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Talkin' Treo -- v050506

Fri May 5, 2006 - 1:43 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 5 May 2006

Making a Case for Cases & Other News

I don't know if it's just a Spring thing, or perhaps the fact that Mother's Day is right around the corner, but everywhere I turned, there seemed to be a story about cases for the Treo. It's fascinating to see just how many types of cases there are too. Made me wonder if there's an Imelda out there with a closet (drawer) full of Treo cases for every occasion. Okay, perhaps not to that extreme. But it would be cool to have some variety. You'll learn all about cases and more of what's going on in the world of Treo below. So let's talk Treo.

Palm News

There's a distinctly international flavor to this week's announcements from Palm.

Treo 650 with BlackBerry Connect Available Down under
This week, Palm and Research in Motion (RIM) announced that BlackBerry Connect for the Palm Treo 650 smartphone on the Telstra Network will be available early next month in Australia. This will enable Telstra's customers to have a wider choice of devices that support the robust and secure capabilities of the BlackBerry services and a wider choice of wireless email solutions that support the feature-rich Treo 650.

Treo 650 Available for Mobile-8 Customers in Indonesia
Palm just announced that the award-winning Treo 650 smartphone is now available on the Mobile-8 CDMA network in Indonesia.

"The Treo 650 smartphone provides Mobile-8 customers with increased mobility and a way to simplify their business and personal lives with an all-in-one device," said Paul Blinkhorn, vice president for Palm Asia Pacific. "Whether it's reviewing email, viewing a presentation or simply making a conference call, the Treo 650 smartphone lets busy people manage important aspects of their lives while out of the office."

Elsewhere in the World of Treo

Cellular Providers: How Many is Too Many?
BusinessWeek just took a look at the wireless space and the number of cellular players there are in the U.S. Currently there are five (down seven) but apparently the norm is two or three.

"I don't know that there's room for this many wireless players," says telecom banker Jeffrey Williams, a Morgan Stanley (MS) veteran who started his own firm, Jeffrey Williams & Co.

Mercury News Talks Palm

Palm is on the radar and making news in Silicon Valley. The San Jose Mercury News ran a story about Palm in Thursday's edition. Not only does it go into how Palm benefited in the short term from the patent lawsuits plaguing BlackBerry's parent Research in Motion (RIM), but it also delves a bit into the next generation of the Palm OS-based Treo.

RIM Sued for Patent Infringement Again
Speaking of lawsuits, it looks like Visto, which is partly owned by NTP, is the latest company suing Research In Motion for infringement of wireless messaging patents. Visto is also suing Microsoft and Good Technology. Visto officials say financial settlements would be smart in these cases. They also seem to be intentionally trying to start more RIM shutdown hysterics.

Greed is Good?! According an article in BusinessWeek, Visto CEO Brian Bogosian says he intends for Visto to be the "last man standing" in the wireless-messaging market. He also hinted that the privately held company could have a stock offering on the horizon. "This isn't about who sells more e-mail to which kinds of wireless devices," he said. "This is about the battle of the next desktop, and Microsoft and Nokia (NOK) and RIM are all jockeying for position. We expect to be the only ones standing in the next year and half, and with a very large market cap."

Motley Fool: Convergence & Complaints about the 700w
Last week, Rich Duprey over at MotleyFool.com wrote a story called A Convergence Train Wreck that really slams the Treo 700w:
"I've had my Treo for several months now, and while I'm by no means a power user, I like my gadgets to work as advertised. But, as is typical for a Windows-powered device, it's buggy as all get out. When connected to the Internet through Verizon Wireless Broadband Access, the system will bog down or freeze; sometimes the Treo just won't start up. In both cases, you need to remove the battery to get it to reboot. That nifty touchscreen is a real boon, too -- except when you use the phone as a phone and it touches your ear. That causes it to set alarms, change time zones, and unintentionally bring up all sorts of programs."
Having used other Palm devices, he goes on to remark that "the fly in the ointment" is Microsoft. It'll be interesting to hear his take on the 700p when it arrives on the scene.

PC World Compares the Treo 700w with the Treo 650
In her story comparing the Treo 700w with the Treo 650, Yardena Arar of PC World writes:

"Overall, that about sums up my feeling about the Treo 700w. It's fast; it's got a few nice phone features; and if I have to use a Windows Mobile hybrid, I'd rather have a Treo than any of the other Windows Mobile smart phones I've seen. But do I feel any desire to surrender my Palm OS-based Treo? No. I'll just upgrade when a faster version comes along. The best things about the Treo 700w have little or nothing to do with Windows Mobile."

Brighthand Lists Most Popular PDAs and Smartphones for April
In Brighthand's list, Palm owned the top 10, taking half the spots including #1 with the Treo 700w and the Treo 650 at #5.

Also in the world of Treo, some interesting products announcements:

Backup Your Treo Over the Internet

According to Ryan
over at PalmInfocenter.com, Blue Nomad is now offering a public beta test of a new wireless backup solution for the Treo 650 and 600. BackupBuddy.Net works in the background to backup your smartphone data to a server on the Internet. An interesting feature is trickle backupthat allows BackupBuddy.Net to transparently and continuously backup a user's files when they are not actively using their Treo. If you aren't afraid of using Beta products, you might want to give this a try.

