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Talkin' Treo -- v061606

Fri Jun 16, 2006 - 12:06 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 16 June 2006

This week, it was more Ps, some Qs and reviews, and a whole lot of World Cup. So let's talk Treo!

Palm News

No new news from Palm this week. Just a reminder, their earnings announcement is next Thursday, June 29, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Pacific), followed by a conference call for the public at4:30 p.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. Pacific). The conference call will be hosted by Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer, Andy Brown, chief financial officer, and Sandy O'Halloran, senior director of Investor Relations.

Also, according to PalmAddicts, Sprint is discontinuing the Treo 650 by the end of the summer. Per the story:

"I just got off the phone with Sprint's Public Relations firm, and they confirmed that Sprint will sell off their remaining stock of the 650. My best guess is that with 2 more Treos coming out by year's end, the 650 would end up being redundant in terms of pricing and performance. Although I lament its departure, this is a good sign from Palm management. Poor supply-chain management has been a major cause for financial stress over the years...amplified by a line up of devices that effectively competed amongst themselves."

Who's Talkin Treo 700p this Week?
This week, it was CNET, BusinessWeek and Brighthand providing thoughts on the Treo 700p. Bonnie Cha at CNET states:
"With EV-DO support, increased memory, and enhanced multimedia capabilities, the Palm Treo 700p makes a powerful smart phone even better. Sure, it's not perfect, but the solid performance and new features make it worth the upgrade."
In his TECHNOLOGY & YOU column, titled "Palm Barks Up the Right Treo," Stephen Wildstrom writes:
"The 700p gives Palm's software a new lease on life, though its long-term future remains clouded. Networking features, in particular, are primitive compared with what's available with Windows Mobile, and the next generation of products, which will be expected to switch freely between Wi-Fi and cell-type networks, may be a real challenge for Palm. The new owner of the Palm operating system, a Japanese company called Access, is attempting a complete rewrite based on Linux, but it is not clear how long this will take…For now, the great thing about having the 700w or the 700p is that consumers can pick the software of their choice on an excellent piece of hardware."
And from Brighthand:
"On some level, it's disappointing that Palm didn't do a little more with the 700 series. Seeing as it is currently the 600 pound gorilla of the smartphone market, it could have gotten away with a bit more, like adding Wi-Fi or a VoIP suite as standard. This speaks to design as well -- the overall Treo styling hasn't been significantly altered in two and a half years. While it's still competitive, it would be nice to see a sleeker and more modern Treo, or perhaps a range of designs akin to HTC's lineup.

All that aside, the 700p is a significant improvement over the 650, and alleviates a lot of the major problems with the last generation Treo. It's not an enormous upgrade, but is probably enough to tempt many Palm faithful who don't want to jump to the 700w. Compared directly to its Windows-based sibling, the 700p has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. As always, the best way to judge is based on individual needs. The 700p lacks the Exchange connectivity features and Wi-Fi options of the 700w, but does have a better screen and the classic Palm OS interface. I suspect that despite its flaws, the 700p is going to be a good performer for Palm."

That "Other" Smartphone
Los Angeles Times reviewer, David Coker, weighs in on the Motorola Q in his story "(Has Motorola Made a BlackBerry Killer?".

"Indeed, the silver Q is the first cellphone that could be called — dare I say — elegant. It reminded me of an old-fashioned cigarette case, except not as deadly — unless it turns out to be true that cellphones are doing terrible things to our brains."

"But if you're looking for a phone that can handle e-mails deftly, if not always instantly, without the use of BlackBerry server software, the Q is certainly worth consideration."

Recent TreoCentral Guides & Reviews

Note: TreoCentral has made some changes and improvements to the Website. There are now eleven headline articles on the front page (up from seven). Plus if you click on the hyperlink under the author's name, you can see all the articles written by that author, or any former TC authors. This list updates dynamically as new stories, articles, and reviews are published. You can also find these by clicking on "About" on the top blue menu bar and scrolling down to the list of published authors.

Unleashing the Wonders of Wi-Fi on your Treo 700w – By Tim Hillebrand

"Does the 'W' in 700W stand for 'without Wi-Fi' It seems inconceivable that Palm would neglect to include built-in Wi-Fi with the new Treo 700W until you realize that Verizon probably nixed it in favor of forcing customers to use its EVDO network and pay the tariff. While EVDO may be a huge improvement over other wireless technology, it pales in comparison to a high-speed broadband wireless Wi-Fi connection. So, rather than lament the lack, let's see what we can do to about it."

Word Monaco Solitaire - By Jay Gross

"Only a month out of the 'box', Word Monaco Solitaire promises escape with Riviera themed graphics, pretty musical riffs, and a light to industrial-strength challenge to vocabulary, spelling, and patience. It delivers a handy time-eater cozily packed in a Treo."

