smartphone is transforming what users think of as the office, leading to substantially more business being conducted by individuals on the go," says Steve Butsch, director of systems engineering, Palm, Inc. "With the increased rate of adoption of mobile devices, large enterprises and small businesses alike need to make sure their corporate assets remain secure."Bluefire's VPN software is available for free trial download and purchase at http://www.bluefiresecurity.com .
Recent TreoCentral Guides & Reviews
Curious About Your Treos Built-in Camera?
This guide by Jay Gross is an awesome introduction.
A picture can be worth a thousand words, even Treo images. A bad picture rates some words, too, mostly of the four-letter variety. These tricks should give you a much better chance. With skill and care, plus a handy image processing program, you're more likely to get useful images out of the cameras while you wait for beefier, better models to come.
GlobalSat BT-338 Bluetooth GPS Receiver - By Xious Sonenberg
The BT-338 is a well engineered, striking, cutting-edge GPS receiver that is not only exceptionally useful, but also a fantastic value compared to a lot of competing GPS equipment. The only other items youll need to buy are mapping software and some kind of car mount to hold your Treo within view while you navigate.
Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community
MobileTechReview.com Takes a Look at the Motorola H700 - Tong Zhang, Senior Editor writes:
The Motorola H700 has excellent outgoing voice quality in quiet to mid-noisy level environments. The voice clarity is very good and the volume is very loud which in some cases you might need to turn down the volume on your phone. Thats certainly a good problem to have given the fact that some of the headsets just dont have enough volume output and arent very useful in noisy environment for receiving calls.
Jabra JX10 Reviewed by Everything Treo - Christopher Meinck writes:
The Jabra JX10 is an attractive, light-weight Bluetooth headset that provides very good call quality in a small package. The addition of a dock is convenient for charging and keeping track of the headset. If you're the type that carries your headset in your pocket, then you might find yourself frustrated with the ear clip. In terms of voice quality, it's hard to fault the JX10. Although priced higher than most headsets, it does come with an attractive package of accessories. I would have liked to see a car charger, as that might offer more utility than the dock.
TreoCentral had previously reviewed the Jabra JX10 as well.
Mobile DVD on your Treo
Andrew at Treonauts has written an interesting review on ways to get DVD content into your Treo:
Overall, CloneDVD Mobile may not be free as others but I am personally willing to pay for a hassle-free and simple solution which doesnt require a steep learning curve or an engineers degree to figure out and use. For me at least it delivers on all counts.
With the free TCPMP installed on your Treo, CloneDVD Mobile and AnyDVD (free 21 day trial then bundle price of $59.00) on your PC as well as a good set of headphones youll be all set to convert and enjoy watching all your DVDs while on the go.
TreoAlarm with Weather Forecast
Mike Slocombe at Digital Lifestyles has written an interesting piece about a program called TreoAlarm .
With full support for the 5-way directional control on the Treo, the program makes a practical and easy-to-use travel/home alarm clock and weather forecaster and represents excellent value (for under $20).
>>Something to Ponder
Will this Form of Tag be Webcasted?
The phrase, phone tag will take on an entirely new meaning this summer, thanks to Matt Damon and his best friend/business partner Ben Affleck. Their entertainment company, Live Planet, will be tag-teaming with Ampd Mobile Inc., a youth-oriented wireless phone company to create an urban version of capture the flag.
Ampd Mobile users will be able to invite a circle of friends to join in a game of Phone Tag by sending text invitations to their cellphones, or to participate in a game with strangers. When a game starts, players will be given a target another player that appears on their cellphone screens as a dot on a virtual map. The game can be played on almost any territory, whether a college campus or a city.
At the same time hunters are pursuing their quarry, they themselves are being hunted by other players. When players get close to their prey, typically within a few yards, they virtually tag them hitting a button labeled capture on their cellphones. LivePlanet also plans to sell sponsorships that allow, say, Starbucks to turn its cafes into safe havens that let players temporarily cloak themselves on their opponents maps while theyre enjoying a latte. Read more here .
If this catches on, my feeling is that it wont be long before it spawns a reality series (online or on TV) like the Gold Rush treasure chase show that AOL and Mark Burnett were working on last year. Live Planet had a similar show in development.
Thats a wrap!