Now Available: The Only True Word Solitaire for Handhelds
Smart Box Design, developer of high-quality games for PDAs and smartphones, just announced the release of Word Monaco, the latest installment in its series of challenging word games for mobile devices. Word Monaco is the only true word solitaire game for handhelds on the market and promises to give players a chance to experience a quick "vacation" from daily routines and escape into a challenging word game with a fun French Riviera theme.
Word Monaco will be an engaging diversion for anyone who enjoys word games, solitaire-style card games, or both.

New Version of Opera Mini Supports Mobile Commerce
This week, Opera Software announced the availability of Opera Mini 2.0, the new version of their tiny and fast Web browser that runs on almost every mobile phone. Opera Mini 2.0 now supports seamless mobile commerce via SMS. For example, users can click directly on the Web site to purchase ringtones, games and other content that arrive as an SMS. The charge will appear in the phone bill as an SMS with the price set by the seller. This form of mobile commerce - direct from the browser to SMS - simplifies the transaction for both the business and the consumer.

Recent TreoCentral Guides & Reviews

Facts of the Case: The Art of Holstering - By Xious Sonenberg

This is an excellent pouch-style case roundup.

"Functionality and flexibility of use are of course the next step in guiding you to your perfect match. Here the Krusell wins by its ability to clip on to or attach itself to almost anything. When you put it on your belt, it's not going to go anywhere or slide off."

Seidio Audio Out Adapter - By Xious Sonenberg

"Overall, the Seidio adapter is a brilliant little dongle that does what it's supposed to do and is most welcome (and necessary) for those of you with broken audio ports. It could use a little re-thinking, especially regarding covering up the power jack, which serves no purpose, but it does work as advertised."

Reviews & Guides from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

Clear As Crystal: The Best Case Yet For My Treo 650
Andrew at Treonauts looks at the CrystalCase by SmartPhone Experts:

"I personally find the CrystalCase 10 times better than any of the popular rubber skin cases because it is so much easier to use and remove and also much easier to clean as it is not prone to attract dust and dirt like most skins do (something which I can't stand).
At least for me, I don't think that I'll get much closer to finding a perfect case for my Treo 650…"

Another Case Comparison: Speck SkinTight vs. SPE Skin with Seidio Holster
via Alex Matthews at TreoBits, in a review contributed by Andy Leviss, the Speck SkinTight Case with Holster is compared with the Smartphone Experts Skin combined with the Seidio Shield Holster for Treo 650. He concludes:

" As for me? Right now, I'm sticking with the Smartphone Experts and Seidio combination. It's not perfect, but it's pretty close, and so far it's saved my phone from quite a few bumps and scratches, not to mention a couple pesky drops."

Terminal Services for your Palm
This review of DDH Software's Mobile TS (terminal services) application comes from Sammy Mcloughlin's Palm Addict newsletter.

"Mobile TS is the first and only application to connect Palm OS handhelds to Windows desktops and workstations via the Terminal Services or Remote Desktop capabilities built into many Microsoft Windows operating systems. While away from your office, using your Palm OS handheld, remotely control your data, applications, and network resources that are on your office computer, without being there. Mobile TS takes advantage of the new wireless enabled handhelds, high-resolution screens, and DPad controls, to allow a rich user experience."

Agendus for Palm OS is "Treo-tastic"
This review of the Agendus Professional personal information manager (PIM) came from Mike Slocomb at Digital Lifestyles.

"The whole point of carrying around a PIM is that you should be able to access and input information quickly on the move, and this is where Agendus steals a march on its rivals.
Using a Treo smartphone, we were able to easily move from app to app, check appointments, look up contacts and quickly make calls using just one hand - which meant we used the thing a lot more than our i-mate JAM which was a far more fiddly affair.
Smart, modern, fast and fun, Agendus represents astonishing value at $29.95 for the standard edition and $39.95 for the pro (see feature comparison here: Agendus Standard vs. Agendus Pro) and it's the best Personal Information Manager we've used on any platform."

Treonauts Checks Out ListPro
Andrew at Treonauts writes a glowing review of ListPro by Ilium Software:

"Overall I couldn't recommend ListPro more highly – particularly if you've been struggling to make sense, keep track and actually take care of the hundreds if not thousands of things that make up your daily work and personal life. At least for me ListPro is a fabulous application that I'm not uninstalling anytime soon."

Amazon on your Treo
TJL at PalmAddict writes "How I use My Palm" stories. This one got my attention because it wasn't something I've tried to do yet with my own Treo 650.

"…I discovered that Amazon.com has a new mobile-friendly site which you can find at www.amazon.com/access.They've also done a good job at making this the first thing that you see when you go to their website. How well does it work? Well, my gold test for ‘mobile friendly' websites is whether or not they work in Lynx on my dialup connection. Amazon.com/access passes that test. The only missing feature I see is the ability to add something to your wish list although I would probably just use the ‘Add to Cart' and then move it to my wish list when I got home."

How to Play DVDs on Your Treo
Legit Reviews has just posted an interesting "how to" piece that explains the steps you need to take to get a DVD movie from disc to your Treo 650.

Endnotes & Ponderables

A story published this week states that the newly reborn AT&T, fresh off of digesting BellSouth, plans to turn off the lights on their Cingular Wireless brand by next year and name it AT&T Wireless. In a way, I'm not surprised that everything old is new again.

What does surprise me is that they'd throw away all that branding work they did. I don't know about you, but when I think Cingular, I think Spiderman. Between the movie and the commercials, that's the image embedded in my head. In comparison, AT&T Wireless seems so… so corporate. Oh well.

In you're interested in reading more, check out Adweek's article that looks at the advertising implications and the irony of this.

That's a wrap!

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