SmartPhone Experts CrystalCase - By James Hromadka

"So is the CrystalCase a better case than the ClearCase? Both are great for those who want a stylish, smooth, slim case for their Treo but don't like the rubber issues that rubber skin cases bring. The tiny tabs on the CrystalCase make for a smaller footprint than the ClearCase, but the ClearCase is easier to take apart and put back together.

"If you are struggling to decide between the two cases, the deciding factor is the beltclip and the flip-up screen protecting window on the ClearCase. If you might use a beltclip or want that flip lid cover, then get the ClearCase. Otherwise go for the CrystalCase."

Don't miss TreoCentral's extensive take on the Treo 700p - By Michael Ducker and Harv Laser

In case you didn't see this last week, here's TreoCentral's take on the 700p.

"The Treo 700p combines an excellent state-of-the art hardware platform with classic easy to use software. New users will love this device, at the top of the field. though existing Treo owners should upgrade only if they really want EVDO. Palm needs to watch its back, as competition is finally catching up and future Treos will need to innovate further in both hardware and software, than the Treo 700p did on the Treo 650 to stay" – Michael

In my view, it boils down to this: the single most compelling reason to upgrade from a 650 to a 700p is EVDO. Near DSL data speed is a joy. Bonuses are more than double the internal memory, better camera, a much more robust, expanded, and modernized software bundle in ROM, and a lot of little improvements here and there that take time to discover." – Harv

News & Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

Earthcomber and Book Sense Put Independent Booksellers on the "Mobile Map"
Book Sense, the marketing program for independent bookstores, has partnered with Earthcomber to offer the directory of Book Sense store locations in a mobile GPS-enabled format for Palm OS and Windows Mobile PDAs and smart phones. The new service is part of a trend in mobile marketing that matches on-the-go consumers with their personal interests.

Whether users of the guide are traveling or exploring their own hometowns, Earthcomber will now help them find all independent booksellers that are a part of the Book Sense network in addition to local hotels, unique shops, local services, restaurants, businesses, events and relocation information that already are a part of the 1.5 million points of interest that come with the free Earthcomber dataset.

In Hard Shell For Your Treo, Andrew at Treonauts looks at the Palm Treo Hard Case:

"Overall, I can truly rate the new Treo Hard Case as 'superb' as it is extremely appealing and clearly demonstrates design and innovation at its best. My only complaint is that Palm only added one opening for the antenna at the top (presumably for design integrity) and not one at the bottom which means that I can't listen to the Pocket Tunes music on my Treo while on the go with it...

Having said this, if you're looking for a sturdy, elegant and extremely well designed hard side case for your Treo then I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with this one."

Everything Treo reviewed Code Wallet Pro, which is a PocketPC based program for the Treo 700w that helps store and secure almost any type of information. Kevin Muller writes:

"If you're sick of carrying around notes to remember your bank account number or pin – or would just like to secure this information – CodeWallet Pro 2006 is a great solution. At the beginning of our testing, it seemed like a cool program – but by the end of the testing, it had become a necessity! On top of great security and functionality, the program itself is stable and reliable."

PalmAddicts Review of Leading Step Software

"Overall I have to say that each of the applications are very well written and organized. Written for furthering the education of youngsters, it does its job well, while still being entertaining. They all held my 7 yr old Daughter's attention, with the exception of Size It Up, and I think she'll enjoy that one also, once she gets to that level in her math studies.

I highly recommend these applications to anyone with children. They are not only fun, but also a good tool for learning."

Endnotes & Ponderables
Goooooaaaaaallll!!! The FIFA World Cup has begun and there are several companies making sure that you don't miss any of the action.

Handmark, a global leader in mobile media,
just announced that their award winning Pocket Express wireless news and information service is now providing free World Cup soccer coverage in their Sports channel. The World Cup coverage appears in a special news subcategory within the Sports channel and offers dozens of stories throughout the day, continuously updated and posted as the trusted reporters of the Associated Press file them. Coverage includes game previews and recaps, breaking news and scoring updates on games in progress, injury reports, and more.

Opera Software is offering a World Cup edition of Opera Mini, Opera Mini Goal 06, as a free download (or via a $2.99 SMS with AT&T and Cingular). It gives football fans worldwide instant access to live scores, breaking sports news, team updates, statistics and the latest rumors". It gives news updates from Eurosport, Soccernet, BBC Sports Online, Soccerway and FIFA, as well as World Cup discussion forums.

Christopher Meinck of Everything Treo explains how you can use a free program called Football 2006 to track matches on your Treo. This program lets you look up what games are being played by day or by location (stadium). A very cool feature let's you add an alarm in your Treo calendar to be reminded when certain games are being played (if you have RingTones—you could even add Samba music to your Brazil alarm, but I digress).
You can also keep track of the scores of each game and automatically see which teams will be making it to the next round.

Nice to know there are quite a few options. Now if they just had a way to give me up to the minute coverage of Winged Foot (U.S. Open), so I could track how Tiger's doing, I'd be set.

That's a wrap!

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