I find a lot of interesting articles while doing research for my column. Unfortunately, due to space and time considerations, I often have to leave them on the cutting room floor so to speak.
So this week, Ive put together a column that includes several stories covering trends and the unusual in the mobile industry.
The full Talkin Treo column will be back next week.
Love/Hate Relationship with Mobile Tech
Ed Hardy ran this over at Brighthand:
According to a recent survey of 2,300 global executives conducted by Korn/Ferry International, 77 percent of respondents believe that mobile communications devices (phone, handheld, laptop or pager) primarily enhance their work/life balance, rather than impede it.
Interesting, right? Okay
prepare for the shoe drop:
However, when these same people were asked whether they believe they spend too much time using their communications devices, 38 percent strongly agreed.
Things that make you go humm. Do you own your Treo or does your Treo own you? Let us know your thoughts in our forums.
But Our Survey Says
Meanwhile, over at Frost and Sullivan, a study they conducted for Palms Treo reveals that the median downtime recovered for workers using the Treo smartphone was estimated to be 41 minutes per day, equating to $8,572 per year. In a 1,000-user enterprise the average productivity gains associated with using the Palm Treo amount to over $8 million per year.
Power and Convenience -- Treo smartphones allow users to make calls, handle email, send messages and turn "downtime into found time" while waiting at the airport, sitting in the back of a taxi or even just waiting for meetings to begin.
Seems like whenever I feel a little bored I whip out the Treo - of course, I don't necessarily use it to be 'productive' :-D .
Is Multitasking on a Mobile Device Necessary?
Thats the question that Matthew Miller asks in his blog entry. My guess is that if you posed this question to the 2300 executives Korn/Ferry polled, theyd respond with a resounding Yes!
one reason I gave up on the Palm OS as my primary device is that I wanted a more robust multitasking experience. I wanted to check my email, copy and paste from the web browser into an Office or text document, all while listening to music. I also used to love Palm devices because of their stability, but I have actually experienced more random resets with my old Treo 650 than I do with S60 or Windows Mobile devices. The Palm OS is pretty simplistic and actually hasn't changed a whole lot from the first Palm OS device back in 1996. I still find Palm OS devices snappier than most other devices in switching between applications, except for the Palm LifeDrive.
In his article, he referenced a story appearing over at SearchMobileComputing.com Mobile Platforms: Palm OS -- not the best for the multitasker. The author, Andrew Hickey, notes, Overall, Palm OS is simple to use and, aside from the single-tasking model, has decent functionality.
He quotes Gartners principal research analyst Todd Kort:
"The average person would probably find it quite acceptable.," Kort said. "It's a little more tricky in a corporate environment. The Palm OS is going to survive -- but Palm as a company needs to be looking around for a new platform to jump onto."
Kort also remarks that Palm OS is in a position right now where it may be better suited to the consumer market, not the enterprise.
"The Treo 700p and 650s are selling into the traditional base of Palm users," Kort continued. "New users aren't picking up on it."
According to Jack Gold -- principal and founder of J. Gold Associates, a Northborough, Mass.-based research, analysis and advisory firm, "From a functionality perspective, there's nothing Palm does as an operating system that the others don't," Gold said. "Palm's biggest challenge over the next few years is can [it] keep up with the next version of Nokia with Windows Mobile?"
Palm is clearly feeling the heat from Nokia and Research in Motion.
Minding Your Mobile Manners
This is a story I found over at Forbes, the author, Hannah Clark, got Palms CEO Ed Colligan to talk about mobile manners.
HC: What are the biggest cellphone etiquette problems you've seen?
Ed: To me, one of the big etiquette problems is when people go to a meeting, and they're sitting in the meeting, and the whole time they are doing e-mail, not looking at people and not even listening to the content of the meeting. I think it's incredibly rude, and in our company I basically say, If you are going to be at the meeting, you need to be at the meeting and listen to the content. If you need to do your e-mail, then don't come to the meeting.
HC: Has your cellphone ever gone off in an awkward place?
Ed: It goes off all the time. But we have this really great feature on the top of the Treo. It's a little switch that turns off all the volumes and sounds on the device, and it immediately goes to vibrate mode.
HC: It seems like cellphone etiquette is getting a little better. Is it?
EC: I agree with you--I think more and more people have become more sensitized to the idea that you don't have to yell into your cellphone, for instance. A lot of people used to talk on trains and be constantly screaming at the person on the other end of the phone. I think people are more sensitive to where they are, and are more controlled in restaurants and other places. But there's still a big problem with driving while you are either talking on the phone or doing e-mail. It's rude and dangerous. In fact, we're supporting a bill here in California to demand that people use headsets.
Read the full story here.
In a previous column, I made reference to Ricochet Rabbit which probably triggered all kinds of Hanna-Barbera memories. For those of you who are big fans of H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Rhino Entertainment has created a suite of mobile content applications based on these vintage kids TV shows. Content includes ringtones, ringback tones, video ringers, and wallpapers. The direct-to-consumer suite is accessible via a soon-to-launch official Web site and via short code. The offering comes just in time to promote several movies in development based on the same shows, including Land of the Lost--starring Will Farrell--and H.R. Pufnstuf. Yikes! Some things shouldnt be brought back.
Oh well. Thats a wrap!
...Editor's note: A few other tidbits since it's been a big week here at TreoCentral.
And lastly, a little bit of phone envy to knock us new Treo 700wx users off our high horse. Sprint just announced that they're selling pay-per-view movies on their Power Vision Network. Thus far, like SprintTV, it's not available on the Treo 700wx. Oh well.
I'd say "That's a wrap," here, but that's Annie's line. She'll be back with her full colum next week. - Dieter